Ecco Njord Speedlace Water Shoes $100
The Good: Mesh drainage ports, fast lacing system, lightweight construction.
The Bad: Slow dry time for the padded areas, not much grip.
The Awesome: Fast draining & breathable shoes fend off clammy swamp-foot during long days on the water.
When out enjoying the water, one of the most interesting pieces of gear is what you decide to put on your feet. Because soggy shoes grow all kinds of funk after a day in the sun, and a firm grip on slick surfaces means the only time you take a dunk is gonna be on purpose. The njord speedlace shoes are constructed of synthetic leather and mesh for excellent breathability, and low-profile elastic laces that cinch fast and tight. The outsole combines EVA and rubber, and have mesh drainage ports that drain fast but keep rocks and debris out with decent grip on slippery surfaces.
We took these shoes out kayaking, houseboating, and slipped them on for a few weekend BBQs. They were light and comfortable, drained well, and held on tight when dumped into the river (on multiple occasions). The speedlace system has a small loop that holds the lace end securely to the side of the shoe, keeping it out of the way. The footbed is full of holes to really flush water out of the shoe quickly, and are soft enough on bare feet during dry treks to avoid blisters or hot-spots.
Overall the shoes are comfortable out on the water, but suited more for grip on flat surfaces than uneven river rock. The slow-drying padded areas did not hold enough moisture to be more than just annoying over the course of a long water day. So if you’re looking for a light set of shoes as comfortable on the lake as they are on the street, take a good look at the Njord Speedlaces.