The 3 Best Water Sandals for Fun in the Sun

Home » Outdoor » The 3 Best Water Sandals for Fun in the Sun

I love the fact that we live in a day and age when every single activity is better performed in a particular type of shoe. You have a pair for almost anything. You can’t go running in regular shoes, just as you can’t go rock climbing in sneakers. Manufacturers analyzed every sport and activity and designed the optimal footwear for them.

Water sports have their own type of footwear. In case there’s too hot outside, and you can’t handle a pair of water shoes, the next best thing you can buy is a pair of water sandals. They will keep your soles protected and your feet dry.

What are water sandals?

Hurricane XLT2 water sandals

I would like to begin by saying what a water sandal is not. There is this confusion going around that water sandals are basically flip-flops. That’s wrong. They are not. Have you ever seen leather flip-flops? I’ve seen people wearing elegant water sandals through town or at dinner in restaurants. I doubt that someone would do that in flip-flops.

Water sandals are a high-quality pair of shoes designed to provide traction on wet and slippery surfaces. They are usually most useful along rivers and lakes. To make a comparison, these types of shoes are similar to hiking shoes, where traction is concerned, but they can provide better comfort on those hot summer days. 

People also confuse water sandals with water shoes, and the truth is that a lot of models call themselves sandals when they are, in fact, water shoes. To make the difference, look at the toes. If the shoes have a closed toe, then you’re looking at water shoes, not sandals.

When can you wear water sandals?

You can wear them whenever you want. As long as you don’t go anywhere that requires a dress code, you can wear these sandals whenever you get out of the house. As long as you are comfortable, who cares what shoes you wear? However, we can’t overlook the fact that these shoes were designed for certain activities, so here are a few of them in which water sandals are a perfect fit.


I am kind of stating the obvious here, but water sandals will do wonders in water. People who enjoy swimming in lakes know the horror of stepping on shells and sharp rocks or whatnot. Your soles may not survive a day at the lake. The thing you need to do is to get yourself a pair of sandals that won’t come off easily. You will be moving your feet pretty fast, and the friction from the water may get the sandals off if they are not a perfect fit.

Summer general footwear

when it’s hot outside, you don’t really want to wear a pair of shoes that will make your feet sweat. That is why a pair of water sandals are ideal. You don’t sweat, they are very comfortable to wear, and putting them on is very easy. There are no laces. Water sandals are the kind of shoes you put on in a second per foot. And they will do the job. They have thick, durable soles that will protect your feet from the hot pavement, and from all the rocks.

Wade fishing

I have to admit that the best footwear for wade fishing is the fly fishing wading boots. But they are a bit expensive, so if you are not going fishing too often, or if you can’t afford a pair of wading boots, you can go for a pair of water sandals. They provide excellent traction, and your soles will have enough protection. Not to mention that water sandals are perfectly capable of keeping out rocks and sediment. After all, that’s what you need protection from while fishing.

When water sandals are not so ideal

People who prefer water sandals think that just because they are comfortable, they can be worn in every situation. Unfortunately, that is not true. Here is when you shouldn’t wear them.

When you go trail hiking or rock scrambling – as comfortable as water sandals are and as much traction they can provide, they are not recommended when you go hiking. A pair of water shoes is preferable in this case. Sandals are a recipe for sprained or broken ankles, especially on uneven terrains.

If you are clumsy – if you are the kind of person who stubs his or her toes every chance they get, then a pair of sandals may not be the best idea. Your soles are protected, but there is nothing to protect the front or top of your foot. Even dropping things on your feet can be extremely painful.

What to consider when buying the best water sandals

The most important aspect to remember here is that not all brands provide high-quality water sandals. You need to pay attention to a few things before you make a purchase. Otherwise, you may wake up a few weeks after the sandals break and have to buy a new pair. Here is what you need to consider.

  • The sole – this is the part you should check first. If the sole is made of high-quality materials and is thick enough to protect your feet, then you should be okay with your purchase. The thread pattern needs to be aggressive, so to speak, because only that way you will enjoy excellent traction.
  • Check the quality – quality can go a long way. The seams must be perfect. Otherwise, you risk leaving the sole behind and end up only with the straps. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be spending some time in the water. Water immersion for poor-quality water sandals can cause tears…fast.
  • Stay away from flip-flops – people often think that a pair of flip-flops should do the job, but they couldn’t be more wrong. There is a huge difference between a rubber sole and one made of foam. You will not get the same protection, and you risk losing the flip-flops in the water. They are not as stable on your feet as water sandals are.
  • Learn to make the difference between beach sandals and water sandals – Beach footwear lacks the traction and the tread a water sandal has. They may be great on the beach, but not so great on rocks or in water sports activities.

