16 Best Water Shoes Reviewed for Men & Women

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Water shoes are the shoes you wear when you want to walk on the beach but the sand is hot enough to fry eggs!

If you fancy a swim but can't abide the feel of seaweed around your toes or hate the feel of sharp pebbles on the seabed that makes you hobble, then you need some watery foot protection!

Are you going kayaking but know there is a bit of a hike before you get to where you are going and it's going to be wet? Grab some water shoes and relax knowing they won't be ruined while you have your fun.

Or maybe you are going to the club for a swim, or perhaps the water park, and don't fancy picking up some fungus another kind person left on the water slide for your feet.

Welcome to the world of water shoes that can protect and serve your feet in the wet as well as doing a bit of city walking beforehand.

We've got lots more information on water shoes coming up after the reviews but if you want to jump straight there and read up a bit more then use the orange button below. When you want to come back here use the square orange button located bottom right for most screens.

For our readers who know what they want and want to get on checking out what I think are the best water shoes for 2019, let's get straight to it.

The tables below gives a quick view of the shoes covered for men and women. Use the jump links in the table and the reviews to jump up and down the page quickly and easily. Blue links are for men, pink for women.

Navigation Tables & Quick Look (Men's – Unisex – Women's)


Best Water Shoes for Men


Best Water Shoes for Women


Men's Water Shoes

Best Water Shoes for Rocky Beaches for Men

1. Keen Clearwater CNX

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Washable Hiking Sandal
Use:Light Hikes, Rocky Beaches, Walking in Water
Sizing:Comes Up Slightly Small & A Little Narrow
Grip:Good Grip Generally
Venting:Whole Upper
Weight:Lightweight
Drying:Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:84%

Overview

Keen has trimmed the weight down to about 9oz for these sandals.

A thin sole gives a minimalist feel but with support in the contoured footbed for your arch and a metatarsal ridge to help your toes.

These sandals can be used in water or in the dry. Best suited for rocky beaches or light hiking, crossing streams, and around boats or kayaking.

Also fine for walking in sand and on the beach.

Fitting

The sandal is only available in medium size and does come up a little on the skinny and short side. If you are a half size order bigger though there is some latitude because of the open construction.

If you are very wide footed they are probably going to press in on the sides of your foot and feel uncomfortable. The best wide width water shoe is the Keen Newport H2 and this will fit you better.

Best Uses

The Keen Clearwaters are thin hiking sandals by description but are actually very adaptable to various uses.

Although marketed as a hiking sandal, most hiking involves topography that demands more protection than sandals can inherently provide. Of course, some hiking environments will be fine for sandals in which case these are great.

However, I think the best use for these is for walking on rocky beaches. The soles are thick enough to handle pebbles or for walking over big wet rocks and the shoe is not terrible at managing sand – which many shoes on the list do not really handle very well.

They are fine for short hikes but not suited to rugged long hikes where a proper hiking boot will give more support and more protection.

If you are walking through wet streams and riverbeds then the thin soles will give enough underfoot protection. But if scrambling up rocks with bracken and thorns then get yourself a hiking boot.

For fishing, boating and walking on the sand they are good. They are really good water shoes for rocky beaches looking for shellfish & crabs they are great. Also pretty good for walking in the sand as the open back lets the sand fall out.

Features

These are very light sandals with soles that are thin but enough to keep the soles protected against small rocks and pebbles or sharp barnacles and the like.

The footbed is molded to give support to your foot arches and a metatarsal ridge gives some texture to the toe areas and improves grip and foot positioning.

No insulation of course for colder climates but there is a rubber toe cap to prevent too much toe stubbing.

A good non-marking rubber sole gives plenty of grip on all but the slippiest of surfaces. The upper is fabric & synthetic with a hydrophobic lining that helps reduce rubbing.

An elastic ‘bungee' type lacing system helps ties the shoe down to secure it on your foot too.

Machine washable and quite quick to dry they are a good option for those wanting a bit more than minimal sole protection.

A good choice for travelers who want to leave the hotel, wander around town a bit before heading down to the beach for a swim because they are really multi-purpose.

Wrap Up

A versatile light hiking sandal that can be used for all sorts of things.

Use it on hikes, short walks before heading to the beach, in the water or on the boat deck.

The price is higher for this more substantial shoe so it's not for one-off wear.

A good value shoe for you if you take active holidays a few times a year and will get good use out of the shoe.

Keen Clearwater – Features of Interest

Good Things

Thin But Protective Sole

Offers Some Arch Support

Water Resistant Materials

Bungee Lacing for Fit

Machine Washable

Hydrophobic Fabric Lined

Very Lightweight

Not So Good Things

Come up Narrow & Small

Only Good Value if You Will Use Them


Best Men's Water Shoes for Kayaking

2. Crocs Swiftwater for Men

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Crocs Water Shoe – Mesh
Use:Light Walking, Water Sports & Walking in Water
Sizing:Good Width – Length a Little Short
Grip:Good Grip Generally
Venting:Most of The Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:92%

Overview

Crocs have come a way since their first smelly plastic shoes and have improved their footbed materials over time too.

The Swiftwater is a basic Crocs sole with a mesh upper to partially cover the foot.

Great if you are walking about in rivers and streams or in the sea because the sole is quite comfortable and will protect against small sharp rocks and stones.

But perhaps one of the best uses is for kayaking because of their all synthetic composition and sole that's sturdy enough for treading in rocky river beds.

Not so great for walking in the sand but some of the best water shoes for the ocean.

Fitting

The Crocs water shoe is only available in a medium width fitting but that is built on a fairly wide last. the fit will probably be fine for you if you normally wear a medium or wide shoe.

Not so great if you wear wider than simply wide though.

The fast drying mesh uppers have a hook & loop strap to undo when you go to put them on and which can be tightened down to secure the shoe on your foot. This allows for a bit of leeway in foot shapes it will fit.

Best Uses

The shoe is somewhat adaptable since it can be worn for regular walking about but not for multi-mile expeditions or hiking.

They are good for kayaking and around boats generally, they work in water, and on dry land.

It is not so good in the sand though so as a beach shoe there are better solutions. This is because the shape of the sole allows sand to collect under the front part of your arch and gets trapped between the mesh sides and foot which can cause blisters.

If using at the beach use them to walk on wet sand to any rocks or at the edge of the water and you should be fine.

Features

The Croslite material used for the sole provides good comfort and is looped up around the front of the shoe to provide a toe-cap to protect against hidden aquatic creatures, rocks and sharp stones on muddy stream beds.

