Our Welcome Letter to You
Welcome to Water Shoe Reviews, your #1 online resource for up-to-date, accurate water-friendly & waterproof footwear guides. I’m the founder, your host, and lead writer here, Calvin. I’m writing this letter to tell you that I’m happy you’re here because this wonderful site wouldn’t exist without you.
Why did I start this site? I started Water Shoe Reviews to help you choose the best water shoes for your next adventure in the least amount of time possible. Our top 10 charts and buyer’s guides are designed to make your buying decisions painless and simple. We spent many hours and late nights researching, reviewing, and inspecting each of the water shoes found on our site, and we believe that’s what sets us apart.
You won’t find any lists that were just slapped together here because we put the time in to research the products we recommend. When we formulate our top 10 lists, we make sure to offer the best range of options that check all the boxes. When you read our reviews, you’ll quickly realize how easy we make choosing the best water shoes for your desired activity.
We went the extra mile to group together related activities that require similar water shoes. In each of our buyer’s guides, we explain exactly what to look for when shopping for the ideal shoe for each activity. Within no time at all, you’ll be a water shoe whiz and never again get confused during the buying process.
Another reason I started this site is that I love water sports. I love surfing, kayaking, hiking through mountain streams and lakes, checking out legendary waterfalls, fishing, boating, beach volleyball, the beach in general, snorkeling, and really anything that involves being in the water and having fun!
One of the greatest advantages of living in today’s world is all the options we have available to protect our feet. There’s literally a shoe for everything, and I promise you’ll be amazed by how thorough our water shoe reviews are. We explain why each shoe fits each situation. We list all the best uses for the shoe, plus the pros and cons of owning each pair.
By following our reviews and buyer’s guides, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and get it right the first time. I know better than most that there’s limited time to prepare for a vacation. By getting it right the first time, you cut out the risk of having to complete a return before you start your next big adventure!
Most of all, I want you to have fun while you’re here! I want you to envision all the awesome stuff you can do while shopping for water shoes because that’s the best part about owning them. They turn you into an amphibian who can effortlessly jump between streams, slippery rocks, and dry land. How fun does that sound?
Have a blast!
Owner and Founder of Water Shoe Reviews
Water Shoe Reviews Overview
Our homepage is one of the most valuable resources on our site. Below, I go over all the basics and answer all the most important questions about water shoes, aqua socks, and hiking sandals. By the end, you’ll know if water shoes are the right choice for you and why we love them so much.
Let’s start with the most fundamental question.
What are water shoes?
Water shoes have come a long way over the past decade. I remember long ago when I was a kid, the only ones that were available were more like aqua socks, and they usually fell apart after one day at the water park or beach. Modern-style water shoes are a whole lot different.
Nowadays, there are a ton of different types available, and they’re all great for different activities. Organizing our site was no easy task. We carefully paired activities with the most suitable groups of shoes.
The simple answer to the question is water shoes are made to protect your feet while you swim or engage in activities in or around water.
These are the principal functions of water shoes:
- Quick-drying and waterproof/water-resistant
- Drainage throughout the shoe
- Lightweight enough to swim in or forget you’re wearing them
- More breathability than a traditional shoe
- Traction for gripping pool floors, slippery rocks, and other slick surfaces
- Heel and toe protection
Below are photo examples of the four main types of water shoes:
#1 Modern Water Shoe
#2 Water Shoe/Hiking Sandal Hybrid
#3 Aqua Socks
#4 Aqua Sock/Water Shoe Hybrid
These are the four main types of water shoes you’ll find throughout our site, which leads us to the next question…
Why wear water shoes?
As we mentioned already, there are water shoes available for every activity (outside of formal occasions). The main reason to choose them over traditional shoes is when you plan to engage in activities where your feet get wet, and you want to protect your feet.
Hiking sandals provide the best protection, and we include them in several of our guides including our best water shoes for hiking. Quality water shoes are also very comfortable. A lot of people prefer how they feel over normal shoes because they give them more freedom to wiggle their toes.
The ability to move between wet and dry land without taking your shoes off is awesome for a lot of activities. I love hopping between boulders on my waterfall hikes, and water shoes are perfect for that.
What are they used for?
So what are water shoes used for? Below is a list of the top uses:
- Water Park
- Island Vacations (Hawaii)
- Hiking in wet conditions
- Lakes, Rivers, Streams, and Creeks
- Ocean swimming
- Rocky beaches, over rocks, lava, coral
Those are just some of the best uses. A lot of models are comfortable enough to walk in while you’re on vacation, which allows you to cut out bringing a separate pair of tennis shoes. They’re lightweight nature also makes them easy to stow in your luggage without adding any unnecessary weight.
Some people even choose to wear modern water shoes on the plane. For example, the ALEADER water shoe looks like a normal shoe.
Where to buy water shoes?
One thing we love about water shoes is you don’t have to buy name-brand models to get a quality product. When we compile our guides and reviews, we only include footwear that gives you your money’s worth or more. You’ll be surprised by what you can get for under $20.
