What Kind of Flats Footwear?
OK, so you have finally booked that dream getaway to some far off island destination for a week of flats fishing. Congrats! Now to pack!
While there are a lot of things you can get wrong, one of them shouldn't be your footwear! Especially if you are going to somewhere that will have you spending 8 hours a day wading.
Many folks choose to skimp and get away with it, but for me, if there is one thing I have discovered in all my years of fishing, hiking, backpacking and trekking, it's that you want to make sure your feet are comfortable! If your feet hurt it is hard to enjoy your day!
Some guys like the "bootie" that is basically a neoprene shell for your feet. They are light weight and usually keep coral and nasty things from scrunching between your toes. I think if you spend a lot of time with no shoes on or sandals, basically if your feet are not "tender" this might be a fine way to go.
I personally like more of a hiking boot feel to my flats footwear. The SIMMs boots in the video are one option. My personal choice are the Orvis Andros Hikers. I see a lot of guides wearing those as well, so that tells me they must work. And to my feet, the fit is great and they make my feet feel like they are protected, and still are not real heavy.
The hiking style boots are a little more expensive than simple neoprene booties, but for me, the foot support and the way they feel are more than worth it.
I choose to wear a pair of socks in them just to keep the sand out of my toes, and for socks - just basic cheap athletic socks that come up to the top of the boot work well - then I throw them away at the end of a trip if they get too embeded with sand.
Whatever your footwear choice, just take the time to test it out before you get to your destination - the last thing you want to do is hear about your buddy's 5 shots at Permit on the last day while you were laid up in the lodge with blisters. Happy Feet = Happy Angler!