7 Best Water Shoes For Kids in 2023

Best Water Shoes For Kids - Babies, Toddlers, & Big Kids

All the running, jumping, splashing, and exploring that’s involved in summer play requires a good pair of water shoes for your kids that’ll keep their feet comfortable and protected.

When looking for water shoes for kids, you need to make sure they’re water-resistant, fit correctly, and are thick enough to protect against any sharp rocks or hot sand.

If you have kids, you know how much of a struggle it can be to keep them in shoes, especially in the summer when all they want to do is run around barefoot. So, you want to find the most comfortable water shoes for your kids that’ll increase the likelihood of them keeping them on.

Above all, water shoes should protect your little one’s feet. Whether that’s from sharp rocks, hot sand, slippery conditions, or blisters, the best water shoes for kids will keep their feet safe during all water activities.

With all of these considerations in mind, we’ve rounded up the best water shoes for kids and created a buyer’s guide that you can find at the bottom of this article.

Dive in to find the perfect pair of water shoes for your kids.

The Top 7 Water Shoes For Kids in 2023

All products:

Built for any and all summer adventures, KEEN Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals are safe, durable, and easy to take care of. 

A thick rubber sole and non-slip grips are sure to keep your kids’ feet protected against the elements, especially at the beach. Your kids will stay safe while playing or running in the sand, over rocks, or in slippery conditions. This leaves you relaxed and stress-free as you keep an eye on them from your beach chair.

All of that exploring means the shoes will inevitably get dirty and even a little stinky (as some users have reported). The good news? The shoes are machine washable so you’ll be able to toss them in the washer whenever they need a quick refresh.

KEEN makes the shoes in many sizes, ranging from toddlers to big kids. The shoe design differs slightly based on the size; the toddler shoes have a cross over Velcro strap and the bigger sizes include a hook and loop strap. This makes it easy for kids of all ages to put on and take off their own shoes. One less thing for parents to do!

Supporting this brand means you’ll be supporting the planet too. KEEN water shoes are made from environmentally-conscious material such as recycled plastic and PFC free water repellant.

Speaking of materials, these shoes are one of the most durable options out there. The price reflects that, so they’re also one of the more expensive options out there. They normally range from $45-$60, but you can snag a pair on sale for as little as $30.

You’ll get your money’s worth though, as they’ll last many seasons and can be used as hand-me-downs for any younger siblings.

KEEN Toddler to Big Kid’s Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals are worth getting if you need a pair of shoes that’ll keep your little adventurer’s feet protected and dry in even the most rugged of terrains.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Polyester and Rubber Sole
  • Machine Washable
  • Price: $60-$120 depending on design choice

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Easy for kids to put on themselves with age-appropriate straps
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    Made from environmentally conscious materials
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    Easy to care for (machine washable and quick-drying)
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    Durable enough to be used as hand-me-downs

Things we don't like:

  • check-markExpensive
  • check-markInconsistent sizing
  • check-markNot breathable and make feet sweat, causing odors
Read full review

Where to buy:

Keen Toddler To Big Kid Product Image

KEEN Toddler to Big Kid’s Newport H2 Closed Toe

There are plenty of water shoes out there made for toddlers and big kids. Water shoes for babies, like the FEETCITY Baby Water Sports Shoes, are much harder to come by.

It’s not surprising that baby sizes aren’t common for water shoes since most babies can’t walk.

However, there are still a few good reasons why your baby might need a pair of water shoes. Maybe you have an early walker or a water-loving baby who likes to splash around (don’t forget a towel!). Or you might have a toddler with smaller feet and struggle to find sizes that are small enough for them.

These shoes are available in sizes ranging from newborn to toddler. You may want to pay extra attention to the size guide, since we’ve found incorrect sizing can lead to blisters or irritation. The right size should fit very snugly, almost like socks.

The FEETCITY Baby Water Sports Shoes are super lightweight and made from a soft, breathable material that will keep your little one’s sensitive feet comfortable and safe while they’re at the beach.

