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Reviewed by water lovers:

The Best Water Shoes For 2020

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Our divers at work

We gave our two Water Shoes geeks one job:
Test 32 different Water Shoes and write reviews of the best.

The result is 20 of the best Water Shoes on the market today.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Water lover and editor Torben is a diving and snorkeling nut, with a passion for the ocean.

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Whether you’re going for a hike, dive, kayaking or merely strolling the beach, it’s no denying the comfort and protection of our footwear does a difference.

This, amongst other several reasons, is why you need the best pair of water shoes.

Water shoes are basically your feet’s best friend! Whenever you’re close to the water, whether it’s for swimming, playing, snorkeling or scuba diving, you’ll love them! They’re designed to not only protect your feet in and out of the water but also great for comfort to your feet.

Over time, water shoes have evolved from unsightly and heavy designs to sleek, light and more comfortable ones. Water shoes have certainly come a long way to now having a different range of features including thermal protection, water drainage, underfoot traction and of course its superb design! And it’s no denying that with great development comes great confusion but we’re here to help you out.

Depending on your particular activity, whether it be scuba diving, kayaking, trekking, boating or simply a beach stroll, there is definitely a pair of water shoe that fits just right for you!

Choosing the perfect water shoes for you can indeed be confusing which is why we have listed a list of the best water shoes we could find to help you battle the confusion.

Top Water Shoes we reviewed at DIVEIN.com:

Adidas Outdoor Jawpaw 2

Best Quality

Why we like it:

  •  Adidas drainage system for maximum water drainage
  • “Climacool” 360-degree cooling
  • Stealth rubber for unbeatable grip
  • Slip-on style

Read our full review

Wave Runner Aqua Jet

Best Value for Money

Why we like it:

  • Non-slip and flexible rubber sole
  • Self-draining mesh upper and bottom
  • Ultra-lightweight and breathable
  • Perfect for swimming, kayaking, water aerobics, canoeing, surfing, beach running, and more!

Buy here: MenFemale
Runs big (order one size down)

ALEADER Mesh Slip-on

Best Female Water Shoe

Why we like it:

  • Durable and breathable
  • Washable
  • Inner sole does not slip
  • Grips perfectly on feet

Read our full review

KEEN Evofit One Water Sandal

Best Durability

Why we like it:

  •  Evofit fabric for comfort and protection
  • Aquagrip Traction
  • Heightened ground-feel midsole
  • Metatomical Footbed design for excellent arch support
  • American-built
  • Cleansport NXT™ for odor control

Read our full review

For hassle-free diving, snorkeling, or kayaking, go for the Wave Runner quick-drying water shoes. Built from breathable materials that are stretchy and slip-free, there is a close to zero chance of you encountering any troubles during your water sports activity.

The outsole of the shoes is thick and anti-skid, which leads to durability, whereas the drainage hole sole helps to keep your shoes as dry as possible.

We know first-hand how important it is for beginners to feel confident wearing their equipment, and this model of water shoes gives you that much-needed boost. You don’t have to worry about losing your grip when walking on the slippery surfaces, and neither do you have to worry about getting blisters – the construction of Wave Runners won’t allow this to happen.

Wave Runner Quick Drying Water Shoes
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Wave Runner Quick Drying Water Shoes:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Anti-skid outsole
  • Quick-frying mesh
  • Lace closures
  • Multiple drainage holes
  • Slip-resistant
What we like:
  • The thick yet flexible rubber sole is grippy
  • The shoes are so lightweight you don’t feel them on your feet
  • They come in bright colors
What we don’t like:
  • They run big
Known for its quality, Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Water Shoes does not disappoint! This shoe is tough, lightweight and quick-drying which makes it perfect for paddleboarding on the lake, noodling for catfish in the river or searching for agates on shore.
crocs men's swiftwater mesh water shoes
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Water Shoes:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • 100% Textile
  • Synthetic sole
  • Mesh upper
  • Imported
  • Iconic crocs comfort
  • Hook and loop closure
What we like:
  • Comfortable
  • Tough and long-lasting
  • Dries fast
  • Very light to wear
  • Impressive fit, cushion and support
What we don’t like:
  • The mesh does not really stretch
  • Sand could get caught between the foot and the inner front straps
  • Sole seems to be a bit stiffer than traditional Crocs soles
Designed to take on challenging terrains and surfaces, Merrell’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe is definitely not going to disappoint! Its sandal-like design helps your feet stay comfortable while aiding you with excellent traction to help you stay on the ground. This pair of shoe is also surprisingly quick to dry so a dry and wet environment should not be a problem.
merrell men's all out blaze sieve water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Slip-resistant (with comfort unifly midsole)
  • Leather and Fabric
  • Light and breathable design
  • Easy on and off (with Neoprene collar)
  • Bungee lace
What we like:
  • Quick-drying feature helps avoid blisters
  • Dry to wet flexible
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • Excellent traction
  • Sleek design
  • Easy cleaning
What we don’t like:
  • Needs to be worn a day or two before use to add traction
  • Not too good on slick wood
  • Needs more internal support for long distance walks
If you’re looking for the perfect water shoe for hikes along the river or any activity involving a splish splash of water, then ALEADER Mesh Slip-on is the best for you!

