Gear

Sperry Topsiders

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When you're scrambling around on the narrow, slippery boards of a Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe, non-slip shoes are a necessity. At the 2009 Heritage Regatta in Oxford, MD, SAIL raced on the log canoe Jay Dee wearing the Women's Ultra Marine and the Men's Cabo Shandal. With their superior grip and breathability, these kicks proved to be the ideal nautical performance footwear.

The women's: I was sold on these shoes before I hit the water. They're fashionable, comfy and light-important considerations for a traveling sailor. But as soon as I stepped onto the precarious boards of Jay Dee, I was blown away by their performance. The non-marking rubber outsole with its sturdy grip saved me more than once from sliding off the boards and into the Bay. With waterproof leather below and comfortable mesh above, they dried quickly, breathed easy and resisted odor, all of which were blessings on this high-intensity race. Once $80, the Women's Ultra Marine are on sale for $40.

The men's: My log canoe sailing compadre was also impressed with his Cabo Shandal. The shoe was sturdy, with solid arch support and water-resistant leather all around, protecting him from stubbed toes and sore feet. Simultaneously, the strategically placed mesh panels over the tops of his feet kept them cool and breezy all day and the shoes dried nearly as quickly as they got wet. He was able to scramble around the boards with comfort and confidence, a combination every active sailor can appreciate. Once $95, Cabo Shandal are now on sale for $40.�

$40 and $50, sperrytopsider.com, 800-247-6575

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