Best Women's Water Shoes for Snorkeling and Hiking
We updated our women's water shoes for snorkeling and hiking page for summer of 2019.
Our top choices based on verified experiences and test results are:
- Merrell Women's Hiking Water Shoes >> great choice for amphibian hiking activities
- Keen Women's EVOFIT ONE Water Sandal >> PFC-free water repellent treatment for everyday use
- VIFUUR Slip-on Water Shoes for Women >> quick-dry water shoes, breathable fabric with fine stretch
- SIMARI Womens Barefoot Water Shoes >> soles are made of TPR materials with non-slip resistance
- Mishansha Womens Quick Dry Water Shoes >> anti slip camo rubber sole with holes to ensure proper water flow out
- ALEADER Women's Quick Drying Aqua Shoes >> good traction in wet and slippery conditions
- Zhuanglin Quick Drying Water Shoes >> excellent breathability and quick drying
- RYKA Women's Hydro Sport Water Shoe >> aquatic cross trainer with removable footbed and drainage ports in sole
Our Top Choices for Water Shoes for Women in 2019
There are a lot of options out there if you’re looking for women's water shoes for snorkeling. Unfortunately, many of them offer poor performance and do not last long once you hit the water. Although cheap -or because they are-, you’ll have to replace them before long. Then there are the high-end luxury options that provide little in the way of added benefit for the astronomical price tag.
Here is our top list followed buy our buyer's guide on how to choose the best water shoes for women ...
The first entry on our list of the best women’s water shoes, the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve is an excellent choice for amphibian hiking activities, but perhaps not the lightest nor most comfortable for swimming, snorkeling, or diving.
With that in mind, it’s hard to deny the quality and versatility of this water-ready hiking shoe.
The breathable upper is made from synthetic leather and textile. The entire upper is waxed and waterproof, while the sandal design with lateral holes and open heel allows the water to drain out quickly.
Users praise the bungee lacing system that allows for quick adjustments on the go, while the protective toe bumper keeps your toe protected during those slippery waterfall climbs.
The shoe has a rugged, non-slippery outsole and cushioned UniFly midsole designed to provide all-day comfort. The unlined footbed also makes the shoe suitable for all types of arches.
It’s perfect for ladies with a wider foot, while the bungee lacing system allows for easy adjustments to a snugger or looser fit.
Excellent traction and a fresh antimicrobial treatment of the insoles are the cherry on top of this sumptuous cake. No doubt, a shoe worthy of your investment.
Designed to fit like a second skin, this water sandal delivers exceptional comfort on the creek or river beds, as well as on slippery rocky terrains.
Traction in water is ensured by the proprietary rubber sole with multidirectional lugs. Razor siping pattern ensures extra grip both in and out of the water, while the TPU inserts add targeted stability.
Polyurethane midsoles also deliver unexpected shock absorption, enhancing the agility on all terrains.
The upper is made from quick-drying, breathable EVOFIT fabric. This proprietary fabric is designed to feel like a second skin due to its stretchy, snug fit. At the same time, the PFC-free water repellent treatment makes this sandal suitable for everyday use.
We also like that the adaptive upper can fit both wider and narrower feet. A thing that makes this water shoe different from all others is the metatomical footbed. Its internal mechanism cradles the contours of your foot and provides unique arch support.
No doubt, this shoe is perfect for ladies suffering from plantar fasciitis or other foot, heel, or ankle issues.
Assembled with pride in Portland, Oregon, it is a superb outdoors and water shoe to wear on all your adventures.
The water shoe is a staple of summer activities; whether you’re exploring a wet territory, walking on the beach, or sailing, you need a pair of the best women’s water shoes. Such as the Wet-Traction by Aleader.
This shoe impresses with a highly breathable and moisture-wicking textile upper that promotes airflow and prevents the growth of bacteria. Synthetic ribbons along the side of the shoe add extra-stability and improve balance.
Designed for extra-comfort on all terrains, it has a shock-absorbing midsole that ensures proper arch support.
Besides all these features, this shoe presents non-marking rubber outsole for enhanced grip on even the smoothest wet surfaces. Not only it provides superior grip and protection; the holes in the sole ensure quick drainage of the water, for even faster drying.
These holes can be a pain though, especially if you’re walking on pebbles. The small rocks can get stuck in the holes and are quite hard to remove.
Despite this minor drawback, it’s hard to argue about this shoe’s comfort and performance. It also comes at an attractive price tag. Just what you need for the summer.