Affordably priced, comfortable, and available in a bunch of cute colors and designs, the FEETCITY Baby Water Sports Shoes are a great choice for babies and young toddlers.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Sole, Mesh/Polyester/Knit Fabric
  • Price: $14-$18

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.3

Things we like:

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    Small enough for young babies (sizes range from 0-6 months to 3T)
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    Snug and comfortable fit similar to wearing socks
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    Cute design options for both boys, girls, and gender-neutral
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    Made from a lightweight and quick-drying material

Things we don't like:

  • check-markGrips on the bottom of the shoe aren’t very effective (fine for beach use but unsuitable for slippery conditions like poolside and wet asphalt)
  • check-markIncorrect sizing can cause blisters
Read full review

Where to buy:

Feetcity Baby Boys And Girls Product Image

FEETCITY Baby Boy’s & Girl’s

For the kids who hate wearing shoes, Racqua Kid’s Water Shoes are the next best thing to being barefoot. 

They’re made from a soft, flexible material that allows them to fit snugly and mold to your child’s feet. This makes them fit as comfortably as possible while also ensuring no sand or dirt can get in. The sole is made from sturdy rubber with an anti-slip tread pattern that will keep your kid’s feet protected against hot sand, slippery surfaces, and sharp rocks.

While they’re a great shoe to take to the beach, they’re also suitable for other outdoor activities such as water parks, pools, hiking, boating, and even daily use.

No matter what your kid’s favorite summer pastime is, Racqua Water Shoes will be sure to keep their feet dry and comfortable with effective water drainage holes at the soles. In between uses, the inner lining of the shoes can be removed for easy cleaning.

Overall, the Racqua shoes are comfortable, quick-drying, durable, and will keep your kids’ feet safe and protected regardless of what summer fun they have planned. On top of all that, they’re also reasonably priced at $20-$30 and come in a variety of colors.

Specs & Features

  • Material: 90% Fabric, Rubber Sole
  • Price: $20-$30

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Inside liner is removable for easy cleaning
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    Very comfortable and form-fitting
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    Durable enough for frequent or even daily beach use
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    Effective water drainage holes keep feet dry
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    Snug enough fit to keep sand from getting in

Things we don't like:

  • check-markVelcro sometimes comes undone in water
  • check-markDoes not come in sizes smaller than Toddler 8
Read full review

Where to buy:

Racqua Boys And Girls Kids Product Image

Racqua Boy’s & Girl’s Kid’s

If you’re looking for a casual summer sandal that’s water-resistant, comfortable, and lightweight, then look no further than the Teva Kid’s Hurricane Drift Sandal. 

The EVA molded plastic makes these sandals incredibly lightweight and water resistant, which your kids will appreciate on hot summer days at the beach or pool. They can get wet without having to worry about damp shoes or long drying times.

Though they’re lightweight, they’re still sturdy enough to be taken on long walks or even coastal hikes. The plastic is strong enough to provide support for their feet and keep them protected against rugged terrain, while a hook and loop closure gets the fit just right.

Ranging from $16-$53, these Teva sandals can be a bit pricier than other water shoes, but the quality is seen in their durability and comfort. They’re also stylish enough to be worn as regular summer sandals and come in several cute color options for boys and girls alike.

It’s important to note their sizing runs large and seems to be a better fit for children with average or wide feet.

Designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and made for water activities, the Teva Kid’s Hurricane Drift Sandal is one of our favorite water shoes for kids.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Molded EVA
  • Price: $16-$53

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

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    Water-resistant, easy to clean, and no drying needed
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    Comfortable and super lightweight
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    Durable enough for coastal hiking and rock climbing
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    Can be worn as a regular summer sandal

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSizing runs large
  • check-markNot a great fit for kids with narrow feet
  • check-markPricey
Read full review

Where to buy:

Teva Toddler And Kids Hurricane Drift Product Image

Teva Toddler & Kid’s Hurricane Drift

Sporty Water Shoes

Vivay Kid’s Water Shoes look just like regular sneakers, but they’re actually lightweight water shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and functional.

