Best Water Shoes for Hiking header

Exploration Junkie is reader-supported. If you buy through links on this page we may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you’ve ever gone hiking, snorkelling, diving or kayaking, you’ll understand the importance and benefits of wearing quality water shoes. In fact, any outdoor activity that requires water or wet conditions necessitates the need for water shoes.

In case you are not familiar with them, water shoes are a type of footwear specifically designed to provide safety and traction for your feet during water sports. You’ll be safe when walking in a rocky or slippery environment, which is common to all water bodies.

They are lightweight, comfortable, keep your feet warm in water and dry faster than other footwear. No matter the type of water sport you enjoy, there’ll always be a water shoe that’s right for you.

There are tons of water shoes available in the market as you’d expect. And finding the best ones can be a very confusing and difficult task. But don’t panic, we’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled the very best water shoes in the market.

After taking you through our best water shoes, we’ll then provide you with an extensive buyers guide. You gotta know what to look out for in what you are buying, right? We thought so. Here we go.

The 7 Best Water Shoes for Hiking of 2021

Speedo Men’s Tidal Cruiser Water Shoe

Speedo Men's Water Shoes-Tidal Cruiser, Black/Dark Gull Grey, 9 Regular US

 out of stock
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

Did we not mention that water shoes have sleek and eye-catching designs? Just take a look at this water shoe and see for yourself. The Speedo Men’s Tidal water shoe is designed for optimum comfort and stability during water sports.

Get the right size for your feet using the chart provided and this shoe will stick to your feet as you go hiking, kayaking or participate in any other water sport of your choosing.

There are meshes on this water shoe. And they make the Speedo Tidal breathable and also make water dry faster. This allows this water shoe to dry quickly. You’ll find out that there are sufficient paddings on the footbed for better grip and comfort.

The streamlined design allows you to wear the Speedo tidal on both land and water. You can enter rocky bottomed lakes and walk through wet and muddy trails with confidence. You are also protected when walking on slippery surfaces as this shoe provides great traction.

Neoprene collars ensure this water shoe is tightened securely to your feet. And we must also mention this shoe is lightweight. Quality materials confer durability.

 Quick Specifications

  • Sole Material: Synthetic
  • Upper Material: Mesh
  • Weight: 255 g / 9 oz


  • Economical and pocket friendly.
  • Tight fitting with your feet
  • Comfortable and provides good traction.
  • Breathable and also dries quickly.
  • Can be worn on both land and water.


  • The sizes may run small for some people.

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoes

Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe, Brindle/Butterscotch, 11 M US

 out of stock
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

If you are looking for a water shoe designed specifically for hiking, then you should consider the Merrell All Out Blaze. It has a solid construction making it sturdy. And it will take on any type of terrain without any issue.

This water shoe features a bungee lacing system which allows you to put it on and remove it with ease. It protects your feet and provides reliable traction. Thanks to the antimicrobial treatment, this shoe is and will remain completely odorless. Your feet are also kept dry by a protective toe bumper.

The Merrell All Out Blaze is breathable and lightweight. The upper part is made of high-quality leather which can withstand tough conditions on the trails. And inside the leather are small gaps containing mesh which prevents sweat and heat from accumulating.

There is a neoprene collar which also makes putting on and off easy. You’ll also find out that this water shoe dries very quickly. A comfort UniFly midsole makes this shoe slip comfortable and resistant. And this keeps you safe on the trails. The Merrell All Out Blaze also has good durability and you’ll definitely get value for your money.

 Quick Specifications

  • Sole Material: Synthetic
  • Upper Material: Leather and mesh
  • Weight: 396 g / 14 oz


  • Comfortable and provides reliable traction.
  • Eye-catching design.
  • Lightweight and works well on water and land.
  • Breathable and easy to clean.
  • Durable and long-lasting.


  • The internal resistance could be better for long distance walks.

