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Dragon Boat Shoes!

26 Mar

It seems like every dragon boat season I go through shoe drama. Over the years I have tried wearing converse, flip flops, Skechers walking shoes and going barefoot. None have been perfect, all have had their pros and cons, as most things do.

Last season I was wearing Skechers walking shoes, I was super psyched for them because they seemed like the perfect shoe for dragon boating. They had a normal sole, so good grips in the boat and good for our on land warm-up. The fabric of the shoe was this quick drying, mesh but not mesh stuff – quick drying is important because nobody likes putting on a wet shoe, *shudder*. Sadly though, the shoes let me down. No matter how much I cleaned them they eventually had a stench that was impossible to ignore. The smell was because of the water in False Creek, it is naaaasty! Then, one of our away festivals had the paddlers tents on a beach and I got sand in the shoes. You wouldn’t think it’d be such a big deal but no matter how much I cleaned and rinsed those shoes I could never get all the sand out of that mesh-but-not-mesh fabric. By the end of that festival weekend my feet were destroyed! I had blisters and areas of my feet had been rubbed raw from wearing the shoes when they had sand trapped in them, omg it hurt!

It was so close to the end of the season I didn’t bother replacing the shoes last season, instead I waited, and the waiting proved fruitful! For Christmas my parents gave me a gift certificate to buy a specific shoe that I wanted for dragon boating. Some of my teammates have this shoe and swear by them.

My new dragon boat shoes.

My new dragon boat shoes.

The company that makes these lovely shoes is Native, their website is here if you are interested. They come in many styles but I didn’t pick them because of what they look like, though, I do like how they look so that’s a bonus lol They are awesome for dragon boating because they are made of rubber. Can’t get better than that for a water sport! They have a great grip in the boat, are comfy, despite the holes my feet stay warm even in rainy cold weather and as a little bonus there are these little bumps inside that sorta massage your feet while you are wearing the shoes. 🙂

The company amuses me, a couple of days after I got the shoes (I bought them online) I got an email from them that started with “Dear Human” lol, an enjoyable sense of humour don’t you think? The email was about proper care for my shoes so they last as long as possible.

Oh and the tags on the shoes made me laugh…

2015-03-02 16.33.26

The tag says: No sasquatch, unicorns, doves, jabberwoks, cows, werewolfs, whales, dogs, mermaids, pigs, yeti, anteaters, cats, antelope, cobras, possums, dragons, porqupines, owls, sloths, ostrich, crocodiles, bears, mice, pegasus, slugs, or any other beast was used in these natives! (the spelling mistakes are the company’s fault, not mine!)

There was another tag that lists one of the features of the shoes as being “beast free” and the third tag gives instructions for how to ride an escalator lol

I know its dumb but stuff like that makes me smile. 🙂

I’ve worn them for a couple of weeks now and they’ve been good. I haven’t gone running in them, because I haven’t been running during warm-ups, I think they’ll be ok for running except for the little problem that the heel of the shoe fits a tad too big so even when walking the back of my foot slips out of the shoe a bit, it’s not a huge deal, just an annoyance at this point.

I’m trying not to be too excited for these shoes, since every year I end up replacing what I’ve been wearing, but I’m hopeful these ones will last longer than one season! 🙂

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4 Responses to “Dragon Boat Shoes!”

  1. Matt March 26, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Well, now I have to know the instructions for riding an escalator!

    • shrinkingwmn April 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      lol they are fairly standard, they talk about standing in the middle of the step, stepping carefully, not touching the sides below the handrail and avoid the sides of the steps where shoe entrapment can occur…I enjoy the use of “shoe entrapment” lol

  2. monkeytheeagle January 24, 2016 at 1:08 am #

    Hello. Thank you for the update on the shoes! I’m a dragonboater from Australia. I was thinking of getting a pait of native shoes. How are they holding up

    • shrinkingwmn January 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

      Hi! I looooove my native shoes! My team practices in some nasty water and I’m really impressed with how well they have stood up to the beating I’ve put them through. They are easy to clean, have a good grip on all surfaces, are comfy and make a great transition from wearing on the land to in the boat. If you haven’t bought a pair yet I’d recommend them for sure, they are worth every cent. 🙂 Hope you have a great season!

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