Water Shoes (?) while snorkeling?

Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Water Shoes (?) while snorkeling?

I'm a newbie to snorkeling; actually haven't done it yet, but plan to in Hawaii this August. (Must admit that I'm in adult swim lessons now due to the Hawaii trip !- the lessons 40 years ago aren't cutting it !)

So, when I get to Hanauma Bay or another beach, do I take off my sneakers and put on some kind of water sock which the fins go over. I've read about "tabis" on this forum, but I can't find anything on line that looks right.

Can I snorkel with just plain old water shoes? I did look for them on line, and there are a zillion kind, including ones that look like sneakers.

I'll also be taking a catamaran tour on the NaPali coast and perhaps kayaking on the river in Kauai.

So, wondering also if I need two different types of "water shoes".

I really appreciate any information you can give to this novice.

Olga
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I've always snorkeled with just the fins.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Generally you can snorkle with just the fins on as yale mentioned. I do the same. You can get flippers that are larger than your shoe size to accomodate wearing water shoes on your feet with the fins over the top. You don't gain anything by doing this except maybe a little comfort if the water is rocky where you're putting in.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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I also go with the fins - especially if you are not a good swimmer - my husband is not a particularly comfortable swimmer, and he finds the fins make him far more comfortable in the water and make it easer for him, they are designed for use in the water, I am thinking any type of shoe/water or not/ may give you less of a float feeling and more of a 'weigh you down' feeling.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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I've never seen anyone put on shoes under fins. But for kayaking and your catamaran tour, you might need water shoes. I saw some nice-looking 'aqua' shoes at Costco the other day, by one of the big brands, for less than $30.
 
Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Although fins (nothing but your feet inside) are usually best, you can certainly snorkel with just water shoes (cheap at Target, etc.); they will protect your feet (there can be times or places where fins are overkill, esp. where delicate coral can be abused, or you want to be a little more stationery.) The tricky part is putting fins on if the water is choppy or substrate is rocky--
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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I don't bother with fins, but do use water shoes for reasons mentioned above (rocks, etc). Picked up a perfectly usable pair at Walmart when we arrived in Hawaii for around $7.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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I just purchased Land's End "Sea to Shore" sports shoes for a trip to Mexico. They were terrific--used them to climb the pyramids and snorkel at YalKu Lagoon. They were great on both terrain and water, plus they doubled as my sneakers. But, if you are not a strong swimmer--stick to the fins.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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What kind of fins do you have? There are full foot fins, (http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/Categ...FVF.html?Hit=1) which do not require a water shoe, and then there are open heel fins (http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/Categ...FVL.html?Hit=1), which do require a shoe. I prefer the open heel fins, because if you are snorkeling from a rocky shore, its much easier to just walk out to the water in your water shoes, than to try to walk in bare feet and then put on your full foot fins. The water shoes I have look like this - http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/Categ...BWM.html?Hit=1

You don't want a water sneaker type, as that is too bulky to fit inside the fin.

I also recommend almost always using fins when snorkeling because they help much more in the ocean than trying to just use your feet, especially if it is a bit rough. You will just wear yourself out fast going nowhere. the only time I was asked not to use fins was for Stingray City in Cayman.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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My husband's fins require a water sock/shoe type thing.
 
Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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I'm assuming OlgaM will be renting snorkle equipment which most likely will not require water shoes or socks inside the fins.

For snorkling I'd definitely use fins. It's much more effort to swim without them!
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Cruisin Tigger: those were some great links, just as an fyi, sometimes plugging in the longer links spreads out the post so wide it is hard to read and then post on -
if you use tinyurl.com,, you can convert a long web site into a tiny one, so it turns your first post which was
http://www.leisurepro.com/Prod/Categ...FVF.html?Hit=1)

into this:

http://tinyurl.com/zgaqo

another fodorite taught me that ages ago and it comes in handy even in emails to friends and on fodors too !

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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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escargot - thanks for the tip - I already knew about tinyurl, but didn't realize the links were so long until I hit 'post my reply.' sorry!
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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Another vote for fins, especially for a weak swimmer. You will be much more comfortable (secure in the water) with them. I've never used anything with my fins.

For boats we've just started using and LOVE, Crocs. You can go from boat to sand, into the water wherever. About the only place they aren't good is on pebbly surfaces where pebbles can get into the holes. They are "non-marking" shoes and have replaced our deck shoes now when we are on our boat...or in our yard...or going to the store. Love 'em!
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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The "water socks" are good to have on to help protect your feet from sea creatures when you are walking out into the water to put on your fins, especially if the area has a lot of seaweed. My hubby always uses them, I do not. My fins are tight and too hard to get on with "water socks".

Be careful stepping in an area with seaweed. Sea urchins like to nestle in them and you will hurt big time if you step on one.

Snorkeling with fins will make your experience a zillion times better than without them. HIGHLY recommend you use them. Snorkeling with water shoes and no fins is a waste - might as well be barefoot.

REMEMBER when snorkling - relax and gently glide or float. Many beginner snorkelers want to swim, end up going fast, and they miss much of the sealife. Also, many beginners sort of panic. Key to snorkeling - RELAX!

If you think you may snorkel more in the future, get your own mask and fins. Will make for a better experience. Get a snorkle with a valve to keep the water from going down the snorkel. Some rentals are still the old kind. Sometimes rental masks are stretched out so you will not get a tight seal around your face.

It will help if you practice snorkeling at the beach before snorkeling from a boat. When snorkeling from the beach - some people but their fins on while on the beach then walk backwards into the water. It is easier to put the fins on when you are almost waist deep in the water.

Hope this helps. You will love snorkeling - it is a blast!
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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See what works best for you! We use cheap water shoes from Walmart for protection. I hate fins but the rest of my family love them. Yes, you can swim more quickly with fins but I prefer to swim without them!
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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I like the shoes,not the fins. I found in Hawaii, you can walk out and snorkel in many places. No need to be swimming around. The fins are hard for me to manuever. I can put my fins over my watershoes. I also bought the costco ones for 29. dollars I think. My husband cut up his feet on the big island with all the rocks in the water. He just wore fins.
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Simple watershoes that are like tennis socks w/ a thin rubber sole. You can find at most HI convenience stores [or Walmart] will work best for everything. Better for walking along slippery rocks on some beaches, or beaches with larger pebbles rather than just fine sand. Comfortable to wear when in water, fins or not. Easy to care for; just rinse. And if you lose one, easy to replace at nearest ABC store or K-Mart, Longs Drugs
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Old Jun 6th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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My wife picked up a very inexpensive pair of water shoes at Cost Cutters for around $5-6.

I wouldn't go in strange waters without water shoes. I remember snorkeling at Ke Beach in Kauai and there was some black sea animal with porcupine type spines. I would have hated to step on one of those and ruin a vacation.
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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 03:19 AM
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You are all absolutely fabulous ! Thank you.

Fins are a must for me as a weak swimmer.

If you have a bit more patience with me, I'm going to post a new thread about which fins to get.

I'll be snorkeling on all kauai, oahu, and BI - well, that's the plan, So we are thinking of buying snorkeling equipment since we go to South Florida alot too.

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