The Best Women’s Water Shoes for Your Next Beach Vacation
A good pair of water shoes is essential if you plan on hitting the beach or taking long hikes in the mountains this 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. Merrell’s styles, for example, feature a quick-drying mesh upper construction and heavy-duty anti-slip sole lugs.
Related: More must-have shoes for summer
While many of these styles perform great on land, such as Lands' End and Ryka's waterproof sneakers, 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 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 Beachwear 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.
Aleader Women's Quick-drying Aqua Water Shoes
These water shoes have over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. People are impressed with how lightweight and comfortable they are, as well as their flexibility and sturdy construction. Wear them while rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, or simply walking along sea cliffs — they have excellent grip capabilities and won’t slip.
To buy: amazon.com, from $24
Sea Star Beachwear Slingback Espadrille Water Shoes
This shoe combines the casual, vacation-worthy look of an espadrille and the functionality of a water shoe. It is crafted from quick-drying fabric and features an elastic slingback strap for a secure fit.
To buy: zappos.com, $96
Lands' End Women’s Water Shoes
We love that these water shoes look just like your standard pair of sneakers, so you can wear them on and off the beach. The mesh upper will keep little stones and grains out while the cushioned insole guarantees you comfort. They also come in wide sizing.
To buy: landsend.com, $30 (originally $60)
Ryka Women's 'Hydro Sport' Water Shoes
Perfect for cross-training and water aerobics, these shoes are quick to dry and have a chlorine-resistant upper. The sole is flexible and features a water drainage system and superior traction.
To buy: amazon.com, from $37
Keen 'Uneek' Water Shoes
This sandal features a quick-drying braided upper with a bungee-lacing closure for a secure fit. The microfiber footbed offers excellent support, and the high-traction rubber soles deliver on stability regardless of the terrain.
To buy: zappos.com, $120
Sand Socks Vincere Low-top Socks
Practice any beach sport without worrying about searing hot sand underfoot. These aqua socks are made from durable and quick-drying neoprene and Lycra fabric.
To buy: amazon.com, from $15
Merrell Choprock Sieve Water Shoes
These water shoes are made from water-friendly synthetic and mesh materials, making them comfortable and breathable. Plus, a Vibram outsole adds plenty of traction for a non-slip fit.
To buy: merrell.com, $110
DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes
These ultra-lightweight water shoes are both comfortable on the feet and easy to pack. A mesh upper makes them breathable and quick drying, while an anti-slip rubber sole will give you a secure fit on any surface.
To buy: amazon.com, from $19
JBU Mermaid III Water Shoes
These sleek, slip-on shoes are the perfect accessory for all your favorite water sports. The shoes are treated with an antimicrobial coating, which prevents odors and ensures a more comfortable fit. There are also drainage ports in the footbed that allow excess water to escape.
To buy: zappos.com, $30
DOUSSPRT Women's Water Shoes
These mesh shoes look like your typical casual sneakers (which are available in a variety of fun colors), but they'll actually keep your feet impressively dry, whether you're on the beach or by the pool. Plus, a drawstring closure provides a secure, adjustable fit.
To buy: amazon.com, from $16
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