Crocs surely knows how to make a difference when it comes to quality water shoes. And its Swiftwater truly stands out.
This water-friendly sandal is ready to enhance all your summer adventures. With a 4-inch heel, it provides the cushioning you’d expect from adventure footwear. Its soft mesh upper delivers maximum breathability and comfort while ensuring quick drying.
The synthetic sole provides traction on wet terrains, while the reinforced toe box also protects you while climbing waterfalls.
Lightweight and easy to secure on your feet with the Velcro strap, this shoe is also an excellent choice for snorkeling or diving.
It has a wider fit; getting half a size smaller could be ideal if you have narrower feet or want snugger footwear. You should also know that it is quite easy to adjust it from the hook-and-loop heel pull tab.
A bit on the expensive side, these shoes won’t make your feet sweat and are not smelly. Sand might give you some issues if it gets caught between your foot and the front straps; other than that, this is a highly comfortable and durable shoe that will pamper your foot and won’t give you any blisters.
If you’re involved in watersports, the Ryka HydroSport could satisfy all your water fitness needs. What makes this shoe different is the exclusive women’s design.
HydroSport respects the women’s foot anatomy and impresses with a narrower heel area and roomier-than-average forefoot. The increased instep volume and more secure footbed also enhance comfort for all women.
Besides these unique design features, the shoe also impresses with a removable, perforated footbed with drainage ports in the sole. The sole is made from rubber and delivers excellent traction on all wet surfaces.
Ideal for cross-training in the pool, fresh, or saltwater, it also resists chlorine and maintains its color over time.
The breathable upper has a webbing midfoot cage designed to provide medial and lateral support. Moisture-wicking, this hybrid upper will also prevent overheating when training in dry conditions.
With easy on and off design, the HydroSport is perfect for the pool, beach, or camping. Conceived for high-performance, this is an exceptional athletic shoe ideal for anyone looking for unsurpassed fit, cushioning, and comfort.
The VIFUUR water sports shoes claim to offer full functionality for the fraction of the price of many other brands. The maker says they are quick dry, breathable, and non-slip, suitable for whatever you may want to do near or in the water. The shoes come in no-frills packaging and are out and ready to go right away.
Performance and Fit
VIFUUR says that the shoes slip on easily and dry quickly, and offer breathable, comfortable protection and performance for a wide range of activities such as boating, swimming, windsurfing, and practically anything on a beach. To test this, they were used for prolonged periods of time around the pool, beach, under a sun umbrella, and in the water.
Getting the shoes on was easy. They really do slip on, even when they are completely dry. There was no painful shifting around that had to be done before they would slide into place.
Once on, the shoes offer a snug fit, but one that is not too tight. They did require a bit of a break in to stretch out and fit correctly. Once this was done, there was no discomfort caused by pinching in the toes or compression around the ankles They offer enough give so that they can fit a variety of different foot widths.
They are advertised as barefoot shoes that feel like socks. Although they feel a bit heavier than your average pair of socks, the claim is not that far off. They feel light on your feet, and you’ll feel like you’re halfway between wearing shoes and being barefoot.
During intense activity, the VIFUUR water shoes offered excellent performance, no matter what the event. They are flexible, allowing for easy, free movement in water and on the beach. They have good grip, meaning you won’t slip on treacherous wet surfaces, such as the deck of a boat. On a hike over wet stones, they never lost traction, and allowed for free and flexible movement over rough terrain.
Over hours of continuous use, they did not chafe or cause noticeable discomfort, a common problem for many competitors. The fit is tight enough that the foot does not slide around, nor does water pool inside the shoe.
Keeping Warm and Dry
They also offered proper temperature regulation in colder waters. Although they can’t protect you completely from frigid temperatures, you’ll notice a significant difference if you put your feet in the water barefoot.
Many aqua shoes sacrifice protection for mobility. Here, that’s not an issue. Moving over sharp, uneven rock, the VIFUUR shoes kept feet from being scratched and cut. They’re still lightweight and thin, so they breath well and don’t feel like they’re slowing you down.
Once you’re out of the water, the shoes dry quickly and evenly. This gives them a lot of versatility as you can use them for swimming (see our best swim snorkel reviews here) or sailing, and then transition to land-based activities such as hiking without walking around with soggy, cold feet. They wash off easily, and sand doesn’t cling to the outside of the shoes as you try to wash them off.
