For whatever reason, humans are like fish out of water; dying to hop into a pool, the ocean, a river, etc., especially in the warmer months. Not to mention the countless amount of water activities humans have invented over the years: sailing, water-skiing, diving, surfing, kayaking… you get the idea.
While most of us regularly participate in these activities, not many of us own a pair of water shoes; we tend to go barefoot or wear sneakers. But this is a grave mistake! You wouldn’t expect an ice skater to compete without skates, and you wouldn’t go for a run without cushioned and supportive sneakers. We should all own a pair of water shoes to protect us from injury.
Why Water Shoes Are An Essential
Water shoes provide protection not only to your entire foot but to YOU as well. Your soles will be protected from hot surfaces and sharp objects, your toes will be protected from stubbing, and with treads and rubber outsoles designed for grip on slippery surfaces, you’re less likely to slip and potentially badly injure yourself.
Plus, unlike regular footwear, water shoes are lightweight, drain water out, and are quick-drying, meaning you won’t feel weighed down while submerged, and you won’t feel uncomfortable or develop blisters while on land. Finally, water shoes are breathable and insulated, and will keep your feet cool in warmer weather, and will keep your feet warm (and will help regulate body temperature) if you’re going in cold water.
Different Styles of Water Shoes
If you’re a water-lover and you need a pair of water shoes, but you’re not sure what to look for in a water shoe; we’ve got you covered. There are a few different styles and types of water shoes so it does depend on what you’re planning to do. If you’re surfing or swimming in deep waters, go for a slip-on traditional water shoe, if you’re hiking near rivers and may swim during the hike, you’ll need a hybrid water shoe (which looks like a sneaker), if you’re just spending the day at the beach or poolside, a sandal style of water shoe will be best, or if you’re on a boat, most of the shoes below will work for you so go for whatever style appeals to you.
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If you still need help choosing a water shoe, we’ve curated the best brands and styles of water shoes available. We’ve featured a wide variety of water shoes, that are all high-quality and durable, so no matter what water-based activity you need water shoes for, you’ll find the perfect pair below!
Body Glove has a huge range of water shoes for men including bonafide slip-on aqua water shoes, water sandals, and hybrid water sneakers. All of their water shoes have quick-dry capabilities, ultra-grip rubber soles, and are perfect for any water activity or wet conditions.
If you're after a water shoe that you can wear hiking, the Tetrex Crest Wrap is the water shoe for you. The perforated EVA footbed helps control moisture, whilst a siped sole gives you great traction in & out of the water. The hiking and water shoe hybrid also features a ventilated construction for fast drying times.
The Drainmaker Water Shoe from Columbia is a hybrid between a sneaker and a water shoe, perfect for a wide range of water-based activities. The mesh upper provides quick-drying breathability and midsole ports enhance airflow and water drainage to help keep feet dry. The shoe also has enhanced cushioning and traction for ultimate grip.
The Micro G Kilchis Fishing shoes are made for water and are an excellent hybrid water shoe. They feature a highly breathable, quick-drying textile upper, contoured midsoles designed for rapid drainage, and non-marking rubber outsoles for grip on smooth and wet surfaces. While originally designed for fishing, these hybrid men's water shoes are suitable for a wide range of water activities.
The Swiftwater Sandal, while not technically a water shoe, is perfect for summer days and nights spent in or near the water. Featuring durable cushioned outsoles with flex grooves for added traction and to channel water away, fully adjustable straps for a secure fit, and an open profile for breathability, the Swiftwater Sandal by Crocs are extremely comfortable, and dare we say it, stylish!
Salomon's water shoes are ultra-versatile, quick-drying, and grippy on slippery surfaces. They all feature excellent water-wicking properties, seamless comfort, and breathability; these water shoes are comfort meets practicality.
The Original Mesh Shoe is engineered with an original Hunter moulded rubber outsole for exceptional grip. Constructed with neoprene and natural rubber for all-day wear and a mesh lining for breathability, and featuring an Ortholite footbed for comfort, these handmade water shoes are pretty impressive.
The North Face
The Skagit Water Shoe features a quick-drying, lightweight, antimicrobial air mesh upper for anti-odour protection, mono-mesh screens to prevent debris from entering the shoes and allow water to drain from the footbed, an EVA midsole drainage system that allows water to drain from the shoe during water activities, and toggle closure, these are honestly some of the best men's water shoes on the market.
The Authentic Original Float Boat Shoe features an ingenious system of "portholes" and "gills" for breathability and to drain water out. Complete with the signature Sperry Molded Wave-Siping technology in its non-marking outsole, these water shoes have enhanced traction, and will keep you comfy both at sea and on land.
The Dynamic Pro II Adapt is a hybrid between a sneaker and water shoe, and is specifically built for boat wear, whether it be racing or sailing. However, thanks to its Grip Flex multi-directional outsole grip for outstanding grip, Grip Deck sole with a sticky rubber compound for grip on wet surfaces, and an EVA midsole for shock absorption, comfort, and protection, these hybrid men's water shoes can be worn for almost all water-based activities.
Astral water shoes are incredibly durable, feature self-draining holes in the midsoles, and have incredible grip. Astral water shoes are also designed to look like a stylish men's sneaker, rather than the traditional slip-on design, so you can wear these water shoes for long periods on land, and no one will notice that you're ready for water action.
The Omnium 2 provides support and protection during any kind of water-based activity. Featuring a quick-drying upper, Rugged Spider rubber outsole (specifically designed for wet conditions) for great traction, lightweight EVA foam midsoles for cushioning and comfort, and a nylon shank to stabilize and support feet on uneven terrain, the Omnium 2 are an outstanding pair of water shoes.
The X-Trinsic Water Sandals were designed for water-related adventures. Completely fresh and salt waterproof, fast to drain and dry, and able to grip any surface thanks to rugged rubber outsoles, these hybrid water shoe sandals are comfortable and will suit most water-based activities.
If you're after a pair of reliable water shoes for men, look no further than Lands' End's collection. They have a fantastic range of water shoes, all designed for different purposes; so if you're after a water shoe for the pool, beach, boat, river, or hiking, Lands' End will have a durable and suitable pair of water shoes for you.