Exploring a coral reef is on pretty much everyone’s bucket list, and for good reason. Coral reefs are beautiful oases where fish and sealife mingle, away from prying human hands (for the most part). If you plan to explore these reefs, it’s important that you bring proper footwear, as exploring them barefoot could make for an unforgettable trip, but not for the reasons you want!
Crushed Coral Hurts
When walking out to the reef, it’s likely that you may step on some crushed coral. Coral itself is a hard, solid plant, and stepping on it can be akin to stepping on broken glass! Even relatively light and pain-free scrapes can be made worse from coral. When you scrape your skin on a bit of coral, some of that top layer gets embedded in the skin, which, while not leading to an infection, can lead to prolonged healing time.
Wearing a water shoe with a good sole can help prevent these scrapes when you walk over crushed coral, because they had a layer between your skin and the coral itself. Plus, they have a good grip, which prevents you from slipping and potentially taking a nasty fall!
Coral Can Sting
It’s true! Most types of coral are harmless to humans, but there are some types, such as fire coral, that actually sting you! This is why it is important to wear a good water shoe when you explore a coral reef--you do not want to get stung in the foot! This can lead to reactions like rashes or inflammations. While they are generally minor, they can still put a damper on your day!
Best to get a good water shoe to keep your feet protected and avoid the worry all together.
Water Shoes Can Make Swimming Easier
When you swim through a coral reef, in addition to keeping your feet safe, you might be swimming long distances. A good water shoe can keep your feet warm, but also assist with swimming itself. Water shoes can act like small water fins when swimming in the water, and can help propel you with less effort, ensuring you don’t exhaust yourself on your first coral swim.
Sea Urchin Spines
Sea Urchins are another bit of beautiful sealife you will encounter on your first coral swim, but they can get their spines in your feet if you’re not careful! That can be painful, and can lead to infection if not treated properly. Fortunately, with a water shoe with a good sole, you can step on sea urchins and likely end up with no trouble at all.
This is not a foolproof method, however, and we do not recommend stepping on urchins to try it out!