How To Choose the Best Water Shoes For You

There’s something about being on and around water that simply feels good. Water provides a cool reprieve from summer heat, invigorates and inspires us, builds memories, creates nostalgia, relaxes, and renews our minds. And while it’s easy to enjoy the benefits of aqua-serenity, being properly equipped and wearing the right gear can make the difference between having a good time on the water and having a great time on the water.


This quick and easy guide will help you discover the advantages of having proper water-friendly footwear and how to choose the best water shoes for your needs.

Why water shoes are important

Sticks, rocks, hooks, plants, shells, broken bottles, debris—these are just a few of the potential hazards lurking beneath the water’s surface threatening to injure your feet and mar your plans of enjoying any future water activities. By wearing proper water shoes, however, these threats are immediately reduced.


Along with providing reliable toe and foot protection, water shoes also offer excellent traction, boosting both ease and safety in and around water. If you’re active in water sports, especially in rocky and rough conditions, water shoes don’t just keep you safe, but they also make it easy for climbing in and out of the water. Unlike tennis shoes that quickly absorb water and bog you down or old school water shoes with flimsy support and sub-par materials, today’s water shoes offer innovative design features and are created with high-tech materials that combine functionality and style to make them ideal for everyday use in and around water. Use the guide below to help you find which the best water shoes for your type of water activities.

Water sandals

Thanks to their versatility, water sandals are the most popular type of water footwear on the market today. Far superior to flimsy flip-flops or cheap generic sandals, water sandals provide excellent traction for virtually any type of water activity. From slick river banks to soggy lake beaches, water sandals have the grip needed to keep you steady on your feet and the design features that make them easy to slip on and off. Often considered the best water shoes for swimming and floating, water sandals are also the perfect go-to for romping around town and wade fishing.

Water shoes

Designed for water lovers who spend ample time participating in water activities, water shoes offer many additional features that water sandals do not. Along with superb traction, water shoes also feature foot and toe protection for added safety. With the comfort of an everyday athletic sneaker and grip of a hiking shoe, water shoes are versatile enough to wear while walking on rocky trails or navigating wet, rocky terrain. Water shoes are perfect for water lovers interested in overnight float trips through rocky and varied terrain, hiking and wading adventures and day hikes in moist conditions.

Wet shoes

More of a bootie than a shoe, wet shoes are typically the go-to footwear for guided float trips and swimming at the beach. These neoprene booties fit snugly around your foot to add insulation and warmth in the water. Because wet shoes have virtually no sole, they aren’t meant for hiking around or wading in rocky, rough terrain. Essentially a wetsuit for your foot, these boots are ideal for water activities such as ocean swimming and river rafting (in-raft use only).  


By choosing the perfect type of water footwear for your activities, you can keep your feet comfortable and safe during all of your fun adventures. Check out the Swim Jim blog for more fun and interesting water-related articles.