The shoe is built on a wider than normal last to give a roomier fit. The mesh uppers are very quick drying and secured with a hook and loop strap.

A loop at the rear helps you pull on the shoe which opens up fairly wide with the strap undone.

The footbed is shaped to provide a bit of support but you should not be expecting support at the same level that a full sneaker would provide.

Great for people in the water a lot but less good for sand lovers.

Wrap Up

Not really great for all day wear but great for donning to wear for a paddle in the sea and one of the best water shoes for kayaking.

Also good for shorter hikes on your way to some water activity – rafting or the like.

Not great in the sand as it traps it but suited to most other water-based wear.

A great idea for taking on any of the many nature-themed holidays we take these days.

Crocs Swiftwater – Features of Interest

Good Things

Comfy Crocs Soles

A Little Support from Footbed

Quick Drying

Strap for Better Fit

Easy Wash

Not So Good Things

Not So Good In Sand

Footbed Traps Sand


Best Water Shoe for Cruises for Men

3. Aleader Aqua Water Shoe

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Mesh Water Shoe
Use:Boating, Wet Sand & Pool
Sizing:Quite Wide – Good Length
Grip:Good But Traps Stones
Venting:Through Mesh Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quick – Overnight
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Removable
Rating:92%

Overview

I nearly headed this ‘Best Water Shoes for Cruising for Men' and then it dawned on me that might be misconstrued!!

Anyway, this super lightweight travel-friendly vegan shoe with enclosed mesh uppers and soles full of holes.

The soles are full of holes to let the water drain quickly so that's intentional.

Easy to wash out and dries very quickly for an enclosed type shoe.

One of the best cheap water shoes so the lack of durability should not bother you too much.

Fitting

A budget shoe that is made to get your feet wet.

It only comes in a Medium fitting but there are at least some half sizes up to 11.5 and shoe goes up to a 14 but does run a little small in length.

The mesh upper is quite thin but does have an open throat and proper tongue that has a bit of give in it to get the shoe on.

That said if you are wide footed you might find the fit a bit tight.

Best Uses

The biggest drawback with this water shoe is the holes in the bottom which work excellently as drainage outlets but also suck up stones like hoovers. These stones then poke through the bottoms and demand you pick them out.

For this reason, the shoe is only useful on fairly flat surfaces. Wet sand, around boats, at the edge of the sea and in water parks and swimming pools. But the best use is for messing around on cruises.

The other big drawback is the mesh footbed which traps crud entering the shoe from the holes in your soles and getting stuck between the footbed and mesh lining.

It is not always easy to get the trapped material out which can end up smelling if you don't take the time to keep them clean.

Features

A budget shoe with an enclosed mesh upper which is a barrier to the sun.

Great water drainage and easy to wash and dry very quickly. Well suited to general outdoor activities around the water.

The design though does require wear in fairly clean environments and it is not great with sand which gets in through the mesh and underfoot and then starts to work like sandpaper for blistering feet.

In the right environment a super budget water shoe but in the wrong one a nightmare. They are ideally suited to wear while on a cruise because the ship deck is free of the things that will cause this shoe difficulty.

Wrap Up

A budget water shoe better suited to surfaces that are not sandy or stony.

Good for boating use or for use around the swimming pool.

A good shoe for travel to wear between rest breaks on holiday of for the relatively clean environment of cruise ship decks.

A good value water shoe that won't break the bank.

Aleader Aqua Water Shoe – Features of Interest

Good Things

Cheap

Water Drains Easily

Easy Wash

Super Quick Dry

Enclosed Upper Keeps Off Sun

Not So Good Things

Traps Sand That Rubs

Has a Stone Fetish That Will Drive You Nuts


Best Water Shoes for Beach Wear for Men

4. Speedo Surfwalker 3.0

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Casual Beach & Pool Shoe
Use:Beach Swimming Pool
Sizing:Long but Narrow
Grip:Nothing Special
Venting:Partial Mesh Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quick – Overnight
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Removable (Can't Replace)
Rating:85%

Overview

This shoe has one use – messing about at the beach or around the poolside. You might come to the conclusion these are perhaps the best water shoes for the pool – on vacation rather than serious swimming though.

Perfect for lazy holidays where you will be lounging about and swimming most of the day but do take care with sun protection if that is your intent.

Very thin soles good enough to protect your sole against small stones and the like. You will feel large stones and sharp objects, like urchin's spines, can find their way through.

Not great on slippery rocks nor really substantial enough for shellfish searching on jagged rocks.

Fitting

The shoe is intended to be tight fitting similar to a diving sock with a thicker sole. It comes up pretty long but rather narrow so if you are wide footed you may have difficulty getting it on and off.

The upper is flexible and does give, but exerts some force as it tries to return to shape if you have larger feet.

The very thin sole is not suited to any more demanding use and not designed for it.

As a shoe to pack for a vacation where you intend to spend time around a hotel pool dipping in and out through the day it is perfect as it is super lightweight.

Also for those beach holidays where relaxation is the main objective.

The price point and weight make it perfect for these purposes.

Best Uses

The shoe is intended to wear around the pool, walking on the beach or swimming in the sea. It does this job well.

It has an insole which provides some cushioning but not on a level anywhere near a trainer or boot. It is removable to aid drying but there are no replacements to be found so far as I could source.

A standard orthotic might be a solution but most are not made to be immersed in water and given the price point it would be better to just replace the shoes.

Features

The elastic type upper is stretchy but quite constraining. A snug fit is how Speedo describe it but there is a wide range of foot shapes and snug to a normal foot would translate to tight in a wider fatter foot.

The upper has a mesh panel to help with breathability and the sole has drainage ports to help water drain out of the shoe. These work well.

The perfect water shoe for in and out of the ocean or pool and OK for walking in sand.

They do help keep the harmful effects of the sun from burning the top of your foot which is a good benefit.

Wrap Up

A good shoe for relaxing environments but the thin sole limits its use.

If you are going on a beach holiday or going to be lounging poolside – they'll be great.

Not suited to general wear though so a little limiting.

Good for travel as easy to pack.

Speedo Surfwalker 3.0 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Protects Top of Foot From Sun

Good for Swimmers

Washable

Quick Drying

Cushioning Washable Insole

Super Lightweight for Travellers

Not So Good Things

Speedo Don't Sell Replacement Insoles

Limited Use Types

Limited Protection From Sole

Token Toe Stubbing Protection


Best Water Shoe Wide Feet for Men

5. OluKai Ohana

25% savings
OLUKAI Men's Ohana, Kona, 9 D-Medium
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Vegan Thong Beach Sandal
Use:Walking & Water Play
Sizing:Wider Last
Grip:Fair Grip
Venting:Open Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick
Sole:Non-Marking Synthetic
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:93%

Overview

When you buy an OluKai product you get great supportive footwear with a contribution to our environment all built on a good, wide last.

