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The world's waterscapes, from churning whitewater to placid alpine lakes, are energizing and soothing. However, they can be annoying if you're not wearing the proper footwear, which is why having a good pair of water shoes is so important. They do an excellent job both on dry and wet ground, protecting your feet from hazards like jagged rocks and stumbling logs and giving you traction for safely negotiating slippery terrain.
Traditional closed-top models were considered alongside the sub-category of sport sandals, which still provide a sure fit with secure ankles straps and plenty of protection under foot, as we sought out the best men's water shoes. The Keen Drift Creek H2 Sandal is our top pick, but these shoes are suitable for everything from lounging on the beach to whitewater rafting and trail running in the warmer months. Adding neoprene-style socks to any of these options will make them more suitable for colder weather, but you'll need to take that extra bulk into account when deciding on a size.
Why We Love Them: They're Versatile, Comfortable, and Look Great No Matter What You're Doing, Especially in Hot Climates
The sport sandal has a very specific look, which may not appeal to fashion-conscious tourists who prefer to stay in cities rather than the wilderness.
The Keen Drift Creek H2 Sandal is a fantastic option for those who value adaptability in their footwear while traveling. You can confidently take on any surface, from sand to pavement to a rocky dirt trail, thanks to the low-profile sport sandal's non-marking, higher-tracking TPU outsole. At the same time, your feet will be held in place by a reinforced heel and lateral supports. The contoured arch provides mid-foot support, and the ten-point fit works in tandem with the quick-cinch system to achieve the ideal fit. The anti-odor treatment and quick-drying polyester uppers and EVA insoles make these sandals perfect for a day in the sun without worrying about foot odor. Furthermore, your toes will be safeguarded by Keen's signature toe cap in the event of any unanticipated trail or road hazards.
Currently, the price is $110 (as of the time of this writing).
Sizes range from 7 to 15, with full and half sizes available for each.
For the price, they provide excellent protection.
You should know that they are best suited for water sports like boating and swimming at the beach and not so great for activities like hiking.
They have a neoprene footbed that's 3 millimeters thick, a PE shank that's 2 millimeters thick, and a a 1-inch heel, an 8-millimeter outsole, and a The NRS Arroyo Wetshoes, with their 5-millimeter neoprene uppers, offer superior grip, a little extra warmth, and a flexible design at a more wallet-friendly price than most water shoes. The two pull handles still function when the shoes are wet, and the stretchy material makes putting them on and taking them off a breeze. The rubber outsole wraps around the toes for a little extra protection, and the roomier toe box helps with balance and control.
As of the time of this writing, the price is $38.
From a size 7 to a size 13, in black Neoprene, rubber, and a plastic shim
The sneaker-like shoe is constructed from a durable air mesh that allows the foot to breathe, which is why we love it.
Things to Think About: They might get longer as time goes on
Wear these water shoes, which are styled like sneakers, when your hike will involve multiple stream crossings or other water features. Vent ports in the midsoles drain water, and breathable mesh uppers keep your feet cool and dry. The Solyte midsole ensures responsiveness and longevity, while the water grip outsole grants grip in wet and slick environments.
The list price is $30 (as of the time of this writing).
7–14 sizes, fabric and mesh construction, and 23 available hues.
Despite its apparent lack of complexity, this is a fantastic choice for vacationers at the beach who want to feel secure while sunbathing, paddling, or snorkeling.
It's important to keep in mind that Neoprene is slow to dry, but the shoes still function admirably after being soaked.
Water socks are a more streamlined, simple, and affordable alternative to bulkier sport sandals and sneaker-style water shoes. One product that embodies these qualities is the Seavenger SeaSnug Ankle Beach Socks, which feature a stretchy spandex material that is simple to put on and take off and smooth seams that prevent chafing. Great for walking on hot pavement or sand, the tough outsoles also offer some protection from jagged rocks. Also, the material stretches over the Achillis, unlike some sock-style solutions, so you can wear them while using snorkeling/diving fins without worrying about the strap rubbing your skin raw.
At the time of this writing, the price is $17.
Available in 9 different colors and sizes (4XS to 3XL) made from Neoprene.
In addition to looking great, the shoe is incredibly functional, as it offers full-foot protection, excellent grip on wet surfaces, and the adaptability afforded by a drop heel.
