Protect your piggies in the wet.

(Inga Hendrickson)

Sperry Shock Light Boat 

Best for: Doing It All 

With a slipper-like fit, the Shock Light happily squeezes into the bow of a whitewater boat, while the grippy, nonmarking sole won’t scuff the teak deck on your buddy’s yacht. The shock-cord lacing keeps it snug should you fall into the drink, and it dries in less than half an hour.

Price $85

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Chaco Z/Cloud 

Best for: Raft Trips

How to improve an iconic, river-guide-trusted sandal? Very carefully. Chaco’s upgrades on the new Z/Cloud are minimal and smart: a soft antimicrobial topsheet molds to your foot, and a rubber compound on the outsole boosts grip. Bonus points for the new webbing colors. 

Price $110

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(Five Ten)

Five Ten Eddy

Best for: Sticking Like a Salamander

Built with climbing brand Five Ten’s famously sticky rubber outsole, the Eddy is ideal for sketchy portages on slick rocks. The armoring extends over the toes, so you can jam your foot into tight spots, and the mesh upper sheds water like a champ after swims, drying almost completely in under 20 minutes. 

Price $100

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OluKai Nohea Moku

Best for: Island Vacations

The casual vibe of the Moku—one tester wore it with jeans on a Tinder date—hides solid tech: a fast-drying, sweat-wicking upper and a heel that drops down to transform it into a slip-on. Though not the best choice for a multi-day sea-kayaking trip, it’s perfect for island hopping in Belize.

Price $95

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Astral Hiyak 

Best for: Whitewater Kayakers

Our veteran river rat couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about the Hiyak. The over-the-ankle fit and lacing (protected by a Velcro guard) made it the most secure river shoe we’ve tested—“They just never come off,” said our tester—while a stout hydrophobic upper made it among the toughest. 

Price $115

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Keen Maupin 

Best for: Creek Hikes 

The minimalist feel underfoot, simple one-strap fit system, and soft TPU coverings over potential blister points made this a tester favorite for daylong creek hikes. The tacky rubber outsole held firm on mossy rocks, though the buckle got finicky when covered in wet sand and mud. 

Price $90

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The Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2016

Paddleboarding is flourishing. Though the initial sales boom has slowed, innovation continues. The newest boards are better made and more smartly tailored to specific pursuits like surfing, fishing, and whitewater adventures. Meanwhile, prices for many categories keep coming down, thanks to all the competition and increased efficiencies in production. Our picks highlight a variety of boards designed to excel at focused activities and a couple that are good at pretty much everything. Honestly, though, with all the new options out there, we’re finding it hard not to want a garageful.  (Boardworks) Boardworks Kraken 10'3"  Gear of the Year  There’s much

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The Fly-Fishing Essentials of 2016

Cast away with these choice tools for the discerning angler. (Fishpond) Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net  With a carbon-fiberglass frame and a massive lunker-ready rubber basket, the Nomad almost makes landing the big ones easy.  Price $160 Buy Now (Meow Meow Tweet) Meow Meow Tweet Herbal Bug Repellent  Bottled by a boutique skin-care company in New York’s Hudson Valley and made from organic lavender and apple cider vinegar, this elixir smells a helluva lot better than deet. Price $18 Buy Now (Nautilus) Nautilus XM Reel   Nautilus builds reliable saltwater reels designed for catching fast, powerful fish. The XM brings that same

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The Best Boats of 2016

For the most part, boat manufacturers are in a careful tinkering phase, making smart refinements to tried-and-true designs. Notably, the trend in shorter (sub-15 feet) touring boats has matured: many brands are now producing these more playful kayaks, which are a bit slower than their longer forebearers but also more versatile. Regardless of what type you’re after, try to test a few models in the water before making a purchase. And while online homework is helpful, it can’t replace talking through options with a knowledgeable specialty retailer. Finally, remember to ask yourself a couple less exciting questions before pulling out

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The Women’s SUP Essentials of 2016

Get wet. Go long. Have fun. (Mi Ola) Mi Ola X Back Bikini Top and Cya Full Double-String Bottom  With a crossback design on top and grippy waistband elastic below, this bikini stays put even when you tumble on a wave.  Price $95 and $85 Buy Now (Mountain Hardwear) Mountain Hardwear River Gorge Long-Sleeve Shirt  Stay out all day in this half-zip with UPF 50 protection. The quick-drying fabric is silky, not clingy, and a side pocket is big enough for cash, keys, and lip balm.  Price $50 Buy Now (Bureo) Bureo Kayu Sunglasses  These shades pair frames made from recycled plastic

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The Best Women’s Swimsuits of 2016

Performance can look good. (Lululemon) Lululemon Tidal Flow One-Piece  Best For: Understated Elegance The Tidal Flow is the Audrey Hepburn of sporty swimsuits. It’s classy yet playful—simple, clean lines with an overlapping stringy back are paired with a band of transparent mesh running across the torso. Think of it as a little black dress that does everything—from sunning to swimming—well.     Price $118 Buy Now (Patagonia) Patagonia Nanogrip Top and Nanogrip Side Tie Bottom  Best For: Surfing Bikinis this cute tend to fall off during your first wipeout. Not so the Nanogrip. With a sticky liner that clings like a gecko, this

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