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TESTED: Boat Shoes, Board Shorts, Sunglasses, Sun Shirts

We test boating apparel to wear on the water.

July 24, 2015
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I’ve spent the first half of the summer testing boating apparel that could help you enjoy the second half of the summer. (Or if you live in Florida or California or other sunshine states, the entire year.) I’ve worn these on the water–and in some cases in the water–on cruising, fishing, surfing and tubing expeditions. Here’s how they stack up.

CAMO Board Shorts

Courtesty Mojo Sportswear Company

BOARD SHORTS: CAMO Board Shorts from Mojo These board shorts have quickly made their way up to the top of my rotation. They’re durable and rugged, made of double-twill polyester fabric, but they dry out quickly after jumping in the water. What I like best is that they have two front pockets, a side pouch and a Denier-lined tool pocket, so I can wear them like a pair of cargo shorts–there’s a place to stick the wallet and the cell phone. $39.99, mojo-gear.com

Prana Calder Performance Shirt

Prana Calder Performance Shirt
The Calder Longsleeve is made from quick-drying stretch UPF 50+ fabric for extra protection in the water or on the beach. It’s lightweight yet durable and offered in stylish colors and designs. $59, prana.com
Courtesy Prana

SUN SHIRT: Prana Calder Performance Shirt This job requires being on the water all the time–rough life I know. But all that sun exposure leads to a heavy investment in performance shirts that can protect your skin better than just sunscreen. This season, the Prana Calder Performance Shirt has done the job. It’s made from quick-drying stretch UPF 50+ fabric for extra protection in the water or on the beach. It’s lightweight, so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to wear on those 90-plus degree summer days. I also like the cool retro-surf style design. $59, prana.com

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Revo Guide S Sunglasses

Revo Guide S Sunglasses
These glasses are made with anglers and boaters in mind, as they feature an elastomeric nosepad to prevent slippage during high-speed activity, and vented stems for airflow. Their polarized lenses block 100 percent of UVA, UVB and UVC light and come in blue water, green water, terra and graphite. $189, revo.com
Courtesy Revo

SUNGLASSES: Revo Guide S It tested a pair of these, with the black frames and bluewater polarized lenses, on several trips outside the inlet. The lenses are designed to block 100 percent of UVA, UVB and UVC light. I rated the polarization of these shatterproof polycarbonate lenses on the high side, as I was able to accurately spot fish, structure and other stuff beneath the surface that would normally be lost to glare. I also liked how well they stayed put underway and how the wraparound lenses weren’t too gigantic, as you see with so many sunglass styles today. They also come with green water, terra and graphite lenses. $189, revo.com

Orcatex Classic Shoes

Courtesy Orcatex

SHOES: Orcatex Classic Shoes At first glance they look like wicker loafers, but they are not. These lightweight water shoes are made of 100 percent biodegradable material. (The company actually donates part of its profits to protect marine life.) I like them because they’re foldable and mushable, so you can stuff them in a carry-on bag. They’re also machine washable and dry out quickly. The nonslip sole has so far held up well on a number of different boat decks. They come in blue or black. $45, orcatex.com

Zhik ZKG Amphibious Watersport Shoes

Zhik Boat Shoes
These stylish new boat shoes feature the ZK soft sole, a rubber tread that sheds water while providing a sticky grip on deck. They’re lightweight and very breathable and quickly dry for max comfort. $89.99, westmarine.com
Courtesy Zhik

SHOES: Zhik ZKG Amphibious Watersports Shoes Inspired by the old-school lowcut canvas Converse Chuck Taylor’s, the ZKGs are made of quick-drying perforated neoprene. I wear them all day without socks–a must for a boater who’s always dealing with wet decks. The ZK soft sole, a rubber tread that sheds water while providing a sticky grip on deck, will not mark up your teak or diamond-pattern nonskid. They’re a good alternative to traditional boat shoes because, in a pinch, you can wear them to the gym. (I’ve even played tennis in them.) $89.99, westmarine.com

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