Links on this page may earn us a commission.
Navigate slippery surfaces and avoid nasty injuries with the best water shoes for this year!
The best water shoes are a must-have addition to your outdoors’ toolkit and ensembles. These specialized kicks keep your feet safe from fungal infections, stubbed toes, and even nasty falls that could ruin your hiking, kayaking, or exploration trips!
Some of the best water shoes come with a lightweight, breathable construction that offers support and next-level traction around slippery surfaces. Whether you’re rock hopping along a river, visiting a rocky beach, or having the time of your life boating, these trusty loafers will keep you comfy and injury-free no matter the adventure!
The best water shoes are carefully designed to perform well in and out of the water, especially when facing dangerous slippery or polished surfaces. Their overall build and design vary to better adjust to specific activities; for instance, some water shoes feature a thicker midsole to offer next-level support and protection in rocky terrain. Others offer a thinner midsole that wraps around your feet to prevent plantar warts and dangerous slips that could put you out of commission for weeks!
The best water shoes, however, deliver that ground-feel and grip you’ll need next time you go river fording or rock hopping in the wilderness. The best models also come with a water draining design that keeps your feet dry and a protected closed-toe design that keeps you from stubbing your toes as you trek along riverbeds and gravel trails.
Today, we’ve hand-picked the best water shoes that top clothing brands have to offer for this year. We’ve carefully screened these shoes to guarantee that their safety-first design keeps you comfy, stank-free, mobile, and stylish as you explore the world!
The Best Water Shoes
Right at the top of our ranking, we got the Chaco Classics, which we believe are the best water shoes for this year. Chaco has been at the forefront of high-performance exploration footwear for over 30 years, building an impressive catalog full of outstanding water shoes. They’ve successfully perfected a mix between a breathable sandal design and an ultra-grippy sole that can handle irregular terrain and slippery surfaces like it’s nothing.
The Z1s by Chaco is considered one of the best water shoes due to its patented ChacoGrip outsole. The ChacoGrip is made of a rubber compound and features a 3.5mm lug depth to get that unrivaled traction on wet surfaces. You can take your Chacos to challenging water hikes, summer canoe trips, or on fun exploration trips with your friends. Regardless of your destination, the podiatrist-certified LUVSEAT PU footbed will deliver unmatched comfort and support to your feet.
The brand also manufactures the best water shoes in terms of comfort and overall versatility. The Z1 allows you to fully customizable fit around your feet thanks to its double-strapped jacquard webbing upper. You can go for a loose fit if you’re heading to the beach or a tighter fit if you’re exploring a waterfall or hanging out by the rockpools.
Best Water Shoes for Men
The Newport H2 by Keen is, without question, the best water shoes for men. River guides from all over the world wear these water-resistant kicks due to their comfortable and super grippy design. The brand’s signature multi-directional lugs with razor siping offer superior grip on slippery surfaces, making them an ideal choice for river fording, rock hopping, and water hiking.
The H2 are also considered the best water shoes for men due to the lace-lock bungee capture system. This clever design delivers a secure fit that locks onto your feet for next-level support and soft comfort. The EVA footbed and added arch support are fantastic additions to an already safe and super comfortable design, making them an ideal choice for regular hikers who dabble in river fording and exploration.
This Keen classic also comes with LWG-certified waterproof leather and a pesticide-free probiotic that instantly breaks down nasty odors. This technology keeps you stank-free and super stylish even during hot summer days!
The Best Hiking Shoes for Water
The Forebay by Teva are the best hiking shoes for water areas that the brand has ever released. With over 35 years of experience in exploration footwear, Teva products are well-known for their durability and safety-first designs.
The Forebay are among the best hiking shoes for water, but they’re also revered amongst anglers who live to explore the wilderness and connect with nature. These quick-drying water shoes come with a cushioned Shock Pad in the heel area that absorbs sudden impacts and a durabrasion rubber outsole that delivers superior grip in rugged terrain.
The Forebay are also the best hiking shoes for water in terms of eco-friendliness and style. The eco-conscious footwear features synthetic and plant-based materials, rivaling the best Birkenstocks sandal’s carbon footprint. You can just as easily wear these as part of a casual summer ensemble, guaranteeing you plenty of mileage from the best hiking shoes for water.
