Finding the perfect women’s water shoe can be quite the challenge because there are just so many options out there and it’s hard to know where to start. Ladies, we are just trying to make your life easier here because we have gone through the hundreds of options and selected the top ten.
There are always pros and cons to each product, but that often depends on what water activities you will be enjoying. The factors we considered when selecting these ten women’s water shoes are grip, durability, coverage, value, fit, style, drainage, and breathability. Take a moment to think about what kind of adventures you are looking to purchase water shoes for then go ahead and take a look at our list!
Advantages of Having Water Shoes
Water shoes are a great option for many different activities because they come equipped with a thick sole that can provide coverage for your entire foot which provides much-needed protection. If you are in cooler temperatures with colder water conditions, most water shoes can also help keep your feet nice and warm.
Water shoes are typically made of mesh material, and hard soles and are designed to help protect the foot and prevent cuts and abrasions when you are out walking around in rocky or other adverse conditions. If you are wading in water, they are also useful for protecting your feet against dangers you may not be able to see right away such as sharp rocks, coral, or other hazards.
Water shoes can also provide the wearer with traction if they are traversing slippery conditions. They will help prevent disastrous slip and falls while you are out. Also, since water shoes are made to be able to go into the water, you will not have to worry about ruining your other shoes if you decide you want to take a hike and come across muddy or wet conditions. They are also made to drain water and dry a lot faster, so you remain comfortable while wearing them and this can also lead to fewer blisters or hurt feet following your trip.
Water shoes were never that popular in earlier years because their overall design was just not up to par with what people were wanting and willing to wear. However, water shoes have come a long way by today’s standards, and we are seeing improved designs and styles for lots of activities.
Activities to Use Water Shoes
We get into this a bit more at the end of the article, but we want to clarify that water shoes are not just made for walking through water. They prove to be useful for a number of activities including, but not limited to, water sporting events, tubing, boating, fishing, hiking, and swimming.
They offer you way more protection than your regular shoes, sandals, or flip-flops can. They can even help offer protection from the sun unlike sandals and can make walking across hot sand at the beach a lot easier to handle.
1. Astral Loyak
If you are looking to be styling on the river as well as in town, the Loyak is the way to go. This women’s water shoe doesn’t just look good, you can also cruise around confidently on potentially slippery surfaces because of the self-draining, Flex-Grip™ outsole. What makes the sole ideal is that is is flexible, razor siped, and has 3 mm lugs, resulting in the best gripping water shoe around.
Astral makes other styles with this excellent sole, but we like this one because of the secure, comfortable fit as well as the stylish design.
2. NRS Vibe
Do you find yourself going straight from the river to happy hour? Don’t get anymore funny looks because of your out-of-date and out of style water shoes. Instead, try on the NRS Vibe. This is a good-looking shoe that does not disappoint when you need it to perform.
Its big selling point is the rubber outsole that is siped to deliver excellent traction for any tricky water maneuver you find yourself doing. They also offer quick drainage to minimize water-logged shoes and can be worn comfortably with or without socks.
3. Aleader Mesh Slip-On
The Aleader is where value meets functionality and durability to result in popularity. This water shoe is tried and true on its fit, grip, breathability, and drainage. There are two pull tab to help you slide your foot in and keep it in.
Because the majority of the shoe is mesh and the rest rubber with great draining technology, it makes it a lightweight shoe, not holding you back from swimming around comfortably and confidently.
4. Adidas Terrex
It is an excellent option for breathability when still providing complete coverage for your feet. The outsole is Adidas TRAXION technology–providing stability, grip, and great drainage.
5. Chaco Outcross 1.5
The Outcross 1.5 is one of four styles from the Outcross collection. The others are worth looking into but we like the 1.5 for its coverage. This water shoe can keep up with the versatile terrain you could be crossing on your next outing.
Chaco is known for their LUVSEAT™ Footbed because of the great arch support that is certified by podiatrist–now that’s shoe you can trust! Comfortable, durable, and good for your feet.
6. Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0
Now here’s a classic watershoe, looks,feels, and even functions like basic shoe that’s been around and still remains popular. The slender and secure fit will help the water shoe stay on even if you are kicking around in the water. Even though it does not offer the best grip on really slippery surfaces, the flexibility of the outsole and mesh material helps with control and quick mobility. You also can’t beat this price!
7. Columbia Drainmaker
If you’re looking for a shoe to function as a water shoe then a trail shoe then a water shoe..and on and on…you’ve found your shoe! It is a little bulky for simply a water shoe if you’re swimming around, but that is because it has the support of being a solid hiking or running pick too. Great traction with Columbia’s Omni-Grip™ and drains quickly while allowing air-flow which is important for keeping your feet comfortable and protected on a long hike.
8. Easy USA Wave
Here is a shoe that has a basic design, not many bells and whistles, but has proven itself to be a great option if price is the biggest factor for you. Rubber soles meet the mesh top to make a shoe that is flexible, breathable, and easy to put on and take off. You get what you pay for as it won’t last through many trips on rough terrain, but you will be glad you have them.
9. NRS Kicker
If you’ve been liking the options that are minimal profile and fit securely on your foot like a traditional water shoe (Surfwalker and Wave) but want something warmer and more durable, here’s the NRS Kicker! Where the others are mesh, the Kicker is made with 3mm neoprene keeping your foot warmer in those cold rivers. Neoprene also offers stretch for the ease of putting on; it also has a stretchy pull tab on the back to keep it on.
10. Keen UNEEK
Keens are known to be unexplainably comfortable right out of the box, then they go step it up with the UNEEK! The combination of strong two-cord construction and the free-moving cords makes a water shoe that is basically custom fit. There is also razor siping on the rubber sole making it a non-marking bottom with superb traction.
Being a wonderful water shoe, its downfall is durability and protection; they are not going to protect your feet from hard or sharp objects you could come across on a river. Pro Tip: UNEEK tends to run small, go a half size bigger than what you usually wear.
Even in just our small list of ten there are a number of different styles; hopefully it is not as overwhelming any more but rather comforting to know that you’ll be able to find the shoe that is just right.
We will break it down a little more and discuss what you should look for if you are just getting into a new hobby and find yourself in desperate need of the perfect pair of water shoes.
There are many different types of fishing to consider. If you are sitting in a boat the majority of the day you want to seek out a water shoe that is going to be comfortable and very breathable. What you need protection for is taking your boat in and out of the water. Otherwise you are not on your feet much. If you are often standing while fishing (on boat or on the shore) your key focus should be grip and comfort. Consider a shoe that has good arch support and a durable out sole that can also offer a bit of traction in case conditions on the boat get a bit slippery.
For whitewater kayaking, grip and fit are the most important features. You are most likely doing some hiking and/or portaging with a big kayak, the last thing you want is to lose your footing because your water shoe doesn’t do well on slick rocks.
A good, secure fit is essential also because God-forbid you swim your shoes will need to stay on and the river can get quite grabby. For recreational and sea kayaking you can be more lenient on grip to focus more on comfort and breathability. You are sitting for the most part so make sure your feet are happy!
If you’re thinking, “Wait, hiking isn’t a water activity?” Think again! Often times when hiking you find yourself having to ford a river or cross though a wet trail and having water shoes that drain well and have good traction will make your hike more enjoyable. Wet feet are more likely to get blisters, so it is still important to wear good socks to help prevent blisters or hot spots.
If you know you’ll be using your water shoes for many types of activities that requires a lot of different movements, stay away from the lesser quality brands. You won’t remember spending an extra couple of bucks, but you will remember being very comfortable or your shoes not lasting.
Nature can be a marvelous thing that can also surprise you! If you are swimming in natural lakes, calm rivers, or oceans we recommend you have proper footwear. Although swimming around with shoes can feel funny, having protection on your feet will help prevent injury. Safety first!
We hope we helped you consider all the “feet”-tures to get you that ideal pair of water shoes. Enjoy the adventures!