This shoe is designed with a solyte midsole that provides an exceptionally lightweight feel, excellent bounce-back and durability. Its open-air mesh on the upper and holes on its sole enables it to quickly dry after being soaked in water and is incredibly breathable (which is perfect for humid to hot temperatures). Along with exceptional traction in wet and slippery terrains, you can never go wrong with this pair!

aleader mesh slip-on
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the ALEADER Mesh Slip-on:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Open mesh on upper
  • Breathable and durable air mesh
  • Solyte Midsole
  • Water grain outsole
  • ComforDry Sockliner
  • Rubber Sole
What we like:
  • Durable and breathable
  • Washable
  • Inner sole does not slip
  • Grips perfectly on feet
  • Great protection and sole grip
  • Really comfortable to the feet (cushion is excellent)
  • Lightweight
What we don’t like:
  • not really perfect for long walks
  • the hole on the sole allows rocks and tiny sticks in
  • rocks can get wedged in it treads
Innovative water shoes that offer protection like no other! Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe is definitely a game changer on water shoes. This shoe is designed with a four-way stretchable upper that helps in easy on and off and is equipped with mesh panels for ventilation and quick drying. The outsole comes with an S-Trac that gives excellent traction and water management.
speedo men's surfwalker 3.0 water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Maximum breathability
  • Quick-dry
  • S-trac outsole
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Four-way Stretchable Upper
What we like:
  • Protects feet from rough terrain and blisters
  • Snugs and grips excellently
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Easy to clean
What we don’t like:
  • Make sure you get “your” size as having one that is too big or too small makes lot of difference as it does not have lace for adjustment
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not too durable (taking into consideration the price)
  • Arch support isn’t too good
With three thickness options to suit your seasonal or year-round activity, Neo Sport Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots is perfect for an adventurer who goes from warm to cold water temperatures! Its multi-purpose neoprene boot comes with a puncture resistant sole that provides thermal protection. The boot is also designed with a zip up uppers glued unto its high traction sole makes this water shoe a perfect choice for boat decks, sandy beaches and any wet or muddy surface.
neosport premium neoprene wetsuit boots
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the NeoSport Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Synthetic / Neoprene
  • Heavy duty zipper for easy on and off
  • Rugged traction sole
  • Water Entry Barrier behind zipper (prevent water entry)
  • Comes in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm
What we like:
  • Durable and comfortable to the feet
  • Excellent thermal protection
  • Great in wet, dry and rocky terrain
  • Blister protection is good
  • Snug, fit and deos not slip
What we don’t like:
  • Make sure you get “your” size as having one that is too big or too small makes lot of difference as it does not have lace for adjustment
  • Can be a little snug when dry
  • Tread design isn’t too great
  • Not good drainage
  • Water could get in
  • Soles are a bit thin
KEEN Men’s Evofit One Water Sandal is definitely putting up its game. With features that will definitely catch any adventurer’s “keen” eye. Equipped with a moisture-wicking EVOFIT fabric to provide adaptive comfort and breathable protection, acting as a second skin. Keen also features their TPU inserts for targeted stability with a uniquely formulated PU midsole that provides heightened ground-feel for agility across any terrain. With excellent traction, even in and out of the water and lastly its metatomical footbed design that gives this shoe arch support like no other!
keen men's evofit one water sandal
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the KEEN Men’s Evofit One Water Sandal:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Evofit fabric for comfort and protection
  • Aquagrip Traction
  • Heightened ground-feel midsole
  • Metatomical Footbed design for excellent arch support
  • American-built
  • Cleansport NXT™ for odor control
What we like:
  • Excellent durability
  • Superior comfort
  • Excellent arch support
  • Sleek reptilian design
What we don’t like:
  • Not perfect with water socks (makes it too tight)
Speedo Men’s Seaside Lace 5.0 Athletic all-purpose water shoe is designed to perform daily activities in the water or on land whilst providing maximum comfort. Made with a breathable mesh and features a lace-up inspired bungee cord closure for a secure fit. It also comes with a rubberized S-Trac outsole which manages water flow and improves traction for a no-slip experience.
speedo men's seaside lace 5.0 athletic water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Speedo Men’s Seaside Lace 5.0 Athletic Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Synthetic sole
  • S-TRAC outsole that offers a no-slip grip
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-dry design
  • Breathable mesh upper enhances airflow
  • 100% Textile and Synthetic
What we like:
  • Cool design
  • Superior comfort
  • Excellent fit
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
What we don’t like:
  • Thin Sole
  • Sand could get into the shoe
The sneaker-like water shoe that can take you from town to water splash. Best for multi-use, Quicksilver Men’s Amphibian Plus Athletic Water Shoe is designed with well-placed drainage ports that makes it suitable for low level water and creeks. The pair also comes with a rubber pod on its outsole that creates excellent grip and traction added with a quick-dry mesh upper.
