Sharp rocks, red hot sand, slippery surfaces – We’re all susceptible to these dangers. But you needn’t worry about stepping on a sea urchin, or slipping on a wet rock with a good pair of water shoes.
It’s important to wear the correct footwear for the activity you’re doing – You buy sneakers designed for running performance, shoes designed for golf, or how about ballet shoes?
Well, water sports and activities are no different and there’s a vast array of different water shoes you can purchase to suit your hobby/sport
Performance meets fashion in the water shoes on the market nowadays and we’ve picked the best water shoes to suit your individual needs. Check em out!
The BEST water shoes of 2021
why purchase water shoes
Why purchase water shoes? That’s easy! Water shoes offer a ton of benefits, and are very practical. We’re going to break down how useful and versatile a good pair of water shoes can be.
Water shoes are commonly used for the following activities:
- Snorkeling/Scuba Diving
- Aqua Aerobics
No matter your hobby you should have no trouble finding a water shoe designed specifically for it.
The best water shoes give you the confidence to walk in the water without constantly having to be mindful of every single footstep you take – So you can explore more in and out of the water. And isn’t that what it’s all about!?
Benefits of wearing water shoes
There are many hidden dangers in the water and a decent pair of water shoes will offer great protection for your feet. Water shoes help protect against the following:
- Slippery Surfaces
- Sharp Objects i.e Sea urchins/rocks/corals/broken glass
- Hot sand
- Parasites and foot diseases
I love exploring the rock pools around the beach. One of my favourite things is to look for crabs hiding amongst the rocks – But these areas can be pretty tough terrain to navigate since they tend to be slippery, have sharp rocks, and can get red hot under the sun.
I always wear my water shoes to the beach to protect against these things – People slipping and injuring themselves or cutting their foot open on a sharp rock is an all too common thing. Why risk it?
I don’t know about you – But I hate carrying things! The less crap that I have to haul to the beach with me then the better!
A good pair of water shoes are so versatile you could spend the entire day in them. Just wear those water shoes to the beach and leave those sneakers and flip flops at home!
One of the main advantages to the best water shoes are that they are super quick drying. This is important when switching from sea to land as the last thing you want is a heavy weighted down shoe squelching with water. As soon as you leave the water your water shoe will immediately start draining the water out from it.
how to choose the best water shoes
what is their intended use
A water shoe/aqua sock primarily for use at the beach will be completely different to one used for hiking.
If your main hobby is snorkeling then you’ll want a completely different kind of water shoe to someone who is interested in hiking. So you must bear in mind what kind of activities you’ll be putting your water shoes through. Do you need something that’s lightweight? Will you be walking a lot (hiking), or hardly walking at all (snorkeling)
features to look for in water shoes
Considering you will be using your water shoes in wet conditions and on slippery surfaces – good traction and grip is extremely important. You will also need to consider how thick the sole of the shoe needs to be – For hiking you will want a thick, durable and comfortable sole. If your intending to use them around the pool though – Say for water aerobics, then a thin sole will be fine.
In order for water shoes to fulfil their function they will usually be made from synthetic materials like neoprene, rubber, silicon.
Materials that absorb, or warp in water (like cotton) are of no use for waters shoes as this will not only make them heavy to wear, but it won’t be long before they turn mouldy and smelly!
The material will often be of a mesh type which will allow for water to flow in and out of the shoe freely. This is important as it lends to the shoe being quick drying.
A regular sneaker that gets wet is not very comfortable. It’s heavy and rubs on your foot like crazy. So kind of an obvious point, but of course you would like your water shoes to be comfortable.
Water shoes have come a long way since the hard plastic sandals on offer back in the day that left your feet with blisters galore! Nowadays water shoes are as comfortable as a pair of sneakers – Sneakers that are designed to get soaking wet and still provide comfort.
