Late spring and summer are usually times when children and adults spend more time outside than usual. Water sports and activities also become more popular, which brings up the need for shoes suitable to use in and out of the water. Some choose to go barefoot, but it’s not always a practical option, and sometimes a pair of the best water shoes can save you from slipping or cutting your feet in the water.
When to Wear Water Shoes
- 1 When to Wear Water Shoes
- 2 Are Water Shoes Different from Sandals?
- 3 Advantages of Water Shoes for Toddlers
- 4 How to Choose the Best Water Shoes
- 5 Top 7 Water Shoes Reviews
- 6 Conclusion
Any type of activity you’re doing in the water could be a good reason to put on a pair of water shoes. If you’re going into the backyard creek to wade around, swimming in the lake, or wakeboarding behind a boat, water shoes may help you keep your footing in slippery conditions and protect you from cutting your feet. Water shoes give you a peace of mind when you’re doing athletic activities, so you can just throw on your waterproof mp3 player and get to work!
Are Water Shoes Different from Sandals?
Sometimes sandals are referred to as a type of water shoe, although it’s not entirely accurate. Many pairs of sandals are designed to do well in wet and dry conditions alike, and will dry off quickly after getting wet, but water shoes are designed to give more protection. A water shoe has a thicker bottom sole with excellent traction, a snug fit over your foot, and protection for your whole foot. Usually, it has a mesh upper that will provide good flow inside the shoes and will also dry out more quickly.
Advantages of Water Shoes for Toddlers
Even if you don’t feel the need for water shoes as an adult, they can be an essential part of a child’s summer outdoor wardrobe. Children, especially toddlers and other young kids, are not as sure on their feet or as attentive to their surroundings. Where you might see a creek full of sharp rocks and slick moss, they see an endless flowing creek full of fun water to splash! Getting them the best water shoes for toddlers, along with swimming goggles and swimming ear plugs, can keep your kids safe from any dangers in the water.
How to Choose the Best Water Shoes
Here are a few things to look at when you’re choosing a pair of water shoes:
Toe guards are a common feature on most water shoes, but it’s a good idea to check and make sure they are there on any pair you look at buying. If there is no protection for the toes, water shoes are not much better than sandals.
Your toes are some of the most at risk parts of your feet when you’re actively moving around the water. If you slip and your feet go shooting out in one direction, you can smash your toes onto any of the solid objects around you. Additionally, if there are rocks or other pieces of debris on the bottom of the body of water you’re in, your toes are at risk of being hit against the debris as you move forward. Toe guards prevent these types of incidents from hurting you.
Thick Bottom Soles
The bottom soles of the shoes are the only barrier between your feet and whatever is below you in the water. This is something to consider more strongly if you’ll be moving around in and out of natural water bodies like lakes, rivers, and the ocean, because it can be difficult to predict what the surface will be like underneath your feet.
Water shoes with thick soles may also be helpful for kids going swimming in pools. Pools made from concrete or surrounded by concrete can be rough on softer, young feet. Wearing water shoes with sturdy soles will negate this problem and keep young feet happy all throughout the pool season.
To avoid falling into the water, shoes with good traction are an asset. This is important if you’ll be wearing your water shoes while doing any sort of sports or hiking. If you’re just going to be in the lake or creek swimming, it may not be as big of a consideration for you. The tread on the bottom of the sole, and whether it’s nonslip or not, will help you determine what kind of traction you’ll get from a certain water shoe before you buy it.
Fit & Design
Water shoes come in a variety of designs. Some are more suitable for your needs than others, so take a peek at a few different designs and styles before you make any purchases. In general, most water shoes should have a toe guard and should fit snugly around your feet. They should be designed similarly to a sneaker, but made with different materials and able to dry quickly.
If the soles of the shoes can’t move well with each step, they won’t be great for use in the water. You’ll want that flexibility whether you’re doing sports or just walking around in the water. The tell-tale sign of flexible soles is that there are long grooves on the bottom of the shoes, showing that they are capable of moving as you do.
Top 7 Water Shoes Reviews
1. Croc’s Men’s Swiftwater Sandal
Made from strong and quick-drying textile uppers, these Croc water sandals are designed to keep you comfortable while you’re moving around the water. Soles, including the toe guard area, are made from synthetic rubber materials with a strong grip. Uppers and soles are connected in a few specific places, with holes around the edges to drain water away from your feet and allow for airflow.