This vegan, 100% synthetic water shoe sandal is made for the water and is a cut above the quality of most of the competition.

Good traction, good durability, and multi-purpose use need not limit it to around water even though that is the design focus.

Great support for a thong style flip flop and good quality materials.

Fitting

Although this sandal comes only in a medium width fitting, the last is wider than most and so will fit a medium to wide foot size. They will not fit very wide feet so well.

There is a good range of lengths available up to 18 men's size, but only in whole sizes which is fine for an open sandal.

Best Uses

This thong style sandal is ideal for general wear in and around the waterside.

The comfortable and supportive footbed makes them suited to walking around on dry pavements and in the sand, though sand can get trapped between the top strap and instep which you can rectify with a quick shake.

Features

Quite multi-purpose but there is no sun protection to the top of your foot with this style. There is no toe protection either of course so stay clear of stubbing your toes on large rocks!

The faux leather straps look great and have a foam & knit lining for added comfort and the footbed feels very comfy as well as supportive underfoot.

The whole shoe is synthetic and so vegan-friendly as well as super lightweight.

Perfect for travelers and those going on a beach holiday or for around the swimming pool as well as for general walking around beachside towns when you want a break from lying prostrate and toasting.

Wrap Up

A great multi-purpose thong style shoe.

Use it on hikes, short walks before heading to the beach, in the water or on the boat deck.

The price is higher for this more substantial shoe so it's not for one-off wear.

A good value shoe for you if you take active holidays a few times a year and will get good use out of the shoe.

OluKai Ohana – Features of Interest

Good Things

Great Supportive Footbed

Foam Lined Straps

Comfortable to Wear

Great General Footwear Around Water

Quick Drying & Washable

Not So Good Things

Super Wide Feet Not Catered For


Best Men's Water Shoes for Snorkeling

6. Vibram Signa FiveFingers

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Barefoot Marine
Use:Mainly In Water
Sizing:True
Grip:Not Outstanding Wet
Venting:Moderate Through mesh Upper
Weight:Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick
Sole:Vibram Megagrip (When Dry)
Insole:N/A
Rating:80%

Overview

Vibram Five Fingers sounds a bit like a mafia moniker but these shoes are purpose specific.

Perhaps the best water shoes for swimming in the ocean and for getting to and from the sea walking on flat or moderately uneven terrain.

Good around the pool too though you might get a few odd looks!

Fitting

Only available in medium but the hook and loop straps are there to adjust fit.

The fit is the issue really because with individual pockets for each toe and so many different foot shapes, it is really quite unlikely your toes will fit perfectly.

Either one or more toes will be too short or too long. Not a good chance of a perfect fit especially if you have a slim or low height foot.

The hook and loop straps work fine for medium shaped feet but do not suit smaller girthed feet very well as the straps end up at the end of their range.

Best Uses

This is definitely a water shoe for wearing whilst snorkeling or swimming in waters where the sea bed is sharp. There's enough protection on the sole to let you wear them on the way to the beach as long as the surfaces are not extreme.

Good grip in the dry but not so much in the wet makes them not great for surfing as they will slip on a waxed board.

Intended to let your feet feel the ground in a minimalist fashion which I personally don't care for when walking on land but which is ideal when in the water.

If you intend to be in and out of the water a lot the sole is thicker than some of the other shoes here and provide a good level of protection.

Features

You may look like someone from planet Zargon wearing these but the idea is to mimic barefoot walking.

Personally, I think the design has some way to improve and fit is always going to be an issue unless the materials are stretchy enough and then you have problems with the shoe becoming loose.

If you want a water shoe to protect your feet on the ocean floor whilst swimming and to get you to the ocean possibly a short walk from where you park up, then these might be ideal.

They are hopeless in dry sand because they fill up and it all gets stuck in there if you are not in water.

Wrap Up

A dedicated water shoe intended to protect your feet whilst snorkeling or swimming.

Not really intended for wearing for long periods on land but OK for wear on the boat when you are dipping in and out the water although the grip is not great on wet surfaces.

This is a specific purpose water shoe and so is not really in direct comparison to the others on this list.

An excellent water shoe for snorkellers and going on day boat trips with swimming and snorkeling featured.

Vibram Signa FiveFingers – Features of Interest

Good Things

You Can Feel The Ground

Better Than Barefoot

Sole Sturdy Enough For Paths

Straps To Secure

Individual Toes

Not So Good Things

Is it a Gimmick?

Fills With Sand in the Dry

Fitting Issues


Best Men's Water Shoe for Hiking

7. Columbia Mens Drainmaker IV

Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe
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(As of: 2019/09/18 7:06 am - Details)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Water Resistant Hiking Sneaker
Use:Light Hikes, Dry Land or Water
Sizing:True
Grip:Excellent
Venting:Through Midsole & Mesh
Weight:Quite Lightweight
Drying:Quite Quick
Sole:Excellent Wet or Dry
Insole:Perforated Cushioning
Rating:90%

Overview

Definitely the pick of the bunch here for wet hiking, regular walking and walking that takes you through the water.

A proper shoe with a decent midsole, good drainage and excellent support for long wear comfort.

Not a shoe for swimming or wading but more for light hiking, regular town walking, boating and perfect for cruising. And Columbia shoes are generally great!

Fitting

Sadly, another medium only fit shoe which does fit true to size for most users.

The shoe is trainer style with a full lacing system which is compromised by the rather poor laces which you might like to swap out.

Sizes up to 15 and half sizes to 11.5 make length no problem.

If you are wider footed you will likely find these water shoes a trifle tight.

Best Uses

The Drainmaker IV does allow sand and small pebbles to enter the inside of the shoe from the drainage holes which makes them pretty unsuitable for walking in soft dry sand or over ground littered with small stones.

I think they are the best water shoes for light and wet hiking and most boating uses though. The real benefit is the support the shoe will give when you are just walking about because they behave much as a premium sneaker for comfort and support.

So for those who want a lightweight sneaker for holidays where you are walking about town one minute, walking along the water's edge the next and taking in the air and then boarding a speedboat for your next adventure – perfect!

Features

A mesh upper that breathes and protects your foot from the ravages of the sun with a proper lacing system to secure the water shoe to your foot. As mentioned the laces are not the greatest but they are easily changed.

An excellent high grip non-marking outsole keeps you secure as long as you are not climbing wet slimy moss, algae-covered rocks or other slippery surfaces where nothing can be expected to grip.

