Finally, a Boat Shoe You Can Get Wet
By Craig Lamb
I am happiest with wet feet. For me, that means wading a shallow saltwater flat, casting for tailing redfish. Or paddling aboard my sit-on-top kayak, cruising a river in search of smallmouth bass. Not my favorite, but when the fish are biting, fishing in the rain.
Yep, I do like getting my feet wet, but it can get downright annoying when my shoes stay wet. Footing is a challenge when shoes get waterlogged. Stinky feet are a nasty byproduct.
Like many water lovers, I had all but given up on a solution. Leather boat shoes can stay wet for days. My preferred brand doesn’t hold up anymore for more than a season of wear. Water sandals can be overly binding, and for all, they are designed to do fall short when drying time takes too long. Blowing out a flip-flop has new meaning in the water. Try it out, and you’ll understand.
What to do?
I found the solution in a new boat shoe made by Tucket Footwear called the Giller. The secret to this stylish, practical and functional shoe is in the name. The shoe is lined with 12 gills—six on each side—that rapidly disperse water, whether you are walking through it or just want to drain it out.
That’s only part of the Giller story. Dennis McCormick, a veteran of the shoe industry, filled me in on why I like these shoes so much.
“Nobody is making a performance designed boat shoe, so I set out to fill that need,” said McCormick, founder of Tucket Footwear. “Boat shoes, until now, were not designed to get wet, drain fast and dry fast.”
McCormick compared the origin of the first boat shoe, invented in the 1930s, to an era when boats were made of wood and shoes mostly leather
“Today, boats are made of synthetics, but the shoes are still far behind, made mostly of leather,” he pointed out. “Nobody was making a boat shoe that truly could get wet, dry quickly, and has a firm grip.”
And thus, the Giller was born. McCormick appropriately calls it a performance boat shoe, the first of its kind. It is truly Mariner Grade. After wearing my pair, I agree with him.
Altogether, the Giller has 24 drain holes that quickly drain water to speed up the drying process. What else is really cool about the drain-minding design is the patent-pending outsole. Multiple pods quickly channel larger volumes of water through angled treads that are counter-angled to the next thread. So water drains from the sides of the shoe and through the bottom.
Those features even provide superior grip. No more foot slippage that can sprain ankles. Feet stay inside the shoes instead of coming out. You get firm footing on a slippery boat deck, another plus for my feet. The unique outsole material has even passed slip testing by OSHA standards for occupational footwear.
The Giller is truly comfortable to wear. I learned that the Giller uses the same EVA foot bed used by big brand running shoes like Nike in its performance running shoes. So you get a true performance-designed boat shoe that is comfortable to wear all day long.
Beyond the performance, features is style and fashion. McCormick calls it “from surf to turf.” Add a pair of socks, if that dress code is required, and wear the Gillers to a fancy restaurant. The Gillers look like a classic loafer or driver style shoe. My size 11 Giller weighs just 8.4 ounces per shoe, another plus for me.
What else I like about the Giller is the shoe is made in the United States. McCormick, a stickler for quality and cutting edge design, plans to keep it that way.
There is a feel-good aspect of wearing the Giller beyond the performance features. For every pair purchased, the company donates funds to community food banks to buy at least three meals per consumer purchase.
“We want our company to fulfill a greater purpose,” added McCormick. “The fact is that there are many children all around us that go to bed hungry every night.”
The Giller is available in whole sizes, from 7 through 13, and a wide range of stylish colors. Get a pair for $60 or $80 for the Realtree Xtra or Bonefish patterns.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com