This summer we tested what might be the coolest and most functional water shoes we’ve ever worn on several amphibious outings. The Chaco OutCross Free and the OutCross 1, both extremely light, aquatic, closed-toe trail shoes are built for moving back and forth between water and land, and they performed flawlessly on a river float down the Spokane. The OutCross Frees spent most of the time wedged into the bow of a splashy inflatable kayak, where the shoes gripped the boat sides and floor like a starfish when necessary, and drained water and maintained a feather-light feel when not submerged.
The OutCross 1s worked surprisingly well on an inflatable stand up paddleboard: nimble, grippy, comfortable and still supple enough to allow the paddler’s feet to feel the board and react to the ebbs and flow of a moving river. Both the Outcross Free and the Outcross 1 really shined on shoreline breaks when we disembarked to chill in the shade of willow and cottonwood. These Chacos protected toes from smashing into underwater boulders, found traction on slippery river rock and limited sand from spilling into them once on shore. MSRP: $110.00. Chacos.com/US. //