Just to confirm my opinion, I wore my pair of Soft Science The Fin boating shoes around town today. Sure enough, people noticed.
It's important to state that I live in a coastal town where one is liable to see the residents shod in all manner of water-ready footwear, from the hip boots and waders of baymen, to the white ankle boots of sportfishing anglers, to variations on classic boating moccasins covering the feet of just about anyone.
I myself own and wear each of the different boating shoes cited above. Rarely does wearing any one of them garner a comment, whether at the grocery, the gas station or the barber shop. But The Fin gets attention. It’s a big, roomy, shoe with unique styling and features. I’ll cut and paste the materials selection and the name of these to the end of this review and get right to the performance of The Fin.
First off, The Fin drains and dries quickly after getting soaked. Second, they provided excellent cushioning for spending all day on my feet at the helm of a boat in choppy –and sometimes rough-sea conditions. For these offshore trips, I had been using a pair of dedicated “ boat shoe sneakers” that provided comparable, perhaps even better, support and cushioning. The problem with the sneaks is that once they get wet, they take all day to dry. These coupled attributes--cushioning and support; draining and drying—are the requisite features I require of a boat shoe, particularly a fishing shoe.
Mocassin-style shoes dry quick and are great for lounging, and for scenarios, like going to the beach, or checking out boats at boat shows, where removing shoes is necessary. But they aren’t the best at providing support, nor do they provide the cushion I require for standing at the helm while pounding through two hours of head seas to get home.
The Fin are super lightweight and provided excellent traction even on wet and rolling decks. If The Fin shoes have a downside, it applies to fishing. The mesh, microfiber uppers were more easily snagged by hooks than the smooth leather of either mocs or sneakers. Of course that mesh is what helps them to dry quickly.
At the time of this post The Fin retail for $79.99
Below are the features of The Fin as described by Soft Science. Visit www.softscience.com for more information
• Sturdy lace-up fishing shoe
• Lightweight, superbly cushioned and stable
• Woven, breathable microfiber upper
• Forefoot water flow system
• Universal Comfort Platform – roomy, relaxed fit
• Removable, washable Trileon insole
• Trileon™ non-marking, slip-resistant outsole