quicksilver men's amphibian plus athletic water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Quicksilver Men’s Amphibian Plus Athletic Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • 100% Textile and Synthetic
  • Synthetic sole
  • One-piece upper mesh
  • Lava anti-odor technology
  • Custom mesh liner for comfort and breathability
  • Cushion layer in between foot bed lining and outsole
  • Outsole designed by MICHELIN
What we like:
  • Sleek design
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Great drainage
What we don’t like:
  • Should be worn with socks as it has narrow ball foot area
Adidas Outdoor Jawpaw 2 Water Shoe brings out the best of your water adventure! This slip-on water shoes are ideal for water sports that involves in and out of the water. Made with textile and rubber, this shoe comes with a ventilated climacool upper that has easy pull-on tabs, a snug fit and perforations in the midsole and outsole for maximum water drainage. Its stealth rubber outsole gives it an excellent grip and comes with a breathable, quick-drying textile upper with synthetic overlays.
adidas outdoor jawpaw 2 water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Adidas Outdoor Jawpaw 2 Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Rubber sole
  • Breathable
  • Quick-drying
  • Adidas drainage system for maximum water drainage
  • “Climacool” 360-degree cooling
  • Stealth rubber for unbeatable grip
  • Slip-on style
What we like:
  • Snug and fit
  • Quick-drying
  • Excellent drainage
  • Great traction
What we don’t like:
  • Some sand gets in through the bottom
  • Not too suitable on the beach
Columbia Men’s Drainmaker III Water Shoe is a cool-looking hybrid shoe with a sneaker-like feels but works on both land and water making it a multi-purpose footwear that can cope on both rocky terrains and on water. It is lightweight and breathable and is designed with an open-mesh with a protective toe bumper and single-pull lacing that adds to the shoe’s unique feature.
columbia men's drainmaker iii water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Columbia Men’s Drainmaker III Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Made of 100% mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Protective toe bumper
  • Single-pull lacing
  • Padded collar
  • Heel-pull tab
What we like:
  • Comfortable
  • Great water drainage
  • Great traction on slippery rocks
What we don’t like:
  • Could take time to dry out
  • Sand and small rocks could get in the drain holes
With Nike’s sporting credentials, Nike gives you their Aqua Sock 360 Mens Slippers that provides foot protection while maintaining comfort and durability. Designed to give your feet an airy, sock-like, almost barefoot feel with its two-layer mesh upper with a foam heel and rubber outsole. It also comes with a TPU heel clip, elastic collar, and strategically placed rubber pods on the outsole for flexibility & traction.
nike aqua sock 360 mens slippers
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Nike Aqua Sock 360 Mens Slippers:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • TPU heel clip
  • Elastic Collar
  • Lightweight mesh upper
  • Rubber pods on the outsole
  • True to size fit
What we like:
  • Very comfortable
  • Cool on the feet and lightweight
  • Excellent grip even in water
  • Great protection
  • Snug and sock-like feel
What we don’t like:
  • Not too durable
  • A little expensive
Vibram as being a trusted leader in performance and innovation has introduced their Vibram Men’s Signa Athletic Boating Shoe. This signa is an ultra-thin, flexible and lightweight footwear with its signature five fingers water sport shoe. This shoe is ideal for rowing, surfing, kayaking and any other water sport or water adventures. With its grip and comfort, you’d have your water adventure like no other!
vibram men's signa athletic boating shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Vibram Men’s Signa Athletic Boating Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Rubber Sole (3 mm)
  • 100% Stretch Polyester Mesh
  • Drainage holes
  • Abrasion resistant stretch polyester mesh upper
  • Wave grip outsole
What we like:
  • Very snug and comfortable
  • Flexible sole
  • High quality
  • Excellent drainage
  • Great cut and design
What we don’t like:
  • Some sand could get inside
  • Not too durable
A pair to surely enhance your outdoor performance with the versatile Teva Omnium Closed Toe Men’s Water Shoe. Equipped with a quick-drying, breathable upper and gripping Spider Rubber outsole, your feet will be prepared for wet and wild conditions on water or on land. It also comes with a quick-release buckle that aids for an easy on and off use.
teva omnium closed toe men’s water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Teva Omnium Closed Toe Men’s Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • 100% Synthetic, Mesh
  • Closed-toe sandal
  • Grosgrain webbing overlays
  • Elastic gore stretch
  • Multiple drainage ports
  • Shock-absorbing ShocPad technology in heel
  • Bungee lacing
What we like:
  • Very comfortable
  • Great arch support
  • Excellent heel grip
  • Really snug and fit
  • Great cushion
What we don’t like:
  • Durability could be an issue
  • Not enough blister protection
  • Small rocks could get in
Designed with a quick-dry upper that comes with a webbing brace that provides midfoot support, RYKA Hydro Sport makes it to the top picks for the best water shoes in the market. Made with chlorine resistant material, a removable, perforated nitracel footbed and drainage ports in sole, a sticky rubber for better traction on wet surfaces and a webbed midfoot cage provides medial and lateral support.
ryka hydro sport
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the RYKA Hydro Sport:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • 100% Synthetic and mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Aquatic cross trainer
  • Removable, perforated nitracel footbed
  • Chlorine resistant
  • Sticky rubber
