Shoes are certainly nothing new - the earliest pair was found in the state of Oregon in the USA and dates back roughly 10,000 years. Some experts believe that shoes were in existence long before then, but over time they just disintegrated. Makes me think of some water shoes
and flip flops I have owned over the years! But now, with the Fila Skele-toes, maybe times are changing.
I'm sure the idea of having different shoes for dry walking and wet activities is only a recent occurrence. Most of the world did not own any shoes at all until they became mass produced and somewhat affordable. Nowadays, with all of the water sports and activities we take part in, it just makes sense to have shoes that can survive going in and out of water while keep our feet protected and comfortable.
The first pair of water shoes I owned came from one of those big box stores. Having gone through countless pairs of flip flops, I saw those simple mesh contraptions and thought they have got to be better. The problem with flip flops is twofold: first, they just fall off if you try to swim, and second, they tear because of the weight and pressure of water as you try to walk. The only option was to take the flip flops off before getting in the water, leaving you to have to walk through mud, across gravel, and over sticks and brush. What a pain!
So I snatched up a pair of water shoes - I don't recall the specific brand, but it was a big name company - and headed to the lake. I thought, 'This will be great'. Boy was I wrong. The first thing I noticed while hanging out, not even in the water yet, was that my feet were getting hot. Not just hot, but sweaty. Well being hot and sweaty I decided to just get in the water. While I liked that I could walk across the gravel and mud with no issues, as soon as I started to swim I felt like I had a wet towel wrapped around each foot. The shoes were just uncomfortable and got heavy with water. So, being sufficiently cooled off now, I got out of the water and walked to my chair. And all the while the sand that got into my water shoes was rubbing and irritating my skin.
It appeared my options were flip flops that would break, shoes that were hot and heavy and sand-filled, or going barefoot. So barefoot it was! That is, until I saw the Fila Skele-Toes. I was fascinated by the look, but it was the potential of having quality water shoes that led me to get a pair.
The Skele-Toes are toe shoes, having four pockets for your toes (no, they do not assume you are two smallest toes go in the same pocket). By their shape they look like your foot, and they even have a cool design on the bottom that looks like foot bones. The idea is to give you a natural, barefoot feeling while still providing some protection.
After trying them on I noticed that the sole was a bit stiff, but I could still get a feeling for the ground under my feet - important when you cannot see the ground, such as in a lake that has rocks or near reefs in the ocean. The fit was snug. When I first slipped them on I adjusted the shoes to my feet using the three Velcro straps. After that, it was easy to get them on and off simply using the little bungee cords they used in the design.
Out of the water the shoes were very comfortable, and sitting in my chair with a drink in hand it was nice to not have my feet sweating. In the water their snug fit and streamlined design made it easy to walk or swim. And then, when I came out of the water, the nylon upper portion dried quickly. Most of the times there was no sand in my shoes, but I did occasionally have to rinse them out.
I won't claim that the Fila Skele-Toes are perfect water shoes, because they are not. But in the history of shoes, and in my life on the water, these are the best option I have found. I hope you learn more about them and even give them a try.
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