No, that’s not a typo, it’s “shandal,” not sandal. It’s a water sandal, but with the cushioning of a shoe.
This Hydroterra Shandal is one of the initial product releases from Adidas Outdoor, a branch of the company wanting to make a big splash in the outdoor apparel space. You can splash all you want with these on your feet, no matter what you call them. They’re mesh water shoes that fit like sneakers, but are made to work well on slippery rocks and dry quickly when you’re done.
I haven’t had the chance to go white water rafting or anything else super fun like that lately, but I did do some walking on rocks in a stream and on wet paths when I was visiting Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico last month. These shoes worked well on land and in the water, holding fast on the algae-covered rocks in the stream and not being making any squishy sounds when I returned to dry land.
So the soles are reliably grippy, plus the shoes fit a variety of feet well, thanks to the adjustable laces secured with a locking clasp on the elastic. They’re not too narrow, the idea being that you can pull them in tighter if needed. The back heel part folds down, which serves two purposes: you can slip them on in a hurry if you just pop to the bathroom or something. 2) The shoes fold down flat when you pack them, so they’re not as much of a burden to bring along as some shoes.
The only thing keeping me from completely loving these is the plastic-feeling uppers, made from one piece of something called “Airmesh.” Sure, the shoes dry quickly and that’s important with water shoes, and they were comfortable to walk in for hours each time I wore them. They just feel kind of funky with all that semi-hard plastic and mesh. Water shoes I’ve tried out from Keen and Teva have just felt better against my bare feet than these do. Would I notice that if I were kayaking or rafting? Probably not, and I’d be glad they dry in an hour or two if I were camping with limited luggage. Putting wet shoes on in the morning is a drag.
There’s a women’s version too, pictured here to the right. It’s basically the same shoe, but in more girly colors. Both have a list price of $90.
See more reviews of travel shoes at Practical Travel Gear.