Open Toe Vs. Closed Toe: Which Style of Water Shoes is Best for You?

April 01, 2024

Open Toe Vs. Closed Toe: Which Style of Water Shoes is Best for You?
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When it comes time to pick the perfect water shoes, you will be faced with a very important question: open toe shoe or closed toe? To make the right decision, you will need to consider how you will use the shoe and what your needs for it are. To help you make the best decision, let’s break down the two types:

Open Toe: Keep Your Feet Cool

There's nothing worse than sweaty feet on a hot day. If you are wearing an open toed shoe, you will get much better ventilation on your feet, ensuring that air keeps flowing around your feet. You know how if you're lying in hot a bed, taking a foot out from under the covers can cool you right off? Same principle here. If your feet are cool, you will be cool as well. 

Plus, with this good ventilation comes good water drainage. If you wear these shoes in water, you will not retain water. Good for when you go in and out of water at a beach!

Closed Toe: Keep Your Feet Protected

While closed toe shoes may not be able to keep your feet quite as cool, they make up for it by keeping your feet protected. You won't stub your toe in a closed toe shoe, that's for sure! Plus, while they are not as good as open toe shoes when it comes to draining, they are still designed to drain water as much as possible, helping to keep your feet blister free. TThey will not fill with sand either, which can be a big help when walking on the beach. 

Open Toe: Better Suited to Swimming

Open toe shoes are better for swimming, because they allow for better water flow. If you’re swimming in an area known for sharp rocks or where you may be climbing out of the water onto slippery surfaces, a water shoe is perfect for giving you extra grip and protection. If you expect to do more swimming than climbing though, an open toe shoe is the way to go. It gives your feet more exposure to the water, which is what you want when you swim, but it also offers protection while you do so.

Closed Toe: Better for Long Hikes

If you’ve ever hiked or walked a long distance in typical sandals, you know they aren’t great for your feet. Sand and dirt gets kicked up between the sole and your foot, there isn’t a ton of support, and your toes are exposed to all the sharp rocks and who knows what else. Closed shoe shoes provide far more protection and support for your foot, making them ideal for lengthier hikes through muddy environments. They are not as good as a typical hiking boot or a sneaker, but they are far superior to an open toe sandal.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that of foot protection, and for that, closed toe shoes are the clear winner. But, open toe shoes have their uses and can be used, in a pinch, for everything a closed shoe can.

No matter what type of shoe you choose, when you buy a water shoe, you will end up with a great shoe that is suited for both in and out of water activities. You’ll get good drainage, better grip than a typical flip flop or cheap sandal, and better support. Whatever you need them for, you can’t go wrong with a water shoe!