Picking the Best Water Shoes

August 29, 2017

Picking the Best Water Shoes
Table of Contents

Water shoes have tons of uses, but there are so many different kinds out there! How can you know which shoe is the best for your needs? Let’s break them down and figure out which type is best suited for you!

Water Sandals

Water sandals may look like the typical sandals you wear on the street, but they are anything but! And they are definitely not flip flops. Instead, they have a thicker, more solid sole that is designed to be wet, worn over long distances, and taken on treks over wet rocks and other surfaces to prevent slipping. Some nice sandals are made from leather, but unlike a good water sandal, they are not designed to go into the water.

A water sandal is great for the following activities:

  • Swimming
  • Walking around town
  • Wade fishing
  • Beach games

It is important to remember that, when buying a water sandal, you want to make sure it is a water sandal rather than a beach sandal. A water sandal is generally more heavy-duty and designed for heavier, more strenuous work. A beach sandal is often lighter and meant for nothing more than a short trip to the beach or a quick walk. Plus, a water sandal will have a heavier, stronger sole compared to a beach sandal, which will often be light and airy.

Water Shoes

Water shoes are similar to water sandals, often made of a similar, or even the same, material, though they have a few key differences. A water shoe is closed toe, meaning that your toes are covered by the shoe itself. They also wrap fully around your foot, meaning that your entire foot is protected from scrapes and sunburn.

While water shoes are not quite the same as sneakers, they often resemble them, even up close. However, whereas a sneaker will get wet and absorb water, creating that unpleasant “squishy” feeling that can lead to blisters, water shoes are designed to drain out water and even sand, making them ideal for both in and out of water use.

Water shoes are ideal for the following activities:

  • Shorter distance hikes
  • Hikes through muddy or wet terrain
  • Float trips
  • Beach trips

Water shoes have superior traction to normal sneakers, but they may not offer the same level of support. Because of this, they are not suited for long hikes. But for most other uses, especially when water is involved, they are ideal.

Wet Shoes

Wet shoes are probably what most people think of when they think of water shoes, but that is not the case. Wet shoes are made from a similar material to a wet suit, and serve the same purpose--to keep you warm in cold water. They are not designed for use outside of the water for any extended period of time, nor are they suited for hiking or even much walking.

However, they do have niche uses, and if you are someone who can take advantage of these situations, then you can’t go wrong with a good wet shoe.

Some situations where wet shoes are perfect:

  • Swimming on the beach
  • Rafting
  • As a second pair of shoes when you don’t want your primary pair to get wet
  • Additional insulating layer in shoes

Again, wet shoes are far more niche than the other shoes on this list, but if you have a need for them, they can be very useful.

Boat Shoes

Boat shoes sound like they should only be used on actual boat, but that is far from the case! You likely know boat shoes as a kind of work shoe, which is where they are well suited. They are sturdy and strong, but very comfortable as well. Plus, they look really nice, often made out of leather. You can get away with them as a dress shoe, in a pinch!

Boat shoes are ideal for:

  • Boating
  • Comfortable dress shoes
  • Working

Water Socks

Water socks are exactly what they sound like--socks that you can wear in the water. However, they can be more useful than regular socks, since they dry faster, are usually very thin, and can help keep your feet cool or warm, depending on what you need them for. Some water socks have rubber soles as well to help with grip.

Water socks are great for:

  • Swim fins
  • Cold water or hot beaches
  • Scuba diving

Water socks are also generally cheaper than a shoe or a sandal, though they are not a replacement for either. Instead, they are more of a supplement. But they are far better than a typical cotton sock for cold water.