Good quality shock absorbing midsole to protect your foot while you are out on your excursions which makes for a perfect choice for going cruising, not least because they are so lightweight too.

Wrap Up

A versatile multi-purpose sports sneaker that is best for wet hikes and general use on wet land.

A more substantial shoe than most of the rest because it is a well adapted, lightweight, walking exercise shoe to handle wet conditions on multiple walking surfaces and made to be worn all day if necessary.

Given the use purpose is entirely different from the shoes intended for wear whilst on the beach or swimming it stands a class apart from the rest of the shoes in our list.

An excellent water shoe for hiking in very wet walking conditions underfoot where the beach and pool are not forefront and center.

Columbia Drainmaker IV – Features of Interest

Good Things

Quality Water Resistant Sneaker

Shock Absorbing Midsole

Good Grip from Outsole

Good for Boat Decks

Quality Materials

Great Athletic Shoe for Wet Conditions

Not So Good Things

Soft Dry Sand Gets Trapped in Shoe

Poor Laces

Only Medium Width


Best Cheap Water Shoe for Men

8. Aleader Slip-On Water Shoe

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Budget Water Shoes
Use:Dry Land or Water
Sizing:True
Grip:Fair
Venting:Through Sole & Mesh
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber with Holes
Insole:Perforated
Rating:86%

Overview

This is a poolside or clearwater creek walking type of shoe more than a sandy, pebbly beach walking kind of shoe.

The reason being all those holes in the sole to let water drain out which unfortunately sucks sand and small pebbles in, uncomfortably underfoot.

If you keep them free from sandy, pebbly or worse muddy cruddy riverbeds, then you'll probably be happy with their performance.

Fitting

Only medium sizes but they will stretch a bit to fit a standard wide foot. The wider footed you are the tighter they will be and the more difficult to put on.

Other than that and the loops on the top of the instep and back of the heel to help get them on, there is not much else to add.

Best Uses

As I mentioned in the intro, these shoes are great for general mooching about and around the pool or clean water environments.

Hopeless on dry sand or dirty environments as the crud just squelches through the drainage holes and up through the midsole.

Features

A very lightweight shoe, perfect for travel and around the pool or walking the dog through clearwater streams if the weather is nice and hot.

Travel shoes don’t need hundreds of shoe features anyway.

Wrap Up

A very light budget water shoe that is versatile if not particularly durable.

Its best uses are away from surfaces that are muddy or dirty or littered with small stones and also away from dry sand.

The price is cheap and good for one season's wear.

A good value shoe for you even if you will only be wearing it for a limited time.

Aleader Slip-On Water Shoe – Features of Interest

Good Things

Good Looking

Nice Simple Mesh Shoe

Comfortable for Short Walks

Great Drainage

Quite Quick Drying

Not So Good Things

Loves to Collect Sand, Mud & Stones

Hard to Put On When Wet

Don't Expect Wonderful Arch Support


Best Women's Water Shoes

Best Water Shoes for Rocky Beaches for Women

9. Keen Women's Whisper

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Water Sandals for Rocky Beaches & Hiking
Use:Light Hikes, Rocky Beaches, Walking in Water
Sizing:Tiny Bit Short but Wide
Grip:Good
Venting:Open Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quite Quick
Sole:Rubber Non-Marking
Insole:Great Integral Footbed
Rating:91%

Overview

An excellent water shoe for walking over rocky beaches or light hiking which lets you navigate rivers and coves before you get to your water sports destination.

Good for walking on the beach as sand just falls out and plenty of protection from the sole to stop those little pebbles annoyingly poking you.

In fact, since sand is something many water shoes do not handle very well, these are likely the best water shoes on the list that are sand capable and have soles that are meaty enough to protect your feet from pebble poke and for navigating wet rocks. So the best water shoe for rocky beaches is the Keen Whisper.

If your day may take you through wet and dry surfaces or you fancy cooling your tootsies in that crystal clear cool water on a hot summer day then get these quality water shoes.

Fitting

Sizes 5 – 11 with half sizes will suit most foot lengths and although the width fitting only comes in medium, the last is fairly generous in the width.

If you have very wide feet then you may have issues with fit.

The upper has a quick draw elastic lacing system to tighten and secure this water shoe to your foot and sort of pulls it all together.

Best Uses

For me, the best use is on the beach and when I want to go climbing over beach rocks with the kids on our beachcombing expeditions.

But they are also useful for hiking, aside from very rugged surfaces or those where your feet need protecting from brambles, thorns, and spikes, these shoes can take you anywhere pretty much.

They are a premium brand so will look classy enough for that around the world cruise as well as taking you out on that excursion to Copacabana beach or the Statue of Christ in Rio.

Great comfort and support from the metatomical footbed for dry walks yet equally happy splashing around in the water. I call these my water babies.

Features

Easy care – just wash on delicates in the washing machine and allow to thoroughly air dry out of the sun.

Hydrophobic linings to the straps and around the heel allow the material against your shin to dry as quickly as possible.

An excellent sole & footbed which together give great arch support, cushioning and shock absorbance to your stride.

A well thought out system of lacing to secure the sandal keeps it on the foot without it having to be tight and a huge range of colors to choose from making this our best choice water shoe for women in the list.

Wrap Up

Like the men's version, this is a versatile light hiking sandal that can be used for a variety of things.

But perhaps my favorite use of the Keen Whisper Sandal is for walking over rocks on the beach because the grip is great, the soles are thick enough and the sandals are not so annoying when walking on sand either.

If you do a fair bit of beachcombing or light hiking and can get the use out of them, then they represent value for money as they are pretty durable.

Keen Whisper Sandal – Features of Interest

Good Things

Wonderfully Comfortable

Great Color Range

Comfortable Arch Support

Dries Quick & Easy to Wash

Toe Protection Cap & Good Grip

Not So Good Things

A Wider Fitting Would Be Helpful for Some


Best Water Shoes for Kayaking for Women

10. Crocs Swiftwater for Women

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Mesh Water Shoe
Use:Light Walking, Water Sports & Walking in Water
Sizing:Good Width – Good Length
Grip:Good Grip Generally
Venting:Most of The Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:95%

Overview

Such a versatile shoe for most of us. General walking, around the pool and for walking in streams or in the sea are all perfectly suited activities for these Crocs.

As with the men's shoe, the footbed is shaped to give arch support but as the shoe has open sides this allows sand and small stones to get trapped which is not so easy to shake out.

It is not Crocs vs Water Shoes but THE Crocs Water shoe.

