When is a wet shoe actually a go-ahead-tromp-across-the-living-room-rug dry shoe? Possible answer: only in the kind of mundane sort of dream you’d have after meeting your interior decorator on the way to your average rock-hopping river adventure. A better answer: whenever you happen to be wearing a pair of Teva Fuse-ion shoes.
A recent example of technology aiding the pursuit of style, these shoes ($45-$90) look like a more streamlined version of a skate shoe, but come with a super-thin protective layer called Ion-Mask that creates a molecular bond with the shoe surface to prevent it from absorbing water. At the same time, the layer allows air to pass through, so the shoe remains breathable and comfortable. Put a pair of these on, step in a puddle, step out and your shoe is as dry as the day is long. There’s, of course, no stopping the water from seeping into your socks if you happen to be donning those, but unlike regular water shoes, there’s no surface dry time even after a full submerge.
Aimed at outdoorsy types who’d like a casual sport shoe that doubles as a reasonably acceptable I’ll-wear-it-to-the-bar option, the shoes also have soles made using JStep and SpiderRubber, which grip slippery surfaces ranging from your run-of-the-mill slick rocks to ones like the grease-covered aluminum ramp Teva tested them out on in this video. It’s powerful stuff that’s even been used to create no-slip shoes for an injured penguin named Lucky (cue the awwwws).
I had a chance to test a pair out (thank you, Teva) during an especially rainy weekend in San Francisco, and they did keep my feet dry through puddle-jumping with my extremely active 20-month-old progeny. Later, when I was scrambling up a muddy and grassy hill in the park holding him as he gyrated around like a cat in a pillow case, I didn’t slip (again, thank you, Teva).
As for those river rocks and greased up aluminum ramps, those are next on my list.
More high-tech apparel…