  • Webbing midfoot cage
What we like:
  • Great foot support
  • Comfortable
  • Quick-drying
  • Excellent drainage design and system
  • Great traction
  • True to size
What we don’t like:
  • Shoe laces are conventional and non-elastic
  • Not too durable with extreme water exposure
  • Front could be narrow
Be it sidewalk strolling, river trekking, kayaking, or beach strolling, Keen Whisper’s waterproof sandal is the perfect choice for your footwear needs. This waterproof sandal is specially designed with a quick-draw elastic cord lacing system adjusts to a comfortable and secure fit. Its upper features a washable polyester with odor-reducing Aegis Microbe Shield®.
keen whisper sandal
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the KEEN Whisper Sandal:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Rubber sole
  • 100% polyester
  • Bungee lace capture system
  • Elastic cording
  • Hydrophobic mesh lining
  • Compression molded EVA midsole
  • Metatomical Footbed design
What we like:
  • Snug and fit
  • Excellent traction
  • Very comfortable
  • Protects your feet from blisters
  • Lightweight
What we don’t like:
  • There could be inconsistency in sizing
Looking for a water-friendly shoe with a sleek design? Look no more! Sperry Men’s Flex Deck Water Shoe is definitely a show-off with its flex deck cvo sneaker design. It comes with an adjustable bungee lace with toggle that gives you security and function for easy on/off use. It has a removable compression molded eva footbed that maximizes comfort added with molded hydro grip rubber outsole with adaptive wave-sipping disperses water underfoot to reduce slippage on wet or dry surfaces.
sperry men's flex deck water shoe
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Sperry Men’s Flex Deck Water Shoe:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • 100% Synthetic
  • Rubber sole
  • Quick-dry mesh uppers
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Removable eva footbed
  • Adjustable bungee lace
  • Unique outsole design with Patented son-r technology
  • Hydro grip rubber outsole
What we like:
  • Awesome grip and fits perfectly
  • Easy on-off lace system
  • Comfortable
  • Good arch support
  • Great traction
  • Quickly dries
What we don’t like:
  • Durability could be an issue
Lightweight and comfortable are boldly offered by Easy USA Womens Aqua Wave Water Shoes. Its design features a paneled mesh upper for drainage and breathability that comes with an extra thick durable rubber sole for rocky terrains and even on river hikes and beach strolls. One highlighted feature is its easy slip-on style and adjustable loop heel.
easy usa womens aqua wave water shoes
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Easy USA Womens Aqua Wave Water Shoes:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Thick rubber sole
  • Slip-on style
  • Textured rubber sole
  • High level of stability
What we like:
  • Soles grip well
  • Durable
  • Great support
  • Sleek design
  • Good drainage system
What we don’t like:
  • There could be inconsistency in sizing
  • Could be hard to put on and take off
  • The sand could get in
Flexible and comfortable! CIOR Quick Dry Water Sports is your affordable water shoe with the right quality. Equipped with its unique and top-quality sole with seven holes on each bottom to ensure proper water flow and quick-drying. The rubber soles are made with a comfortable and thick foam arch-support that are flexible yet thick enough to protect your feet from stepping on rocky terrains along with a breathable and smooth fabrics with fine stretch on uppers.
cior quick dry water sports
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the CIOR Quick Dry Water Sports:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Rubber sole
  • Quick-dry with drainage holes
  • Foot safety
  • Exercise of foot muscle
  • Thick foam arch-support
  • Fine stretch on uppers
  • Easy on and off with its slip-on
What we like:
  • Draining holes in the shoes aids in quick drying
  • Breathable
  • Easy removal
  • Lightweight
What we don’t like:
  • Not too durable
Quick-drying and breathable with a single-layer, open air upper mesh paneling. Speedo Hydro Comfort 4.0 has a quick-fit toggle to secure its laces with a pull-tab on heel for easy on and off use. It also comes with a perforated, removable insole, a non-marking rubber outsole and a lightweight midsole with great drainage.
speedo hydro comfort 4.0
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Speedo Hydro Comfort 4.0:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Breathable upper
  • Synthetic
  • Rubber sole
  • Quick drying
  • Lightweight midsole with side port drainage
What we like:
  • Super versatile
  • Non-slip
  • Excellent drainage
  • Wearing it without socks would be fine
  • Reasonable price
What we don’t like:
  • No arch support
  • Durability could be an issue
Made with lightweight mesh and a midfoot webbing system that integrates with slip on for lightweight breathability and an adaptive, supportive fit, Zhuanglin Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes is surely not a disappointment. It comes with a soft cushioning and breathable RB/Eva outsole, an articulated flex grooves offer plush comfort and natural range of motion plus its water grip outsole provides exceptional traction in wet and slippery conditions.
zhuanglin women's quick drying aqua water shoes
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Zhuanglin Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Features:
  • Rubber sole
  • Made of 90% fabric
  • Breathable and durable air mesh upper
  • Solyte midsole
  • Water Grip outsole
  • ComforDry sockliner
  • Quick drying
What we like:
  • Very light and breathable
  • Excellent water drainage
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Great foot grip
  • Excellent foot support
  • Stretches comfortably
What we don’t like:
  • The huge holes all over the bottom could jam rocks in the holes

