Inspecting tidal pools for critters and splashing in the waves is more enjoyable when nobody’s complaining about sore feet. Enter the water shoe—the go-anywhere footwear with great traction to keep you from slipping, and plenty of openings to let water flow in and out. With options for kids and parents alike, read on for our water shoe picks for the beach.
1. KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal
They’re not the lightest-weight water shoe on the market, but this highly functional sandal from KEEN stands up to the test—whether you’re traipsing across lava rock on a cruise ship shore excursion in the Galapagos or just padding across the hot beach parking lot pavement post-swim. The rubber soles are extra sturdy (you’ll have these for years) and the elastic pull-style laces make these shoes easy to slip on and off in a hurry.
2. Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker
Every kid needs a pair of these Native slip-on sneakers to take them from the ocean to the boardwalk with no change of footwear. Perforations all over the shoe allow water to flow in and out (although if your little one gets a serious sopping, you may have to pull off the shoes to completely drain the water). Sizes range from toddlers up to 10 Kids, and there’s a huge range of bright and cheerful colors to satisfy young fashionistas’ tastes.
3. ALEADER Kids Youth Sport Water Hiking Sandals
RELATED: The Essential Beach Packing List
4. Barerun Barefoot Water Sports Shoe
Barerun makes an excellent and inexpensive unisex water shoe for mom and dad that can take you seamlessly from poolside yoga to a SUP outing with the kids. The upper portion of the Barefun Barefoot water shoe is made of a breathable and stretchy polyester material that’s easy to pull on and off and fits like a jogging sock. And you can choose from fun patterns (think black and grey stars and stripes and candy-colored hues) that stand out from the crowd.
5. Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes
Designed for both men and women, the Mishansha Water Shoes feature a rubber sole for good traction and are quick-drying. We also love the elastic straps that allow you to easily tighten or loosen them, and that they’re easy to slide on and off thanks to a pull tab at the ankle. They’re available in more than two dozen variations.
6. Merrell Hydro Moc
The Merrell Hydro Mocs offer more than just a space age aesthetic. These lightweight shoes are made entirely from EVA foam and weigh in at around 16oz (just under 8oz per shoe). Designed to be water-friendly for activities like kayaking and walks along the shore. Available in men’s and women’s sizes and in nine color options, including black and white.
RELATED: The 10 Best Beach in America
7. Zhuanglin Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes
Walking shoes or water shoes? They’re both! The Zhuanglin Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes are lightweight and breathable, with features including a water grip outsole for wet conditions and a ComforDry sock liner that provides cushioning and protection from the elements.
8. Little Kid’s Bear Steps H2O Sneaker
This water shoe is all about flexibility and durability. An extra-grip grooved outsole, spacious toe box, and water-friendly lining makes these shoes ready for anything your beach day has in store.
You Might Also Like:• 10 Best Winter Mittens for Toddlers (That Will Actually Stay On)
• 8 Things You Should Never Wear at the Airport
• 8 Best Swim Floaties for Kids 2023
• 8 Best Beach Wagons and Carts for 2023
• 11 Best Road Trip Games for Families
Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission.