As you stock up on sunscreen, don’t forget about protecting your kids’ feet, too. Water shoes are a summer essential, ideal for swimming, paddle sports, boating, tubing and general water play. In addition to safeguarding little feet from hot surfaces, rough terrain and sharp objects like rocks and shells, they provide much-needed traction on wet, slippery surfaces.
While styles vary from brand to brand, most offer closed-toe, top-of-foot protection and feature quick-draining and quick-drying constructions. Teva’s popular Tidepool sandal has a micro-perforated neoprene upper for a smooth, comfortable wear, as well as an adjustable hook-and-loop closure for a snug fit.
Land’s End blends fashion and function with its cute mesh Mary Jane style for girls. The shoe has a fast-draining removable EVA footbed, a rubber outsole with strategically placed holes to increase drainage and an antimicrobial treatment to keep feet fresh.
Swim gear specialist Speedo packs plenty of performance into its Surf Knit water shoe. Featuring a barefoot-inspired construction, the shoe’s stretchy knit-fabric upper drains and dries quickly.
For a more stylish, land-dwelling look, brands including Native, Toms and Plae offer water-friendly slip-on sneaker silhouettes. Made of lightweight, easy-to-clean EVA, these shoes seamlessly transition from dry-land to in-water activities.
If you’re searching for something unique, surf lifestyle brand Bodyglove puts a playful spin on water shoes with its Sea Pals kids’ series, featuring styles designed to look like sharks, crocodiles, dolphins and other creatures.
To see all of our stylish water shoe picks, click through the gallery here.