Protection. Because a river bed can pose lots of hidden dangers, from sharp rocks and stones to fish hooks, kayak shoes need to be tough and durable enough to protect the sole of your feet from cuts and scrapes.
Safety. Getting ashore after kayaking will often require walking over slippery, often algae covered, rocks on river bottoms and along the shores, so a good kayak shoe will have a specially designed sole that provides great grip or traction on wet or slippery surfaces.
- Comfort. Given the amount of time kayakers spend in wet, sometimes cold conditions, a kayak shoe that fits snugly, dries off fast, keeps your feet warm, and is easy to walk in when you are getting in and out of the water is very important. You might also want to consider buying your child some waterproof socks so she doesn't have to paddle all day with wet feet.
Buying Kayak Shoes
If your child is just starting out in kayaking, an old pair of running shoes works well for beginners. If you are buying shoes especially designed for kayaking there are three factors to consider: