As a surfer, I’ve discovered that every beach community is different. Whether that’s Hawaii, Venice Beach, Miami or wherever, every city and region has a different way of interacting with the ocean. We all appreciate the ocean, sure, but we look at it differently.
That thought was on my mind as I tested out the new Tidal Hydro sneakers from Body Glove. The outdoor gear and apparel company makes some of our favorite water shoes and surf gear*, and they sent me a pair of their newly released water sneakers to review. Technically speaking, they’re boat shoes. So I want to get it out of the way early that I didn’t spend a single second near a boat while reviewing them. I would have loved to, but as a SoCal resident, boating isn’t really our thing. I’m of the surfer/skater type of ocean lover. But despite not being designed explicitly for the SoCal version of the beach lifestyle, Body Glove’s latest water shoe absolutely excels.
Keep reading for my full review.
What I Loved About Body Glove’s Tidal Hydro Sneaker
As mentioned, I don’t spend time on boats. I do, however, surf with friends and then go out to grab food or hop on my skateboard to grab a beer. Typically after surfing, putting on footwear can be a rather awkward situation. Have you ever tried putting on socks after swimming? It sucks. A lot of SoCal guys opt for old, beat-up Vans or even the Allbirds Loungers and basically jam soggy toes into their shoes and make it (sort of) work. Though you can get by with that, it’s uncomfortable, and those types of men’s sneakers aren’t exactly designed for post-water wear. And sandals? No thanks. Last time I tried skating in flip-flops I kick-pushed my way right through the binding.
So when I first heard about the Tidal Hydro Sneakers from Body Glove, I was intrigued. Here is a shoe that is designed to get wet and go from land to sea and back again. It’s easy to slip on but thanks to its elastic laces, will actually stay on. What’s more, it has actual grip, which means skating is feasible. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about them getting wet, and then soggy, and then stinky, as you would with those old Vans, thanks to their quick-dry vegan leather uppers and a large number of drainage holes. There’s a special (read: awful) sort of scent that comes from overly soggy sneakers, and with the Body Glove Tidals, that foul scent is a thing of the past.
With this in mind, the Tidals are fantastic. I hate fiddling with laces after a good surf, and with the Tidals, I never had to. I’d simply pat-dry my tootsies and slip them right in the shoes and move on. That’s a proper post-surf setup. In and out, just like the burger, baby. Surprisingly, I also dug the style. The Tidals fall somewhere in between 90s skate shoes and Stan Smiths, which means they’re entirely palatable and lowkey. Am I going to wear them on a first date? Never. But for a spur-of-the-moment brew after a sesh, I’d gladly strut my stuff in the Tidals. That’s the power of a clean and unassuming shoe. It can really go anywhere you can.
It should be noted that the Tidal float when dropped in water, so if you lost them while walking or boating, you could jump in after them. And while this wasn’t an issue I was going to run into, I can imagine that’s a huge boon for the sailors among ye.
What I Didn’t Love about Body Glove’s Tidal Hydro Sneaker
Though I dug the construction, I have to admit, the laces weren’t quite as skateboard-friendly as they could’ve been. Yes, yes, yes, I know, they weren’t designed for that, but hear me out. The issue with the elastic laces is that they’re easy to tighten but tough to keep tight. Now, that’s fine if you’re going for a stroll. But in skating (or I assume boating?) it’s a problem if you cut quickly and change directions. I couldn’t pedal hard on my skateboard, nor could I run, with these shoes. Every time I tried, I would kind of, sort of, start to slip out. And while I doubt Body Glove is expecting anyone to rock these while deep sea fishing in a hurricane, I can’t imagine they’re the most practical for gnarlier situations on a boat.
Verdict: Body Glove’s New Tidal Hydro Sneakers Are an Impressive New Footwear Option
Despite my slight gripe, these shoes shined. They can go with the flow as well as any beach-centric sneaker I’ve owned and look good doing it. Slipping them on and off is a breeze and they’re certainly more secure than your typical slip-on or flip-flop. Are they the most secure? No. But that’s okay. Don’t go scrambling through rocky tide pools during a high surf warning in these. But definitely go on a fishing trip and rock these without worrying about scuffing up the deck while sipping some brews and hooking that marlin.
For casual days on the water, these are an excellent footwear option that will work just as well at the bar at the end of the day. They’re also reasonably priced at $60, while most boat shoes cost at least $100. You can buy the Tidal Hydro Sneakers at the Body Glove online store.
*Body Glove recently advertised some of its products on Spy.com. We were not paid to promote the Tidal Hydro Sneakers, and all of our products reviews go through an independent editorial process. Advertisers cannot pay for positive reviews on our site.