It's important to think about getting a shoe with a more aggressive outsole if you plan on tackling waterlogged trails.
The OluKai Moku Pae is a no-tie boat shoe that is at home on the trail, in the streets, or on the beach, and is a great option when the situation calls for the superior foot protection and refined aesthetic of a sneaker-style water shoe. The upper is made of a breathable mesh material, and it features a stretchy "air mesh" tongue for a snug but comfortable fit. The drop-in heel design and breathable, quick-drying materials make these shoes versatile. High-rebound EVA in the midsole and a gel-insert, quick-drying polyurethane footbed combine for exceptional comfort. Wet Grip Rubber outsoles offer superior grip on wet and slippery surfaces thanks to strategically placed lugs.
As of this writing, the price is $120.
Available in half and full sizes 8–12, as well as sizes 7–15; materials include mesh, polyurethane, EVA, and rubber; available in a rainbow of six colors; sizes range from 8–15.
When regular flip-flops won't cut it, these are the next best thing: they let your feet breathe, keep things secure, and offer plenty of protection underfoot.
Something more streamlined is recommended if you plan on spending most of your time in the ocean rather than on the sand or in other resort areas.
With their Z/Cloud 2 sports sandals, Chaco proves that you can have fun while staying comfortable and functional. They're perfect for lounging on the sand, floating in the water, or sipping cocktails at a bar on the sand. The uppers are constructed with polyester webbing that wraps around the foot (including a toe loop) and passes through the midsole for a snug, personalized fit; an injection-molded lock buckle makes adjusting the fit quick and simple. These sandals look great, but you'll love how they feel thanks to the podiatrist-certified footbed and top layer of ultra-soft polyurethane. A 3 The 5-millimeter lug depth of the rubber outsole provides sufficient grip on most beach-centric surfaces and adequate protection from sharp rocks.
At the time of publication, the cost was $100.
You can choose from 6 different colors and sizes (7–15) made of Polyester, polyurethane, and rubber.
The full-foot protection gives you peace of mind, and the aggressive lug pattern on the outsole allows you to adapt to the various terrains you'll encounter on your way to the river.
Be aware that they come only in full sizes.
Wearing a closed-toe water shoe like the Body Glove Flux is recommended for use in whitewater because of the frequent need to anchor oneself to the raft by wedging one's toe under the vessel's sidewalls. If you ever find yourself being thrown into the river, this will prevent your toes from being crushed and other injuries from floating debris. The breathable performance mesh uppers drain water efficiently and dry quickly, and the lacing system is a breeze to adjust. The extra protection for the toes and midfoot is provided by the aggressive outsole, and the grippy, aggressive lugs aid in descending to the water's surface in order to board the raft.
The current price is $50.
Available in two colors and sizes ranging from 7 to 13, made of mesh and rubber.
Reasons to love it include its improved comfort and performance, both of which Teva was able to achieve by updating their classic sandal.
There is a restricted size range, so keep that in mind.
Webbing in the Teva Hurricane XT2 is made from recycled plastic, keeping five plastic bottles out of landfills; this material, along with the lightweight EVA-foam midsole and rugged rubber outsole, also drys extremely fast. The vegan sandals have a simple hook-and-loop fastener that allows you to quickly and easily customize the fit. They're great for hiking because they have a rugged outsole and a nylon shank to keep your feet stable on uneven ground.
Initial publication price:
Available in 15 different colors and sizes (from 5 to 12) made from recycled polyester, EVA foam, and rubber.
In essence, it's like going barefoot in the water while still being completely protected, and the two straps allow you to fine-tune the fit.
Things to Think About: The five-finger design is divisive; people are either opposed to it or in love with it.
Vibram's V-Aqua is a water-friendly iteration of the classic Five Finger design. Like the popular V-Alpha shoes, it features a Megagrip Sole with key perforations that drain water quickly, and it also has a silicon print in the lining to keep your feet from slipping. The 2-millimeter EVA insole adds some underfoot cushioning, and the zero-drop design (where the heel and toe are the same height) will appeal to vacationers who prefer barefoot running and hiking. Take into account that you might want to get a bigger size.
List price at the time of publication: .
Rubber, EVA with silicon, and four different colors are available in sizes ranging from EU 39 to EU 49.
