Except in winter or during night cruises in bad weather, when boots are the first choice, the right shoes are one of the most important items of clothing for every sailor. They can also be useful in midsummer or in tropical areas to protect your feet from injuries while active sailing.
Even more important than protection is the significantly better hold compared to bare feet. In addition to better grip, the shoes have to be able to do a lot more: The feet should be well ventilated and the shoe must sit comfortably.
For her and him
This time we tested women's and men's shoes. However, only couples that were explicitly designated as women's models were also tested. If a shoe is designated as a unisex model, the performance of the sole will not change, regardless of whether the shoes are worn by a sailor. Gill, Helly Hansen, Dubarry and TBS were represented in the test field with one men's and one women's shoe. The Musto Dynamic Pro II Adapt is also available as a women's version; the men's version was tested. The Fuze by Zhik is a unisex model, as is the Sunrise II by Lizard.
The models in the overview I
Essential components of the test were the determination of the grip of the soles on three different deck coverings, the water absorption and the drying behavior as well as the properties of the soles, dirt and stones.
Put through its paces in the editorial shower
To ensure that the test conditions for all shoes remained the same, tests were not carried out on board, but on panels with deck covering (teak deck, structured GRP and Treadmaster) in the editorial shower. In this way, the incline could be set to the exact degree and a total of six values for the hold of the sole were recorded for each shoe. Because tests were carried out on the three surfaces even with a wet deck and wet sole. Most values are well above what is perceived as pleasant in terms of location on a sailing boat, and should hardly occur in everyday sailing. Nevertheless, this test is a very good way of checking the potential of the soles. Especially since a static load was measured in the test, but the shoe on deck is also dynamically loaded and the sole is not completely put on every time. For the result, however, the following applies: the more incline the shoe can handle, the better in everyday life on board.
The models in the overview II
The test this time showed that although there were differences between the boat shoes in terms of grip on deck, fortunately none of the models failed completely.
And this is how the different models perform:
Dubarry Arub Ladies
The Dubarry Arub Ladies
The elegant women's shoe with a very grippy sole hardly absorbs moisture and dries very quickly. When going ashore, it does not collect any stones, but it does collect an uncomfortable amount of sand in the bottom. The insole is rather thin. In the yacht test, the Dubarry Aruba * achieved three out of five possible stars.
Dubarry regatt men
The Dubarry regatt men
The men's test winner achieved five out of five possible stars and impressed with its very grippy sole, which slips very slowly even when the deck is wet. In addition, the Dubarry Regatta * has elastic ventilation inserts on the sides and a molded insole.
Gill Race Trainer women
The Gill Race Trainer women
Best grip in the test: The Gill Race Trainer even cracked the 40-degree mark! It has drains on the underside of the sole, which means that water quickly got into the shoe in the test. However, it dries well, has a shock-absorbing insole and does not collect stones when going ashore. That makes him the overall test winner for women.
Gill Mawgan coach men
The Gill Mawgan gentlemen
Airy, well-fitting shoe. The heel is thickly padded on the inside, the sole is strongly cushioned. However, it dries very slowly and performed significantly worse in the slip test than the Race Trainer, also from Gill, who has a completely different sole. Overall, the Mawgan Trainer * achieved two out of five points in the test.
Helly Hansen Feathering Ladies
The Helly Hansen Feathering Ladies
The shoes are very light, well ventilated and offer good support and comfort. In addition, the Helly Hansen Feathering * collects little dirt with its sole made of fine, wavy grooves and large channels when going ashore. This gives him four out of five points.
Helly Hansen Burghee Foil Men
The Helly Hansen Burghee Foil Gentlemen
Very comfortable to wear, airy shoe. The sole offers a good grip. The Burghee Foil * sits very well, but absorbs a lot of water. Four out of five.
Lizard Sunrise II men
The Lizard Sunrise II men
This is the price-performance winner: The sole of the Lizard Sunrise II * has fine grooves, large channels and a knife cut. The drainage is slightly increased, the sole is strongly cushioned and ventilated. A clip on the laces prevents them from getting caught.
Musto Dynamic Pro II Adapt men
The Musto Dynamic Pro II Adapt Men
Previous tests had shown that the drainage in the shoes not only allows water to run off, but also to penetrate easily. Musto has retained the sole of the Dynamic Pro, but the drainages of the Dynamic Pro II Adapt * are closed. The shoe fits better now. Four out of five.
TBS Cladell women
The TBS Cladell Ladies
The shoes are a bit loose, but still offer good lateral support. The sole hold is more in the middle: the TBS Cladell * with its honeycomb-shaped knobs and cavities achieved three out of five points.
TBS Baynton gentlemen
The TBS Baynton Gentlemen
In addition to the Lizard, one of the cheapest shoes in the test. The sole does not have a particularly good grip, but does not collect much dirt. The TBS Baynton * is very comfortable to wear. Three out of five.
Zhik Fuse gentlemen
The Zhik Fuse gentlemen
The Zhik Fuse * has a slightly modified sole that still offers very good grip, but does not collect as much dirt. The elevated drainage does not allow water to enter. The sole with its large zigzag grooves offers good lateral support. The shoe adapts well to the foot. Four out of five.
Crucial: the fitting
Recommended for many items of equipment, fitting on shoes is essential. The wearing comfort is very individual and is therefore not rated. The same applies to the look of the footwear. It is up to you whether you like the test winner.
In the end, all shoes achieved good values in the test, and shoes with fewer points will also work on deck: no model failed.
You can read the full test, published in YACHT 12/20, in the paid PDF download.
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