Pick the best water shoe for the activity that you will be doing and comfortability will not be an issue – An aqua sock on a long hike? No thanks – Your feet will be sore and crying in pain in no time. Pick the correct shoe for the activity you plan on doing.
purpose/type of activity
As we’ve already alluded to – You need to select a shoe that’s fit for purpose. A water shoe that’s more designed for hiking won’t be your best choice for a day at the beach – Once any sand gets into the shoe you’ll find it tiresome to keep removing it to pour out the contents, but similarly you wouldn’t want to take a pair of aqua socks or shoes that are best used on the beach on a long trail hike
types of water shoes
You probably already wear sandals or flips to the beach or around the pool area. So what is the key difference between a regular flip flop/sandal and a water sandal?
Water sandals have superior grip to that of regular sandals – and given that you’ll be using them on wet surfaces this is an important factor. They are also strapped to your feet securely as opposed to flip flops which are not secure at all. I for one have had many a flip flop slide off my foot whilst wading through water – Watching almost helplessly as a wave carries it away!
Water sandals are well suited for walking between wet and dry conditions, kayaking, boating, and days at the beach!
Water sandals are not really ideal for full on long hikes though as their open toe and lack of protection around the top of your foot leaves you susceptible to stubbing your toes, and injury if something falls on your foot.
Closed toe water shoes resemble sneakers – but with a few key differences. Made from quick drying materials water shoes have plenty of ventilation in the material and the sole of the shoe to allow for drainage.
These type of water shoes are great all rounders – They offer the kind of protection that a water sandal cannot, and are comfortable and supportive to wear for longer periods.
Hiking terrain that is going to involve water crossings (like lakes and rivers) may call for you to invest in a decent pair of hiking water shoes specifically designed for handling wet conditions.
It’s important for the best hiking water shoes to be durable and breathable, but also be comfortable for long hikes, and provide the same protection you would expect from a regular hiking shoe.
Thin, lightweight and flexible. Aqua socks are best used on the beach and in and around the swimming pool. Think of them as a rubbery sock that fits nice and snug to your foot with a bit of a sole at the bottom needed for grip and protection.
They help to keep your feet warm in the water, to protect from hot sand and to protect your feet from dangers lurking within the water – like slippery rocks/surfaces. It’s important for aqua socks to be breathable and quick drying.
They are also popular to wear with snorkeling/scuba fins as they can help to protect your feet from blisters/rubbing on the fins which can occur.
how to clean water shoes
As you would imagine – any clothing or shoes that you consistently drag through lakes, rivers and sea beds… Is eventually gonna stink! Unless of course you take the appropriate cleaning measures.
the top 5 best water shoes reviewed
best overall Water Shoe
Breathable mesh upper, rubber sole with holes to allow the quick outflow of water. Lightweight shoe that is extremely versatile. Could be worn for most of the day depending on the activity. Come in a really large variety of colors therefore you can match them to any outfit. Protected toe so you won’t stub your toe on any rocks.
Best Budget Water Shoe
The Vifuur water shoes are extremely lightweight. They’re a great option if you prefer to feel like you’re not wearing anything as these water socks are barely noticeable. They fold up very small so are great for traveling with. And they are made from smooth and comfortable fabric.
Best Water Shoes for Men
Speedo are one of the most trusted and reputable swim brands there is, and they have created a line of water shoes that do not disappoint.
The Speedo’s offer good ventilation and are made from quick drying materials. These shoes are versatile and can be used for a wide range of activities
Best Water Shoes for women
Low profile design that fits snugly and feels hardly noticeable when wearing. Slightly heavier than the Aleader shoe but still very lightweight. Made of comfortable materials which are quick drying and breathable.
best Designer water shoes
The Adidas Jawpaw bring style to the beach! They are well constructed (as you would expect from Adidas), and the rubber sole is super grippy making them great for slippery rocks or pool areas.
best water shoes for kids
Lightweight and durable shoe that can withstand multiple activities and terrains. Easy to put on with a velcro strap to keep the shoe from slipping or falling off.