Water drainage holes at the bottom of the shoes help to keep feet dry during water activities. The soft lycra material is stretchy, breathable, and gives feet the freedom to move comfortably. That’s important for kids who are staying busy and active.

Adjustable shoelaces make it easy to find the perfect fit and tightness, ensuring comfort and preventing chafing or other irritation.

The Vivay Kids Water Shoes are versatile – they’re functional and safe to wear at the beach, pool, or park, but also stylish enough to wear as regular everyday shoes.

Basically, this is a water-proof sneaker that’s lightweight and comfortable, but also sturdy enough for water activities that require running or more intense physical effort.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Lycra, Rubber Soles
  • Price: $15-$20

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Comes with adjustable shoelaces for the perfect fit
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    Made with a soft and flexible Lycra material
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    Drainage holes in the sole, keep feet dry and comfortable
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    Stylish enough to wear as regular shoes
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    Good value for the price

Things we don't like:

  • check-markLaces and their silicone holders break easily
Read full review

Where to buy:

Vivay Kids Product Image

Vivay Kid’s

With a soft, quick-drying upper shoe and a flexible rubber sole, the nerteo Aquatic Water Shoes are the classic water shoes for kids.

A hook and loop closure makes it easy for kids to take them on and off while also allowing room to adjust tightness. The soft fabric is quick-drying and comfortable, making the shoes perfect for kids to wear at the beach, pool, or splash pad.

The inner liner is removable and machine-washable, which makes cleaning dirt and small pebbles out of the shoes an easy task for parents. However, there are issues with the liner wearing down quickly, so don’t expect these shoes to last multiple summers.

Available in sizes ranging from toddler to big kids, you’re sure to find a design your little one will love. There’s something for everyone – from mermaids and unicorns to sharks and dinosaurs. Be mindful of the sizing though, as some users report the shoes can run a little small and seem to be a better fit for children with narrow feet.

Overall, the nerteo Aquatic Water Shoes are a classic option that will keep your kids’ feet safe and comfortable for casual water activities.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Synthetic, Rubber Sole
  • Machine Washable
  • Price: $20-$30

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Come in cute designs and colors for both boys and girls
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    Large range of sizes from toddler to big kid
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    Lightweight and quick-drying
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    Easy to take on and off

Things we don't like:

  • check-markInner lining wears down quickly so these shoes will only last a season or two
  • check-markNot a comfortable choice for kids with wide feet
Read full review

Where to buy:

Nerteo Boys And Girls Aquatic Product Image

nerteo Boy’s & Girl’s Aquatic

Most water shoes are designed for comfort, but Western Chief Water Shoes really stand out in the comfort department. They’re made from a lightweight EVA molded material and also include a cushioned footbed for hours of dry, sweat-free play.

The EVA molded plastic makes these shoes lightweight and stretchy – if you have kiddos with wide feet, these are their best bet.

Of course, these shoes are water-resistant. They don’t require any drying time and are thus also very easy to clean with a quick spray or wipe-down. You might want to be careful handling the velcro straps too much, though, as they can get worn down pretty quickly.

Averaging around $15, they’re otherwise impressively sturdy and durable for their price point.

The only other complaint we’ve seen from users is they wish these shoes came in bigger sizes. They currently come in toddler and little kid sizes only.

If you’re looking for an extra comfortable pair of water shoes for your kids, the Western Chief Toddler & Kid’s Water Shoe will be sure to meet your expectations.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Rubber Sole, EVA Materials
  • Price: $12-$20

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Cushioned footbed provides added comfort
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    Lightweight and stretchy, making it a good option for wide feet
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    Easy to clean and quick-drying
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    Affordable

Things we don't like:

  • check-markOnly available in Toddler and Little Kid sizes
  • check-markVelcro strap gets worn down quickly
Read full review

Where to buy:

Western Chief Toddler And Kids Recess Product Image

Western Chief Toddler & Kid’s Recess

Buyer’s Guide

Why Do Kids Need Water Shoes?

Summer is a time for making happy memories with your family, and you don’t want something like foot blisters and sores getting in the way of that. That’s why having the proper water shoes for your little ones is so important.

Water shoes will ensure their comfort for whatever water activities your summer plans include – whether that’s trips to the beach, pool, or waterpark.

The best water shoes for kids will keep their feet comfortable and safe. When searching for the best water shoes for your next summer adventure, consider these three factors: water drainage, material and fit, and protection. 

Water Drainage

The biggest factor that separates regular shoes from water shoes is water drainage. Most water shoes come with drainage holes at the bottom of the soles that allow water to drain out of the shoe. This helps with keeping your kids’ feet dry and preventing blisters and skin irritation.

Material And Fit

There are several types of water shoes: slip-ons, sandals, and sneakers. The right ones for your child will depend on their age and activity levels. Below is a quick breakdown of each type.

  • Slip-Ons: A classic and affordable option that is made from a rubber sole and mesh upper shoe. Slip-on water shoes are usually form-fitting and a comfortable choice for babies and toddlers. They perform well for the pool, waterpark, or a casual beach day, but might not be durable enough for more rocky surfaces.
  • Sandals: These look like regular sandals but are typically made from water-resistant material such as EVA molded plastic or rubber. They’re casual enough for daily wear but sturdy enough for trips to the beach or pool.
  • Sneakers: Unlike regular sneakers, water sneakers are made of breathable and quick-drying materials and also include drainage holes for water. These are best for older kids who love to explore rugged terrains.

Protection

Wet and slippery conditions can quickly become dangerous with the wrong pair of shoes. A good pair of water shoes will have traction that’ll prevent any falls or other accidents. Look for non-slip rubber soles and grips when shopping for water shoes for your kids.

Thick rubber soles will also help keep your kids comfortable while they play on sand, rocks, hot asphalt, and sea shells. You can’t say the same for any old pair of flip flops or sandals.

Finding The Right Pair

Now that you’re equipped with tips for choosing the best water shoes for kids, you can decide the correct fit for your kids.

As parents, we understand you have little time on your hands. So we’ve saved you the hassle of sifting through the many water shoes available on the market.

We found and reviewed the best water shoes that’ll keep your kids’ feet dry, comfortable, and protected. Our top picks are found in our list of the Best Water Shoes for Kids.

Don’t forget to check out the FAQ section and ask any other questions in our comment section below!

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What are the best water shoes for kids?

When it comes to summertime and fun in the sun, you know that a regular pair of shoes just won’t cut it for your kids. Once the beach or pool is involved, you know they’ll need a pair of water shoes.

The best water shoes for kids will provide comfort, protection, and water drainage.

Check out our list of the Best Water Shoes for Kids to determine which pair is best for your babies, toddlers, or older kids.

How should I choose water shoes for my kids?

When shopping for water shoes for kids, you should consider the following factors:

  • Shoe material
  • Shoe type
  • Water drainage

All of these things will ensure your child’s feet stay comfortable and safe while they enjoy their time at the beach, pool, or waterpark.

The best choice for your kid will also depend on their age and activity level.

For more helpful information, check out our Buyer’s Guide for water shoes for kids.

Should water shoes be tight or loose?

To prevent irritation, it’s best for water shoes to fit snugly but not too tight. A good choice for babies and toddlers are the FEETCITY Water Sports Shoes, which fit as comfortably as a pair of socks.

Can you wear water shoes in the pool?

Yes. However, some water shoes for kids are more suitable for the pool because of non-skid bottoms that prevent slipping on wet asphalt.

We’d recommend the nerteo Aquatic Water Shoes to keep your kids safe and dry during poolside fun.

Do toddlers need to wear water shoes?

To keep their sensitive feet comfortable and protected during summer activities that involve water, it’s a good idea for toddlers to wear water shoes.

Luckily, there are plenty of great water shoes for kids that are also available in toddler sizes.

Some of our favorites are listed below:

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