Water shoes are essential for keeping your feet comfortable and protected during water-filled activities.
Ideal to wear while surfing, kayaking, trekking and more, they feature sturdy treads to keep you sure-footed on slippery surfaces and protect feet from rocky terrain both in and out of the water. On land, they’re also great to slip on to create a barrier between your feet and hot sand.
These styles are lightweight, flexible and made with quick-drying materials so your shoes won’t be waterlogged for hours — which can lead to blisters, potential odors and even mold growth. What’s more, they provide insulation, meaning they’ll keep your feet warm when in cold water.
Some of the best styles feature ports to help water drain away faster from the shoe and smooth necklines to prevent chafing. Meanwhile, you may opt for a pair with added toe protection and/or laces, the latter of which offers more ankle support than slip-on styles when navigating particularly tricky terrain.
In addition to boasting top-notch performance features, looks are now more stylish than ever, done in everything from low-profile slip-ons to sneaker-like silhouettes. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite water shoes to add to your arsenal.
Why Trust Our Recommendations:
When selecting our picks, we looked for features such as hydrophobic mesh uppers and sipped outsoles, which help to move water to the sole’s edges when your foot makes contact with the ground. A lot like a car’s tire, this design delivers reliable traction. We also included pairs with drainage holes in the soles for enhanced water drainage. All of our choices also come in a wide range of colorways and patterns to choose from.
Read on to shop our selection ahead.
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1. Aleader Water Shoes
These shoes have an ultra-breathable mesh design with supportive cross stitching so your shoes will stay put.
Key Features: Springy EVA foam insoles are designed to absorb around 50% of any water that enters the shoe to help them dry faster. Outsoles with rubber grip pads boost stability. Available in eight colorways. Dual pull tabs at the front and back promote easy on and off. These offer toe protection, too.
Take Note: Other styles may be more supportive.
2. Zhuanglin Water Shoes
This sporty shoe features a well-ventilated mesh upper with an elastic drawstring closure designed to secure the fit.
Key Features: Thick outsoles with rubber grip pads and drainage holes provide quick-drying effects. Unlike many other styles on our list, the insoles in this pair offer moderate arch support and are removable so you can easily wash any sand off them. They also come in a variety of colors.
Take Note: Some may find pebbles can get stuck in the bottom.
3. Simari Water Shoes
A scuba suit-like material makes the upper of these quite stretchy and flexible, whether you’re on land or in the water.
Key Features: A smooth neck design prevents chafing while ergonomically-molded, non-slip outsoles absorb shock. The TPR material is made to offer enhanced protection compared to softer sole materials. They also come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Take Note: May run a bit long.
4. Barerun Quick-Dry Water Shoes
Complete with a smooth, flexible neck design and breathable upper, this minimalist style should lend a comfortable fit.
Key Features: The rubber sole is flexible enough to be rolled up but durable enough to add traction and protect the bottoms of feet from hot surfaces. Overall, they’re easy to fold and pack in any bag. This pair is also available in over 40 fun designs to suit a variety of preferences.
Take Note: May not provide the best fit for wider feet.
5. Mishansha Water Shoes
This model has a stretchy upper that’s lightweight and durable, plus a bungee cord lock system for easy adjustments.
Key Features: Ventilated honeycomb insoles promote fast water drainage and help to reduce odor. You can easily fold them up for packing. Thick rubber soles offer good traction on different surfaces. The toes are enhanced with rubber for anti-collision protection. These come in a wide range of colors and designs.
Take Note: Some may find they run big.
6. L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes
These shoes also feature an elastic lacing mechanism that allows wearers to customize the fit to the width of their foot.
Key Features: Breathable quick-drying uppers deliver decent stretch. Thickened outsoles prevent punctures and can be bent for easy packing. Drainage holes at the bottom ensure water flows out. Offered in a variety of colors. Lightly padded tongue and collar enhance comfort. The toe area provides protection.
Take Note: May also run a bit big.
7. Seekway Water Shoes
With a soft but durable sock-like upper and smooth neck design, this style helps reduce the chance of blisters.
Key Features: The rubber plastic material of the outsole reinforces the shoe and provides quality airflow and abrasion- resistance. Performance cushioning on the insole boosts underfoot support through long walks and hikes. Available in a plethora of colors and prints and folds up easily.
Take Note: Some may prefer thicker soles.