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Speedo Hydroterra : Getting a Grip

I’ll tell you what I wasn’t looking for when I first tried on a pair of Speedo Hydroterra Sandals:  a sandal so comfortable that I immediately considered swapping them for my old favorite slippers in order to wear my new footwear around the house all the time.  I was sure these sandals were too fancy for recreational use. After all, their soft, felt-like lining didn't seem suited to wet conditions; I pictured the felt disintegrating in the shower room, leaving a trail of gray fuzz globs on the pool deck. I needed more information. So I packed them in my gym bag, and headed off to the pool.

What I was looking for in my Speedo Hydroterras was a sandal that could grip the wet tiles of the shower room, the locker room, and the pool deck and not come off my feet—unless I wanted them to.  That sandal I got.

As much as I love to walk barefoot on the beach, I wouldn’t begin to consider doing the same at the health club where I swim.  Call me crazy, but call me clean.  Even in the shower, I do my best not to touch the tile where countless others have trod and left traces of their humanity—‘nuff said.  So I’ve been on a bit of a mission to find the right sandals for the job.  Water shoes were great for traction, but pulling them off and on again in the shower was a drag, especially if I tried to balance for longer than a second on my standing foot.  And flip flops were perfect for the shower situation—easy on, easy off—but I nearly met my end several times slipping on wet tiles.  I even went so far as to cut treads into the bottom of the flip flops with a utility knife (Like I said, call me crazy…), but the improved traction was negligible.  

Then I found the Hydroterras.  I was so impressed by the traction these sandals offer that I actually tried to slide on the shower floor when no one was looking.  Couldn’t do it.  They grip the floor like a pair of Goodyears on hot asphalt.  I could practically run laps around the pool, and I would have tried it if it weren’t for the “no running” sign posted on the wall.

After I did do my laps (in the pool, not around it), the Hydroterras made shower time a piece of cake.  They slipped off and on even more easily than the flips flops.  And even getting dressed, I never had to throw a towel on the floor.  I just pulled my pants on, one foot at a time, like a normal person, and stepped right back into my sandals.

With a relatively quick dry time, I’ve still been tempted to wear these shoes around the house, but I don’t want to risk forgetting them at home next time I face the treacherous tiles at the club.  So they stay in my gym bag, and I stay upright at the gym.

Bottom Line: Great traction, surprising comfort, and easy to get on an off in a flash.  Almost makes you want to tear down the “no running” sign at the pool. –B.S. (April ’06)

Price: $26.95 thong-style sandal, $27.95 slide-style sandal (women's thong-style sandal is $24.95)

Manufacturer's Site: www.speedousa.com

BUY ONLINE : Men's Hydroterra, Women's Hydroterra

The first flashlight was invented in 1898. Joshua Lionel Cohen, original owner of the Eveready company developed the concept of using a battery to run a light bulb, which he shared with an Eveready salesman, Conrad Hubert. Hubert then turned the idea into a flashlight.

Source: "Invention of the Flashlight," by Mary Bellis, posted on inventors.about.com.