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I SPENT a great deal of my early years barefoot, and fishing was no exception. The threat of sharp rocks, oysters, stingrays and stonefish were very easily dealt with by telling myself, “it won’t happen to me”. I do the majority of my fishing from the shore so this meant that my footwear options were usually very limited. If there was a chance my feet would get wet then it usually meant that I was going barefoot.

However, this all changed recently after I sliced my foot open on a rock while fishing. Not only was my fishing trip cut short by the accident, but being unable to walk and having stitches in the arch of my foot meant no fishing for 10 days. That gave me plenty of time with my feet up to work out a smarter way to keep my feet safe while fishing.

Fisho colleague and LBG nut, Pat Linehan put me on to Teva’s range of fishing shoes. Pat owns two pairs. I eventually chose the Kimtah which I thought would be a good compromise between a sandal and a completely closed shoe and would best suit my needs. When I first pulled them out of the box I was instantly worried because of how stiff they were. They are very hard and I immediately thought they would be uncomfortable to wear for long periods. I also thought they would give me blisters because of their stiffness. However, I can honestly say they are extremely comfortable.

They have a thick sole that offers padding and support on any surface and I didn’t get any blisters at all, which is surprising for me because new shoes always give me grief. I will often drive with my Tevas on, and not only is this a testament to their comfort, but it also highlights the fact that the Tevas drain exceptionally well through the vents and I don’t need to worry about dumping a load of sand or water inside the car when I’m done fishing. They also have an easy “toggle closure” which tightens the entire shoe by pulling a cord, which I’ve found to be very useful. You can pull them really tight when you’re fishing and then at the push of the release button give your feet some extra breathing room when you want a break or you’re done fishing.

I can’t recommend the Tevas highly enough. Not only have they achieved everything asked of them, they’ve actually exceeded my expectations. I’ve even found them to be a handy pair of boat shoes and they work well on a slippery boat ramp or when pushing the boat out from the bank. Teva’s range covers everything from thongs right through to fully enclosed boots so there’s probably something to suit your needs. Pat even wears his Teva open sandals on his North Coast rock platforms when chasing tuna and Spanish macs. Essentially, my pair achieved what I thought nothing could, which was to have all the benefits of being barefoot with the added protection of a pair of shoes.

RRP: $169.95

More info at tevaaustralia.com.au

By Jereme Lane

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