If you are the type to engage in water sports or outdoor activities in general, then you should see water shoes as a long-term investment more than anything. As a matter of fact, it is advised that anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors should own the appropriate apparel, regardless of what that implies. When it comes to water shoes, they resemble traditional sneakers to some extent, with the added notion that they are a lot more breathable and flexible overall.

Among the many benefits of water shoes, we find a resistance to rough terrain and an increased traction on almost any surface, features that recommend water shoes more than traditional sneakers. Even more so if you’re planning to hike in a particularly humid area where your average sneaker might have adherence problems against the wet rocks. Having said that, let us find out what makes a good water shoe and what are the ten best water shoes the market has to offer at this point in time.

Best Water Shoes – Reviews

10NRS Men’s Kicker Remix Wetshoes

Available in two colors to choose from, the NRS Men’s Kicker Remix Wetshoe is a simple, durable and reliable pair of shoes. Measuring 6 inches high and 10 inches wide, these shoes are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Equipped with a premium quality sipped rubber outsole, it offers a good grip on wet surfaces. The upper covering of the shoe is designed with DWR-coated 1000 denier nylon which is resistant to wear and tear. Featuring ports at the side of the shoe it helps to drain away water, while its soft insole made from foam provides support and cushioning. Thanks to the durable heel, it allows you to wear the shoes as a slip-on if needed.

9Sperry 7 SEAS Flooded Boat Shoe

Ideal for water sports and wet activities, the Sperry 7 SEAS Flooded Boat Shoes come designed with premium grade mesh fabric with a heavy-duty rubber sole. Equipped with a 360-degree lace mechanism, it provides a snug, comfortable fit. Unlike others of its kind, this water shoe features an outsole that is crafted with Razor-Cut Wave-Siping and comes with terrain traction pods for optimum grip on slippery surfaces and land. It also features a SeaBound integrated energy system that provides proper cushioning for your feet with a MocFit design that offers high levels of comfort.

8Speedo The Wake Water Shoe

Available in red, black and grey, the Speedo The Wake Water Shoe is an imported pair that is made from 100% textile and synthetic fibers. Ideal for indoor and outdoor wear, these shoes provide a good lateral support, giving you the best, most snug fit. Designed with a mesh lining, it offers breathability and dries out quickly. Thanks to the special fluid flow technology, it allows quick and easy water draining and keeps your feet dry. Giving you a good grip on any type of surface, these shoes are perfect for all kinds of high-impact activities.

7Salomon Crossamphibian Swift Water Shoe

Crafted with premium textiles and synthetic, the Salomon Crossamphibian Swift Water Shoe is designed with a robust Contagrip rubber sole that offers optimum traction on any surface. Featuring a high-quality upper mesh that is resistant to dirt and dust, it offers optimum breathability and support and is quick drying. Available in three colors including dark spruce, night sky and black, these shoes can be slipped on with ease and stretches to provide your foot with a snug, comfortable fit.

6Astral Loyak Outdoor Water Shoe

Known for its performance and quality, the Astral Loyak Outdoor Water Shoe is durable, reliable and offers optimum grip on land and in water. With an outer sole made from flex grip rubber, it comes designed with holes razor sipping and lugs measuring 3mm, allowing quick draining and drying when it wet conditions. The upper part of the shoe is made with high-quality hydrophobic canvas with mesh at the vamp and the tongue, offering optimum breathability. Weighing just 180gms, this heavy-duty pair of shoes comes with 2 sets of water-proof laces and a midsole made from EVA foam.

5Merrell Capra Rapid Hiking Water Shoe

Ingeniously constructed with 100% premium grade textile and synthetic materials, the Merrell Capra Rapid Hiking Water Shoe is known for its performance and durability. Featuring the latest cord and lock lacing mechanism, it comes with triangularly shaped cut-outs at the side of the shoe that offers optimum breathability. Quick-drying, lined with a mesh inner and rubber foam cushioning, these hiking shoes are designed with pull-on loops at the heel and the tongue. Thanks to the EVA foam inner sole that can be easily removed, it allows easy control of moisture and water-draining. Unlike other water shoes, this pair comes with water ports all along the midsole and outsole to ensure a proper water distribution.

4Salomon Techamphibian 3 Water Shoe

Crafted and designed with 100% synthetic with a sturdy rubber sole, the Salomon Techamphibian 3 are high-quality water shoes that are ideal for the outdoors. With a low-top shaft, it features a mesh lining that is resistant to dirt and debris. Featuring the latest Internal Sensifit Technology this pair of water shoes comes with a quick lace mechanism that does not require any tying. Available in two colors including black and quarry, it comes equipped with a well-cushioned collar that offers optimum support and comfort.

3Columbia Drainmaker III Water Shoe

Made with 100% high-quality mesh with a sturdy rubber sole, the Columbia Drainmaker III Water Shoe is available in two vibrant shades, including Azul and white and navy blue and green. Equipped with a heavy duty toe bumper and a single-pull lace mechanism, this open-mesh shoe comes with a padded collar that offers optimum comfort and support. For easy putting on and taking off, it also features a heel-pull loop at the back. Thanks to the uniquely designed ports on the midsole, it allows airflow and drains out water with ease.