Aleader Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Shoes

ALEADER Men's Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes Black 11 D(M) US

 in stock
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

If you are on a budget and still want a quality water shoe, then the Aleader aqua got you covered. It’s lightweight and very comfortable. The upper part of this water shoe is made of mesh which provides breathability and increased comfort. Also, there will be no foul odor and your feet will be protected from infections.

This footwear is very versatile and can be used for different water sports. The sole is made of rubber which provides excellent grip. And this also makes the Aleader Aqua perfect for boating. To further improve the traction of this shoe, the manufacturer placed rubber pods in high wear areas.

Water quickly drains out of this shoe the moment you exit the water. And the midsole is very flexible and makes this water shoe comfortable to wear. A ComforDry sockliner and insole also add to the comfort and protection these shoes provide. High-quality materials and stitching make these shoes extremely durable and long-lasting.

 Quick Specifications

  • Sole Material: Rubber
  • Upper Material: Mesh
  • Weight: 311 g / 11 oz


  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Sleeky design.
  • Versatile and dries quickly.
  • Provides excellent traction.
  • Durable and long-lasting.


  • Sand can sometimes get into the shoe through the mesh holes.

Zhuaglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Shoes

Zhuanglin Men's Lightweight Aqua Water Shoes Beach Sneakers

 in stock
1 used from $15.48
Free shipping
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

This footwear is highly rated by outdoor enthusiasts due to the superb functionality it provided. This Zhuaglin Aqua shoe is made very lightweight and comfortable to wear.

The upper part is made of durable and breathable mesh which provides proper ventilation to your feet during water sports. Incorporation of fast dry technology means this water shoe dries quickly as soon as you exit the water.

The midsole is made of solyte which makes this footwear light and durable with impressive bounce. To make this water shoe more comfortable, there is a ComforDry sockliner which provides extra cushioning for your feet. Your feet are also kept cooler and drier. The comfort of this Zhuaglin Aqua shoes means there your feet are protected from blisters or irritations.

Water drains out of this shoe quickly. And the durable rubber sole means you can use this footwear for long distance hiking. Also, the sole prevents you from falling on slippery surfaces.

This water shoe has a cool design and it comes in a variety of colors. You can easily choose a color that will match your outdoors outfits.

 Quick Specifications

  • Upper Material: Mesh
  • Sole Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 247 g / 8.7 oz


  • Lightweight, comfortable and breathable.
  • Quick water drainage and drying.
  • Provides excellent traction.
  • It also stretches well.
  • Durable materials make it perfect for long distance hikes.


  • Stones/rocks can become jammed in the holes in the bottom. However, they are easy to remove.

Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Sandal Our Top Pick

Crocs Men's Swiftwater Leather Fisherman Sandal, Espresso/Walnut, 10 M US

 out of stock
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

Crocs is a well-known name in the footwear industry and this product is one of their finest inventions. This footwear is a perfect blend of style and functionality. Featuring a hook and loop closure, it’s extremely easy to put on or remove this water sandal.

The synthetic sole is very tough and makes this footwear appropriate for all occasions. The upper part is made of fast-drying upper mesh which makes this sandal breathable. The breathability is even more enhanced with the open design.

The interior of theis footwear is cushioned with Croslite foam for added comfort. There is also a toe bumper for added protection during your outdoor activities. You can confidently hike on loose terrain with fear of slipping. In fact, you can even climb rocks with it!

Every single feature this footwear has is for safety and comfort. There are massage pods incorporated in the footbeds. And you know what they do? They massage your legs as you use this footwear! Believe us, it’s very comfortable and soothing. A stylish strap helps to secure these sandals tightly to your feet. It dries quickly and is also durable and long-lasting.

 Quick Specifications

  • Upper Material: Mesh
  • Sole Material: Synthetic
  • Weight: 340 g / 12 oz


  • Lightweight and extremely comfortable.
  • Excellent traction.
  • Incorporation of massage pods.
  • Provides optimum safety during and water activities.
  • Dries quickly.
  • Extremely durable and long-lasting.


