Monday, March 30, 2009

Totally Gnarly

Teva came out with a brand new water/boat shoe this year - the Teva Gnar. It's a skateboard style shoe with a thick tongue and collar. Though it might look like the sweet Vans kicks you used to wear back in high school (or maybe your kids did, depending on how old you are) the Gnar sports high tech fabrics that make is a terrific lightweight and supportive sailing shoe.

The Gnar has lightweight mesh side panels for quick water drainage and ventilation. There are also small drain holes on both sides of the toe box - they might be too small to let much water out but they should help a little. The tongue and collar are made of non water absorbing EVA foam as is the footbed to keep the shoe lightweight and dry.

The Gnar also features some of the latest in cutting edge sailing technology - camo. That's right, you won't have to worry about people seeing you hanging out over by the pin and ruining your "it would have been perfect if that one guy hadn't been there" port tack start with these shoes on. No one will see you coming with the green and black color scheme with camo mesh side panels.

Seriously though, they might look a little silly but Ian who works in our storefront assures me that all the cool kids are wearing camo. He got a pair of these shoes and he says they're great. Ian thinks they offer the best support out of any sailing shoe available. The thick collar and tongue feel a little unusual at first if it's a fit you're not used to but they give great foot support not often found in sailing shoes.

The sole of the Gnar is made from Teva's SSR rubber. They've been using this rubber for a while now and it's pretty good stuff. I think it would be pretty grippy but Ian hasn't had a chance to wear them sailing yet so I don't have any first hand feedback. The diamond patterned portion of the sole is a moderately soft rubber and the dotted portions in the toe and heel are a very gummy, sticky feeling rubber for extra grip.

Overall I think the Teva Gnar is a fresh look for the sailing market and it hasn't skimped on the necessary features to get there. It has the things you need - it's fast drying, lightweight, supportive and grippy. Does everyone want a skateboard shoe that they can go sailing in? Probably not, but I know there's several guys here at the shop who told me they thought the Gnar was "sweet looking, dude." I'm sure some people won't like the look but most probably fall in the as long as it works category and this shoe definitely does.

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