Make a Splash

Jul 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
whitewater rafting shoes: Columbia Titanium Interchange

whitewater rafting shoes: Chaco Z/Rivative Zong

whitewater rafting shoes: Bite Vstream

We'd all rather go barefoot, but tough aquatic terrain sometimes demands otherwise. Count on these sandals to provide the right mix of performance and comfort.

7. File the removable heel on COLUMBIA's TITANIUM INTERCHANGE under "Gimmicks That Work." Go fully strapped to enjoy the full-on performance of the Vibram outsoles, or pull off the heelpieces for slide-in, kick-off comfort. However you configure them, stretch panels built into the synthetic-leather uppers, plus the ultra-grippy snakeskin-textured insoles, will keep your feet firmly bedded. ($65; 800-547-8066,

8. Comfort and simplicity are the bedrock of CHACO's sandal empire, and the new Z/RIVATIVE ZONG delivers plenty of both. Thanks to the form-fitting footbeds and Vibram outsoles, these backless wonders breeze through pushy terrain. Just right for sipping a riverside cappuccino or breaking trail to the swimming hole. ($75; 970-527-4990,

9. In designing the VSTREAM, the folks at BITE evidently started out with a shoe and, Michelangelo style, removed everything that wasn't a sandal. Full-coverage midsections and speed laces ensure superior fit, while the sticky-rubber outsoles deliver traction galore. Plus-size footbeds give your waterlogged dogs room to swell. ($80; 800-248-3465,

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