  • Not ideal for sandy areas as sand could get caught inside this footwear.

Mishansha Water Shoes

Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Beach Diving Black 10.5 M US Women / 8.5 M US Men (42)

$25.99  in stock
1 used from $22.47
Free shipping
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

One thing you’ll quickly realize with this Mishansha footwear is that you can get quality water shoes at an affordable price. And what we really like about this water shoe is that it can be used for a number of outdoors activities.

The upper part is made of spandex fabric which is very lightweight and breathable. Your feet are properly ventilated and water is drained faster making this footwear very comfortable.

The rubber sole is designed to be anti-slip and it also has holes that drain water from the shoe. The tenacity of rubber means you can use this water shoe on a variety of terrain.

The insole is made of EVA, soft and also dries quickly. There is a dedicated toe protection design to further protect your feet when you are on rocky environments. The strap and lock ensures tight fitting of this footwear and makes it easier to put them on or remove them.

 Quick Specifications

  • Upper Material: Spandex Fabric
  • Sole Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 250 g / 8.8 oz


  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Economical
  • Breathable
  • Excellent traction.
  • Dries very quickly.
  • Durable and long-lasting.


  • Its performance on rocky environments may not be as great as some other water shoes.

Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Black, lux, 9.5 Regular US

 out of stock
as of October 23, 2021 8:43 pm

This is good looking footwear that performs excellently on water, boat and land. The solid construction also makes it suitable for rocky terrains thereby making the Columbia Drainmaker a good hiking shoe. Overall, this footwear is a jack of all trades.

The strap of this shoe makes it easy to put on and remove. The footbed is also properly cushioned for improved performance and comfort. The Columbia Drainmaker also has excellent traction and will allow you to walk on slippery surfaces without falling down. There is even a dual-zone winter thread pattern that allows you to walk on ice and snow!

This shoe also dries relatively fast. There is also a protective toe bumper that provides extra safety. Seriously, there is no way you can get it wrong with this water shoe.

 Quick Specifications

  • Upper Material: Synthetic
  • Sole Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 333 g / 11.75 oz


  • Great for both hiking and water sports.
  • Can be used in salty water.
  • Excellent traction.
  • Very comfortable to use.
  • Durable and long-lasting.


  • Might take a little while to dry completely.

Best Water Shoes For Hiking – The Guide

And that’s our top picks for the best water shoes. Now, we’ll be taking through an extensive buying guide. You need to know the features to look out for in water shoes so you’ll be able to choose one that fits your activities.

So what makes a water shoe great? What are the things you should watch out for? We’ll answer those questions and many more below.


Types of Water Shoes

Well, you need to understand the types of water shoes if you are to correctly choose one that will be appropriate for your outdoor activities. Sometimes the classification of water shoes can be a bit confusing as people classify them differently.

However, a general way of classifying water shoes is based on the activities they’ll be used for. Under this classification, we have aqua shoes, wet shoes, water sandals, boat shoes, fivefinger shoes and beach shoes. Note that some water shoes are very versatile and can be used for more than one activity.

Aqua shoes are designed to function well both in and out of water. They are also durable enough to withstand hiking or walking.

Wet shoes on the other hand are primarily designed to be used in water. They are very lightweight and are usually made with neoprene, the same type of material used to manufacture swimsuits. If you are to use them on land, then it must be for short distances.

Water Sandals aren’t really sandals as the name suggests. No, they are also shoes but provide you with the same benefits you’d get from a sandal. They are very comfortable to wear and drains water extremely fast.

Boat shoes are meant to be used on boats as the name suggests. They are also used on decks which are often very slippery. And they are usually made with anti-slip materials. Fivefinger shoes are the latest innovation in the water shoe niche and have pockets that your toes will fit into. They protect your toes and can be used for a number of activities

Once again, remember a single shoe can be very versatile and therefore suitable for a number of activities.


