What Are Water Shoes, And Who Needs Them?

Water shoes are footwear designed for use in situations where the wearer often goes back and forth between land and water. Most have a mesh or neoprene top with a grippy rubber outsole, which is excellent for walking on dry ground and protecting your feet from sharp rocks near the ocean. The answer to the question above on who needs them is if you like scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, wild swimming, canyoning, coasteering, or paddleboarding.

Unlike water sandals and even most of the finest hiking sandals, water shoes include a closed-toe construction to keep your feet safe. Paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks, and boats benefit from their extra-grippy soles, which also stick well to natural surfaces. Because of this, they are more comfortable than bare feet or shoes and may protect your toes from injury and keep you from slipping.

The Benefits Of Water Shoes

Some versions of water shoes are so versatile that you may wear them anywhere: around the house, in the vehicle, in the city, in the mud, beside the water, and even on short walks through swampy areas. Therefore, wearing a pair of water shoes will not only save you from having to switch shoes during the day, but it should also assist in preserving the condition of the shoes you use on dry ground. 

It’s common knowledge that water makes surfaces slippery, and we’ve all seen footage of canyoneers, boaters, and random people casually walking along rocks only to slide and fall. To avoid this issue, water shoes are designed with a sole that provides more traction than bare feet or the most incredible hiking shoes. Most water shoes also have rather aggressive tread patterns and deep lugs, making them ideal for traversing sandy, muddy, or otherwise lose terrain. 

Participating in water sports while wearing standard running shoes or going barefoot is possible, but your feet probably won’t like it for two reasons. Water shoes are meant to dry rapidly after becoming wet, unlike standard running shoes. This is beneficial because it prevents you from carrying unnecessary weight on your feet and from getting your skin so wet that it begins to consider growing gills, scales, and flippers.


There is a wide range of appearance and design in these footwear options. Because of their adaptability, water shoes are also a good option when not near the water. For example, if your land adventure plans involve hiking, and the terrain is particularly rough or steep, these shoes would be perfect for you. Canoeists are among the most avid consumers of water shoes.