Red Paddle Co's new outdoor product uses biomimicry to optimise performance

The SUP Water Shoe takes inspiration from Sharkskin, gecko's foot and mountain goat's hoof

Clarks launches SUP Water Shoe in collaboration with Red Paddle Co
(Image credit: Clarks/Red Paddle Co)

Red Paddle Co might be best known for their paddle board – we feature alone of their SUPs at the top of our best paddle board for beginners and best inflatable paddle board guides – but the company's latest product isn't a board – it's a water shoe created in collaboration with British heritage brand Clarks Shoes. 

Sitting within the Clarks ATL (All-Terrain Leisure) range, the new SUP Water Shoe is designed specifically for paddle boarders but is said to be a truly hybrid water shoe that can be used across every aspect of your outdoor life by "anyone who wants to take their adventure from land to water", Red Paddle co explains.

"Red Paddle Co's commitment to a deep understanding of their consumer was really inspiring for us as we collaborated on this shoe, and the combination of the brands has led to something really exciting,” Sebastian Edwards, Head of Men’s Product at Clarks, said. "For us, a priority was creating a low profile, close to board feel so when you're wearing the shoes on the water, you still feel really connected to the board and have great traction and grip," added Red Paddle Co’s Commercial Director, Catherine Morris.

Clarks launches SUP Water Shoe in collaboration with Red Paddle Co

(Image credit: Clarks/Red Paddle Co)

"We take inspiration from [...] the natural world. This is called biomimicry, where we take performance elements from animals or nature and use those to inform our design process," explained Clarks' Product Designer Alex Blackman, "We've taken inspiration from sharkskin to create a hydrodynamic design on the side and underside of the shoe, these undulations allow water to flow around the outer without any kind of resistance."

"On the outer sole, the rubber pods are formed taking inspiration from a gecko's foot", he continues, "There is also a specific pattern running down the sole, and this is inspired by a mountain goat's hoof and how they leap across rocks and get across different terrains, delivering superb traction and grip."

The shoe uses recycled materials, with the meshes, sponges, and webbing of the upper and inner sock all recycled. The outer sole and inner footbed uses a Bio EVA, made from algae in the compound of EVA and the rubber on the toe and heel is also recycled.

The shoes are available to buy for £99.95 (approx. $125/AU$185) in 17 Clarks stores across the country and online and are featured in select Red Paddle Co retailers and through the brand's site.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.