Does the perfect lightweight water-to-land shoe exist? We reckon Craghoppers have got pretty close with the Locke Packaway (and Lady Locke Packaway for women) shoe (RRP £75). This rather smart pump shoe offers great grip below, light, comfy and quick to dry neoprene above and a great fit all-round.
Although it's not marketed for use in water, we rank it amongst the best water shoes to don for amphibian adventures. If you can only pack one pair of adventure shoes in warmer weather, this would be a solid choice.
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Craghoppers Locke Packaway Shoe review: design and features
We tested out the female version of Craghopper's Packaway shoe, the Lady Locke. This shoe is actually designed primarily with travelling in mind, hence the name – a fully collapsible upper and a light weight make it easy to pack in a backpack. On test, however, this also proved to be one of the best aquatic shoes we've tested out. The neoprene and mesh upper material hugs the foot, offers warmth and is quick-drying, while the cushioned bottom sole has sticky, confidence-boosting grip even on wet surfaces.
When you're back on dry land the Locke is ideal for travelling, too – it's comfortable to walk long distances in, and if you're in hot climates, these water shoes pack another design punch – the upper material is treated with Nosilife, Craghopper's own-brand insect repellent, which offers permanent protection from mosquitoes and other biting bugs.
The Packaways look attractive, with a gym pump style that will work when worn with shorts for a rock pooling adventure or paired with jeans post-swim for a trip to the pub. We reviewed the navy version of this shoe, and would recommend it over the pale grey, which could look muddy easily. There's also a nod towards sustainability in the design – 15% of the rubber outsole is made with recycled rubber, and 15% of the main material is made with used coffee beans.
Craghoppers Locke Packaway Shoe review: performance and comfort
We definitely put the Locke water shoe through its paces – it came along on a rather gnarly coasteering adventure as well as an island kayaking trip and we were impressed on both occasions. While wearing these water shoes we climbed wet rock, jumped into the ocean and swam more than a kilometre. What stood out was the great sticky grip of the Locke's rubber outsoles, which let you climb confidently even on wet rock, and the lightweight material upper, which won't weigh you down when you're swimming and which dries quickly back on land. And after all those wet and wild adventures, these shoes can also be popped in the washing machine and emerge good as new. If we could change one thing about the design, it would be the lacing – the laces are tied up quite high up the foot, which could be uncomfortable, and can flap about or come loose if not tied carefully. We'd have preferred a bungee system that could be tucked neatly away.
Craghoppers Locke Packaway Shoe review: verdict
Great grip and quick-drying materials make the Craghoppers Locke and Lady Locke Packaway surprisingly brilliant for water sports – and once you're back on land they're comfortable to walk in, lightweight and even offer protection from insects, so they're ideal for popping in your rucksack for backpacking trips. The Packaway looks rather smart, too – if you're travelling light, this is a great do-it-all choice.