Water shoes

By Steve Galea

Last week, I went on a magazine assignment that required me to fly fish for a day on the Ottawa River from a drift boat – yes, I live a tough life. 

Prior to the trip, the guide told us that every now and again, we’d park the boat on shore, and we would get out and wade fish some of the rapids.  But he also told us that we could not wear wading boots with metal studs because they would mar the boat – and since metal-studded wading boots are all I own, my solution was to buy a pair of water shoes. 

I know I am probably late to the game, but I have gone three-score and one year without ever owning a pair of water shoes. And boy do I regret it. 

Water shoes are great. They are easy to put on and take off. They can get wet. They are comfortable. They dry out quick. You can stand in water and fish with them. And. Also, after you take them off, you can’t tell for sure if what you are smelling is foot odor or river mud. In short, they are tailor-made for a guy my age – and honestly, the only shoe I think I will ever really need from here on in.

But try telling that to your spouse. 

Inexplicably, Jenn has a totally different view of them.

For instance, even though I bought mine in basic black, she says she would never let me wear them with a suit should we ever be invited to attend another formal occasion again. Even though they would be very practical for events such as these. (It was like the Crocs argument all over again.)

“Listen,” I replied, “if we were at a wedding and someone spilled an entire punch bowl, what would you rather have on?”

Apparently, she wanted to finish the conversation in her office closet, because that’s where I found her next.

“Also,” I said, “you know how guys my age spill drinks. You have to concede that these water shoes are better in situations where three or more older fellows decide to do an overly enthusiastic toast.”

And yet she did not. 

I then regaled her with the various other advantages of water shoes. Such as the ability they provide to walk through, and not around, puddles – as well as the fact that pretty well one-size fits all, so if you are at a party and grab the wrong pair of water shoes, no big deal. 

“Sure, they are not yet made in a variety of camouflage patterns, but nothing’s perfect,” I continued.  “But at least they are shoes that you wear bare-footed, so you never have to worry about people noticing that your socks are mismatched ever again…”

Despite all this incontrovertible evidence, I was unable to convince Jenn that water shoes should be my primary shoe choice from here on in. I think this has something to do with her phobia of me becoming a trendsetter. 

Nevertheless, I think this just might be the case.

But I won’t lie to you. Water shoes do have one major fault. 

Camouflaged or not, I’m discovering they are very easy to misplace. I’m pretty sure I left mine on our shoe rack yesterday. But, today, for the life of me, I just can’t find them.