I got the shoes. The funny looking ones with a slot for each toe- Vibram 5 Fingers (these but not in leather). Tried them out at the lake this weekend, and they are ideal for my situation with the rocky beach. I can easily walk into and out of the water with no problem. I can swim in them and they stay put- no blisters.
It's an $80 solution, which isn't they way I usually want to solve problems. But it works.
And secretly I'm glad to have an excuse to have bought these shoes. I love to go barefoot, and can't wait to just wear them around.