Worry-free wading ahead.
A good pair of water shoes is essential if you plan on hitting the beach or taking long hikes in the mountain this spring and summer. Regular sneakers are just not made to handle puddle splashes, rocky river basins, or sneaky waves. You need footwear that’s sturdy enough and equipped to protect your feet from water, rocks, and everything in between.
If you’re into water sports like windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, rafting, or kayaking, opt for a water-ready shoe that provides your feet with full coverage and has excellent grip capabilities. Speedo and Merrell’s styles feature a quick-drying mesh upper construction and heavy-duty anti-slip sole lugs.
Running and trekking fans should look into The North Face and Columbia’s hiking water shoes for their arch support and cushioned soles. And while they perform great on land, you can also walk through lakes and streams thanks to their drainage systems that will keep your feet from sloshing for the next three hours.
And who doesn’t like sailing? For a cute pair of boating shoes, look no further than Adidas Outdoor, with a design in the brand's signature black and white stripes.
And finally, if you’re not really a water sports enthusiast and prefer beach activities like yoga, volleyball, or frisbee, a simple pair of aqua socks will keep the sand away from your feet (and home) while making sure that stepping on a sharp stone or the hot sand doesn’t end up ruining your day. Aqua socks usually have a slip-on silhouette and soft but sturdy enough soles. An added bonus is their flexibility. Just fold them in two and pack a pair for your vacation — they will take up a lot less suitcase space than a separate pair of beach water shoes.
And, of course, we scouted out some cute water shoes, too, and were surprised to find quite a few pairs that could pass for a regular sneaker and even one by Sea Star that looks just like a chic espadrille.
Now, take a look at the best water kicks and aqua socks that will let you enjoy your favorite outdoor activities to the fullest.