These Strange-looking Hiking Sandals Changed My Mind About Water Shoes
They’re from the brand behind the classic hiking boot.
I am not a fan of Crocs. I never have been and I probably never will be, but it’s nothing personal. Even growing up as a competitive swimmer, with many weekends spent at meets surrounded by teammates squeaking around on the pool deck in their Crocs, I just couldn’t get on board. That said, I love a good comfy shoe, and when summer approaches, I annually abandon all preconceived notions of what style should look like. So you can imagine my delight upon finding the Crocs alternative of my dreams in Merrell’s Water Moc Hiking Shoes.
The brand behind the hiking boots of all hiking boots put its spin on a lightweight rubber-like sandal, and I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve loved everything about its Dr. Seuss-reminiscent exterior from the first time I laid eyes on it. Since then, I’ve ordered not one, but two pairs, which I’ve quickly added to my summer footwear rotation—even when I’m just running errands—and I wouldn’t mind adding another. They’re available at both Amazon and Zappos, so doing so couldn’t be more convenient.
Despite my aversion to Crocs, I’m all for “ugly” comfortable shoes. I will faithfully wear my Birkenstocks until they rip and I can no longer do so, but their leather exterior and heavy design just aren’t ideal for summer hikes that often lead to some body of water I want to jump into with no impulse control.
That’s where Merrell’s genius spin on the rubbery sandal comes in: It’s lightweight and specifically designed to handle it all. The EVA plastic design gives just enough durability and supportive flexibility during trail walks and hikes in a way I didn’t expect, while the cut-outs help drain out water. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever come to a shoe that feels like I’m not wearing any at all, albeit with arch support that rivals my treasured Birks.
Even while I was trekking through muddy streams in the Adirondacks, the Water Mocs stayed secure on my feet thanks to the comfortable heel backing and strap that lends a snug yet blister-free fit. Needless to say, these aren’t your mother’s Crocs — and they’re here to help you take on summer adventures in all their strange-looking glory.
Give your boots a break and slide into something more comfortable. You can head to Amazon or Zappos to get the Merrell Water Moc Hiking Shoes in various marbled and solid colorways.
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe in Cobalt
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe in Amethyst
To buy: zappos.com, $50
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe in White
To buy: zappos.com, $50
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe in Boulder
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe in Peacock
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