Looking for footwear that provides protection, comfort, and grip with ease? The best water shoes are the unsung heroes of wet adventures; you need look no further. Whether you’re kayaking, fishing, or visiting local swimming holes, water shoes are the ideal companions for all aquatic activities. And, while they provide numerous performance-based benefits, they also exude flair, guaranteeing that you never have to sacrifice fashion for function.
We’ve compared top water shoes from Astral, Teva, Xtratuf, and other brands to identify the best options for keeping your feet safe on the water for long days.
Why Should I Invest in Water Shoes?
The appeal of water shoes exceeds their connection with warm-weather activities. When exploring watery regions, this form of footwear is preferable over standard sandals or shoes due to its many advantageous features.
With their quick-drying, moisture-wicking materials, water shoes are designed primarily to keep your feet dry and protected. Besides that, their amazing grip on wet surfaces offers a sense of stability, allowing you to maintain your balance even on slippery rocks. In contrast to their open-toed counterparts, water shoes protect your feet from sharp objects and unknown underwater dangers allowing you to have fun without concern of injury.
Our Top picks:
We’ve evaluated several pairs of shoes that could replace water shoes, such as the top-rated men’s and women’s sandals. To go along with your new water shoes, we also have suggestions for the best paddling gear, such as the best kayaks and the best stand-up paddle boards.
The Keen Newport H2 water shoes have earned a well-deserved reputation as a flexible and reliable option for water activities. The superior comfort, durability, and functionality of these shoes make them one of the best options in the world of water footwear.
The shoes’ supportive and soft footbed provides arch support for all-day comfort. Bungee lacing ensures a snug, secure, and customizable fit every time. Also, a quick-drying webbing upper and hydrophobic inner drain water, preventing blisters and irritation.
Wear-resistant materials make water shoes suitable for water sports, jagged rocks, and coral. The strong rubber outsole provides stability and prevents slides on wet and dry surfaces, while the toe guard adds protection, making these shoes excellent for rocky terrain.
Can be a little expensive
2. Best Men’s Water Shoes
Stylish Both On And Off The Water
Astral Brewer 2.0
Type: Minimalist sneaker-style | Drainage: Top mesh, side holes
The Astral Brewer 2.0 is designed for both land and water performance. It is flexible enough to accommodate additional insulation layers for varying outdoor conditions due to the construction’s comfort and adaptability. It is the most versatile of all tested variants.
It adheres well on uneven and technical terrain and provides the protection you’d expect from a top performer. The sole is both responsive and flexible, providing an optimal equilibrium between sensitivity and protection. If your excursions frequently take you from the water to the land, this is our top recommendation and a must-see.
Although these shoes are great for most water-related activities, they are not as warm as heavily insulated paddling booties. On wet, slippery terrain, the smaller lugs did not perform as well as other tested models, but they performed well on rocky and jagged terrain. The Brewer 2.0 is still our favorite due to its design that functions well both in and out of the water
The Xtratuf Riptide is our preferred women’s water shoe from this round of testing. You may be aware with this brand’s iconic fishing boat footwear. These water shoes have a sole with a chevron pattern that provides exceptional traction on wet surfaces such as river rocks and raft tubes.
We like the cinch cord instead of traditional shoelaces, and these are cool enough to wear around town. They’re capable of stretching to wear with socks beneath if you need extra warmth, and the insole can be removed for even more space and faster drying.
This shoe’s grip and durability are amazing, but it’s not responsive enough to handle underwater pebbles and roots. Still, we love this shoe and named it this year’s best women’s water shoe. Another adaptable choice is the Chaco Canyonland, which is wonderful for hiking and water sports.
Takes more time to dry
4. Best Water Shoes For Kids
All-Day Comfort With Kid-Friendly Adjustability
Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals
Outsole: Rubber | Upper: Textile | Closure: Strap
The Teva Hurricane XLT2 Kid’s Sandals are an excellent option for keeping active children safe and secure throughout the summer. They provide a combination of comfort and durability, ensuring that your children can explore and play to their hearts’ content without having to stress about their footwear.
Teva’s cushioned and molded footbed supports and absorbs shock, so kids may wear shoes all day without pain. A hook-and-loop closing system provides quick, easy changes, and the adjustable straps maintain them in place during diverse activities.
The rubber outsole provides stability and grip on diverse terrain, while the tough webbing upper is durable and quick-drying. Open-toe shoes are breathable, but little toes can stub.
Considerations When Purchasing A Pair Of Water Shoes
When buying your own water shoes, evaluate your needs. Below is a full breakdown of the most essential shopping variables:
Water shoes made of neoprene, mesh, or synthetic textiles dry quickly and don’t get waterlogged. Comfort and breathability are also promoted.
Consider how you’ll use your water shoes. Do you want to kayak, paddleboard, hike, or walk on the beach? Knowing their purpose can help you choose the right style and features.
As with any footwear, appropriate fit ensures both safety and comfort. Water shoes should fit tightly without being overly tight or loose, so consider breadth, length, and adjustability.
Water shoes should grip wet surfaces to prevent slips and falls. Look for shoes with rubber or other gripping outsoles and a tread pattern on the bottom.
Depending on your use, assess how well your water shoes will protect your feet. Reinforced toes and soles protect feet against sharp pebbles, shells, and other water hazards, but they’re stiffer. Although less competent, softer types are more comfortable.