Fitting

These shoes fit to normal size and are available in whole sizes only. If you are normally a half size my advice is to get the next size up.

The upper has a hook and loop strap which you can use to tighten the shoe onto your foot and it seems a better length than the men's version and works pretty well.

Best Uses

This water shoe is very versatile and is fine for regular walking. The only caveat to that would be that over a prolonged period the synthetic materials can trap sweat which is a little unpleasant. For this reason not good for walking long distances.

They are great in water or out, and good for beachcombing or paddling in the sea or clean water streams. Not so good in loose sand or small pebbled surfaces where the stones can become an annoyance when they get trapped.

Also great for poolside and for all sorts of water sports as they tighten down well and have a good grip.

Features

A comfortable footbed which is the hallmark of Crocs makes a good starting point.

The hook and loop strap allows a range of foot shapes to be accommodated but I should say that over time the hook and loops do tend to lose their ‘stickiness'.

The sole is quite grippy though and water drains very rapidly to allow quick drying of the shoe.

A great sandal for most summer adventures that don't involve soft sand and pebbles and great if you are into water sports and like easy washing.

Wrap Up

This is a water shoe that excels in and around water.

Even though the sole is fairly thin, it is not as thin as most water shoes and offers enough protection underfoot for getting into and out of your kayak and spread a bit of load wherever you put your feet.

It is also fine around the pool but really not so great in dry sand because it gets stuck under your feet and becomes uncomfortable.

If kayaking is your thing or you are around water but not around dry sand then these water shoes are a great choice.

Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandals – Features of Interest

Good Things

Good Footbed

Works Well Wet or Dry

OK for Short Walking Trips

Keeps Sun Off the Top of Your Foot

Quite Easy to Get On or Off

Not So Good Things

A Sand & Pebble Trap


Best Water Shoes for the Beach for Women

11. Vionic Orthaheel Tide Sport

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Flip Flop Water Shoe
Use:Versatile But No Protection
Sizing:True Fit Mostly
Grip:Good Grip
Venting:Open Style
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:88%

Overview

Flip flops are the ultimate shoe for walking on the beach because any trapped sand you just kick out.

The Orthoheel goes the extra mile though with its great supportive footbed in place of the flat spongy horrors you find with most flip flops.

That good support makes these flip flop water shoes stay more comfortable for longer.

The fact they dry quickly and are happy getting wet is the icing on the cake.

Fitting

Only whole sizes but unless you have a very wide fit you should be good to go.

The open, though contoured, footbed gives plenty of flexibility in this open type design.

Best Uses

These are undoubtedly the best water shoes for vacation and top of the list for those long lazy beach walks along the side of the ocean. I am in my element with the breeze in my hair and the rhythmic pounding in my ears, at one with raw nature.

The only thing that will put me off is the sand. Either boiling my soles or getting everywhere you don't want to feel it.

Well, these shoes don't keep the sand out but they do let you shake it loose which is OK.

Even better to wander along at the edge of the waves on the wetter sand and who cares if one wave bravely washes higher and over your foot. So cool!

Other than that you can wear them around and about general walking and for most uses that do not need protection. On that point, there is no protection to the upper foot skin so get out that sunscreen.

Features

The main features are the excellent footbed and support and comfort that brings and the generally good materials.

The toe post is also quite comfortable for this water flip flop.

Super easy to care for and quite likes a wash now and again but ready for action not long after if left swinging in the breeze.

A great travel shoe!

Wrap Up

A great supportive thong style sandal that is great at the beach.

But beach and sand is not its only strength because this thong is so comfortable you'll be quite happy walking around town before you head off to the beach.

They look good and feel good and your feet will be happy with the support so what's not to like?

A great value versatile shoe that is perfect for holidays or beach visits.

Vionic Orthaheel Tide Sport – Features of Interest

Good Things

Great Footbed

Easy to Wash

Comfortable & Supportive

Multi-Purpose

Likes Water

Not So Good Things

Only Medium Width Fittings


Best Water Shoe for Wet Hiking for Women

12. Viakix Hiking Sandals

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Versatile Hiking Sandal
Use:Multi-Use
Sizing:Runs a Little Short So Upsize
Grip:Fair Grip
Venting:Open Style
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:82%

Overview

A tougher than normal sandal suitable for light hikes and quite happy dealing with water.

Some good arch support from the sandal though the sole is flexible so the picture shows a greater ‘mound' at the arch than will be the reality under your weight.

Nevertheless, a good mid-priced sandal that feels comfortable but you need to order up a size from your regular shoes.

Fitting

Only a medium width but the sandal style allows for a bit of leeway which is helped by the hook and loop strap at the instep.

Unless you are very wide footed ordering up a larger size than normal should give you a good shot at getting the correct size.

Best Uses

Really quite a versatile shoe with its more substantial sole and arch support.

Whilst serious hiking is probably stretching its use type a bit, the Viakix are suited to light hiking that involves navigating a bit of water without damage.

If you are looking for a shoe to take on longer hikes then unless these are on even paths you should not really be considering a sandal but rather a dedicated hiking shoe or boot.

Fine for cruise use or around the pool but less suited to constant water immersion because they are not really styled for serious aquatics.

Pretty good for an out and about shoe especially in the tropics where you might get drenched.

Features

The main features of this shoe are the robust sole which can handle rougher surfaces than the average sandal.

A good supportive outer and midsole that flexes for a bit of cushioning and the fact that the materials used are water resistant and thus washable are the other features.

Wrap Up

A versatile light hiking sandal that can be used for all sorts of things.

Use it on hikes, short walks before heading to the beach, in the water or on the boat deck.

The price is higher for this more substantial shoe so it's not for one-off wear.

A good value shoe for you if you take active holidays a few times a year and will get good use out of the shoe.

Viakix Hiking Sandals – Features of Interest

Good Things

Price

Easy Wash

Adjustable Instep Strap

Good Support

Quite Comfortable

Versatile

Not So Good Things

Limited Sizing

Comes Up a Little Short


Best Water Shoes for Wide Feet for Women

13. OluKai Ohana

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Vegan Thong Beach Sandal
Use:Walking & Water Play
Sizing:Wider Last
Grip:Fair Grip
Venting:Open Upper
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Very Quick Drying
Sole:Non-Marking Synthetic
Insole:Integral Supportive
Rating:93%

Overview

You may have noticed this vegan thong sandal in the men's section and here it is again in the women's. That's because it is a great sandal, well made and perfect for sandy beaches as well as a host of other uses.

The common problem with most water shoes, if you are at the beach, is sand. Almost none are capable of keeping it out and it's uncomfortable.

