Inevitably, we find something that tips the balance from want to need. Both of us have been frustrated lately with our paddling shoes. Alec goes through a pair of NRS Desperado Shoes at least once a year; Sharon loves her Wavesport Neobooties for their low profile and wide toe bed, but their soles aren't grippy and they appear to be discontinued.
This year at the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium, we found a new paddling shoe we both like: the NRS Sasquatch Water Shoe. It has a grippier and thicker sole than the Neobooties (though not as grippy or stiff as the Desperado Shoes), some heel and ankle protection (though not a lot of support in the sole), and a wide toe bed. It's low profile, and the neoprene cuff keeps sand and pebbles out.
Sharon's Neobootie next to her Sasquatch; Alec's Desperado Shoe next to his Sasquatch.
Alec's Desperado Shoe is faded and worn out above the heel and below the ankle, where it rubs on his boat. The Sasquatch looks sturdier in that area.
The Sasquatch (left) has a thicker sole than the Neobootie (center), but thinner than the Desperado Shoe (right).
We've only worn them for one weekend, so we'll see how well they hold up and whether the soles offer enough protection on rough and jagged surfaces. But they're comfortable, and we're both optimistic.