Things to consider before buying a pair of water shoes:

● Material

For your comfort, the water shoes are usually made from skin-friendly materials like rubber, textile and various forms of mesh and leather. While the sole of the shoes tends to include rubber, the upper part is built with mesh, leather and textile. Before purchasing a pair of water shoes you lay your eyes on, make sure that the upper part of the shoes has some sort of breathable mesh or leather material that holds your feet snug but not overly tight. If you are a fan of textile fabric, opt for a pair with a lightweight kind of textile that is waterproof and durable enough to last you through countless contacts with water.

● Fit

Due to the essence of water, your pair of water shoes should fit your feet snug as opposed to loose. The skintight fit ensures your feet don’t wiggle too much in the shoes when you are moving around. Just like any other athletic shoe, water shoes ought to act as your second skin and move with you, thus providing you with much-needed support. It is crucial for water shoes to stay put on your feet so that your feet remain dry for a prolonged period of time and safe from foreign objects. When swimming in the ocean’s wild waters or walking in the muddy riverbeds, you wouldn’t be very glad if they suddenly came off, would you?

● Traction

Slippery surfaces and tractionless shoes don’t work well together neither in theory nor in practice. For you to keep balance and not slip off at any second, your water shoes must have good traction. If anything, traction should be the number one priority on your list of things to consider before purchasing a pair of water shoes. Without traction, you won’t be able to walk along the banks of lakes and rivers, fool around the beach rocks or even swim in the ocean if you are a beginner. So, do yourself a favor and get a pair that has rubber pods built into the soles of the shoes for a good grip and, most importantly, for your peace of mind.

Pro’s and Con’s of Water Shoes:

Pro’s

Foot Protection

Water shoes are designed for activities that involve more active pursuits where a quick change from dry to watery environment happens. They are specially designed to protect your feet from bumps, spikes, sharp rocks and abrasions while making sure the sediments and rocks don’t get in.

