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Free Your Sole

Five Favorite Summer Sandals ‘Tis the season for stream stompin’. Lose the shoes, ditch the socks, and slip your feet into one of these new sandals.

Inov-8 Recolite 190 The ultralight 6.7-ounce sandal is ideal for post-race wear. After you’ve bludgeoned your feet, ease your swollen, blistered soles into these recovery sandals and hobble over to the refreshment table. The well-ventilated, ergonomic fit helps hot feet cool off and recover quickly. They’re also great for other summer fun, performing well on canoe trips and day hikes. $85.

Keen Hydro Guide Whether you’re paddling class-V whitewater or enjoying a day on the lake, the Hydro Guide is the sandal of choice. The sticky rubber sole kept wear-testers from slipping on wet river rocks, and the hydrophobic mesh dries quickly. Tightening the sandal is a cinch with the front ladderlock buckle and hook-and-loop system around the heel. Sandals stayed securely on our tester’s feet even after flipping his boat and swimming through rapids. $100.

Merrell Aster Ladies, tired of “aggressive” sandals that look clunkish? Merrell addresses the concern with the Aster, a highly protective sandal that still looks like it belongs on the fairer sex’s foot. The leather straps cinch for a snug fit, the footbed is classic Merrell comfort, and the rear strap can be taken off completely, turning these hiking sandals into slip-ons for sashaying around town. $80.

Chaco Paradox The Paradox has more coverage than your typical sandal, with polyester webbing wrapping your feet, but there’s still plenty of room to breathe, and the extra coverage gives the sandal a more secure fit for adventurous treks. The footbed is more comfy than most sandals as well. We also like the simple instep strap that adjusts on the fly. $110.

Zoot Recovery Sandal
Zoot specializes in triathlon shoes and clothing, and the Recovery is designed to be supremely comfortable for post-race relaxation. Don’t expect futuristic materials that suck the lactic acid from your legs, but do expect one of the most comfy flops you can buy, thanks to the Recovery’s customizable footbed. Bake it at 225 degrees, and it molds to the shape of your foot for a supremely comfortable fit.

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