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As the weather warms up, getting on the water is looking better and better each day. Whether you are simply heading to the beach for a relaxing day or are trekking into a river for a day of rafting, water shoes will keep your feet protected and you upright. We’ve got the best water shoes to buy this summer for boating, kayaking, hiking and all-around style.
Best Overall: Aleader Women's Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes
The slip-on Aleader Aqua Water Shoe is the perfect mix between a solid everyday shoe and a breathable, quick-drying water shoe. The upper is mesh that lets water glide through, while the rubber sole offers traction, plus has holes in it to let water out, too. Wear these sans socks for a supportive, secure fit in or out of the water on beach excursions. Colors include blue, green, red, purple, black, pink, white, gray and teal.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Columbia Drainmaker III Trail Shoe
The Columbia Drainmaker III Trail Shoe has only positive updates from the previous model, including faster water drainage and an added internal frame for support and comfort. The shoe has a lugged outsole for top traction, along with drainable ports and a mesh upper for supreme quick-drying capabilities. With laces and the colored stitching, this lightweight shoe looks more like your typical athletic sneaker than a slip-on water shoe. Sport them at the beach, on the lake or in the river. Colors include gray and red, gray and teal, yellow, turquoise, purple, red, dark blue, black and light blue.
Best Budget: Easy USA Women’s Wave Water Shoes
You can’t beat the price for these comfortable, slip-on water shoes that come in a variety of bright, fun colors. With minimal support, these will fair well at the beach or on other travels where you won’t be hiking or stepping on sharp rocks. Instead, wear these when you need a shoe that offers a quick change with a loop by the heel, plus decent traction underfoot.
Best for Style: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Climacool Boat Sleek Water Shoe
Just by looking, you’d never know that the Terrex Climacool Boat Sleek water shoes by Adidas are indeed made for the water. The sole has drainage holes and the mesh upper is breathable and quick-drying. Plus, the traction will keep you on your feet if you are stepping in and out of a boat by the riverbed or trekking up some slipper rocks on the trail. Wear these from the rafting trip to the restaurant after, from a day kayaking to the cafe for fuel. Colors include black, gray, teal, magenta, lime green and blue, light blue and dark blue.
Best Splurge: Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
Sport these kicks if you are planning on doing some hardcore trekking and need top protection and support for river crossings and wet trails. The Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve water shoe has a waxy leather upper that repels water, plus a Vibram outsole with hollowed, deep lugs for extreme traction. They are easy to get on and off with a pull tab near the heel, and fit snuggly because of the one-pull lacing system and the inner liner. Colors include black and purple, brown and blue, green, black, fuchsia, as well as brown and red.
Best Versatility: Chaco Women’s Outcross Evo MJ Hiking Shoe
The Chaco Outcross Evo MJ hiking shoe offers more support and protection than Chaco’s infamous sandals, but still has the durability the brand is known for. These shoes have a breathable mesh upper with a large toe cap for protection and adjustable straps for a super secure fit. Plus, the rubber sole has two lugs for extra traction—center ones for wet surfaces, and large, deep ones on the outer edge for traction on trails and steep terrain. Colors include black, light blue, pink, orange, purple, gray and teal.
Best for Cross Training: RYKA Women’s Hydro Sport Water Shoe Cross-Training Shoe
With a tight lacing system and a sticky rubber sole, the RYKA Hydro Sport cross-training water shoe will keep you comfortable during a water aerobics class or a run on the beach. The mesh upper is quick-drying and chlorine resistant with a padded tongue and collar, and the sole has extra holes for letting water drain out. There is also a removable footbed for extra cushion. Colors include gray and pink, black and magenta and light blue.
Best for Paddleboarding: NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Boot
When you are on your paddleboard, that last thing you need to worry about is if your feet are slipping and sliding—or freezing. Instead, stay focused on your balance with the durable NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Boot that offers a sticky-soled ankle boot that won’t let cold water in. You’ll get enough support to stay upright along with plenty of flexibility in your feet and ankles to move with the waves. Wear these on your paddleboard, wakeboarding, kiteboarding or diving.
Best for Kayaking: Astral Loyak Shoe
The Astral Loyak Shoes are not only stylish with a skater-shoe vibe, but are also perfect for paddle sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing and rafting. Slip these on, lace them up, and hop into the water where you’ll be protected from sharp rocks and slippery boulders. The shoes are constructed with durable lacing and stitching that can withstand multiple seasons on the water and habe drainage holes at the toe and heel. Colors include turquoise, plum, black and gray.