Underfoot Traction

Since “water” shoes are obviously designed to be used underwater, manufacturers have considered the importance of sole grips to avoid slipping in sliding surfaces. Having excellent traction aids a lot in friction which in turn helps your feet stay gripped on the ground (where it should be).

Quick Dry

This, amongst other feature, makes water shoes stand out. Its quick-dry feature aids a lot in comfort and durability. Bear in mind that water shoes are not designed to keep your feet dry (you could wear sealed rubber boots for that) but rather, water shoes are specially designed so your feet do not stay wet.

Con’s

Yes, there are con’s to water shoes as other shoes have too.

First, they aren’t as breathable as open sandals are. On hot summer days when you do not necessarily need full-foot protection, you can never go wrong with an open-toe.

Second, they are not built for low temperatures. Water shoes are not designed to provide your feet much insulation thus, on cold temperatures when your feet will be more likely to get wet, you don’t want to go for a pair of water shoes.

Third, water shoes are not built for long day hikes. They’re not that decent on land when you go over long hours of walk.

FAQ – Questions & Answers about water shoes:

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🏆 What are the Best Water Shoes?

    Water shoes are basically your feet’s best friend! Whenever you’re close to the water, whether it’s for swimming, playing, snorkeling, or scuba diving, you’ll love them! They’re designed to not only protect your feet in and out of the water but also great for comfort to your feet.

    If you want the best water shoes, you should check out our full guide here!

    However, since you’re asking, here is our Top 5 pick:

    1. ALEADER Mesh Slip-on
    2. Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe
    3. KEEN Men’s Evofit One Water Sandal
    4. Speedo Men’s Seaside Lace 5.0 Athletic Water Shoe
    5. Quicksilver Men’s Amphibian Plus Athletic Water Shoe
  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🏊‍♂️ Can you swim in water shoes?

    Water shoes are designed for a variety of water sports including kayaking, paddle boarding and even swimming in places where the ground is rocky.

    If you are planning on mostly swimming in your water shoes, it makes sense to look into the pair that would fit your feet like a glove. This will eliminate the risk of your shoes getting lost in the water or of you contaminating a bacteria that is often present in public swimming pools and hot tubs. It will also help you master your swimming skills better as your feet will be supported at all times.

    We recommend these water shoes for swimming:

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    🧦 What is the difference between aqua socks and water shoes?

    You might think that water shoes and water socks are essentially the same things, but in reality, they serve different purposes. While water shoes are usually worn when swimming, strolling along the beach, or hiking through wet rocky areas, water socks are mainly used for snorkeling.

    Water shoes have a flexible rubber sole and good traction that helps to not slip off a wet and uneven surface when stumbling upon one. They come with a mesh or a leather upper part that is breathable and quickly-drying at the same time.

    Water socks, on the other hand, are built from either neoprene or lycra material and are thus ideal for protecting your feet from jellyfish stings and other hazardous accidents when in the wild sea/ocean water.

    👉  See the full guide for Water Socks here

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    🦶🏼 Should water shoes be tight or loose?

    It’s no news that people tend to size up when purchasing shoes made from non-flexible material. This, however, should not be the case for water shoes. It is advisable to buy water shoes of your exact size for that correct fit. They are made to provide you with good traction on wet and dry surfaces alike, which a loose pair won’t be able to do.

    When exposed to the water or your natural sweat kicks in, the loose-fitting water shoes will simply slide off your feet and get lost somewhere on the bottom of the ocean/swimming pool. To avoid these troubles, pick the water shoes that fit tight and you will get a lot of use out of them before it’s time to buy a replacement pair.

    Jump to the guide to find the right fit

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    🚶🏼‍♂️ Can water shoes be used for walking?

    Since water shoes are quite versatile, they can be used for walking just as much as for water sports. Besides strolling along the beaches, you are able to wear them for hikes and pair them with socks for extra protection. Water Socks act as a layer between your skin and the shoes that help in preventing the development of a bad odor that can potentially ruin the water shoes.

    Apart from odor, wearing water shoes with socks means that no sand or gravel will come close to your feet and thus irritate it. The sole of water shoes is constructed from hardcore materials that allow you to freely walk on slippery rocks and hills without falling over.

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    🌊 Should you wear water shoes in the ocean?

    Water shoes can be worn in the ocean as much as in the sea or a lake. They act as a barrier between your bare feet and the junk that is often found in the wild waters of the ocean. If you are on a fence of whether you should invest in a pair or not, we would suggest you purchase one. It will get rid of your anxiety about the unknown when you are about to enter the ocean and protect you from unwanted incidents.

