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When you think of water shoes, you probably envision some horrible plastic shoe flopping down the beach. Luckily, there have been great strides when it comes to design in water shoes, and you no longer have to feel like a fashion disaster when protecting your feet from the unknown at the ocean or your local lake. We researched thousands of product reviews to find the best water shoes, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer looking to trek across rocky rivers or a cautious beachgoer looking to protect your feet from sharp shells. Here are our favorites from Amazon.

Editor’s Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Product image of Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoes
Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoes

Made of single-injected EVA and equipped with an articulated heel and strap for a secure fit, the Merrell Hydro Moc Water Shoe is a super comfortable, classically ugly water shoe that’s slightly cooler-looking than a Croc. What we love about the Hydros is that they have great arch support, and the material makes them easy to clean, no matter what your adventures get you into. These water shoes are said to dry super quickly due to the large aeration holes, making them a great choice for the beach or a kayaking trip. But the soles don’t seem to have a lot of variation in the grip, so we’d steer clear of them if you’re looking for something to walk along slippery rocks.

The Merrell Hydro fits large, so you’ll want to order an entire size down to avoid a misfit, and you should be aware that some reviews complain of the high heel back causing blisters, though that’s not a huge concern.

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Sizing runs large

  • Heel may rub

Simari Water Shoes

With plenty of sizes available, these lightweight water shoes from Simari boast a durable sole, tough enough to be productive but not so thick that they won’t bend. This makes these water shoes super versatile for hiking to swim spots or just walking along the beach. While these water shoes are said to have great traction, they aren’t super supportive, and there’s no arch support whatsoever, so if you already have arch issues these wouldn’t be a good pick.

The thin upper keeps these shoes lightweight while also keeping out rocks and debris that other water shoes fail to protect your feet from; bungee laces ensure that they fit more like a sock than a traditional sneaker. Due to the narrow fit of the Simari water shoes, some reviews report some sliding of the insoles when removing them, which can be annoying—but certainly not a dealbreaker.

Pros

  • Wide range of sizes

  • Great traction

Cons

  • Narrow fit

  • No arch support

Product image of L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes
L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes

The L-Run athletic hiking water shoes look like a velcro slip-on mixed with a running shoe. With lots of color options, you’re bound to find a pair that speaks to your style. But you’ll want to size down to ensure a good fit, as these are meant to feel tight like a sock; you won’t need to wear socks under them. These are a great choice for people who like the feeling of a toe shoe but are looking for a more traditional look, and they’re light enough to feel like you’re barefoot while still giving great grip.

Better-looking than a lot of water shoes out there, we like the variety of styles available—but keep in mind that this is not the pick for an all-in-one shoe. These aren’t meant for long trail hikes or running. When worn at the beach, they don’t protect from sand as well as other water shoes and are said to dry pretty slowly.

Pros

  • Attractive core design

  • Lots of style options

Cons

  • Not as versatile as others

  • Don’t protect from sand

WateLves Water Shoes

If you’re looking to pack light but still need a durable water shoe, look no further than these water shoes from WateLves. Great for walking around on rocks, wet and dry, these water shoes are durable enough to protect your feet with their thick soles while providing a nice sticky grip to keep you from slipping around. Though they run a little large, reviewers often mention that they’ve purchased multiple pairs of these water shoes for their families as well as themselves because they like them so much.

Water’s said to drain easily from the sides of the shoes, so you shouldn’t feel weighed down as you walk or swim in uncharted territory. No need to worry about dry time with the WateLves water shoes, either, as they’re said to dry quickly.

Pros

  • Thick, sticky soles

  • Easy to drain

Cons

  • Run a half-size large

Product image of Sobaso Water Shoes
Sobaso Water Shoes

If you’re a bit of a sneakerhead, then you may like the look of these water shoes from Sobaso, because certain colorways resemble the Nike VaporMax. Perfect for adventures out in nature, these are said to have excellent traction in rivers and on rocks, and their thick soles help protect your feet from anything you might run into on your excursions. Reviewers are generally pleased with their comfort but do mention that there isn’t any ankle support, so if that’s a need then you might want to steer clear. What we like about the Sabaso water shoes is that they’re built well enough, and cool enough looking, to wear as a regular sneaker—so you won’t have to worry about changing in and out of them for your journey from your car to the water.

There are mixed reviews on the drying time, but it seems that overall these dry just as quickly as others when they aren’t on your feet. The only downside is that some people report sand getting on the inside of their shoes, but you’ll be safe from rocks and the like.

Pros

  • Attractive core design

  • All-purpose sneaker

Cons

  • Sand may get in them

  • Regular drying time

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