These vegan thongs don't keep sand out of course, but you can shake it out on the go.

Fitting

The sandal comes in whole size medium fittings from 5 through to 12 and is wide enough for you if you normally take a medium or wide shoe.

If you normally take extra wide shoes then you will find they push in against the sides of your feet where the straps meet the sole.

Best Uses

This is a very versatile water-resistant slide thong sandal that you can wear pretty much anywhere.

The excellent footbed provides support whether you are walking around town or out at the beach.

Perfect for around the pool, cruising, boating and at the beach.

Features

This is a nicely styled sandal that comes in a vast range of colors though not all colors are easily available in all sizes.

The excellent footbed provides good support to make the shoe versatile which is perfect for you if you are away on vacation and just want a casual shoe that you can take anywhere.

Very lightweight, easy to wash and dries quickly so lots to like about this slide, particularly as it is made of water-resistant materials

Wrap Up

A versatile supportive thong sandal that can be used for all sorts of things and is built on a wider last.

Totally fashionable and available in a wide range of colors.

You could wear this in so many situations like at the beach, on a cruise, around the pool and so many more AND look great. And dare I say it, sandals make me feel attractive – I'm not sure why though!

An excellent addition to your wardrobe that you'll be grabbing for holiday or days of relaxing at the pool or the beach. And they're supportive too! It's a WIN-WIN!

Olukai Ohana Slide – Features of Interest

Good Things

Surprisingly Comfy

Surprisingly Supportive

Water Resistant Materials

Easy to Care For

Very Versatile

Handles Sand Well

Not So Good Things

Only Medium Fittings

Limited Availability in Colors


Best Women's Water Shoes for Snorkeling

14. Mishansha Barefoot

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Dedicated Aquatic Water Shoe
Use:Snorkeling & Aquatic
Sizing:Runs Large – Downsize Half
Grip:Not Great Grip
Venting:Mesh
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quick & Easy
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Removable Washable
Rating:86%

Overview

Mishansha is dedicated to water shoes and that is exactly what this shoe is, or perhaps you would call it a water boot. It is actually Unisex but the sizing is clear for both.

A spandex upper and rubber sole fits your foot like a glove.

Fitting

A range of sizes that run a little longer than advertised.

Loosen off the laces and slip them on then tighten up the elastic and lock it down.

The spandex uppers are flexible allowing for quite a range of fitting shapes it will suit.

Best Uses

It is not suitable for hiking. It is not suitable for walking around town. It is not suitable for a versatile vacation shoe.

What they are suitable for is walking in the ocean, walking in streams and any water activity where you want footwear.

The lack of grip does not lend it very well to surfing – you should get specialized shoes for that activity anyway.

One of the best water shoes for kayaking, paddle boating, canoeing and the like are all Ok sports to wear this shoe.

Features

It comes in tons of colors but less fitting sizes.

Good elastic spandex uppers and decent rubber soles for drainage but which do not give loads of grip.

It is an aquatic shoe suited to being in the water and that is what it should be limited to.

Wrap Up

There is not much grip from the soles of this shoe but for most in-water uses that is not an issue.

So if you want a shoe that will give your feet a bit of protection whilst swimming then these should suit you fine.

The soles are not going to fend off very sharp objects but are fine for small rocks and pebbles and so will suit swimmers and maybe kayakers depending on the bed of the water you are working in.

A good value shoe for you that serves the specific purpose of in water wear but do be aware the grip is not fantastic if the surfaces are very slippery.

Mishansha Water Shoe – Features of Interest

Good Things

Stretchy Spandex Uppers

Well Drained Rubber Soles

Quite Quick Drying

Insoles Removable for Washing

Elastic Laces to Secure

Not So Good Things

Limited Widths

Whacky Sizing

Comes Up Large So Order Small


Best Women's Water Shoe for Hiking

15. Columbia Drainmaker IV for Women

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Water Resistant Sneaker
Use:Dry Land or Water
Sizing:True
Grip:Excellent
Venting:Through Midsole & Mesh
Weight:Quite Lightweight
Drying:Quite Quick
Sole:Excellent Wet or Dry
Insole:Perforated Cushioning
Rating:83%

Overview

If you are looking for regular sneaker style water shoe then this is the best, no doubt.

Most of the other shoes in the list sacrifice the better technology in their efforts to make the lightest water shoes since support and cushioning is not the prime directive.

Columbia has a different take with this water-resistant sneaker which incorporates much of the technology of the best sneakers in a version that is happy messing about on the river.

There is a review of the men's version of this shoe above which is also relevant.

Fitting

Sadly it is still only medium fittings for this model and the fit is mostly as expected and true to size.

The standard sneaker type open lacing system allows for a range of instep heights and enables the shoe to be well secured. But there are issues with the laces and the eyelets which should be returned as a quality defect if encountered.

Best Uses

These sneakers are great versatile water shoes for traveling because they are excellent for walking about in.

Great cushioning and support, given they are so lightweight, ensure comfort no matter how long you are out.

Obviously, these are not really suited to walking in water, wearing in the ocean where some of the other shoes in this list are well suited. The Columbia's will happily navigate wet surfaces and get wet without damage and dry quickly.

They are also designed to be washable which makes them excellent travel companions and also great for outdoor walks where you might encounter wet areas.

Features

100% synthetic mesh uppers are breathable and flexible with good cushioning around the heel collar.

An excellent midsole is drained to let any water that gets inside the shoe to drain out but this does make the shoe less useful walking in dry sand which can get in those same drainage holes.

The outsole is grippy, anti-slip, and non-marking making it perfect for walking on boat decks.

The excellent drainage makes them great if you are out walking in really bad weather as they do not fill up with water.

Not everyone walks in the dry!

Wrap Up

The Columbia Drainmaker is a versatile tennis shoe style water shoe that is very versatile for wet area walking.

Compared to the lightweight shoes that are the variety that makes up the majority of water shoes these are quite heavy. but they are not heavy shoes for hiking use.

That said, they do not have the substance of a true hiking shoe either but they are perfect for light hiking that takes you through water, rivers and creeks where the shoe might get submerged.

Apart from hiking they are good for any other type of wet surface walking or around boats. But they are not really suited to water sports and are a bit over the top for the beach.

Columbia Drainmaker IV Women – Features of Interest

Good Things

Great Support

Good Cushioning

Drains & Dries Quickly (For a Sneaker)

Very Comfortable

Washable

Not So Good Things

Crappy Laces


Best Budget Water Shoe for Women

16. Aleader Mesh Aqua Shoe

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon product page at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Budget Water Shoes
Use:Dry Land or Clean Water
Sizing:True
Grip:Fair
Venting:Through Sole & Mesh
Weight:Very Lightweight
Drying:Quite Quick
Sole:Rubber with Holes
Insole:Perforated
Rating:91%

Overview

You'll see the men's version of this shoe up above and it features in the women's section too because for the price it is great value for money.

