Best Water Shoes For Walking in Beach & Other Activities

If you love to spend time out on the water, then you know how important it is to have the right footwear. After all, things can get quite slippery out there, so you don’t want to get stuck with a pair of shoes that will send you into the drink.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to keep you safe and provide excellent traction on the water. The best way to cover your feet is with a durable pair of water shoes. These handy products will ensure that you can go in and out of the water with ease and without any slippage or squishy feelings.

Today we’ll be looking at the best water shoes on the market today, as well as go over all of the different features and benefits that you can get from wearing this specialized footwear. Never have a bad day on the water again.

10 Best Water Shoes Comparisons


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10 Best Water Shoes in 2020 - Reviews

1. Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe

Starting us off is this versatile and rugged water shoe from Merrell. One of the key factors that you have to consider when picking out these kinds of shoes is what kind of activities you’ll be doing when wearing them.

Most people want something that can handle both the water and a full day of hiking around since they usually wear them while camping.

As such, these shoes are built are built solidly to do just that. With a thick Vibram rubber outsole and a waterproof leather midsole, you can traverse the rockiest and most uneven terrain with these shoes and not even bat an eye.

The traction is amazing, and they shed water like nobody’s business, making them ideal for regular wear as well as use down on the docks or crossing streams. They are built to get soaked and even have antimicrobial treatments to reduce the chance of mildew and odor. Overall, a dependable pair of water shoes.


  • Durable leather construction
  • Vibram rubber bottom
  • Bungee lace closure
  • Natural flex and balance
  • Designed for hiking and water activities
  • Waterproof coating on leather material
  • Neoprene stretch collar for easy on/off
  • Antimicrobial treatment to reduce odor


  • Can be hard to find the right size
  • May take some time to break in
  • Can be uncomfortable without wet socks

Next, we have a water shoe that is built more for being on the water rather than transitioning between dry land and wet surfaces.

Unlike the Merrell shoes above, these models from Adidas are made more like a boat shoe than anything else. That means that they have their best traction on flat surfaces rather than rocky terrain.

That being said, they are perfect for water activities as they shed insanely well.

The secret to the water shedding abilities of these shoes is that they have a Climacool mesh upper and drainage holes on the bottom. This means that you can submerge your feet over and over again and the shoes will dry off relatively quickly.

Also, a stretchable heel means that you can slip in and out with ease, making them the perfect addition to any boat or shore activities. The only downside is that sand and dirt can get into the shoe through the drainage holes, so be aware of that.


  • Durable synthetic material
  • Thick rubber outsole
  • Drainage holes in bottom
  • Soft mesh upper sheds water instantly
  • Climacool open mesh interior for breathability
  • Stretchable heel for easier on/off and comfort
  • Eco-friendly with 5-10% recycled material
  • Quick-drying synthetics
  • Traxion grip for better traction
  • Soft and lightweight feel


  • Sand and other particulate can get into shoes through drainage holes
  • May not have sufficient arch support for some users
  • Traction is not designed for rugged hiking

This next set of water shoes from Columbia is something of a cross between the Adidas and the Merrell shoes above. They have high-quality traction outsoles, which means that they are perfect for both light hiking and all kinds of water activities.

The drainage of these shoes is also incredible, meaning that you can submerge them over and over again and still get dry feet relatively fast.

Much like the Adidas, the secret to these shoes is drainage ports in the rubber sole. However, on these shoes, those ports are on the side rather than on the bottom. This means that there is less of a chance of sand and dirt from coming in unless you are walking along the shoreline.

The upper sole is an open-air mesh that allows for both better drainage and breathability. A soft padded collar makes the shoe more comfortable, and it comes with single-pull laces that enable you to tighten and loosen the shoes much more easily. Overall, if you want a fantastic all-around water shoe, this is a good choice.


