Vortex Sailing Shoes by Harken

Due to ample ventilation and one-way drainage holes, these sailing shoes won't give you "swamp foot." "Gear Up" from our March 5, 2007, /SW eNewsletter/.

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During a week of warm sailing at 2007 Acura Key West Race Week, the Harken Vortex Deck Shoe did everything that I expect of a sailing shoe. Break-in time was zero, as the shoes felt comfortable onthe first day out. The construction on the top of the shoe-large ventilation areas crisscrossed by support bands-is ideal for warm weather sailing. The support bands provide great lateral stability while retaining flexibility. The traction provided by the sole was average on what our crew collectively felt was a slippery deck. Harken's integrated shoelace protectors worked very well; I tied the shoes once in the morning, and untied them at night.Best of all, after a week in saltwater with onlyone change of socks and no fresh water rinsing, the shoes still smelled like new. Attribute this to the silver integrated into the foot bed. Harken has also added drain holes that allow water to only drain out of the shoe. A few bathtub tests confirmed that, for the most part, the holes work as advertised.Despite all of the ventilation, the Vortex shoes could also be adapted for cool water sailing. The foot beds can beremoved to make room for dry suit booties.If you want a shoe that stays dry and doesn't smell after a week of sailing, this shoe's for you.For more, click here.