As a whitewater kayaker, it is not uncommon to be found walking along a slick rock river bank, or climbing down a steep embankment to the river -- all the while carrying a 60 lb kayak on your shoulder. One wrong move and it is all too easy to slip into the river, or take a fall. Therefore, when it comes to kayaking, I am picky about my paddling shoes and the rubber I choose to wear on my feet.
Gear Review: Five Ten Water Tennie - Kim Russell
Normally, when I get a new pair of paddling shoes, I find myself timidly walking down to the riverbank waiting to fall; something I consider the "New Shoe Ritual", where I quickly find the limits of my new rubber. Not this time, however. The Water Tennie stuck to every surface I had the guts to walk on. High angle, low angle, wet, dry, mossy -- The Water Tennie is my new favorite paddling shoe.
The Water Tennie fits like a glove. Not only are they 'uber' comfortable, they offer excellent arch support and protection from the elements with their protective rubber toe cap, and barrel trim. The synthetic upper mesh allows the shoe to dry quickly, and breathe, while drainage holes allow the shoe to shed water fast. The quick lace system, inner gaiter, and general design of the shoe allows the shoe to grip your foot and keep dirt out. WIN!
The Water Tennie features Five Ten's Stealth Phantom Rubber, a non-marking rubber known for its high friction and durability. In addition, Five Ten has added a sharp "edge" around the shoe, allowing you to take full advantage of the shoe, and use all those little rock ridges in the rock for added traction.
Whether walking across slick rock, or clambering down a sketchy put-in, my shoes were rock solid, and kept me on my feet rather than my bum.
All in all, the Water Tennie is a great paddling shoe. They have excellent wet and dry traction, are very comfortable, and offer protection in all the right places. I am excited to call these my new creeking shoes!