The same issues afflict the design because sand and pebbles will enter the shoe from the drainage holes in the soles and make walking uncomfortable.

Other detritus will get trapped between the footbed and mesh covering, which makes it difficult to clean and smelly if you don't.

Fitting

Only available in a medium fitting but there is some give and there are the loops at the front and heel that help you pull them on if a bit tight.

Best Uses

These are definitely good water shoes if you keep them away from surfaces where loose material can get up into the shoe.

Walking about boat decks, walking through clear water streams and creeks and general wet surfaces are all good. Muddy, stony, sandy surfaces need avoiding like the plague though.

Features

A very good lightweight shoe for certain purposes.

If you are going to a hotel and will be about the pool all day – great. If you are going cruising and out on deck – great. If you are wandering through forests with lovely clear water rivulets and want to look cool – great.

This water shoe is pretty comfortable, has a nice dry feeling sock liner, is super lightweight and dries quickly.

Perfect for some at this price.

Wrap Up

A cheap water shoe that is fine in and around water but is not good where the conditions are dirty.

They attract small pebbles, sand, and other small particles and so wear in such areas should be avoided.

You could wear these around the pool or on a boat deck or maybe walking on concrete areas such as a pier or jetty where your feet may get washed over.

A good, cheap water shoe for women if you can keep away from dirty places or surfaces with many small stones or sand.

Aleader Mesh Aqua Shoe for Women – Features of Interest

Good Things

Good Price Point

Great Drainage

Good for Clean Water Environment

Very Lightweight

Dries Quick

Nice Styling

Not So Good Things

Stones Get Trapped

Not Great in Dry Sand


Image of couple holding shoes crossing water barefoot
Tenderly Walking with No Shoes – Will it Hurt?

What Are Water Shoes?

‘Water shoes' is the term used for footwear designed to get soaking wet with water-resistant materials. Activities such as kayaking, swimming, boating & hiking through water require different features so there are a variety of types eg. sneakers, five-fingered, aqua sock, etc.

Typically water shoes are lightweight, dry quickly and are washable. They may completely enclose the foot or may have open uppers.

Flip flops made from water-resistant materials are great for beach walking as they have open uppers which make it easy to shake off the sand but offer no protection to the toes or from the sun.

Five-fingered water shoes are those which have individual pockets, like fingers on a glove, where your toes can fit. They are used for swimming and give protection from sharp objects underfoot. Some use these for wet hiking though their applicability is questionable.

Picture of Water Shoes
Water Shoes for Protection on the Sand

Aqua socks are mesh, spandex or elasticated fabric socks beefed up with a very thin sole. Designed for swimming and to protect the foot from catching something nasty around the pool.

Sneaker type water shoes of various styles are made for walking about town as you would on holiday prior to going to the beach. They are more substantial, containing better support and cushioning similar to a normal sneaker.

However, they are made from water-resistant and washable materials with drainage to let out any water that may get into the shoe.

Can You Swim With Water Shoes?

Yes, you can swim with water shoes that are designed for that purpose. Some water shoes, as well as aqua socks, are specifically made for swimming and other styles are made for hiking or more general walking.

Why do I need Water Shoes?

Water shoes are the shoes everyone forgets when they go off on holiday.

It's a bit weird really. You save up for months, pour over travel magazines and blogs looking at all the fantastic places you can go to.

Image of girl walkinig painfully on pebble beach
Walking on Pebbles – I Can Think of Better Things to Do!

Pristine beaches that you can meander on with your partner. Tropical rainforests to take little hikes into, a kayaking jetty for some white water rafting, cruises to multiple destinations or a fantastic beachside hotel in the middle of some historic city.

How much thought goes into what you might wear on your feet?

What do you do when you are at the beach and fancy a quick dip but the sand is red hot?

What to do when your trainers got wet and now smell like french cheese that has been left out to ripen rather too long and they are the only footwear you brought on holiday with you?

Image of Water Shoes for Kayaking
Sensible Kayaker

What about if you want to go kayaking and want to explore something interesting along the creek?

Hiking through to get to your kayak is fine but those heavy hiking boots aren't a good idea in the water.

And what do you do if you are walking through and come across a beautiful cool stream you want to explore, cross or walk up?

Take off your shoes and totter across like some crazy toddler, small pebbles poking painfully into your soles?

Image of Water Shoes Next to Swimming Pool
No Fungus Please

It might be a romantic picture but who wants a kiss with that going on?

Or perhaps you want to explore rockpools or wade in the sea where the tropical fishes swarm and forgot there are plenty of sharp nasties underfoot.

Maybe you'd rather not end up with Athlete's Foot or some other fungus someone kindly left behind at the pool!

This is the reason we have water shoes and the compelling reason for grabbing a pair suited to what you might be doing at your destination.

Why You Need Water Shoes at the Beach

Walking on the sand at sunset makes a great picture but lumps of sand underfoot are one reality, spiky shells cutting into your soles another or blisters where the sand got trapped yet another.

Wearing your regular trainers won't cut it because you know they will stink if they get wet and take days to dry out, so you scorch your feet on the boiling hot sand instead.

If you are off to the beach and think you might be doing a bit of walking on the sand you may first consider your regular trainers will do a good job of keeping the sand out and be fit for the job.

The reality is that walking on sand is not just walking on top of the surface unless it is wet.

On dry sand, your feet sink in and sand finds its way into your shoes and starts bunching up under your feet making it feel like you are walking on pebbles. Not good!

On wet sand, you actually have two issues. Firstly you have to walk to the wet sand through dry sand, and so sand will get into your shoes. And secondly, the wet sand will start to soak the bottom of the uppers and make the trainer wet.

Of course, you could use waterproof trainers, but it sort of defeats the idea of a lovely walk on the beach because you will be wearing heavy shoes.

So using your regular trainers is a pretty lousy idea. You’ll end up with smelly trainers filled with sand which is a devil to get rid of.

Water shoes made for walking on the beach are the answer to your problems because with the right water shoe sand will not accumulate in the shoe so making walking much more comfortable.

Water shoes are made of materials that a water-resistant and do not soak up water which means it does not matter if they get wet and in any case they are easy to wash and clean.

