When it comes to wet hikes or other sports activities that include getting your toes wet, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality pair of water shoes. After all, we all know there is nothing worse than enduring a long trail with puddles in your shoes. Getting blisters isn’t much fun either, and hiking with your feet wet will decrease the lifespan of your hiking shoes.
That is why we recommend you to consider investing in breathable and lightweight water shoes for hiking. Not only will they extend the joy of the activity, but they will also provide the needed traction for slippery surfaces.
Without further ado, let’s get some answers to commonly asked questions about hiking water shoes. If you feel confident about your knowledge base on the topic, feel free to skip right to our list of the best hiking water shoes available and their full reviews.
Also, feel free to check out the best waterproof hiking boots under 100$. In some cases, it might be better to choose a pair with great water-repelling abilities rather than drainage and drying abilities.
Hiking water shoes FAQs
To be able to choose the best water shoes on the market, you should know some basics about aqua hiking shoes as well as how to choose them. Here are some answers you might want to consider when buying the right pair for your needs.
What are water shoes?
Water shoes are shoes that are specifically designed to allow you to participate in various activities without getting your feet wet. They are extremely versatile as they are breathable, comfortable, flexible, and designed for you to comfortably walk in water or on wet surfaces.
Should water shoes be tight or loose?
The key to successfully wearing hiking aqua shoes is buying a pair that fits snugly. However, they shouldn’t be too tight as they then become uncomfortable for you to wear. The right fit will ensure the best usability on all surfaces and in water.
Can water shoes be used for hiking?
All water shoes are versatile in nature. This means that you can easily use them in various activities such as hiking. Most of the best ones are specifically designed for hiking in wet areas. They enable you to easily walk on slippery surfaces, as well as wet and rocky areas. You can also cross rivers without worrying about your shoes.
Do you wear socks with water shoes?
It’s not necessary to wear socks with your aqua shoes. However, wearing socks can prevent odor in the shoe if you are limiting the water exposure. It can also prevent extra friction if you get exposed to gravel or sand. If you do choose to wear socks, it is best to wear neoprene socks since they won’t hold moisture.
How do I choose hiking water shoes?
There are several things you should be aware of before buying water shoes for hiking. It is not enough to look for shoes that drain well and dry quickly. Additionally, you should look for a pair that has these qualities:
- Have a good grip;
- Have good drainage;
- Dry quickly;
- Are comfortable;
- Are easy to get on and off.
Having a good grip on hiking aqua shoes means that you will get good traction in just about all conditions. This will reduce your risk of injuries. It is mostly achieved with an increased outsole grip and midsole stability. A sole with good traction is usually made from rubber that provides softness and durability.
Another thing to look for is the increased ability to drain water. Mostly, this is achieved with mesh sides and some drainage holes throughout the hiking water shoe. Once that water is drained, it is crucial that the shoes dry quickly. Mesh lining is a good solution that enables quick drying.
We are sure that comfort is on your priority list as well. By choosing shoes that are comfortable when dry and have the ability to drain water and drying quickly, you will get the best chances of staying comfortable no matter the conditions.
Furthermore, if you are planning to hike with water shoes, then you need to make sure that they are supportive and protective. Good support minimizes the risk of getting traumas. Look for a good structure and support around the ankle. Moreover, your feet are exposed to gravel and rocks while hiking, so a protective construction is a must. Look for a pair that covers your toes and other sensitive areas of the feet.
By getting hiking water shoes that feature all of these qualities, you will be ensuring that you get a long-lasting, quality pair of aqua footwear. However, if you want to skip countless hours looking for the right pair, we have compiled a list of best hiking aqua shoes available on the market today.
What are the best water shoes?
After comparing user reviews and the qualities listed above, we have come up with this list of the best water shoes for hiking:
- Keen Newport H2 Sandal $$
- Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve $$
- Columbia Drainmaker IV $$
- Salomon Amphib Bold $$
- Keen Terradora Ethos – Women’s $
- Adidas Terrex Climacool Boat – Men’s $$
- L-Run Athletic Barefoot Aqua $
- Rax Quick Drying Aqua – Men’s $
These are the best ones in our opinion. Each water footwear model listed above is the best in their own category, so feel free to check out their full reviews below and see which one is most suitable for your needs.
Keen Newport H2 Sandal
With Newport H2, Keen has made a durable and water-friendly pair of hiking water shoes. The closed-toe design ensures protection while the whole construction of the shoe provides balance and a good grip.
