The look of the ZK Boatshoe is fairly traditional (think Sperry Topsider/Sebago Docksides), but the build and materials are unique. Instead of canvas or leather, Zhik uses perforated neoprene for the uppers. The neoprene gives a snug and spongey feel and holds your foot firmly in place over the sole, but the upper stretches and contorts to your movements. I know that sounds strange, but it's actually really comfortable. The "ZK sole" uses a proprietary rubber formula to give excellent grip in wet conditions. It's a sticky sort of feel and is really reassuring on fiberglass and smooth surfaces. I'm not sure how long they'll stay sticky, particularly if I continue wearing them on the dock and on tera firma, but so far so good.
Think of the ZK Boatshoe as a hybrid offspring of deckshoes and a dive boot. You get the timeless nautical style of the deckshoe without stiff leather. And you get the made-for-water toughness of the dive boot without the fashion disaster. Not digging the look of the ZK Boatshoe but like the idea of a super grippy sole and neoprene upper? Zhik also makes ZKGs that offer the same materials and the same sole (as far as I can tell), but with different styling.
Can't get enough of sailing shoe reviews? Try the others we've written:
Stand Firm - Sailing Shoe Reviews
A Sailor's Sole - The Original Reviews
Astral Porter Sailing Shoe Review
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