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Every beach lover, lake rat or water sports enthusiast needs a pair of the best water shoes. Seriously, a pair of good water shoes will protect your feet at the water park and give you extra security and traction when walking through the rough bottoms of streams, rivers and lakes. There are different types of water shoes, ranging from slip-on shoes, water socks, sandals, and even sneakers that allow water to drain easily and dry quickly. Slip-ons are great for days at the pool and water park, while sandals are great for short hikes, casual wear, and days at the river. However, a water sneaker is great for fishing or days spent in areas where you find yourself in rocky terrain.
These shoes are comfortable, quick-drying and durable. They will also give you peace of mind when navigating rivers, swimming holes, etc. : Walking into the water can be risky if not in the right shoes. The best water shoes will be non-slip and will also have some protection for your toes. We’ve even made sure to include eco-friendly footwear that’s free of materials and chemicals that could harm marine life. We’ve picked out some of the best water shoes for adults that will keep you dry and safe all summer long.
1. The best swimming socks for everyone
VIFUUR Water Socks – Amazon, $8.68+
Synthetic water socks can be worn with water shoes or as a single layer of protection. They’re easy to put on and take off, they’re very affordable and convenient to pack in your suitcase, making them our pick for water parks and beach vacations. The socks are soft, comfortable and breathable: your feet won’t get hot or sweat. They also protect against heat and sharp objects due to their rubber bottom, so if you want to enjoy a nice walk (or run) on the beach, consider water socks. All in all, they beat barefoot when you need to protect your feet from hot pool sand or concrete.
2. Best slip-on for women
Teva Walhalla – Teva, $75
A slip-on shoe is great for light hikes and water days. They offer the traction of a sneaker, but have the breathability and drainage of a sandal. If you’re hesitating between sandals and water trainers, consider the Walahella water shoes from Teva. I personally go with a shoe like this if I know I’ll be around a lot of rocks that could potentially injure my toes: I’ve witnessed a lot of banged/stuck toes at my local watering hole that ended up with people sitting outside the rest of the afternoon. Apart from adding extra protection to your toes, these shoes are popular for their comfort and quick drying. The lightweight cushion keeps them comfortable and the mesh means they dry quickly. The rubber outsole provides excellent traction to keep you safe on light hikes or strolls around rivers, lakes and swimming holes where slippery surfaces are present. Finally, we love that vegan shoes are made from recycled plastic and plant-based materials.
3. Best water sandals for women
Chaco BANDED Z/CLOUD – Chaco, $79.99
The Banded Z/Cloud Sandal from Chaco is the perfect water sandal for light hikes, lake days and river days. I have a pair of Chaco’s and they are my favorite shoe for river days. As someone terrified of slipping on wet rocks, I feel confident with Chaco and swear by them. These new sandals are made from vegan-friendly materials and have a non-marking rubber outsole that provides superior traction on wet and dry terrain. If you’re someone who likes to adjust straps for the perfect fit, you’ll appreciate the instep and midsole wraps. The midsole is also comfortable enough for working outside – they’re great for gardening or weeding, and they’re cute enough to use while running errands (especially if it’s raining!).
4. Best water sneakers for women
Women’s Drainmaker™ IV Water Shoe – Columbia, $49.99
For the most secure foot protection, consider a sneaker. Water sneakers are ideal for walks in the rain and days on the boat: they can be fully submerged in water and dry quickly. These trainers have improved airflow and water drainage in case you cross a stream or puddle, and the outsole has excellent grip in wet and dry terrain – so even if you don’t don’t plan on wet hiking, feel free to hit the drag in these shoes. One customer wrote: “Good for dry or wet hiking. A solution to avoid problems at theme parks with water activities – so you don’t have to carry your sandals and check them in occasionally for other rides.” Water parks and amusement parks are places you wouldn’t want to walk around barefoot, so get your water sneakers ready.
5. Best slip-on for men
Teva BEFORE – Teva, $65
Teva’s Front shoe is the ideal water shoe for light hikes and days on the water. The shoe has a quick-drying synthetic upper, a staple of the best water shoes. Take them to the lake, water park or your favorite river for a floating trip. I like that these provide toe coverage – great for rocky areas and swimming holes. For those who buy with eco-friendly materials, the shoe is made from synthetic and plant-based materials. Overall this is a top notch shoe that is not too expensive for its amazing quality.
6. Best water sandal for men
TERRA FI 5 UNIVERSAL – Teva, $100
These Tevas are a great lightweight sandal for men. The sandal is ideal for multi-day hikes and can easily adapt to wet terrain. The rubber outsole is designed to perform in wet conditions and provide superior traction, and it’s easy to put on and take off. The comfortable, vegan, quick-drying shoe is not just for hiking, but it’s also a great shoe for vacation. Whether you’re exploring a swimming hole, a great view of the city, or even a small town, you can’t go wrong with Teva.
7. Best water sneakers for men
MEN’S CANYONLAND – Chaco, $110
We love both Teva and Chaco, but we’re big fans of Chaco’s water sneakers. The Canyonland is the best shoe for all-around foot protection, whether you’re in the water or on land. The shoe is light, breathable and comfortable. The arch support is unmatched! These shoes will keep you safe on many terrains – both types of grip for dirt and water are great. Once back on land, you’ll be surprised how quickly these shoes dry. You are definitely paying for quality here. Consider these shoes for hiking, fishing, or lake and river days. Also consider these shoes if you work in the water: Many people who collect tubes and floats on rivers, beaches and lakes invest in a great water shoe that is comfortable to work in.
Whether these shoes are for work or play, there are still plenty of hot days ahead of us, so grab the best water shoes for your needs and have fun.
NEXT: TEVA VS. CHACO: IS THERE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN THESE SPORTS SANDALS