  • Durable synthetic material
  • Thick rubber outsole
  • Protective rubber toe
  • Open mesh midsole for better drainage
  • Heel pull tab for easy on/off
  • Single pull lacing for quick tightening
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Open midsole ports for quick shedding
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Lightweight feel


  • Sizes may run a bit narrow
  • Sand and other particulate can get inside through the drainage holes
  • May be uncomfortable without water socks

One common issue with water shoes is that they are not quite as comfortable as regular shoes. Since they are built to shed water more than anything else, the soles can be a bit rigid and hard to wear for long periods.

Fortunately, this pair from Merrell comes with an injection molded foam heel to make your feet much more comfortable, enabling you to wear these shoes for much longer.

In addition to the added comfort of the soles, these shoes are expertly designed to be both rugged and waterproof. The outsole has thick traction for hiking on rough terrain and comes with a padded toe for added protection. The collar is made of Lycra and neoprene to be stretchy, making it easier to take off and put on.

Finally, the footbed is ventilated for better drainage and comes with an anti-friction lining so that you don’t slip and slide inside of the shoe.


  • Durable synthetic and leather construction
  • Lycra and neoprene stretch collar for easy on/off
  • Injection molded TPU rear heel
  • Open mesh design for better drainage
  • Thick traction outsole for hiking
  • Synthetic leather toe protection
  • Thick Vibram rubber outsole
  • Ventilated footbed with anti-friction lining
  • Bungee lace closure system
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Flexible shock absorption


  • Laces are not sewn in well, meaning that they can rip out with force
  • Can be hard to find the right size
  • Some components may rub against your foot so you may need wet socks

Next, we have a pair of high-quality water shoes from OluKai Eleu. This company is all about the “aloha life,” which means that these shoes are made to feel like you’re walking barefoot on sand.

This means that you get contoured comfort and a more natural grip that lets you walk on most surfaces with ease.

What sets these shoes apart are the open mesh upper that allows for better drainage, as well as ballistic nylon material that adds extra reliability and durability to the shoe. Also, they come with dual-density EVA foam insoles, making them more comfortable than your average water shoe.

They have sticky rubber outsoles for increased underwater traction, and a lace fastener to keep them tied even after a day of heavy use. Overall, if you want water shoes that can be worn daily, these are a great option.


  • Durable synthetic and rubber construction
  • Open mesh upper for better drainage
  • Ballistic nylon material for better durability
  • Cord lacing system with lace fastener
  • Dual-density EVA foam insole
  • Hydrophobic materials with drainage holes
  • Sticky rubber outsole for better traction in water
  • Gusseted tongue for better comfort and protection
  • Heel pull tab for easier on/off
  • Contoured midsole for more comfort
  • Washable footbeds


  • May need wet socks to avoid rubbing and blisters
  • Can run a bit narrow in sizes

Next, we have another set of shoes that are built for boating and water activities more than hiking and walking. These shoes from Under Armour come with some incredible mesh uppers and thick rubber outsoles that let water flow through uninterrupted.

The top is lightweight and open-celled so that you can not only shed more water but get better airflow as well.

They also come with a bungee lace closure system that stays tight, especially when wet.

Other features of these shoes include a contoured midsole for better comfort, non-marking outsoles so that you won’t scuff the bottom of your boat, and a sticky grip, ensuring that you can walk on all kinds of wet surfaces without any problems.


  • Durable textile and rubber construction
  • Open-mesh design for easier drainage
  • Holes in the midsole for rapid water shedding
  • Bungee lace closure system
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Heel pull system for easy on/off
  • Contoured midsole and interior for comfort
  • Non-marking rubber outsole
  • Maintains grip on wet surfaces
  • Lightweight feel


  • Holes allow for sand and rocks to get into the soles and they can be hard to remove
  • Runs a bit narrow in sizing
  • Insole can feel a bit hard for some users

If you’re looking for a dependable pair of water shoes that look great while also shedding water super fast, then these are the ones for you. They have a sleek look, and they are designed to stay dry in all conditions.