Here is our pick for the best beach walking water shoe for men and the best beach water shoe for women

Why You Need Water Shoes for Walking in the Ocean

Perhaps your idea is not so much wandering about on the beach but more wading in the ocean. Who doesn’t like walking in the sea with your legs being cooled by the waves?

There’s another idea that seems like heaven, but the reality is more hopping about as sharp stones poke into the soles of your feet. Worse still are the broken shells of shellfish or even more dangerous sea urchin spines and jellyfish.

Water shoes will not protect your legs from shellfish but they can protect the soles of your feet so that stones and shells do not poke quite so much.

The last thing you need is an infection in your foot coming from a cut you got from walking on something sharp on the seabed whilst paddling in the water.

The correct water shoe for walking in the sea will protect your feet because of its thickened sole whilst being light and impervious to seawater.

You can walk over sand from your sun-bathing towel into the sea without a problem, wade about worry free and take them off when you get back.

The drainage holes in the shoe will let sand wash out while you are in water but are less able to disperse sand when out of water which is the reason they are not so well suited to walking in sand.

Our pick of the best water shoe for walking in the sea for men is here and women is here.

Why You Need Water Shoes for Kayaking or Canoeing

What is the difference between Kayaking and a Canoeing?

A kayak and canoe are very similar boats with the difference being that while canoeing the paddler sits or kneels with their knees bent as on a seat. But kayakers sit with their legs stretched out straight. The boats themselves are otherwise quite similar but kayakers use oars with blades at both ends and canoers use oars with a blade only at one end.

So given that kayakers and canoers are sitting in a boat, why the need to wear shoes at all and particularly water shoes?

The answer is of course that within the boat shoes are not important but if you are going canoeing or kayaking then you need to get to the boat.

Generally, this is not like walking on a cruise ship but more like wading through water before embarking the kayak or canoe.

Depending on the make up of the river bed which can be muddy or rock-strewn, it is a very good idea to wear something on your feet to stops rocks, twigs and other things cutting or poking you.

Typically, many kayakers do not just go the river, jump on their kayak and paddle all day, returning to their starting point and then back home.

You may want to get on and off the kayak to go exploring something interesting you spotted. So there can be quite a lot of walking about on land between periods of paddling.

So it is important to consider what activity you may be engaged in apart from just getting into the kayak or canoe.

If you are going to be investigating areas where you walking is more akin to hiking then choose a hiking capable water shoe that is light and somewhat protective. Here is our link to our review of the best water shoes for kayaking and hiking for men and for women.

But if your walking will be on more benign surfaces then you can use a more multi-purpose water shoe. Here is to link to our review of the best all-round water shoe for kayaking and lighter walking for men and for women.

Either way, a water shoe that is designed for walking on river beds and for your land excursions is your best option. They will not soak up water and allow water to drain out as well as protect your feet from sharp objects underfoot whether on land or on the river bed.

You will have a shoe that serves your purpose, does not get horribly smelly and is easy to wash. Here's our pick for men and for women.

Why You need Water Shoes for Fishing?

Some fishermen sit on the river bank and never set foot into water nor choose to navigate wet and soggy river banks.

But, for those into the sport, wading in the water and fishing on river banks that are not like your favorite patch of grass in the park, is all part of the action.

Fishing can also be done by netting or on a boat, and most fishing activity will end up with water-soaked shoes.

Water shoes for fishing allow you to get your feet wet whilst protecting your feet from the river bed nasties and are easy to rinse off in between times.

You could choose a water shoe that you can walk to your fishing location in, use for fishing and then use to walk back.

For that option, the best water shoe is the Drainmaker IV by Columbia which we review for men here and for women here.

The alternative is to use a regular trainer to walk to and from your fishing spot and then change into a dedicated water shoe for the activity and then changing back for your return home.

If you prefer to change into shoes for your sport and then back into dry shoes for your return journey then the Crocks is a good option – our review for men here and for women you’ll find here.

Why You Need Water Shoes at the Pool

Around the pool, many people do not wear shoes at all, preferring to walk barefoot.

The problem is that disease is easily spread and widely found in and around swimming pools.

So wearing water shoes that will not be damaged if they get wet can protect your feet from catching some nasty fungal infection.

The water in swimming pools is treated with chemicals for sanitation so you are not likely to pick up an infection whilst swimming but out of the pool is the perfect environment for fungi to grow.

So even if you are just planning to sit by the pool, it is a good idea to wear some type of footwear and water shoes are the obvious choice.

Our best picks for this purpose for men is reviewed here and for women here.

Why You Should Pack Water Shoes for a Vacation

When we go on vacation, we will often head towards a beachside town. The lure of a new location and option to go to the seaside is alluring for landlubbers.

Packing a lightweight and versatile shoe for holidays should be the goal.

It makes perfect sense to pack a water shoe that can be used to walk around town as well as use for a visit to the beach.

Footwear needs to be metal free if you are traveling by air, for the sake of convenience.

I think that sandals are a great option for travel and we have reviewed two open top sandals that are perfectly suited – the men’s review is here and the women’s is here.

Why Snorkelers Need Water Shoes

If snorkeling is your passion and your holiday involves a lot of looking for underwater marvels, then it makes great sense to wear footwear to protect from the ocean floor.

A lot of snorkeling is done near coral areas. Even though as responsible snorkeller you will not be treading on coral, many small pieces can break off and be found nearby amongst the sand on the ocean floor.

Apart from that, you will find broken shells and other sharp objects that could cut your feet and result in infection.

That’s the last thing you need on holiday.

Water shoes for snorkeling must be able to work in water to enable you to swim without being dragged back by your footwear. As most swimming is done barefoot, a shoe that is closest to nature is ideal as it will not restrict your ability to swim very much.

Check out our suggestion for the best water shoe for snorkeling for men here and for women here.

How Water Shoes Help with Walking on Rocky Beaches

There are a few types of rocky beaches, but we can categorize them into beaches that are made up of pebbles and beaches where the rocks are substantially larger – either smooth or jagged.

If you have ever walked barefoot on pebbly beaches you will vividly recall those pebbles feeling like acupuncture under your soft and mollycoddled feet. It hurts.

Likewise, if you have been dragged off to go find crabs or shellfish with the kids, only to find yourself clambering over rough rocks to find that elusive rockpool, then you will recall the sharp edges of the rocks pushing into your soles – that hurts too!

The alternative is, of course, clambering over smooth rocks to find those rockpools except those smooth rocks tend to be quite slippery.

Hmm – what to do?

Well, again the answer lies in the right footwear and to cover all bases your best solution is one of our picks – check out the best shoe for rocky beaches for men and the best women's water shoe for rocky beaches, above.

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