5 Best Water Shoes for Women [Detailed Buyers’ Guide]

From relaxing on the beach to scuba diving, good water shoes should be a top priority if you want to keep your feet comfortable and protected. Your ideal water shoe should allow air to circulate and water to drain easily while preventing potential injuries to your feet. If style is important to you, then your water shoe should look good as well. 

We tested and reviewed over a dozen water shoes and ultimately chose the Keen Clearwater CNX Water Shoes as our top pick because they offer you the breathability, protection, and durability that you would want in a great water shoe. If you’re looking for a water shoe for a specific activity, we’ve added specific types of water shoes that may work for what you need.  

Testing water shoes for women

Top Water Shoes For Women

1.Keen Clearwater CNX Water Shoes – Best Overall

The Keen Clearwater CNX Water Shoes are our pick for best overall because they offer the perfect balance between comfort and protection. We love these water shoes for a  variety of reasons, but mainly because they’re comfortable, stylish, and offer the right amount of protection. 

Superior Comfort

It’s no secret that a water shoe should be comfortable. The Keen Clearwater CNX offers unmatched support and comfort. The inside of the shoe has a direct attached, air-injected Luftcell PU midsole that provides you with long-lasting cushioning no matter what you’re doing. Additionally, you’ll find that it has a metatarsal ridge for natural underfoot support making these great shoes for light hiking. 

Protection

Whether you’re hiking or exploring the creek, you’ll want both traction and protection. These shoes are made from high-traction TPU. This certainly helps provide you with lightweight durability as well as traction on wet surfaces. The traction comes from the multi-directional lug pattern with razor siping. 

Material & Fit

These shoes are perfect for use all of the time. The bungee lace lock system gives you a snug fit. They don’t need to be used as just a water shoe either. Not only are they stylish, but they’re lightweight. They are made from a washable polyester material webbing upper. They can be tossed right into the washing machine if they get muddy or dirty. The quick-dry lining is helpful if you get your shoes wet while adventuring. You don’t have to stop your activity due to wet, soggy shoes. 

What We Like

  • They dry quickly
  • They’re washable
  • They can be worn all of the time
  • The razor siping provides a good grip on wet surfaces
  • They’re comfortable
  • Contoured topsoles give you great food support

 

What We Don’t Like

  • They’re pricey

2.Speedo Women’s Surfwalker 3.0 – Best for Swimming

Speedo is a well-known name when it comes to water. The Speedo Women’s Surfwalker 3.0 is the perfect water shoe for swimming. You’ll never have to worry about sand getting into your shoes again. 

Comfort

We were highly impressed by how comfortable these were to wear in the water. Some water shoes simply weigh us down and make it hard to swim, but these performed well. The stretchy pull-on upper allows you to easily put on the shoe and it conforms to your foot for a perfect, but breathable fit. 

Traction & Protection

 These shoes feature S-TRAC thermoplastic rubber outsoles that give you maximum traction. This is especially helpful if you’re in a swimming pool. The cushioned insole provides you with impact protection and the S-TRAC streams water away from the shoe. This increases surface contact for more traction and better slip resistance. 

Durability

Any good water shoe should be durable. We did find that these water shoes seemed durable enough to last a couple of swimming seasons, if not longer. They’re made with polyester and spandex, keeping sand out of the shoe. Additionally, they’re neoprene-free. They’re also backed by a 3-month warranty, which we didn’t think was sufficient enough for a pair of shoes.

What We Like

  • They’re comfortable
  • They’re more affordable than most others
  • Sand stays out of the shoe
  • Great traction
  • Durable material
  • Flexible fabric

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited warranty doesn’t seem long enough

3.ADIDAS Outdoor Boat Water Shoe – Best for Boating

ADIDAS has been known to make some of the most practical and comfortable shoes. They have been around for decades and continue to make ergonomic shoes and clothing. The ADIDAS Outdoor Boat Water Shoes are no different. 

Breathable

If you’re on a boat all day and in your shoes, the last thing you want is for your feet to be sweaty. But why not just take off your shoes? Because you don’t want to get your feet completely soaked, right? These shoes are breathable thanks to the climacool open mesh so you can wear the shoes all day if you need to. 

Comfortable

We loved how comfortable these shoes were. They have a climacool tooling construction in the midsole and outsole. The upper is made from climacool open mesh and the outsole is made from TRAXION. Put all of these materials together and you’ve got yourself a shoe worthy of being worn for extended periods. 