Water Shoes Vs. Aqua Socks

Well, we’ll forgive you if you think water shoes and aqua socks are the same. It’s kind of a general misconception. But we are telling you now that water shoes and aqua socks serve different purposes and are therefore not the same.

As you already know, water shoes provide comfort, safety and traction during swimming, hiking in wet and rocky environments or strolling along the beach. Water socks, on the other hand, are designed specifically for snorkelling. Why? This is to protect you from being stung by a jellyfish or other hazardous creatures in the ocean.

The materials of water shoes and aqua socks are also different. Water shoes are usually made of a sole (usually made of rubber) and an upper part that is mostly made of mesh or leather. But aqua socks are usually made of neoprene or lycra material.


Can You Swim In Water Shoes?

The answer is yes. There are models of water shoes that are designed to be used in water. These types of water shoes usually have thin soles and are lightweight. They are also breathable with a good drainage system.

Water Shoes

How to Choose the Best Water Shoes for Hiking or Other Activities

Type of Activity

Like we said earlier, the type of activity you are engaging in will determine your choice of water shoe. If you are going hiking, then you need water shoes that are sturdy with solid construction. These confer durability and allow you to cover long distances without damage to your feet or the shoe.

If you’ll be swimming or doing any other water sports, you’ll need shoes that are lighter and have thin soles.


The type of material used is very important. Usually, you’ll see water shoes made of rubber, mesh and leather. And always check if the upper part of the shoe is breathable and quick drying.

If you want less water in your shoes, then you should consider water shoes made from neoprene. This is because neoprene provides more protection and keeps your feet drier.


It’s important you choose a water shoe that drains water quickly. This is usually achieved by the mesh, which is also breathable, and drainage holes on the sole. If your water shoe doesn’t eject water quickly, the shoe will get heavy and slow you down. It’s also possible for the shoe to pull off your feet.

The upper material, which is usually mesh, provides cross ventilation and prevents foul odor.


This should be among the first features you look out for in any water shoe. And this is because only a show with good traction will prevent you from falling on slippery surfaces.

Now, consider the fact that the banks of lakes and rivers are usually slippery. Or that rocks are usually present on beaches and some terrains. So you can see how important traction is. For your own safety, get a water shoe with good traction.

Grip/Outsole Quality

The grip is important when it comes to any footwear. And it becomes even more important when water shoes are involved. The type of material used to manufacture the outsole will have an effect on the grip of the water shoe.

A thicker sole will provide more grip and will be suitable for hiking in wet and harsh conditions. A thinner outsole will make more sense if you’ll be spending more time in the water. But whether you’ll be hiking or spending time in the water, make sure to always go for water shoes that have quality outsoles and consequently good grip.


Always go for lightweight water shoes. Even these lightweight shoes gain weight once wet. So imagine you are already using a heavy shoe. It’ll become a burden when it becomes wet. The lightweight design also makes them portable and easy to transport.


What’s the use of wearing a water shoe that causes blisters and discomfort? The comfort of your water shoe is important and you should keep an eye out for the design and cushioning of the shoe before making a purchase.

There are also different kinds of fitting mechanisms to make sure the shoes are secured tightly to your feet and will not pull off at any time.


We all want a product that is durable and long-lasting so we can get value for our money. The same applies to water shoes. Shoes with thicker soles are generally more durable. But they won’t be ideal for swimming.

So you should really pay attention to the types of materials used to manufacture the water shoe as well as the durability in the review.

Final Thoughts

Water shoes have evolved over the years to become what they are today. Our top picks and buying guide will help you choose the best water shoes, or rather choose a water shoe that’s right for you.

There are many available models of different styles and different shapes, but I hope that this selection will help you make your decision. Put your water shoes on and make everlasting memories in water or on the trails!


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


©2021 ExplorationJunkie


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?