All of us know them: neoprene shoes. And quite a few are critical of them. But where does the criticism come from and why we should not do without it in some situations.
Next up: a short post about shoes.
Who hasn't heard this or similar sentences: "I don't wear shoes. That hinders my feeling for the board."
And I can only agree. Anyone who knows the comparison with and without shoes often only wants the direct feeling of riding barefoot. The rubber sole takes some of the feeling away from some shoe models. Very fine steering with the feet or toes then becomes more difficult.
However, this is not only about comfort but about being able to use the full performance of me and my board. In competitive situations, this is of the utmost relevance. But many of us are hobby surfers or kiters. We rarely get the last ounce of performance out of our material. Apart from that, there are now models with thin soles, which comes close to walking barefoot. The right shoe also reduces the ingress of water, which also has a positive effect on your driving experience.
Others avoid shoes because they have to deal with nephritic fungus infections afterwards. Only moderately pleasant and not particularly healthy in the long run. Split toe shoes can help here. They separate the toes from each other, so they cannot infect each other.
Some are also bothered by the unpleasant smell that neoprene shoes get relatively quickly. Don't worry: it has nothing to do with urine! But with the dead skin that decomposes bacteria in the shoe. On the other hand, regular washing with hygiene detergent helps.
It sounds like neoprene shoes are really mean. So why wear anyway?
They keep you warm! At the North Sea, the water can be cold even in early summer. If your feet get cold easily, you should definitely get a pair of shoes. This will significantly increase your time on the water.
They protect against injuries! If your session turns into a mudflat hike again, shoes can be the savior of your following session. The silt can be full of sharp-edged shells, rocks, and other objects that you can't see. Quite a few cut themselves on it. Shoes can protect you from injuries and thus secure your next session. For this reason alone, none of our students go kiting without shoes.
In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether and in which situations you want to wear shoes.
Do you want to know how to put your shoes on properly? Then check out our YouTube channel .
If you have any more questions about your shoes and the right fit, please send us an email or give us a call.