The Drainsock II
is one of a variety of water shoes available from Columbia Sportswear. Since receiving these shoes last fall, I have been wearing them for beach runs, SUP adventures in CA and FL, and most recently on a daily basis during my trip to Hawaii.
Most snorkeling places on Maui are in and amongst the lava reefs, requiring a precarious entry into the water over deathly sharp lava rock. You most certainly can't go barefoot and the jagged, uneven rock is not easy to navigate in flippers. The Drainsock II are the perfect shoe for this environment, as they can seamlessly take you from land to the ocean and vice versa.
You will laugh at all the flip flop wearing tourists trying to gingerly pick their way through the lava without drawing blood, while you just hop right over the rocks like a lava lizard. The aggressive siped lugs on the Omni-Grip rubber outsole give you unmatched traction over wet surfaces. I never slipped once on either wet rock, mud, or my SUP, while Terry, who was wearing regular trail running shoes, fell and drew blood pretty much everyday.
The slipper like construction of the Drainsock II, with full ripstop nylon upper, keeps sand, rocks, and other small debris on the outside. The full drainable footbed allows water to escape immediately, ensuring you are never sloshing around in pools of water.
The Drainsock II water shoes dry out quickly, meaning you can wear them for a hike in the afternoon after spending the whole morning in the water. The thick Techlite midsole is not only comfortable during long hikes, but will protect your foot from any sharp terrain beneath. The people hiking around in simple beach shoes were screaming with pain whenever they hit a sharp lava rock.
The Drainsock II acted as my one shoe quiver for all Hawaiian outdoor activities as I didn't want to pack multiple sport specific pairs (apart from cycling). In addition to water sports, I comfortably wore these shoes hiking along both rock and muddy trail. I wouldn't recommend the Drainsock II for primarily hiking focused adventures, mainly because the slipper construction doesn't have the support required to keep your foot firmly in place, especially when headed downhill. If you are looking for a water shoe for extensive hiking trips (like Havasu), I would go for the lace up Powerdrain or Drainmaker instead.
The Columbia Drainsock II
comes in three different color combinations and retails for $75, available now.