The design of these shoes is well-made for active wear. They fit snugly with a heel pull to help you get them on and a loop and pull Velcro clasp that can be quickly slipped on before you get going. No matter what you’re doing on the water, these shoes will stay firmly on your feet, helping you stay up and stay protected the whole time.
2. CIOR Unisex Quick-Drying ShoesShaped more like a traditional athletic shoe, this unisex water shoe is great for wear during active water play and sports. Uppers are made from a mix of polyester and spandex, giving you a snug fit with a little bit of stretch to keep it comfortable and quick-drying. Drainage holes are placed around the shoes to get water out of the inside and to help your feet stay in better shape.
Rubber soles are combined with foam insoles to create a mix of support and protection for the bottoms of your feet. These shoes are designed to feel similar to barefoot walking, so you can enjoy your favorite water activities without being weighed down by heavy, large shoes.
3. Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 ShoeA sleek, low-profile water shoe, the Speedo Surfwalker 3.0 is a great choice for water athletes and anyone who needs a shoe that allows a lot of movement. Made from a mix of mesh and synthetics on the uppers, these water shoes dry quickly and stay snugly on your feet while you’re on the go.
Canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing, wading, or a day on the beach are all great times to wear this shoe. The soles are made with S-trac technology that gives them a non-stick quality. Heel pulls and stretching materials allow you to slip them on and off easily aanytime
4. Speed Women’s Surfwalker 3.0 Shoe
These shoes re the same as the men’s Speedo Surfwalker 3.0s reviewed at #3 above, but designed for women’s feet instead. A low-profile design and sleek color schemes give these shoes a great appearance to complement their sporty function.
On the bottom, soles are made from strong rubber with S-trac slip resistance. Uppers are crafted from mesh and synthetic materials for good airflow and drainage while you’re wearing them. These are breathable and comfortable shoes for all sorts of water activities.
5. Dreamcity Men’s Athletic Shoes
Shaped like traditional sneakers, these water shoes are great for active men looking for an alternative choice. The uppers are made from mesh fabric with a tongue and stretching lace-style closure to help them fit properly. The bottom soles are made from rubber with a strong grip and patterned drainage holes to get the water away from your feet fast.
These shoes from Dreamcity are very breathable, and built to move when you do. Inside, the midsoles are created to drain water away and also give you the kind of support you’ll want when you’re actively wearing them for hours at a time.
6. Aleader Women’s Mesh Slip-on Athletic Shoes
For those women that want a water shoes capable of being worn in and out of the water, this is a good option. It’s designed similarly to a traditional sneaker, but without the lace-up closure. Instead, you have heel and tongue pulls to help you get this slip-on shoe snugly over your foot. Great for water sports and other fast-paced activities, these shoes give the grip and comfort you’ll need.
Uppers re made from a durable and breathable mesh fabric, with a reinforced toe box area to protect you in the water. Bottom soles re made from rubber with built-in slip resistance to help you keep your strong footing. Drainage holes are cut around the bottom of the shoes and into the midsoles to drain water away quickly.
7. Oshkosh B’Gosh Aquatic Girl’s and Boy’s ShoesDesigned to help your toddlers and young kids enjoy the water without you worrying, these water shoes have a shape similar to a sandal, but with all the protective features of a water shoe. The soles are made from sturdy rubber with a protective toe guard on the front. Around the side, the upper material straps down to the soles with openings to allow water to drain out quickly. You can adjust the fit of the shoes to keep them snug with the hook-and-loop Velcro closure.
From the list of reviews above, I would like to recommend a few different pairs for different reasons. In my opinion, the Croc’s Men’s Swiftwater Sandals are the best mens water shoes, while the Aleader Women’s Mesh Slip-on Athletic Shoes are the best womens water shoes. Both share a few great traits, such as the sturdy toe guard, non-slip traction on the soles, and quick-drying comfort.
Because water shoes are used for different purposes, I would recommend the CIOR Unisex Quick-Drying Water Shoes as the best water shoes for beach use, since they won’t collect sand and will protect you easily from shells, rocks, and other beach obstacles. For those that don’t live on the coast, the Speedo Surfwalker 3.0 shoes for men and women are the best water shoes for swimming. They can grip the pool easily, and they don’t feel too heavy while you’re kicking in the water.
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