The Astral Best Mens Water Shoes
The Brewer 2.0 by Astral is one of the best mens water shoes out there, thanks to its equally protective and lightweight design. The secret lies in the patented Granite Grip 2.0 technology, which offers unmatched sensory feedback and superior grip across smooth, wet and rocky surfaces. The high-performance G.15 rubber outsole, divided lugs, and razor-siping design maximize surface area contact and overall grip to secure your footing at every turn.
This model is also considered one of the best mens water shoes because of its water-ready design. The holes in the front and back of the shoe conform to a water draining system, while its breathable upper mesh diffuses heat to keep your feet dry. The Brewer also keeps your feet fresh, and odor-free thanks to its built-in Polygiene treated sock liner, making it the best mens water shoes for guys that wish to stay stank-free through their hiking trips.
The Aleader Best Water Shoes for Women
These slip-on shoes by Aleader are the best water shoes for women for many reasons. First, the brand’s water grain outsole provides exceptional traction on wet and slippery surfaces, essential for safely navigating river beds, exploring waterfalls, or canyoning. Coupled with the Solyte Midsole, you’ll get the necessary grip and support needed to prevent untimely slips on rocky terrain.
This Aleader best-seller is also regarded as the best water shoes for women in terms of comfort and convenience. The hydrophobic engineered mesh upper and ComforDry template work together to keep your feet cool and dry, thanks to its equally breathable and cushioned design. The Free Adjustment Laces addition is also incredibly convenient since they allow you to adjust the fit to prevent your feet from sliding around the shoe like a bar of soap!
The design and multiple colorways make this model one of the best water shoes for women who value safety, comfort, and fashionable designs!
Best Water Shoes for Kids
These Sunnywoo best-sellers are, without question, the best water shoes for kids. These cute water shoes combine top-notch safety features with trendy aesthetics that your kids will love to wear to the pool and beach. With 16 vibrant colorways and a lightweight build that is easy to wash, these are a must-have for your next vacation trip or pool day!
These models are also the best water shoes for kids because of their premium materials. The smooth upper is made with a stretchy diving material that quickly dries off to avoid sogginess and strange smells. The durable ultra grippy sole prevents slippage and protects your toddler’s feet from sharp objects on the ground and fungal infections. All in all, these Sunnywoo’s classics are the best water shoes for kids that love the pool, water park, or outdoor sports by the beach!
The Barerun Mens Swim Shoes
The Barerun mens swim shoes are nothing short of fantastic. These mens swim shoes have a barefoot feel, but they also come with outstanding grip and a highly durable rubber sole that keeps your feet protected from sharp objects and the occasional sea creature. The smooth neck design is also great since it prevents chafing and excessive pressure around your feet; just wear these with the best hiking shorts and you’re golden!
The upper is one of the best you’ll find in a pair of mens swim shoes. It features a mix of smooth, breathable fabrics that keeps your feet cool and dry underneath. Due to its grippy, protective sole and comfy upper, these mens swim shoes are also ideal for wakeboarding, sailing, kayaking, and beach volleyball! After all, these mens swim shoes will keep your feet safe from that often annoying hot sand that burns the feet!
Best Water Hiking Shoes
These quick-drying Zhanglin are one of the best water hiking shoes you’ll find online. These affordable water shoes feature a breathable and durable air mesh that keeps your feet cool during challenging hikes, while its ComforDry sockliner protects you from bacteria and odor. These water shoes also come with a unique draining system that passively disposes of water build-ups, allowing you to transition from river fording to regular hiking in a jiff.
These models are also one of the best water hiking shoes in terms of traction and grip. The anti-slip rubber sole sticks to wet surfaces like tar, providing outstanding flexibility and support during hiking, boating, and kayaking trips. The adjustable shoelaces allow you to customize your fit for those intense uphill treks you’ll often encounter outdoors. Because of how versatile and lightweight they are, we rate the Zhuanglin as one of the best water hiking shoes for under $25!
Part of appreciating and enjoying the wild outdoors is having a deep respect for it. Accidents can happen, and twisting an ankle or suffering a dangerous fall while rock hopping is the last thing you’d want to experience during your summer vacations. The best water shoes are designed to navigate slippery surfaces and rocky terrain, allowing you to appreciate the majestic wonders that nature reveals to those bold enough to explore.
The best water shoes are not just for the outdoors but also an essential part of any gym-goer’s toolkit. Unfortunately, the gym’s showers are a breeding ground for fungal infections and other pathogens that patiently await a barefoot visitor to enter their domain. With the best water shoes, you’ll not only avoid dangerous slips in narrow places but also keep these nasty pathogens away from your feet!