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A summer isn’t complete without a rafting trip down the river, a sweaty paddle on the lake or a relaxing day spent by the beach. You could wear your regular hiking shoes or even some flip flops, but the likelihood that your kicks — or even your feet — will get wrecked is high. Without the right protection, rocks, coral and slippery surfaces can cut up your feet, and if you have too much protection, your shoes won’t dry out and could cause blisters or hotspots on your toes. Instead, invest in a pair of water shoes that are made to drain quick, dry fast and offer all the support you need for your water adventures. Below, we’ve got the best men’s water shoes to wear this summer.
Best Overall: Aleader Mesh Slip On Water Shoes
The men’s Aleader Mesh Slip On water shoes are breathable and perfect for a relaxing day on the lake or an easy hike along a river. The mesh uppers will keep your feet cool in hot temperatures and are quick-drying for when you are out of the water. Plus, these lightweight shoes are meant to be worn comfortably without socks and have lateral support to ensure that your foot doesn’t slip around, even in a wet shoe. There are even holes on the bottom for extra drainage. Colors include gray, black, light blue, navy, teal and white.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
The All Out Blaze Sieve water shoes by Merrell are built like a typical water shoes or sandals, rather than hiking shoes. They have less structure, but still offer plenty of support with a quick-pull bungee lacing system that wraps the foot tightly in the inner, sock-like liner. The soles are thick and sturdy with a three-millimeter lugged, Vibram sole for top traction, while the uppers are made from a waterproof leather. Wear these in and out of your kayak, paddling your canoe or on a rocky beach to keep your feet protected. Colors include a variety of neutrals, as well as red and blue.
Best Budget Shoe: Speedo Men’s Seaside Lace 4.0 Water Shoe
For a pair of shoes that don’t cost much, but will still survive water excursions, opt for the Speedo Men’s Seaside Lace 4.0 Water Shoes. The ultra lightweight water shoes are made with breathable mesh and a rubber sole with extra traction for slippery occasions. The lacing tightens quickly with a one-pull bungee strap to ensure a tight, secure fit. Colors include black, navy, and light blue.
Best for Everyday Use: Mohem Poseidon Mesh Walking Water Shoes
Ideal for a day at the beach or an afternoon spent on the boat, the Mohem Poseidon water shoes are stylish and comfortable, but won’t weigh your feet down when wet. They are made from a breathable mesh that is lightweight and dries quickly. And they are extremely flexible for all sorts of gentle to moderate terrain. Colors include a variety of neutrals in both matte and shiny styles.
Best for River Crossings and Hiking: Merrell Blaze Aero Sport Hiking/Water Shoe
With the Merrell Sport hiking water shoes, you get the best qualities from hiking shoes and water shoes. The structured shoes lace up tightly for a secure fit and have a heel and toe guard to protect your feet from rocks and roots. They're also made from breathable and quick-drying mesh with deep, five-millimeter lugs to keep you stable on the slickest rocks or the steepest terrain. These Merrells do not have a drainage system in the sole like other water shoes, but are ideal for hikes with multiple river crossings. Colors include black, tan, bright blue, brown and lime green.
Best for the Boat: Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes
Slip these on and off next time you are heading out on the water for a day of fishing or simply relaxing. The Columbia Bahama Vent PFG Slip-On Boat Shoes are made from a leather and canvas upper to repel water. The midsoles are comfortable and cushiony without being too heavy, plus have drainage holes to expel water quickly. Though the shoes may look casual, the soles are made from a traction-heavy rubber designed to stay gripped to wet surfaces. Colors include various neutrals, blue, teal, green and a variety of funky patterns.
Best for Style: Adidas Outdoor Climacool Boat Lace Water Shoes
The Adidas Outdoor Climacool Boat Lace water shoes are so slick and trendy that you’ll barely be able to tell that they are water shoes. They sport the classic three strips that Adidas is known for, but are made from a breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and dry. The soles are made from a durable, sticky rubber for traction in and out of the water, and also have drainage holes so no water gets trapped inside the shoes. Colors include navy, teal, black, lime green, as well as an olive green camo print.
Best for Paddle Boarding: Vibram Signa Athletic Boating Shoe
The Vibram Signa Athletic Boating Shoes are slim toe shoes designed to fit the natural forms of your feet. On the bottom are rubber soles with drainage holes. The uppers are made from an abrasion-resistant, stretchy mesh that is thin, flexible and lightweight. Slip these on and off when you are stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. Colors include black and bright blue.