With beaches becoming as popular as ever, getting the right equipment is essential to having fun.
As more and more people go to places off the beaten path, they encounter varied terrain, such as beaches with rocks, mangroves, and the like.
This means that protecting one's feet becomes just as important in enjoying a beach this summer.
But instead of using the traditional flip-flop, Aqua Shoes are becoming a favorite of weekend beach bums and bunnies
The News reported that the Philippines had its hottest day last Tuesday for the year. When Wednesday came, it was hotter than the day before. And when Thursday came, it was even hotter.
And just when we thought things could not get any worse, yesterday was even hotter than that.
At the rate things are going, this year's summer is going to be a real scorcher.
In the Philippines, favorite vacation spots like Baguio and Tagaytay are still popular places. But due to the increase in worldwide temperatures, they are not as cold as they used to be in the summer.
In response to this, many Filipinos have looked at alternative places, with beaches being the preferred choice lately.
Checks on the internet for local beaches have increased a lot this summer. Even our site has not been spared with articles about bodies of water being a popular choice.
Additions to Your Wardrobe
And since I am sure you have your swimming attire figured out, you may want to consider adding another piece of wardrobe to your beach list â€“ Aqua Shoes.
As the name implies, Aqua Shoes are used in the water.
They are efficient at protecting your feet from sharp things under water, such as rocks or the spines of sea creatures.
They are also used to get better traction on slippery rocks. Being the case, they are perfect for wading but are not necessarily ideal for swimming due to their design.
From what I have seen, there are two types.
The first is has a rubber sole and uses a soft, waterproof material for the top.
To keep it slipping off your foot, waterproof string is used to tighten the shoe around your foot.
The second one is a shoe made completely of rubber.
This type of shoe tends to be molded so it has a better looking shape. And because of this shape, it doesn't require a string to keep it on your foot.
The Soft Shoe
Of the two types, I would suggest getting the fabric one due to several reasons.
The first reason is that it is more comfortable since the fabric adjusts easily to the shape or your foot.
Secondly, they do not have holes. This helps minimize the amount of sand that enters the shoe as you move about.
And third, they come in many more colors that the hard ones.
The Hard Shoe
I would avoid the hard or full rubber shoe due to several reasons as well.
The first is that these shoes normally have holes in them to allow your feet to breath. Unfortunately, these holes allow a lot of sand to enter the shoe.
Even without stepping on sand, anything that floats and is small enough to fit in the holes can get trapped.
Now when the sand gets it your shoes, they feel like sand paper as they scratch your feet. You'll end up having to take them off on a regular basis just to empty out the sand.
I made the mistake of buying my latest pair as hard shoes and have regretted it ever since.
To be fair, I knew this would happen. But I couldn't find a size for the soft ones.
Where to Buy Them
Two years ago, they were difficult to find. But now, you can find them easily in malls and on the internet.
The ones in the malls range from PhP250 to Php350.
You get what you pay for with these shoes. Since they are cheap, don't expect the materials to be great.
Prices start at PhP350 on the internet and they come in better designs, more colors, and higher quality.
Of the two, I prefer buying from the mall as they are cheap. Mine have lasted for about three years under moderate use for three summers.
And since it was inexpensive, it didn't hurt to change them.
What to Look for
When I buy Aqua Shoes, I make sure that the soles are solid and don't have any holes. I also prefer a uniform thickness so they don't crack at the thinner portions.
Still on the soles, I favor soles with longer treads so they help me get grip on sand and stone.
I also look for shoes with string that has one of those locking clips. Tying the string is ineffective because the string tends to stretch out when wet, loosening any knots
Velcro is nice, but it adds cost to the shoe, making it more expensive.
Finally, I am looking for a shoe that is flesh colored so I don't have to remove it when taking pictures.
As functional as Aqua Shoes are, they make people look like dorks as they resemble sloppy socks. So shoes that don't stand out too much would help.
In the absence of flesh-colored shoes, something with a tasteful design and set of colors is acceptable.
Call me vain, but I normally select colors that match my swim wear. Just because I am in the water doesn't mean I should stop dressing well.
So the next time you hit the beach, remember to take a pair of Aqua Shoes with you.
They are much more convenient than slippers as they are less likely to slip of when riding a banca.
They are also better at protecting your feet as you explore the different beaches during the summer.
Have a wonderful summer vacation!
We would like to thank Anything Under the Sun for contributing pictures and videos for this article.