Since we have Comfort 101: Beach Travel basics under control, I wanted to give a quick overview for under-the-water shoes. Some things I learned the hard way (and I should know better).
There are two types of underwater terrain.
Now don't get me wrong, it looks awesome - but it also can tear up your feet if they are sensitive. (Again may have those micro pebbles) Shoes aren't always necessary, but keep in mind just in case. Any sort of water sandal or shoe will do. In the water, thongs just won't cut it or watch them float away.
Whether you use Chaco, Teva, Dansko or Vibram - you have options to protect your feet. Just watch your tan lines appear the longer you wear one style!
Rocky (or mixed)
This is where you can run into problems. Sometimes you can't tell how high or low the rocks are when you're in the water. And then there is the texture factor. Many of the beaches in the pacific have volcanic rock. So the rocks are super rough and will tear your foot up - no questions asked.
The reason I feel compelled to share this particular information - is I did a really dumb thing last vacation. I took the totally wrong shoes for the kind of beach we were at. The year before the beach we were at had little to no rocks underwater. They were fairly easy to navigate and not a lot of trouble. Last year the whole thing was rocks. It really ruined the ocean portion of the travel. Could look at it all day long, but had problems getting in and out. It was so disappointing. Sitting in the sun reading my book or visiting with my friends, getting all hot and sweaty and not being able to go the water - was agony.
When the tide was out the rocks were slippery and rough, and under the water you just couldn't get a good read on the depth. My feet were looking pretty beat up by the end of our trip. To top it all off I got caught in the tide coming in one day. I couldn't get steady enough to get out of the water - shoes were the problem and barefoot was not happening. My husband came to my rescue. Felt all of my 50 years that day.
LESSON: You not only need shoes that can be in the water - but have a more rigid bottom to give you stability. Super soft bottoms didn't work as my foot kept slipping out. The shoe was on the side of my foot more than underneath. Sturdy straps are also a must. Keeping your foot in a secure location- so that your foot won't slide around. They don't have to be tight - just firm and in place.
To name just a few in sandals that are reliable and easy to use. Have support and stay on your foot. I wish I had taken
my Dansko Racquels last year. Definitely going with me this year!
There a million different kinds of water socks. Make sure you get ones that have a sturdy bottom and that either suction cup onto your foot or you can tighten somehow. Vibram Five Fingers are great options because you can do so much in them. In Hawaii my son went from the ocean to a hike in the mountains.
That's it for comprehensive Beach Travel comfort- in and out of the water.