2AVADAR Quick Dry Water Shoes

Popularly known for its brilliant performance and durability, the AVADAR Quick Dry Water Shoe is made from premium grade materials. With a high-quality upper fabric and a slip-resistant rubber sole, it is constructed from 92% polyester and 8% spandex. Light in weight, strong and durable, these shoes come with 7 holes at the bottom to ensure proper draining of water. Featuring a soft, quick dry and flexible shoe pad, it helps with breathability and absorption of moisture. Thanks to the premium rubber soles it provides optimum traction and grip on slippery surfaces. Providing your feet with optimum protection and comfort, these water shoes can be worn at the beach, for surfing, water sports, sailing, surfing, boating, fishing, yoga, jogging, walking, cycling, and more.

1ALEADER Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

Available in an assortment of color combinations and patterns, the ALEADER Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes are made from high-quality fabric and a robust water-resistant rubber sole. Crafted with durable air mesh, it allows optimum breathability and keeps the feet dry. Featuring a lightweight Solyte midsole it offers exceptional bounce and reliability. The outer sole is well-cushioned and textured and provides a good grip on slippery flooring. Thanks to the latest ComforDry sock-liner technology with an arched insole, it offers a comfortable, cooler and drier performance. The upper is crafted with breathable mesh, while the holes on the sole ensure quick and easy drying in wet conditions.

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Water Shoes Buying Guide

Designed for people who spend a significant amount of time outdoors, engaging mostly in water-related activities and sports, water shoes are the perfect companion. Offering protection and traction, these type of shoes are the ideal footwear for water sports like snorkeling, beach activities, surfing, hiking, rock climbing and more. Whatever you intend to use these shoes for, it is important that you choose a pair that is made from top quality materials and one that is both durable and efficient.

Types of Water Shoes

  • Sandal Water Shoes – This type of shoe is similar to a regular sandal or flip-flop but is designed with a thicker, more robust sole. Great for water sports and activities at the beach, these lightweight shoes are usually constructed with mesh and contours the shape of your feet giving you the perfect fit.
  • Closed Toe Water Shoes – Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, this type of water shoe is designed with all the features of a sandal but include a lace system, a mesh lining, and a cushioned collar. Protecting your feet and toes and offering support and comfort, these shoes are well ventilated and drain out water with ease.
  • Active Water Shoes – Ideal for hiking, trekking, running, water sports and more, these shoes are super comfortable and durable. Light in weight and constructed with heavy-duty materials, these shoes are quick drying and allow water to drain out easily, owing to the ports designed on the sole and the side of the shoe.
  • Barefoot Water Shoes – This type of water shoe is designed with individual spots for each toe to go into. Extremely light in weight, durable and comfortable, they are resistant to water and dry out easily. Usually made from rubber, these shoes are ideal for surfing or any other sport that involves treading water.

Pros & Cons of Water Shoes

Pros:

  • They provide superb traction on wet surfaces
  • They protect the feet from harmful bacteria
  • They prevent infections and cuts
  • They protect the toes from outer impacts
  • They keep the feet dry and moisture free thanks to their quick-dry fabric and breathable design
  • They prevent you from falling or slipping

Cons:

  • They do not provide support to the ankle when compared to sneakers
  • They are slightly more expensive than regular sandals
  • They are somewhat difficult to put on and take off

What To Consider When Buying a Pair Of Water Shoes

Traction

When choosing a pair of water shoes, always check the bottom of the shoe, as this will determine the grip and traction of the shoe. Some will come with traction pods and some will come with holes – this is for optimum draining and heightened grip. For slippery and wet conditions, it is recommended that you go for one that is designed with studs and pods. If not, then at least a shoe that you can move freely with.

Material

Always choose a water shoe that is made with a quick dry, high-quality material. Synthetic fibers do not retain water and are by far the best choice when it comes to water shoes. Do not go for cotton or any kind of material that will absorb water easily. Not only will this make you feel uncomfortable but will also weigh you down. On a related note, try your best to get a hold of water shoes that won’t constrict your movement as soon as they get wet and the fabric tightens.

Breathability

One of the most important factors that need to be considered is the level of breathability that the shoe allows. If the shoe does not drain out the water or dry out quickly, this could be the cause of infection. Most water shoes are designed with holes that allow the water to drain out, while others are made with a mesh lining or a mesh upper, a construction intended to allow an optimum amount of breathability.

Slip-On

Some of the most reputable manufacturers today have been designing their water shoes with special features that allow easy slipping on and taking off. Some come designed with a zipper on the side or a loop at the heel, a feature that’s more or less ideal for children. Of course, the main advantage of slip-on shoes is that they enable the wearer to get in and out of them in a matter of seconds when needed.

Padding/Shock Absorption

Although these shoes are designed for humid environments, it is extremely important that they have a cushioned lining for added comfort. This is also to ensure your foot will always be held firmly in place so that you won’t experience any discomfort while walking whether in water or on a rocky surface. Always ensure that you choose a shoe that comes with extra padding if you intend to use it while rock climbing or hiking across rocky grounds.

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