The neoprene and nubuck upper sole have mesh vents for drainage and airflow, and the outsole has holes on the sides to keep water out.

The bottoms are also made from partially recycled rubber, making them a bit more eco-friendly than most other shoes.

Terra traction outsoles mean that these are ideal for hiking and camping, although we recommend wearing wet socks to keep dirt and rocks from getting all over your feet. They are also easy to slip on and take off, and they come with a bungee lacing system that stays put even when wet.


  • Durable textile/leather construction
  • Slip on and adjustable bungee lace system
  • Made from partially recycled rubber
  • Neoprene and nubuck upper sole
  • Mesh design for rapid drainage
  • All terra traction rubber outsoles
  • Ideal for hiking and water activities
  • Holes on bottom for faster water shedding


  • Sand and rocks can get in through bottom holes
  • Can be hard to find the right size for some users

Next, we have another set of shoes that are built for boating and kayaking rather than walking along sandy shores. The reason for this is that they come with large drainage holes on the bottom, which can allow dirt and rocks to get in.

Nonetheless, they are perfect for getting your feet submerged, which is why they are ideal for boating on the lake.

In addition to the drainage holes, these shoes come with a thick mesh upper that is more rugged and durable than most water shoes. This means that they will last longer and that they are a bit thicker and more robust. The heel cup is rigid for stability while in a kayak, and they have a GSS outsole that is sticky on most wet surfaces.

Overall, these are heavy-duty water shoes.


  • Durable synthetic fabric construction
  • Designed for rugged use, such as fishing and kayaking
  • Thick mesh upper for durability and better water shedding
  • Drainage holes in midsole for faster drying
  • Standard lace closure system
  • Thick padded collar for comfort
  • Extra-thick rubber outsole
  • Ideal for hiking and water activities
  • Semi-rigid heel cup for stability
  • Heel pull system for easy on/off
  • GSS outsole is extra sticky on wet surfaces


  • Sizes can run a bit small
  • Midsole is flat and doesn’t offer much arch support
  • Thicker mesh is not as breathable as other water shoes

With most water shoes, they have an open-cell mesh design to allow water to pour out and air to flow in.

With these, however, they have an open strap design, which means that they are something of a cross between a shoe and a sandal. So, if you want the ultimate in airflow, then these are the ones to get.

What also makes these shoes unique is that they are rugged and durable so that you can go hiking in them as well. They’re made of synthetic and leather material, and they come with thick rubber outsoles that have excellent traction on both rocks and the water.

They are easy to slip on and off, and they come with lace clips to ensure that they don’t come undone. Finally, they even come with a rubber toe protector to keep your feet safe while hiking.


  • Durable synthetic/textile construction
  • Open-air vents on top for breathability and drainage
  • Standard lace system with lace clips
  • Thick rubber outsole with drainage holes
  • Techlite midsole conforms to your foot
  • Easy slip on heels
  • Designed for hiking, boating, and water activities
  • Rubber toe cover for protection


  • Can run narrow in the middle
  • Arch support may not be enough for some users
  • Open-design can rub if you don’t wear wet socks

When trying to find the right water shoe, you first have to figure out what kind of activities you’ll be doing with them. In this case, these Tennie Water Shoes from Five Ten are designed to be used with a wetsuit.

They have a higher collar to allow for seamless transition between suit and shoe, and they are built to have incredible underwater traction.

The soles are AquaStealth, meaning that you can stick to almost any surface without any kind of slippage. Other features of these shoes include a mesh upper for better drainage, a barrel lace closure system that stays tight on your feet, and side holes to allow water to pour out freely.

Best of all, these shoes are comfortable with or without wet socks, making them the ideal choice for any water activities, even if you don’t use a wetsuit.