It is made from quick-drying materials and every part of this shoe is made to provide enough protection for challenging and wet hikes. Moreover, it provides better breathability than most hiking shoes. Therefore, it has long been one of the favorite water sandals.
- Very comfortable
- Good traction
- Provides great protection
- Aren’t adjustable
Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve
With All Out Of Blaze, Merrell has once again produced high-quality outdoor gear for an acceptable price. This pair of hiking water shoes are somewhere between a sandal and a hiking shoe. The construction of this footwear is very protective while allowing great water drainage and air ventilation. This combination is perfect for enduring trails partially covered with water.
The upper layer of the All Out Of Blaze Sieve is made from waterproof leather. Furthermore, the stretch collar is made from lycra neoprene, making this pair easy to take on and off. What’s more, the 3 mm lug depth and outsole made from Vibram will provide the necessary grip. However, keep in mind that while the water drainage holes allow unnecessary moisture to drain and your feet to breathe, they will also allow gravel and twigs to enter.
- Well ventilated
- Great drainage
- Thick sole ideal for rocky trails
- Drainage holes allow small gravel and twigs to enter
Columbia Drainmaker IV
The Columbia Drainmaker is a slip-proof and breathable companion for your outdoor adventures. The open mesh upper allows air to flow in and your shoe to dry quickly when wet. Moreover, the drainable ports incorporated in the midsole allow extra airflow while providing great water drainage.
The sole is made from Omni-grip rubber and therefore, provides great traction even on slippery surfaces. Furthermore, the closed shoe design prevents gravel from coming inside the shoe whilst walking.
- Great stability
- Good traction
- Breathable with good water drainage
- The outer material is synthetic, increasing the chances of developing a smell
Salomon Amphib Bold
Amphib Bold by Salomon is exactly what you need for hot weather and wet circumstances. The breathable upper mesh allows good airflow while also allowing the water sneakers to dry quickly. Furthermore, with the collapsible heels and stitch-free welded uppers, these are really comfortable and should fit you very well. Moreover, you can easily adjust them with a quick-lace making these ones of the most comfortable pairs on the list.
- Great comfort
- Upper mesh allows quick drying
- Narrow fit
Keen Terradora Ethos – Women’s
Lightweight, comfortable, and good-looking, these water shoes for women are a great choice. They are specifically designed for women’s feet, making them super-comfortable for most women.
The Terradora Ethos from Keen will repel water and dry quickly if wet. Moreover, they are really easy to take on and off as they feature the quick-release laces. The EVA padded sole and 4mm multi-directional lugs provide great traction while maintaining comfort. Thinking of further comfort, Keen has also inserted arch support and drainage holes in this model.
- Easy to take on and off
- Designed for women’s feet
- Great traction
- Full price is high
Adidas Terrex Climacool Boat – Men’s
Made of mesh and durable rubber sole, Terrex Climacool Boat is a great pair of Adidas water shoes for hiking. The construction of this model, as well as the details, provide durability and reliability.
Additionally, they are made using Climacool cooling technology. This means that they can provide heat and cool while you are using them. Furthermore, this technology enhances breathability and comfort. The outsole provides a great grip.
- Doesn’t have drainage holes
Best budget water shoes
If you are on the budget and looking for the best pair of hiking water shoes, then these two are worth considering.
L-Run Athletic Barefoot Aqua
These unisex water shoes for hiking are the best ones in the budget category. They are very lightweight and flexible. The flexibility with the stretching upper material provides great comfort and breathability. The fabric this pair is made from is breathable and ultra-light. However, the flexibility also means that the sole is thinner than usual and this could present some challenges on rockier hiking trails.
- Sole is thin
Rax Quick Drying Aqua – Men’s
Another great pair of quick-drying aqua shoes are made by Rax. They can be used for multiple purposes and are made from mesh and rubber sole. Furthermore, the construction of these is providing great ventilation.
- Great ventilation
- Has a hole in the sole for drainage
- Good toe protection
- Sand and gravel can easily get in the shoe
All of the hiking water shoes listed above are great for this purpose. They are all chosen carefully by reviewing their specifications and customer reviews. You can count on breathability, comfort, and good drainage. However, each pair has its own strengths and weaknesses. That being said, the safest bet would be to choose the best hiking water shoes rated by customers – Keen Newport H2 sandal. These water sandals have great quality and are made to last.