When Mistral’s ZKS SUP shoes arrived, I didn’t look too hard at first assuming they were standard canvas, baseball-style trainers. It was only when I unboxed them properly and gave a once over did I realise they were something more performance orientated with a lot of ‘design’ built-in.
As mentioned, the styling is very much laid back, about town on a Saturday, baseball lookalike kicks. But with renowned Australian boating brand Zhik at the controls of design, it becomes obvious how fit for SUP they are when you scope the breathable neoprene upper and superb sole.
Superior comfort is what I first noted upon plonking them on my feet. They are like a pair of old familiar slippers. There’s no reason you couldn’t don Mistral’s ZKS trainers on land, giving an amphibious element.
For additional support and security the lace option allows efficient tightening. If you’re heading into circulating water then ratcheting up the laces, will ensure they don’t come off.
Grip is maximised by the extremely well engineered sole. As well as being fit for SUP, Mistral’s ZKS shoes are applicable to dancing about on decks of boats, waltzing around marinas or anywhere there’s water and surfaces are likely to be slippy – even mopping the kitchen floor!
I was pleased to discover the ZKS trainers are also quite warm. There’s no question they’re more applicable to balmier water/weather days, rather than UK winters, but even during off seasons there’ll be suitable periods.
For me, Mistral’s ZKS shoes also double as reef booties. A few spots I launch require navigation of rocky shoreline. That top drawer sole copes admirably with hard, seabed debris, protecting tootsies in stylish fashion.
Mistral’s ZKS SUP shoes are a welcome discovery. Knowing little about the product beforehand I’m now totally sold seeing many practical scenarios – both afloat and on land – where they’ll fit perfectly. It’s also nice to have shoes like this that don’t look run of the mill, i.e like any other neoprene boot. For additional versatility keeping on feet, away from the water, means wearers will get maximum bang for buck.
Available in men and women versions.