Traction

Boat decks can get slippery, so it’s a good idea to invest in a shoe with good traction. The outsole of these shoes is made with TRAXION. This design allows you to comfortably grip the slippery floor with your shoes. 

 What We Like

  • Offers great traction
  • Comfortable to wear all day
  • They’re affordable
  • They’re stylish
  • They’re breathable

What We Don’t Like

  • Sizes seem to be inconsistent

4.Ryka Hydro Sport – Best For Water Aerobics

If you’re into water aerobics and need a comfortable and sturdy shoe, the Ryka Hydro Sport water shoes are what you need. They’re a great shoe with a cross-trainer build to give you maximum stability and comfort. 

Comfort

You’re going to want some type of comfort when it comes to water shoes. These shoes have been designed with a sturdy dubber foam outsole that provides you with traction and cushioning for any water activity you’re doing. You can also remove the insole to match your specific comfort level. 

Durability

These water shoes offer great durability features. They’re quick-drying and built to last. The shoes are made from breathable, chlorine-friendly materials with drainage ports through the midsole. This isn’t going to help you when you’re in the water, but once you’re out of the water, the water inside your shoe will drain fairly quickly. 

Lightweight & Secure

When your shoes are in the water, they may feel heavy if they’re ordinary shoes. These shoes, however, are lightweight with a lightly padded tongue and heel collar. Additionally, you will find long laces that help keep your shoe secure while doing your water aerobics.

What We Like

  • They’re 100% man-made
  • They have a removable insole
  • They’re comfortable
  • The extra-long laces allow a secure fit
  •  The chlorine-friendly material allows for durability

What We Don’t Like

  • Very small return window

5.Columbia Drainmaker IV – Best For Hiking

The Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoes provide you with the traction you need if you plan to do some hiking in areas that may have slippery surfaces. These shoes will help keep you safe while boosting your confidence during outdoor activities. 

Comfort

We enjoyed the comfort of these shoes. They provide you with both the cushion and stability you need for optimal comfort. You can use them in both wet and dry conditions that could appear while hiking, sailing, and even swimming. Additionally, your foot will receive maximum comfort thanks to the signature Techlite footbed and frame. This helps with impact absorption as well. 

Traction

As you’re hiking, you want to ensure your shoes have the best traction they can get to avoid slipping and/or falling. These shoes have Omni-Grip technology with non-marking wet grip outsoles and razor siping. This ensures you always have the best grip you can get on any type of surface. 

Breathable

We want to quickly mention that these water shoes are crafted with an open mesh upper that allows the shoe to dry quickly. Furthermore, they have a breathable fit and midsole ports that enhance airflow and allow water to drain from the shoe. 

What We Like

  • They’re breathable and comfortable
  • They come in a variety of color combinations
  • Their durability outperforms many other types of shoes
  • They offer superior style 
  • They’re made from a reputable company

What We Don’t Like

  • The price range may be too high for some

Women’s Water Shoe Buyers Guide

Being in the water is one of the most comforting feelings in our opinion. It’s relaxing, beautiful, and fun. There are plenty of benefits that can come from the serenity of water, but there’s also the issue of what’s at the bottom of the water. You never know what you’re going to step on or come in contact with.

Why Are Water Shoes Important?

As we mentioned, you have no idea what’s at the bottom of the water. There could be sticks, hooks, plants, shells, rocks, broken glass, and more. These are just a few of the hazards lurking beneath the surface. If you’re wearing the proper water shoes, you can reduce these threats and keep your feet safe. 

Furthermore, water shoes provide you with the traction you need to safely and easily maneuver around the water. These are great for water sports and activities, especially those that may be in rough conditions. The shoes allow you to get in and out of the water while reducing the threat of slipping. 

Sure, you could use a pair of tennis shoes, but they will absorb more water and weigh you down. Wate shoes are made with high-tech materials that make the shoe both functional and stylish. 

Water Sandals

Water sandals are the most popular type of footwear for water on the market today. These are much more durable than generic flip-flops. They can provide you with superior traction for any type of water activity you can think of. You can use them on slippery river banks, beaches, and more. The grip these water shoes offer keeps you steady on your feet and they can be easily taken off and slipped back on. 

