Looking for a shoe that won’t hold water? One that won’t do it, no matter how much water wants to held? Very well then. Reader meet Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes. Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes meet Reader.
Columbia sent me a pair of ‘Drains to test and review and here are my thoughts.
Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes Features
- Upper: combination mesh, TPU and EVA upper with a TPU toecap
- Midsole: Techlite® midsole with drainage ports in heel and forefoot
- Fully drainable midsole and footbed
- Outsole: Omni-Grip® wet grip rubber with traction lugs
- Weight (Size 9, 1/2 pair): 8.7 oz, 246.6 g
- Price: $94.95
Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes Review
I can’t help but to think of the Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes as a collander. It’s exactly how they operate. Water goes in and immediately drains out. Watching Columbia’s “Bean Salad” video didn’t help change my perception.
As it turns out the Powerdrain is great at what it’s supposed to do…get water out! Rivers, lakes, oceans, you name it, if it’s water the Powerdrain is right at home. Pick up a fully submerged shoe and in a second or so its empty.
Drainage is facilitated by key port placement in the heel and forefoot. The footbed and midsole essentially have a bunch of holes in them to let the water through (see pictures to the right or bottom of the post). If you look at the midsole it looks like a waffle. The mesh upper increases drain performance and doesn’t hold water in the fabric.
The shoe and upper dry quickly enough to help prevent the blisters you’d expect to get from a wet shoe. If you are going to be hiking longer distance take a few minutes to let your feet fully dry out. The footbed is easily removable to help facilitate fully drying out and cleaning.
Great, it drains well, but what about other performance? The Omni-Grip sole helps keep traction on wet, slippery surfaces. Still be weary of mossy covered rocks though. Traction felt better than other shoes but I still experienced some slippage. The lugged sole performed decently on trail as well. It’s not as aggressive as a hiking shoe sole but it held its own. I only experienced a little more slippage than a hiking or trail running shoe.
I was skeptical of the elastic lacing. I doubted it could keep the shoe on in a strong current. With snug tension it kept the ‘Drains on my feet in rivers, swimming in the ocean, and even through some shoe-sucking mud.
Don’t expect to be free of sand and pebbles in your shoes. Some sand will get carried out with the water but some will linger, especially in the ocean.
One side benefit is you do get a little bit of warmth from the shoe in cold water. I was definitely able to stay in cold water considerably longer than without the shoes. Also the painful transition to numb feet wasnt as drastic, i.e. it wasn’t as painful.
- Drains fast
- Dries quickly
- Slips a little more than you’d expect on trails
The Columbia Powerdrain Water Shoes are awesome at what they are supposed to do.