If you take a water shoe and a hiking shoe and meld them together, you get the Merrell Hydro Moc Shoe. If you told me I would be a huge fan of a moc style shoe, I’d stay you’re crazy….until I tested these out snorkeling in Hawaii and kayaking in Greater Zion.
I was skeptical about these easy on/easy off shoes staying on my feet as I walked into the ocean on a rough, lava rock coastline in Hilo, Hawaii. I opted to wear these instead of fins for snorkeling and quickly found I made the right decision. I didn’t have to worry about scrapping up feet or knocking my toes against the gnarly lava rock. I also couldn’t believe they stayed on my feet as I started swimming. I wore them multiple times snorkeling in Hilo and Captain Cook. I even swam across a bay in Captain Cook with them on and never had an issue of them slipping off. Like most water shoes, you’ll get some sand in them as you walk on the beach but it quickly filters through the holes on the tops of the shoes as you get into the water or wash your feet. They gave me protection against the hot sand, especially on Hawaii Island’s black sand beaches.
Wanting to test these in a different scenario, I wore them kayaking in Quail Creek State Park in Greater Zion area of Southwest Utah. They are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or any other paddle activity. I think these would be great on a rafting trip or even a day tooling around a lake.
They have a contoured arch which is great for support. You could easily hike in these if you’re doing a hike with a lot of water crossings. Sizing is very generous on these shoes and they have a wide toe box. I’m normally a 6.5M in shoes and sized down to the 6M in these and still have room to spare. They are ultra-light, but don’t squish down so they do take up some room in your suitcase. On a backpack you could easily attach these on a carabiner via the back strap and put them on the outside of your pack. They’re also great to have for an alpine lake hike. Plus, they’re $50 so they don’t break the bank.