Here's a short follow up from an earlier blog (below) on the Zhik ZKG Deck Shoes...
I wore the new ZKG deck shoes on a J/80 at Charleston Race Week a few weeks back. They were a perfect fit and incredibly lightweight. The shoe strings were a little long and came undone a few times, but because of the built-in tongue, the shoe never came loose. (Just have to double-knot them next time!) The exceptional thing about the ZKGs for me was the grip on the bottom of the shoe. The bottom allowed for a superior grip. It made for easy footing while hoisting the chute and heeling the boat downwind.
The only precaution I can give about the ZKGs is that the sole is not substantial enough when landing on hard objects like cleats and hooks. You will not bounce back from impact!
In all, they worked just fine on the J/80, but I would advise using them sailing on smaller dinghies where grip and swiftness are key.
-Bryn (Marketing Associate)
What luck! The ZKG Shoe sample Zhik sent APS is my exact size, and I get to be first to try them out. These shoes are so comfortable - I'm going to get pair and using them as soon as dinghy season is in full swing!
Zhik unveils their new range of innovative footwear, and it's in the shape of a sneaker! Don't be fooled, this is a super functional sailing shoe made almost entirely of neoprene.
The ZKG Sailing Shoe is extremely lightweight and bends in every direction. The soles give you just the right amount of grip you need for traction on the boat. The perforated upper part of the shoe is made of neoprene and a breathable fabric that dries fast when your shoes are wet. To note, this shoe is designed to be worn in wet marine conditions. The soles feature small drainage holes to allow water flow out of the shoe to keep your feet comfortable and relatively dry. A flexible gum rubber sole offers limitless movement. The tongue on the shoe is built into the body. When you tighten the laces, the shoe fits snugly around your foot. You simply slide them on like any regular wet shoe.
I've tried these on several times and find them to be extremely comfortable! The ZKG shoe would be perfect for dinghy sailing. Your choice to wear socks or not - though, I suggest no socks. In the realm of sailing shoe styles and designs, this shoe is by the far the most unique. It looks similar to a skating sneaker or a pair of Chuck Taylors, and the fact that it's almost entirely neoprene is pretty spectacular. If you want to check out a short video for a full 360° view of the shoes, see video below. I'm excited to get the chance to try them out dinghy sailing this summer to see how they hold up. Look forward to my follow up with a full review!