Whether you’re out for a swim at the cottage, hiking through a marsh, or kayaking through rapids, the potential for injured feet is high. Water shoes are an excellent way to provide not only protection but underwater traction as well. Unlike your regular shoes, water shoes are designed to dry out quickly, saving you from waterlogged, moldy footwear. When it comes to size and color preference, picking out women’s water shoes should be the same as your regular athletic shoes. However, there are a few other features to consider.
We’ve outlined the details in our shopping guide, along with a few recommendations. If you’re looking for all-day comfort, then our top recommendation, Dreamcity Women’s Athletic Water Shoes, might be the choice for you.
Considerations when choosing women’s water shoes
There are two main styles to consider when purchasing water shoes: slip-on and lace-up. Traditional slip-on shoes hug your foot snugly, similar to a sock. Unless you’re walking through particularly rough or muddy areas, this style should stay on securely. If you’re worried about your water shoes slipping off, then lace-up style shoes may be the way to go. Generally, lace-up water shoes provide better ankle support and transition to land easier than their slip-on counterparts.
To avoid uncomfortable blistering and to prevent your water shoes from falling off, it’s important to buy the correct size. This should be simple, as water shoes are often the same as your regular shoe size. However, much like regular shoes, some brands may run small or large.
You want water shoes constructed from a durable fabric that won’t tear easily. However, it is equally important that this fabric be light and breathable. Most water shoes incorporate mesh to easily allow water in and out of the shoe. Mesh also helps with drying time and protects your shoes from growing mold or mildew.
Water shoes are inherently designed to dry quicker than your normal running shoe. That said, some water shoes dry faster than others. If the thought of walking around in sopping wet shoes is unappealing to you, look for water shoes that are advertised as quick-drying.
Water shoe outsoles come in varying levels of thickness. A thin sole will do the trick for most of your in-water adventures. However, if you’re looking to smoothly transition from water to land, you want something with a thicker and more supportive sole to protect your feet.
Insoles provide further comfort and support. You can find water shoe insoles that are attached or removable. While removable insoles may speed up drying times, shoes with attached insoles tend to hold up better in the long run.
If the underwater terrain you’re exploring is particularly rocky, you may want a shoe with added toe and heel protection. Extra cushioning around the toe and heel area can save you from potential toe-stubbing pain and back-of-the-heel blistering.
In the cooler spring and fall months, you may find yourself wanting a warmer water shoe option. Not all water shoes provide insulation, so you may need to do some research to find ones that will keep your feet warm.
Women’s water shoes come in a variety of colors. With so many choices available, it should be easy to find a water shoe that fits your style. Keep in mind, dirt and stains are more easily visible on lighter-colored shoes.
Women’s water shoes range in price from roughly $20 to $50. In this case, a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a better shoe. Think of what features you’d like in a water shoe and try to base your final decision on features rather than cost.
Q. What are water shoes used for?
A. Water shoes are used to protect your feet during in-water activities like swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and more. They also provide you with underwater traction. Additionally, you may choose to wear these shoes at water parks to avoid any potential bacteria.
Q. Can I wear water shoes on dry land?
A. Yes, you can wear water shoes on land. The best shoes for this would be the lace-up variety, as they often provide better ankle support and thicker outsoles to keep your feet safe and comfortable.
Women’s water shoes we recommend Best of the best: Dreamcity Women’s Athletic Water Shoes
Our take: These durable athletic water shoes are lightweight and comfortable — ideal for regular use or for long days in the water.
What we like: Lightweight shoes fit true to size, provide ample support for all-day wear, are available in multiple colors, and can easily be worn in and out of the water.
What we dislike: Decorative laces do not work to tighten the shoe.
Best bang for your buck: Cevinee Slip-On Water Shoes
Our take: With slip-on convenience and an affordable price point, these quality water shoes are great for any water enthusiast on a budget.
What we like: Soft, flexible material provides plenty of comfort, anti-slip soles, and decent support while walking.
What we dislike: Fabric water shoes take longer to dry than mesh alternatives.
Choice 3: Zhuanglin Women’s Quick-Drying Water Shoes
Our take: These fast-drying water shoes take you from sopping wet to bone dry quicker than most shoes on the market.
What we like: Light mesh material is comfortable and breathable, water drains from the bottom and top of the shoes for faster drying times, and shoes retain less sand than other models.
What we dislike: Shoes are a little on the pricey side.