Water Shoes

Water shoes are like sneakers that can be worn in the water. They are popular amongst those who are active in the water. They offer great traction and toe protection for optimal safety. They are as comfortable as everyday sneakers with the drip of a hiking shoe. They are extremely versatile and can be worn while hiking on wet, dry, or rocky terrain. Water shoes are perfect for water lovers all over the world. 

Wet Shoes

Wet shoes are very different from water sandals and water shoes. They are the go-to footwear for those who are floating in the water or swimming at the beach. They are usually made from neoprene that fits snugly around your foot and keeps your feet warm in chilly water. Since these shoes have no sole, they shouldn’t be used for hiking or wading in rough terrain. You can think of them as a wetsuit for your feet. 

woman wearing water shoes

Choosing The Best Water Shoes

When you’re on the hunt for a good water shoe, you may be tempted to buy something based solely on style. There is more to a good water shoe than looks alone. You’ll want to consider a shoe that’s both comfortable and performs well. 

Breathability

Your water shoe should have a mesh-type upper. The mesh provides your feet with optimal breathability. You could also opt for a neoprene material. Generally speaking, the more breathable a water shoe is, the more quickly it’ll dry. This will allow you to continue with your day without soggy shoes or pruned feet. Not only that, but it’ll help keep your feet cool when the sun is beating down on your feet. 

Protection

Protection from the unknown is one of the main reasons you would want to purchase a good pair of water shoes. Not only will they protect your feet from the hot sand, but also from anything that is laying at the bottom of the water. Water shoes for hiking will protect your feet from rocky terrain and allow water to drain from the shoe if you step in a puddle. 

Traction

Traction is crucial when working with slippery surfaces, whether anticipated or not. This is why the best water shoes should have good traction and a solid build. You will want to buy a shoe that has rubber outsoles with deep multi-direction lugs or razor siping. Both of these offer superior traction to help gain secure footing on wet surfaces. 

Slip-On Design

A majority of women prefer a water shoe that has a simple slip-on design instead of laces. This allows you to take them off and put them on quickly and easily. Additionally, shoes that slip on can be transformed into a water slipper by simply bending the heel inwards. 

Comfort

Comfort is another important part of water shoes. Whether your shoes are dry or saturated, they should remain comfortable at all times. This is even more true when you’re walking on shark rocks or sticks underwater. The shoe should fit well all around but still have a soft and supportive liner and midsole. 

Durability

A shoe that’s going to spend a lot of time in the water should be made with durable materials. You’ll want to look for a shoe that’s made from chlorine-resistant materials. If you don’t like those options, then keep an eye out for a material that will simply not break down or get damaged from saltwater or even freshwater. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What’s a buyer’s guide without some common questions and answers? Here are some of the most common questions asked by women looking for a water shoe. 

Do I Need Water Shoes?

Short answer-no. Water shoes are not necessary, but they do make maneuvering in the water easier and safer. They offer protection to your feet from whatever may be at the bottom of the water such as sticks, rocks, glass, etc. They also provide you with traction if you’re hiking in areas that are known for slippery surfaces. 

Are Water Shoes Water-Resistant?

Water shoes are not designed to keep your feet dry. Rather, they’re designed to keep your feet protected and comfortable when in a wet environment. Most water shoes are breathable enough to allow whatever water that has entered your shoe, to exit quickly. 

How Should My Water Shoes Fit?

Your water shoe is going to fit much differently than a regular sneaker. Since they are worn with bare feet and generally won’t have shoelaces, they may seem like a weird fit. However, we highly recommend purchasing a size or half a size larger than your usual size so it isn’t too tight when you get in the water. 

Can I Clean A Water Shoe?

Yes, you can clean a water shoe and you certainly should if you’ve been in saltwater or chlorine. You can simply soak them in warm water for a few minutes and then rinse them off to remove whatever salt and sand are left on the shoe. If they are stained, use mild and soap to clean them. 

Final Thoughts

We highly recommend the Keen Clearwater CNX Water Shoes because they outperform almost every water shoe on the market and offer superior protection and durability. We enjoyed these shoes and thought that they performed well in all water-type environments. 

When looking for a good water shoe, it’s important to take durability, protection, and breathability into consideration. You don’t want a water shoe that’s going to put a damper on your day by being too tight or hot. We hope that our buyer’s guide pointed you in the right direction.

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