Kids Crocs in Water; Courtesy of Tom Gowanlock/
All Ages

8 Best Water Shoes for the Beach

Terry Ward is based in Florida and has worked as a freelance travel writer since 2000, writing for such publications as CNN, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, The Washington Post and Scuba Diving Magazine, among many others. She lives in Tampa with her two young children and husband and has traveled with them to the Arctic, Cuba, Morocco and elsewhere. Her favorite family travel destinations are Norway and Florida. See more of her work at

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Inspecting tidal pools for critters and splashing in the waves is more enjoyable when nobody’s complaining about sore feet. Enter the water shoethe 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

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 testwhether 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

Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker; Courtesy of Amazon

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

ALEADER Kids Youth Sport Water Hiking Sandals; Courtesy of Amazon

Good water shoes for kids, the ALEADER Kids Youth Sport Water Hiking Sandals double as sandals for walking and hiking, with a rubber sole and secure fit.

RELATED: The Essential Beach Packing List

4. Barerun Barefoot Water Sports Shoe

Barerun Barefoot Water Sports Shoe; Courtesy of Amazon

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

Merrell Hydro Moc watershoes

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

Zhuanglin Women's Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes; Courtesy of Amazon

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

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.

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