    A good-quality pair of water shoes will also help you lessen the impact of you jumping in the ocean from a cliff and thus potentially save you from some minor injuries. Moreover, if you are planning on exploring the rich flora and fauna of the ocean, a pair of water shoes makes it easy to do so.

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    😃 Are water shoes comfortable?

    When chosen correctly, water shoes are extremely comfortable and constitute an essential tool in every water sports amateur’s wardrobe.

    Not only does the snug-fitting pair of water shoes sit securely on your feet, but it also protects you from the junk that is often found in all kinds of water.

    By wearing water shoes, you equip yourself with a stability-inducing accessory that eliminates any health hazards related to slippery surfaces and unpredictable creatures hiding in the water. They allow you to easily move in every water-based environment with zero scares.

Do you have a favorite Water Shoes?

What do you love about it?

Let us know in the comments below what you think makes for the perfect Water Shoes.

45 Comments

  1. Clark

    The biggest problem I have had with water footwear is finding something that doesn’t trap sand and gravel inside and is also rugged enough for rocky portages . Any grit trapped inside becomes pretty painful during a half mile of carrying a canoe or big pack and also leads to rubbed spots under straps.

  2. Torben Lonne

    Hi Clark,

    That’s very true, but I must say that this is where I find a pair of well-fitting water shoes really great. Once sealed in the top, it’s quite hard for anything to get into mine.

  3. Chris

    Thanks for this very comprehensive review. It’s certainly made me think again about what attributes I want in a water shoe used predominantly on the boat, landing the boat at both beach and ramp and walking across rocky shore. Great work

  4. David jones

    I have an elderly mom who needs some stability in the shower. Would water shoes help. If so which ones would be the best fit

  5. Torben Lonne

    Hi David,

    Yes, they might give some stability to your mom, and might also provide some traction between her feet and the shower floor. That said, I’m sure there’s shower shoes that might do this better, and provide a better “grip”.

  6. Dennis Manske

    I cannot seem to find ones that the foot bed doesn’t become detached and ball under your foot on the fourth or fifth wearing. They seem fine until you get them wet. Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

  7. Veronika

    Whats the best shoe to use for aqua aerobics?
    Thanks

  8. Torben Lonne

    Hi Veronika,

    Is this for a pool or beach?

  9. Debbie singleton

    I need a water shoe for volleyball. I need support and not mesh

  10. Torben Lonne

    You can also go for the Neoprene option. That might work quite well.

  11. Britany

    Hi, I’m hiking in terrain that often has small streams to forge that can be knee deep and have rocky bottoms, slippery clay sides. Also riverbanks, sharp palms and nettles. I need shoes I don’t have to remove during a hike. Any suggestions?

  12. Torben Lonne

    Hi Britany,

    I think you’re more in the category of hiking Shoes if you’re in it for the long walks as well.

  13. Vicki Wiseman

    I am looking for a women’s water shoe to get in the ocean that looks like a tennis shoe . I had a broken foot sometime ago so I need some extra support on the bottom of my feet and where do I get those kind of water shoes in stores.

  14. Chanell

    Have you found anything yet. I’m having the same issue finding a shoe that does not trap the entire beach in it

  15. Omran

    Hu
    What’s the best choice for SUP# stand up paddle boarding

    Considering I will be walking on a sandy beach then stepping in the sea water and getting wer

  16. Torben Lonne

    Hi Omran,

    Water shoes are perfect for paddleboarding – Quite simply they work for the short walk on the beach and getting in and out of the water. Any of the above shoes will do here.

  17. Torben Lonne

    Hi Viki,

    Thanks for the question. If you look the above guide, you’ll find the Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe – (#2) that’s like a shoe – If you click on the link, you can find the Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe as well.

  18. Star

    I need a pair of water shoes that are tight enough not to move and slow me down when swimming, i haven’t found anything that works.

  19. Jorge

    What about adidas Climacool Terrex Voyager?

    Could that be a great deal between water shoes and hiking???
    Or otherwise they would be too soft and be destroyed using them inside the water???

  20. Torben Lonne

    Hi Jorge,

    We haven’t tested them, so I really can’t say how good they are as Water Shoes.

  21. Elijah

    Hello, I’m looking for a pair of water shoes that would be good for water parks and the beach but also something that provides good arch support as I have flat feet.

