Splish-splash. It’s summer, and that means time to enjoy a range of water activities from a trip to the water park to a walk through the great outdoors. Being prepared for these adventures requires the proper safety gear, and that starts with a pair of water-friendly shoes.
What makes shoes water friendly? Consider the following: uppers made of quick-drying materials such as nylon and mesh. Outsoles that repel rather than absorb water, and drainage ports top and bottom that allow water to easily escape.
There are lots of ways to incorporate these features into shoes. Sandals are part of the story in versions that are easily customizable with adjustable straps to closed-up styles reminiscent of the once-popular aqua socks that offer enhanced protection from elements.
Now, don’t think a pair of inexpensive beach flip-flops will perform just as well. While they’re water-friendly, they don’t provide enhanced comfort features such as cushioned insoles and outsoles with traction for steady footing. And, they can easily slip off the foot when engaged in more rugged water sports causing injuries.
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What gives these styles an added bonus is their vegan-friendly positioning since they are typically made of non-leather materials. And, some styles even use recycled components that add to their appeal.
Now that your feet are well protected, make sure any children accompanying you on your summer outings have a pair of water-friendly shoes of their own.
Here, FN has curated an assortment of styles to satisfy every budget, fashion taste and lifestyle.
This classic sneaker-inspired style allows for easy water drainage with decorative ports on the upper, that also allow for air to circulate. Made of EVA, they are also antimicrobial to promote foot and reduce odors.
Keen Newport H2
Whether heading up or down stream, this river sandal features a synthetic upper that is durable and quick drying. A multi-lug sole offers underfoot protection on the water and land.
Reef Phantom II
A beach-friendly flip-flop keeps makes comfort a top priority with a contoured footbed for enhanced support and synthetic straps lined with soft, padded jersey fabric.
Vans La Costa Lite
This skate brand easily takes to the water with its signature checkerboard pattern used to detail a flip-flop in synthetic nubuck. For extra comfort, there’s a textured footbed that helps keep feet in place.
Teva Original Universal
This iconic design is eco-friendly, created using synthetic and plant-based materials that save four plastic bottles from ending up landfills. It also promotes foot health with a cushioned EVA footbed featuring Microban, a zinc-based antimicrobial treatment.
Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Wave
This lightweight mesh style is designed with ventilation ports for breathability while helping water drain away. A proprietary Croslite foam footbed provides underfoot comfort when wading through a rocky stream.
Ecco Sport X-Trinstic Textile Strap Sandal
Trek from city to country in this adjustable strap style that fits just about any foot with its three-point fastening design. Underfoot, there’s an anatomical footbed and rugged rubber outsole with plenty of traction and grip.
Havaianas Brazil Mix Flip Flops
This beach-friendly classic is made of natural rubber and incorporates a breathable lining and lightly cushioned insole.
Merrell Hydro Moc
A lightweight EVA molded slip-on style incorporates oversized portholes for breathability and water release. Inside, there’s a lightweight cushioned footbed with contoured arch support and outsole with enhanced traction for stability.
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe
Snorkeling or simply walking on the beach, this anatomic-inspired style is designed with a stretch upper and anti-microbial footbed. An ultra-grip outsole keeps feet safely grounded.
Vibram Five Fingers V-Aqua Water Shoe
Lightweight and breathable, this foot mimicking style features silicone pods inside the shoe for a secure fit and textured outsole for enhanced traction.
Aleader Water Hiking Shoe
Checking out park trails is easy in this quick-dry textile hiker with quick lacing system for a customized fit and shock-absorbing midsole for comfort and support.
Xero Colorado Trail Sandal
This trail-friendly style incorporates a foam footbed and rubber sole that flexes as you walk. The zero-drop heel allows for proper posture, while the low-to-the-ground design enhances balance and agility.
Chaco Odyssey Hiking Shoe
For enhanced support, this hiking sandal provides a secure fit at the ankle, while the adjustable strap offers further customization. It’s mesh upper allows water to quickly drain when navigating streams and rivers.
Under Armour Locker III Slide
This easy on-and-off slide is designed with drainage ports that allow water to transfer away from the foot.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn a commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.