  • Durable synthetic and rubber construction
  • Neoprene and mesh upper for better drainage
  • High collar for comfort and easy on/off
  • Rubber toe cap for safety
  • AquaStealth soles for better traction in the water
  • Barrel lace closure system
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Designed for high-performance athletes
  • Side drainage holes for quick drying
  • Comfortable with or without socks


  • Some sizes may be hard to find
  • Over time, the rubber and the fabric may start to split apart
  • Can be narrow at the toes

How to Choose Best Water Shoes in 2020

As you can see, there is quite a lot of variety when trying to pick out a high-quality water shoe. That being said, one of the most important things that you have to figure out when purchasing a pair is how you are going to use them. Are you planning on hiking and walking through water? Do you want shoes that can work on the beach? Do you plan on using them for boating or kayaking?

Once you’ve figured out what kind of use they will be getting, then it’s time to start paying attention to the different features and components that will ensure that you find the right pair for your needs. Overall, you want to make sure that the shoes are both comfortable and reliable time and time again, even with daily use.


For the most part, water shoes are made with either synthetics or leather. Either way, however, you have to be sure that they are completely waterproof. Leather shoes will have to be treated and may not work well in saltwater, but most synthetic models are designed for deep soaking. The other thing to consider is how well they will hold up with full submersion. Some shoes are not built to get soaked through, while others can be dunked over and over again.

For our money, we highly recommend synthetic shoes with an open mesh design that will allow you to get better airflow and drainage. There are also shoes that have open holes up top to make them feel lighter and cooler overall.


The outsole is one of the most important parts of a water shoe as it will dictate how you can use it. This is because the type of traction will let you know what kind of surfaces you can walk on without slipping or losing your footing. Some water shoes are built to allow for hiking on rocky terrain, while others may be designed for flat surfaces, such as on a boat.

The other thing to consider with the outsole is whether or not it has holes in it. Many water shoes have openings to allow water to drain out, but this also means that sand, dirt, and rocks can come in relatively easily. As such, you want to get water shoes with larger holes if you don’t plan on walking through water, and ones with smaller holes if you do.


This is another important area of the shoe as it has to do with the overall level of comfort that you feel. Many water shoes come with a flat rubber midsole, which means that you don’t get ample arch support. This can mean that the shoes will be uncomfortable when worn for long periods, so keep that in mind.

Some models will have a contoured midsole that hugs your foot for better support, which means that they are aptly suited for long walks in between water activities. Overall, if you plan on boating or kayaking, flat midsoles won’t be that big of a problem.


Another thing to consider with boat shoes is how easy it is to put them on and take them off. Usually, these shoes will have a stretchy heel that allows for quick and easy access, and they might even have a pull tab to make the process even simpler.

The other thing about the collar is that it can rub against your ankles, so make sure that it is both soft and adequately positioned so that you don’t develop blisters on your skin. Some water shoes have higher collars so that you can use them with wetsuits, but most of them run a bit low so that you can slip them on and off.

Wet Socks

Finally, because water shoes are mostly designed with drainage in mind, they are not built to be super comfortable. As a result, many models will cause some problems if you wear them without socks. In many cases, you can develop blisters on your feet, and if sand or dirt gets into them, it can be even worse.

Since you don’t want to wear regular socks with water shoes (unless you like squishy feet), that means that you’ll have to get wet socks to keep your feet from getting rubbed raw while also maintaining some level of water resistance. Unfortunately, the best way to figure out if you need socks or not is to wear the shoes for a while and see how your feet feel.

Final Verdict

When looking for the best water shoes, we have to say that many of them share a lot of the same attributes, which means that it can be hard to narrow down a winner. However, considering that we like a couple of the different brands, we will highly recommend either Columbia or Merrell for your water shoe needs.

Merrell Shoes are designed for multi-purpose use, meaning that they are perfect for hiking and camping as well as walking in water. Columbia Shoes are better at drainage and airflow, so they are more suited for boating and other water activities.

As such, choose the brand that fits your needs, and you will get a high-quality shoe that will stand the test of time.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!