  22. Bob

    I have tried several pairs of sandals, different designs and correctly sized. But all of them have chaffed against my feet resulting in sores/wounds. Wearing socks is not my first choice around/in the water. What would you recommend?

  23. Torben Lonne

    Hi Bob,
    Have you tried a pair of Water shoes? If not, try this out, as they’ll often help out with a tighter fit.

  24. MARILYN E KOEHR

    I’ve worked on my feet for 50 years, and now find I am diabetic, so they’re even worse. Being in the ocean is one of my favorite things, but I have trouble getting in and out. Part of the issue is weakening muscles, so I’m working on that. But the other part is my feet on the rocks. Is there a particular water shoe, or type of one, that you would recommend. The cheap ones at the beach shops don’t do the job now.

  25. George Myatich

    My old Cuda’s water shoes are falling apart. They have to be 20 plus years. They are ankle high and have a Velcro strap to snug up. Hope you can find a similar replacement.

  26. Kendall Harris

    Hello,

    Our pool is above ground and has a vinal liner around it. Will water shoes with the silicone/rubber bottoms tear the liner or would they recomended?

  27. Torben Lonne

    Hi Kendall,

    Usually, the liner in a pool are quite sturdy and will not be damaged by water shoes. That said, it’s hard to say in your case as I don’t know the status of your pool.

  28. Heidi Bluth

    My son has wide feet so I’m afraid to buy a water shoe that is too narrow especially in the toe part. Are any water shoes on the wide side?

  29. Torben Lonne

    Hi Heidi,

    Yes, If you go through the above guide, a few of them should be okay for wide feet. Crocks water shoes are quite good here.

  30. Electropanther

    Is there a type of swimming shoe that protects from glass or metal puncturing your feet

  31. Mary

    Best shoes for walking underwater on slippery rocks?

  32. pdteach7@gmail.com

    Hi. I slipped and injured myself on the steps of a built in pool. I am looking for the best grip water shoe to use in pools.

  33. Annee Borthwick

    Aged 75 here. Easy getting into and taking off shower /bathtub anti-slip shoes is the PrimeReason to chose a flipflop like Crocs or Clarks. Old Moms need to want to use them every time!

  34. Torben Lonne

    Hi there,

    Go for one of the shoes with a “regular” shoe sole. They’ll often give you a better grip.

  35. Torben Lonne

    Hi Mary,

    No shoes will really work against the slippery on the rocks, as it’s made from algae and seaweed growth. So, pick a pair with a hard sole as this will keep your feet in the best position if you slip on a rock. And make sure to walk carefully.

  36. Torben Lonne

    Yes and no, most with a hard sole will give you some protection, but not from too sharp objects.

  37. Trent

    Do you have reviews of water shoes that are usable for portages? We just came back from a week long trip that ended with some very muddy, root and rock covered portage trails. Looking to find some supportive water shoes with good tread.

  38. Sue Beadle

    My husband’s tevo slip on water shoes has died.due to Covid we can’t go shopping. What do you think would be similar to the old tevo…. not sandals and tevo has gotten too expensive
    Thanks I have not asked this question before

  39. Torben Lonne

    Hi Sue,

    That’s a good question. I’m not sure what would work as the Tevo 🙂 Most of the shoes are closed on the top.

  40. Torben Lonne

    Hi Trent,

    In the guide you’ll find a few shoes with hard soles, that would be the preferred shoes to these conditions.

  41. Michael

    Hello,

    I’m looking for an SUP-compatible shoe that I can put orthotic insoles in (arthritis in the left foot). I also need a certain amount of rigidity and support in the heel and mid-foot, but flexibility in the forefoot (complicated, I know). Any recommendations in the models above?

  42. Torben Lonne

    Hi Michael,

    Sorry, but I think that’s above our experience in the shoes. I’d recommend you to try out a few of the above and see if you can find one that fits with the insoles in.

    Good luck

  43. Sally Meredith

    I have a spinal condition which leads to lack of feeling in my feet.
    I have soft skin which requires protection and cushioning.
    Any pressure marks will develop quickly into ulcers.
    I require a wide opening to slip my foot inside the shoe, and for it to attach securely.
    I would be using the shoes in a hydrotherapy pool with aquatic ankle weights as well as in a shower and, lastly, walking on the sand into the water at the beach.
    I would very much appreciate some feedback .

    Sally

  44. Torben Lonne

    Hi Sally,

    This is not in our area of expertise. I’d recommend you to see a specialist to get the correct help in finding the right shoe for you.

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