The best place to buy water shoes is online through Amazon. There are a ton of options, quality pairs, and the best prices we’ve found online.
Why buy online and not locally? One of the problems people often run into are cheaply made water shoes bought locally. They end up costing more than at Amazon, then they fall apart or aren’t as comfortable.
All of the models in our guides provide the durability and comfort you deserve when you invest in water shoes for you and your family.
Who sells them?
It’s best to buy them online through Amazon or other reliable online retailers before your vacation. As mentioned in the previous section, locally bought water shoes tend to fall apart.
We all know that everything is more expensive in a tourist zone. If you wait to buy water shoes after you arrive at your destination, you’re going to pay a lot more and waste time shopping for water shoes while on vacay.
Since water shoes are super lightweight and easy to fold or roll up, it’s best to buy them before you leave home to embark on your next adventure.
How much are they?
Depending on what type of activities you plan to do, water shoes range in price from under $10 to over $100.
The list below goes in descending order from most expensive to least expensive:
- Water Shoe/Hiking Sandal Hybrid (Most Expensive)
- Modern Water Shoes
- Aqua Sock/Water Shoe Hybrid
- Aqua Socks (Least Expensive)
Where to Buy Them Cheap
Name-brand hiking sandals are the most expensive, yet you get what you pay for. We love Keen and Merrell hybrids because they turn people into Spider-Man on the rocks when trucking through rivers, streams, creeks, over slippery surfaces, you name it, they’re going to protect your feet the best.
Aqua socks provide the least protection, yet they’re the lightest. Our buyer’s guides at the end of each of our top 10 water shoe reviews are a great free resource that’ll lead you in the right direction before you buy.
Where to buy baby water shoes?
Amazon also sells water shoes for babies. Right now, our top 10 best water shoes for a water park includes excellent options for toddlers and small children.
Stay tuned for our upcoming guide for babies only. I’ll provide the link here once it’s finished.
Which water shoes are the best?
The answer to this question depends on what you plan to do in your water shoes. Once you know what activities you plan to do, navigate to the menu bar at the top of this page.
Click on “Activities,” and it’ll show a dropdown menu with a list of different activities. Click on your activity, and you’ll go straight to our top 10 shoes for that particular activity.
Right now we have several excellent guides for hiking, the beach, rivers, swimming, water parks, kayaking, canoeing, and more!
How to Choose Water Shoe Size
One of the trickiest parts of the buying process is sizing. People often order the wrong size since water shoes all run differently. The best way to avoid ordering the wrong size is to follow the three steps below:
- Check the latest reviews to see how people are ordering theirs
- The Q&A section on the product pages almost always answers questions about sizing and whether to size up or down
- Sellers often provide directions for how to order the correct size on the product page. Use the search function on your computer to search “sizing” or terms such as “run big” or “run small.”
We recommend reading the most recent reviews to get the most accurate advice about sizing.
How should they fit?
Water shoes should be snug, but not too tight. Since you won’t be wearing socks, ordering the right size can be a little tricky. If you follow the steps above, you give yourself the best chance of ordering the right size the first time and avoiding the hassle of a return or exchange.
Aqua socks should stay close against your skin and not move around. You want the neck of the shoe to stay against your ankle to keep sand out.
If you purchase water shoe/hiking sandal hybrids, you may require a bit of play in the toe box, especially if you have wide feet. The Keen Newport H2 is an excellent option for people with wide feet.
The key takeaway is that the shoes shouldn’t be loose or moving around while you walk. Hiking sandals often stretch a bit after you’ve worn them a few weeks. It’s better for them to be a little tight at first than too big.
How to Care for Water Shoes
Caring for water shoes is easy-peasy and won’t add much time at all to your day.
How to Clean Them
Most water shoes and aqua socks only need to be hosed off or worn in the shower at the end of the day. If you wore them to the beach, be sure to turn them inside out to get all the sand out.
Some hiking sandals and water shoes are machine-washable. Be sure to check the cleaning instructions on the product page if you prefer machine-washable models.
Lastly, if you swam in salt water, be sure to rinse them off with fresh water.
How to Dry Them
The quickest way to dry water shoes is to hang them up in the sun. There are several models with removable insoles that dry lightning fast. For example, the Keen Rialto H2 has a removable footbed, and the Crocs alternative Clapzovr shoe will dry faster than any other water shoe on our site.
A lot of water shoes have neoprene since it’s soft, stretchy, and one of the best fabrics to build the uppers. Keep in mind, models with neoprene will sometimes take overnight to dry.
I hope you enjoyed our overview. We here at Water Shoe Reviews want you to enjoy yourself while you’re here and get pumped up for your next big adventure!
We’re travelers who love being in the water. Knowing that our guides will save you time is what keeps our site alive. We take pride in delivering well-organized helpful content that makes buying waterproof footwear a breeze.
Feel free to drop us a line. We’re always open to suggestions and here to help!
Have a blast on your next adventure!
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