What are the best water sandals?

There is no way of telling which are the best because nobody has tried them all. However, the best method of determining which pair provides the highest quality is to read reviews left by people who actually bought and wore a particular model. I do that all the time. I do my homework before making a purchase, and it works in 99% of the cases.

Teva Men’s Hurricane XLT Sandal

Teva Men’s Hurricane XLT Sandal - The most popular model from Teva

Teva Sandals are among the most popular water sandals on the market. Everywhere I looked, almost everyone recommended them. They are made of high-quality materials, and their durability is outstanding. You get maximum comfort for an incredibly affordable price. The Teva’s drop-in EVA footbed supports the feet like no other model on the market

One way of telling that the Teva water sandals are what you need is that they were created by a Colorado River guide who knew all there is to know about the rocky banks of streams. He addressed every issue one may have while walking along river banks and lakes.

The straps are made of durable nylon that will not constrict your feet. They will fit perfectly because they are adjustable, but they won’t come off easily. The Velcro is also high-quality; you won’t have to replace them anytime soon. The sole is synthetic, but it’s resilient and will protect your feet from rocks and sediments. The thickness of the heel measures about 1.5 inches, which means nothing will penetrate it. These sandals can be found in a variety of colors, but I doubt they will make a difference. Men don’t usually care for that stuff.

Check the product at

Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Sandal

Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Sandal

We all know what people say about Crocs Shoes. They are considered the ugliest pair of shoes. I believe that it is a common misconception. Yes, Crocs can be ugly, but that is not always the case. These sandals actually look pretty good. And their comfort is almost unbeatable. Ask anyone who wears Crocs, and they will all say the same thing, that they are the most comfortable shoes they have ever worn.

Unlike most water sandals, these protect your toes as well. Remember what I said above about clumsy people shouldn’t wear water sandals? Well, even they can wear Crocs water sandals. They are made of water-resistant mesh, and they feature a leather hook-and-loop strap. The protective toe cap will keep you from stubbing your toes every chance you get. The heel features a pull-on loop that will make putting the shoes comfortable and convenient.

The sole is made of synthetic material but is very durable and thick. The shaft measures about 2.5 inches from the arch, which will keep your sole protected against rocks or anything that may penetrate and hurt the bottom of your feet.

The Crocs are very lightweight and comfortable overall. You will almost forget that you’re wearing them. You can engage in any activity that involves wet and slippery environments, and you can practice water sports without worrying about your feet getting hurt or poked. All Crocs feature a proprietary closed-cell resin, Croslite, which is the thing that makes them so light and comfortable. They provide excellent traction underwater, as well as on land. What you’ll also appreciate is that there is no odor. I know that they look closed in comparison with other water sandals, but your feet will not smell. There are holes all around the shoe.

Check the product at

Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal

Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal

When it comes to women’s water sandals, they must have something that men don’t. I am talking about style. I am not saying that all men don’t care about fashion, but women are more concerned about this aspect than men are. That is why Keen manufactures stylish water sandals that women love. You can find these sandals in a variety of colors so you can match them to most outfits.

The straps are made of synthetic textiles with perfect seams. Water immersion has no way of tearing them out, which means that they will last a very long time. Keen sandals are not the kind of shoes you’ll be wearing a single season, but several. The sole is made of high-quality rubber that will stop anything from penetrating the bottom of your feet and will provide excellent traction. The protective cap will keep your toes safe, and you won’t get hurt if you stub your toes in the water or on land. 

The bungee lace capture system will keep your feet stable and will prevent broken or twisted ankles. The lining is made of hydrophobic mesh. One of the aspects that impressed me the most about these sandals is that they have a metatomical footbed design. The internal support mechanism is engineered to provide the best arch support, and the foot will be perfectly cradled. Once you put these sandals on you’ll have the impression that they were made especially for your feet.

The sandals are machine washable. However, the manufacturer recommends that you use a small amount of detergent and wash on a gentle cycle. Don’t put them in the dryer, but let the air dry. They are ideal for water sports, or any other leisure activity. 

Check the product at

My recommendation

Although all three products are made of high-quality materials and provide maximum protection and comfort, I am going to go with the Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal. The features and durability lead me to believe that they are among the best water sandals on the market.


You should never underestimate shoes that are designed for a particular activity. There is always a reason behind their design. It’s not as if they are created randomly. Every feature has a purpose, and people should learn to trust shoe manufacturers. After all, they are not in this industry for nothing. It’s the same with water sandals. If a bunch of people worked months in a lab to create the ideal features which address every issue I may have, I will take their word for it when they say that those particular shoes are the best when doing a certain something.

Updated on March 13, 2023