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    Protect your feet at the lake, river, or ocean.

    —Joe Jackson

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Adidas Climacool Boat Breeze

    BEST FOR: Sailing 

    Thanks to a largely mesh upper and a 100 percent EVA tongue and heel, the Breeze ($85) drained and dried out faster than any other shoe we tested. The sturdy midsole and breathable upper are as comfy on the boat as off, while finger holes in the heel make the Breeze a, well, breeze to put on and take off. 7.4 oz 

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Teva Original Universal

    BEST FOR: Retro Steeze

    To mark its 30th anniversary, Teva brought back the sandal that gave birth to this category. The clean lines and 13 throwback color options offer enduring style, but there’s a downside to the simplicity: like its forefather, the Original Universal ($40) isn’t quite as comfy as the modern feature-laden technical sandals it gave rise to. 7 oz 

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Sperry Ricochet Bungee

    BEST FOR: Whitewater Kayaking

    A flexible forefoot coupled with a reinforced sole under the rest of the Ricochet ($80) makes this minimalist shoe disappear (in a good way) on longer treks, while a rubberized toe cap safeguards your piggies. The siped (tiny slits cut into the rubber), angular lugs gripped mossy rocks better than any other shoe here. 8 oz 

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Keen Gallatin CNX

    BEST FOR: Multi-Day Rafting Trips

    The to-the-toe bungee lacing system on the Gallatin ($110) makes it the securest swim-ming shoe on our list. But what impressed us most was how much comfort and protection Keen packed into a sub-ten-ounce shoe. Our favorite touch: neoprene patches on the webbed upper, which mitigated rub on longer walks. 9.4 oz 

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG

    BEST FOR: Lounging

    The casual look of this slip-on ($70) obscures some smart engineering. Three drain ports span the outsole behind the midfoot, while the porous midsole is extremely breathable and further speeds draining. Just be sure to give the canvas and leather upper 12 hours to dry; if it stays moist for multiple days, funk invades. 8.3 oz 

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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    Ahnu Del Rey

    BEST FOR: Wet, Tricky Terrain

    While lots of water shoes embraced minimalism this year, the Del Rey ($100) delivers maximum protection with a reinforced-synthetic-leather and mesh upper, full toe coverage, and an aggressively lugged sole. A rigid TPU insert in the midfoot adds arch support—much appreciated on those long, wet hikes. 9.8 oz