Most performance footware are made with sponge foam padding. It’s light, it’s cheap and it doesn’t crush down. But what it does do is absorb water when it gets wet. So, if your feet sweat, you get water in the boat or if it starts raining, your shoes start absorbing the water which makes your shoes very heavy and uncomfortable. This type of foam is known in the industry as open cell foam, because the cells are porous. The foam used in making a Bont shoe is a high quality closed cell memory foam which doesn’t absorb water. So you don’t have to worry about them absorbing water when you row.