When I set out to buy a kayaking shoe, I had several criteria that I wanted to see in the shoe. I was looking for something closed, for starters. I wanted a complete shoe that was capable of drainage, but had the look of more of a traditional sneaker style shoe. I really wanted something that would not retain odor well after I took them off. I previously tried the Fila Skeletoes, and they had a horrible smell all the time, regardless of washing. I wanted a shoe that was comfortable enough to wear all day and that also looked good. I didn't have an unlimited budget for my shoes, so some of the more well known brands that exceeded $100 were out of the question.
I had a gift card to Bass Pro Shops so that was where I decided to start shopping. I went online and made a list of about ten different shoes that I wanted to try on. Some of the shoes on my list I didn't expect to really like, but I wanted to try them on for reference sake. The top shoes on my list were the Columbia Drainmaker’s and the Sperry Son-R. I had my eye on the new Water Spiders from Under Armour, but I had heard from a friend that they rubbed blisters on his feet, so they were quickly dismissed.
It was my birthday and the wife, baby and I headed off for “my day” at BPS and Pappadeaux. Once at BPS I was very disappointed with my choices and quickly realized that just because it was online didn't mean in store. After trying on the Sperry Son-R and the Under Armour’s, I quickly decided on the Under Armours.
The UA fit really well and I was surprised at how comfortable they were in the store. I have used them three times now and have yet to get a blister from any rubbing points in the shoe. I would like to see the toe box expanded a little bit, but so far that is my only complaint. I rarely choose products that are first generation, like UA water shoes; because it usually takes a few years to work kinks out before they get it right. I have been happy with UA products in the past and I really like the look and style of these shoes. One feature that I really like is the insoles. They have drain through holes that allow water to escape straight through the bottom of the shoe and they don’t have any type of cloth covering. The foam insole does not absorb water like a traditional fabric one would. I have worn them three times now and have not cleaned or washed them yet and so far there has been absolutely no bad odor from these shoes. They have excellent grip for standing in my kayak and walking over slippery rocks.
The best part about wearing these over Crocs is that I don’t lose my shoes in the mud now and I don’t bring in gravel into my kayak every time in get in and out of it. The Under Armour Water Spider, in my opinion, has proven to be an excellent water shoe so far. I have even started wearing them as a general outdoor shoe when I’m in the back cooking or cleaning up the patio. I recommend them for anyone who is in the market for a full closure water shoe with great grip, comfort, and style.