Originally Posted by Chip
My warm-weather standbys are plain old Chacos, w/o the toe strap.
For the sort of funfest where you have to get out a lot and horse your boat over rocks, I wear the NRS Scout watershoes.
They're reasonably comfortable, well-made, and I can walk several miles in them barefoot without blisters. (Right now on sale for $38.95 which is a good deal). The NRS river shoes dry out pretty fast and if you pack some good wicking socks, synthetic or wool blend, you can do an emergency walkout without severe harm to your tootsies.
(The old gray-soled Chacos are unbeatable for friction scrambling on slickrock.)
For cold water, I add neoprene Gator Sox, the basic type and the pair I bought for paddling Sitka Sound with fleecy linings. Both are thin enough to wear with the Chacos and NRS river shoes.
I get the more "tennis shoe-ish" version of these and love them. I'll get 2 seasons of guiding out of a pair. However, the laces suck big floppy donkey ears. Cut the laces off, measure them, get 1-2 inches longer in thin cord from a climbing shop, cauterize the cord, and presto - great river shoes. They're good for hiking, under the cross tube, and they protect the toes pretty well in the desert.
They don't stick to rocks when wet as well as the pro Chacos, but almost as well. Better than Keens though, not in craftsmanship, but in wet traction.
Pro price, $25.