These are great because they are constructed of odor-preventing, quick-drying neoprene.
Because of the shoe's thin sole, it's not recommended that you wear it for extended periods of time while walking on hard floors.
Just trust Speedo to come up with a shoe that serves multiple purposes and dries quickly. Water should bead up and roll off of these shoes because they're made from neoprene, which is the same material used in wetsuits. If you want to keep your feet safe while swimming or wading through water, these slip-on shoes are exactly what you need.
Presently, you can purchase one for .
Sizes 7-14 | Black Neoprene | Various Patterns
They're great because you can use them for water, but they're also fashionable enough to wear every day.
There is a lack of arch support, so keep that in mind when purchasing these shoes.
This fashionable pair of shoes from Astral is ideal for a wide variety of activities, including kayaking, sailing, hiking near water, and casual outings around town. The rubber outsole of the shoe flexes and grips the ground to keep you from slipping, and the shoe's front and back holes help with drainage. These shoes are cruelty-free because they are made entirely without animal products.
Currently, the price is (as of the time of this writing).
There are four different colorways available in sizes 8–14 and are made from canvas, mesh, and rubber.
Water shoes are designed to get wet, whether you're canyoneering, hiking a water-logged trail, or diving into the ocean. However, these shoes won't get soaked because they have drainage systems built in. The water is directed out of the shoe and out of the ports that typically line the upper parts of the outsole. Uppers made of breathable materials like mesh are used by some models. Because the tops of the feet and toes are usually exposed in water sandals designed for sports, drainage is nearly instantaneous. Make sure the water shoes you buy have good drainage systems.
The versatility of water shoes lies in the fact that they function well in both dry and wet conditions. However, drying time is important because it affects how long a product can be stored. Shoes that dry more quickly will not hold odors for as long as those that take longer. Try to find uppers made of airy, quick-drying materials like mesh or leather. In addition, if the insole can be removed, it can be dried independently, speeding up the drying process and saving you time.
Simply having something to cover and protect the soles of your feet while wading in water is a great way to avoid injury from sharp rocks and tangled roots that could be lurking just below the surface. You are shielded from the sun's heat and the wind's chill. Water shoes designed for more strenuous activities, like hiking or rafting, feature plusher midsoles and outsoles to provide more support and comfort. True water shoes provide a layer of protection all the way around the foot, which is helpful in sports like hiking and paddling. Conversely, sport sandals are ideal for less dangerous activities due to their solid underfoot protection and uncovered uppers that allow for better dry time and drainage. When compared to fully enclosed models, hybrid sport sandals offer the best of both worlds: the protection of a toe cap and the breathability of natural materials.
Water shoes use a number of technological and design features to ensure a secure grip on wet rock, wood, and sand, which are all inherently slipperier than dry alternatives. When traction is not as crucial (such as on a casual stroll or when navigating wet rocks to a raft), minimalist sock-style shoes will suffice. ), choose footwear that has outsoles with lugs or grooves that will help you maintain traction on slippery, uneven ground.
Water shoe sizing: what do experts recommend?
To avoid discomfort caused by rubbing or blistering, make sure your water shoes fit snugly, with very little room for your foot inside. Most also feature a seamless design, which eliminates the potential for hot spots even further.
While you may have more wiggle room in the toe box if you go with an open-upper sport sandal (which is why some only come in whole sizes), you still need to make sure that your toes don't go past the sandal's platform, the straps aren't digging into your skin, and the heel straps aren't slipping off. The majority of garments in this design have straps or other fastenings that can be quickly adjusted for on/off convenience.
Can you do anything interesting in water shoes?
Not only are water shoes useful for kayaking, paddleboarding, scuba diving, and other water sports, but they are also useful for walking, fishing, and other outdoor activities when near water. Water shoes are designed to be worn in situations where the wearer anticipates or is exposed to the possibility of wet feet.
Nathan Borchelt has spent the better part of a decade exploring the world's rivers, oceans, lakes, and drenched hiking trails in the name of testing, rating, and reviewing outdoor and travel products. A travel writer for T L, Taylor Fox draws on both her research and her personal experience to make expert product recommendations. Important factors like cost, durability, sport-specific uses, safety features, and handling were taken into account during the review process. The product's design as a whole was also thought out, making it more appealing to those who prefer the more refined aspects of water travel.
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