Stand up paddling on a river or inland waterway often necessitates a couple different pieces of gear than coastal paddlers are accustomed to using. One of the main items which quickly stands out is footwear. Merrell’s Capra Rapid water shoes are a perfect fit for the outdoor environment where soft sandy beaches are not the norm.
I tested a pair this spring stand-up paddling on lakes and rivers in the Colorado front-range where the waterways typically feature rocky bottoms. These sneaker look-a-like water shoes offer excellent drainage for the adventurous types. They provide the comfort of a shoe with the quick drainage of a sandal. The rubber sole design offers extreme grip featuring Merrell Select Wet Grip providing the needed traction on wet or dry surfaces. These shoes work well for stand up paddling on moving or flat water. So often the entrance and exit areas for paddle excursions are surrounded by rocks, brush or other rough surfaces which may be harsh on the bare feet, but the secure fit of the Capra Rapids enabled me to enter and exit the water with confidence and ease.
Cruising on the lake.
The shoes weigh a mere 1 lb 6 oz (623 g) and come with a speed lace system which allows you to quickly secure them. Merrell provides an insole which I recommend you remove when drying the shoes. This will speed up the drying process and allow the you to easily remove any pebbles which may have lodged themselves inside the shoes.
Footwear is essential when whitewater paddling and I found the Capra Rapids provide excellent protection in rough conditions and during falls.
The shoes come in four color options: Bright Blue, Bright Red, Blue Dusk, and Black. After a couple hours on the river, these shoes can quickly transition to wear around town; this added versatility puts the Capra Rapid ahead of other water shoes on the market.
MRSP: $100 www.merrell.com