Do you really need water shoes?

Before my recent trip to Costa Rica I debated whether it was really necessary to get water shoes. Like many people, I like to travel with the least amount of gear as possible, maximize utilization out of the items I already own and avoid buying gear I’m only going to use once.  not a big water sports person but I do enjoy swimming in waterfalls.

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At first I thought the water shoes would be an additional pair of shoes I’d have to take in addition to what I usually travel with: sneakers, flip flops, hiking shoes.

After learning more and more about Costa Rica I realized that:

  • The water shoes could replace the sneakers as my everyday ‘go-to’ shoes.
  • Since they ‘breathe’ they’re more comfortable than sneakers in humid climates.
  • They’re recommended for dipping into waterfalls, which we intended to do a lot of.

Once I decided it was worth it to get them, the next question was which ones to get. The Keen Newport H2 model is popular and kinda pricey. Target also sells decent water shoes with good tread like these on the right and they’re super budget-friendly. water-shoes-travel-wanderlust-hiking-waterfalls.JPG

I ended up going with the Keens because they offered more foot protection. Adult size Keens have an open heel, which was a drawback for me. However I was able to fit into kids size which come with full heels as you can see above. And they cost less than the adult models.

I still would have bought the Keens even if I had had to buy the adult model, as I intended to make them my everyday shoe on that trip. And I know I will get use out of them on future trips, like my upcoming trip to Niagara Falls next week.

How They Did on the Trip

I am really glad I got these. They’re worth the investment. On more than one occasion I would have certainly stubbed my toes had it not been for these and they were perfect for light walks and hikes where we went in/out of wet and dry areas with 0 fuss.

ProTip: I bought mine at REI. They have an annual anniversary sale the last two weeks of May as well as the end of June for July 4th. If you purchase an item that layer goes on sale, as long as you purchased within 14 days, you can get the difference back.


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