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SUP Shoes or Barefoot which do you wear Stand Up Paddleboarding?
A question I hear a lot is ‘What should I wear on my feet while Stand Up Paddleboarding?’ And there are of course many answers which depend on the paddle, location, conditions and situation. It is possible to wear nothing – ie go barefoot and I would say this is what most people prefer. SUP Shoes can be a great option if you are Stand Up Paddlboarding in colder climates or on water that has a rocky or muddy coastline.
Today we will explore some of the many different types of footwear you can wear while Stand Up Paddleboarding. Weather it’s going barefoot, or wearing footwear you already have, or maybe it’s time to invest in some SUP Shoes that will help keep your feet warm while providing protection and still enabling good board control, we look into the pros and cons of each.
Bare Feet while Stand Up Paddleboarding
|Better control over board
|Muddy or Rocky waters edge means
dirty or cut feet
|Better sense of the surface of board
|Cold feet in cold conditions
|Good in warm weather
Thongs, Flip Flops or Jandles for Stand Up Paddleboarding
|Easy to get on and off
|Really poor control of board
|Come off easily and could cause hazard
|You probably already have them!
|Good for warm weather
Often early on in our paddling adventures we would wear these into the water but took them off once we were on our boards. This way we could have protection for our feet but also easily have the better grip offered by going barefoot once on the board. They can’t be secured to your feet and so can make paddling hazardous. I wouldn’t recommend wearing them during paddling. They can also be quite slippery when wet so caution needs to be exercised when getting out of the water.
Runners for Stand Up Paddleboarding
|Good for sore feet
|Poor board control
|Stable on your feet
|Poor board feel
|Good for rocky/sharp surfaces where you
may get your feet cut
|Harder to clean and dry
It can be good to wear an old pair of runners when starting out if the entry point to the water is rocky. This will protect your feet from rough surfaces and can make your feet more comfortable while on the board. Something many paddle boarders suffer from is sore feet, usually from trying to grip the board too hard. Runners can stop this from happening. The down side is that you lose the feel of the board beneath you and it becomes harder to control due to less grip.
SUP Shoes for Stand Up Paddleboarding
|Thin enough to sense board under your feet
|Designed to get wet
|Can be tight to get on if no zipper
|Soles wear out faster than shoes on rough surfaces
|Keep your feet warm – good for cold water SUP
|Easy to wash
|Work well with wetsuits
|Coupled with Sealskinz Waterproof Socks can keep your feet dryer longer
Wearing SUP Shoes or Wetsuit Booties when you are Stand Up Paddleboarding gives you the most comfort and flexibility. Not only do SUP shoes help keep your feet warm but they help keep your feet comfortable while maintaining control over your board. Pairing your SUP Shoes with some Sealskinz Waterproof Socks can also help keep your feet dry during your Stand UP Paddleboarding session.
I have to say that during the years that I have been paddleboarding I have found that the best options are either going barefoot if it is warm enough to do so or wearing SUP Shoes with my Sealskinz Waterproof Socks when it is colder. The first time I wore my Sealskinz Waterproof Socks with my SUP Shoes I was amazed at how long my feet stayed dry. I suspect that if I were to wear them with my wetsuit this would further prevent water getting in around my ankles so stay tuned for when I test drive that combination!