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L.L.Bean Discovery Sandals, Closed-Toe

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: L.L.Bean Discovery Sandals, Closed-Toe water shoe

Very good sandal to use when canoeing, kayaking, or just being in and around the water. Reasonably priced and very comfortable. Meets a need for a paddler with larger feet, who cannot access some other paddle shoe brands.


  • Comfortable
  • Dries quickly
  • Don’t smell
  • Available up to size 14


  • Heel seems set a bit low

My husband recently purchased a pair of L.L. Bean’s Discovery Sandal to use when canoeing, kayaking, or just being in and around the water. He knows I really like my Brewer water shoes, (see our review on Trailspace).  For canoeing, he has been using an inexpensive pair of neoprene shoes which work well enough in the water, but are uncomfortable when out of the water (they give him a hot spot on a couple of toes).  

Unfortunately, the Brewer only goes up to size 13, way too small for him.  We looked online and found the L.L. Bean Discovery Sandal, which is available in size 14.  The shoe was marked down ten dollars from its list price of $89, and a one-day Fourth of July promotion dropped the price all the way down to $56, reasonable enough to give it a try.

The sandal looks very much like an ordinary pair of sneakers with some large holes along the side and at the heel. The sole is sturdy plastic, which sheds water and grit easily, and the upper is leather, with a soft cloth lining. Out of the water, they are very comfortable, although the heel is a little low for his taste. 

They provide good traction for scrambling around launch sites. In the water, the sole is grippy enough for safety, and water drains easily through the openings. He has found it easy to shed the gravel that inevitably accumulates underfoot by stepping to a clear spot and dragging my foot through the water.  

The sandal dries very quickly once out of the water, even with my foot still inside. They are comfortable enough to wear around camp (with or without socks) for an extended period, so we don’t have to pack an extra pair of shoes. Finally, they don’t stink when left in the car on a sunny day!

They seem durable, and well made, and certainly look like they will be very useful for a long time, while canoeing, kayaking, and camping around the water.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $56

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Price Reviewers Paid: $56.00
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