Performance Pros and Cons
Pro: good and tight fit that doesn’t pinch
Pro: traction and good grip means you won’t slip on wet surfaces near the beach, on a boat, or by the pool
Pro: shoes keep your feet warmer that they would be if you went barefoot
Pro: tough construction keeps feet protected from scratches and cuts
Pro: flexible enough that they will fit a wide variety of foot widths
Pro: dry quickly when you get out of the water
Pro: don’t chafe even with hours of continuous wear
Con: some tightness as shoes break inCon: soles can shift a bit when moving from water to land
The VIFUUR shoes feature a reasonably simple, functional design, and that is far from a negative. They value minimalism and performance, meaning the shoes are light and don’t get in your way, no matter what you’re doing.
However, when it comes to color, you have a lot of options, from a clean black look to a bright, galaxy design. This versatility means you’ll likely be able to find one that works for you.
With a wide range of styles, full functionality and high-level performance in multiple areas, and an affordable price tag, the VIFUUR water sports shoes are one of the best options out there for water sports shoes, all things considered. Many other brands offer shoes that are quick-dry, comfortable, breathable, or affordable, but few offer all four. The VIFUUR shoes are not quite as stylish as some higher cost brands, but these may cost you ten times as much, for essentially no upgrade in performance and a slightly better look.
Next entry on our list of the best women’s water shoes, the Speedo Zipwalker is an affordable pair that delivers maximum comfort while swimming or diving.
It’s made from a 4-ways stretch upper; breathable and quick-drying materials keep your feet cool if you plan to engage in some beach sports and wick moisture quickly when you get out of the water.
Convenient zipper closure ensures a secure fit; however, despite being convenient, this type of closure has drawbacks too. The zipper could be damaged by saltwater or chloride. On the other hand, it’s not as adjustable as laces or a hook-and-loop.
Inconveniences apart, the shoe boasts a reliable S-TRAC outsole that provides maximum traction on slippery terrains.
Its athletic styling is suitable for all-day wear, while the seaweed footbed delivers unrivaled comfort.
Perfect for all arch types and accommodates most foot widths comfortably; it may dry slower than other water shoes, but it’s undoubtedly a great model to consider.
It’s easy to be skeptical when coming across a pair of affordable water shoes advertised as exceptional. However, the Zhuanglin Water Shoe is also praised by its users and described as one of the best women’s water shoes.
Breathable and durable, it has a mesh upper with suede reinforced toe area. Their slip-on design makes it highly functional; made to tackle whatever the environment is throwing at it, this shoe can handle wet and dry conditions.
The Water Grip outsole is perhaps this shoe’s most sought-after feature. It’s filled with large drainage holes that allow for superb water management. Pebbles may get stuck into the holes, but they are easy to get out.
Despite the mesh and holes, this shoe can also handle sand better than other water shoe models. Furthermore, the ComforDry sock liner and Solyte midsole provide optimum cushioning, excellent bounce-back, and durability.
The soft cushioning EVA outsole with articulated flex grooves also allow for flexible, natural motion.
This functional pair is perfect for hiking, river walking, watersports, but also for aerobic sports. No matter the application, you’ll surely get outstanding fun and performance at an exceptional price tag.
Made from 92% polyester, the SIMARI SWS001 is a unisex water shoe suitable for adults and teens. It has a simple, linear design and acts as a second skin. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, but also flexible enough to provide superior comfort on the beach.
The breathable and quick-drying upper stretches on foot to provide a snug yet comfortable fit. Lightweight and compressible, it also fits well in a luggage or beach bag.
One of the most praised features is the smooth neck designed to prevent chafing; furthermore, the unique, ergonomically molded sole design delivers superior shock absorption and cushioning despite being thin.
Indeed, the shoe acts as a second skin and provides a barefoot feel. You’ll have full movement freedom, while the TPR material ensures excellent air permeability and non-slip resistance.
Ideal to wear even on a hot beach, this shoe is perfect for beach games, swimming, sailing, surfing, or enjoying a water park. Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty, these are some of the best women’s water shoes you can buy.
Another pair of exceptional water shoes for women is the Surfwalker. Manufactured by Speedo, it provides enhanced protection in an innovative design.
The shoe is made from lightweight, four-way stretch fabric that’s breathable and fast drying. Easy to put on and off, is ideal for a wide range of wet applications, from surfing and swimming to hiking in wet conditions.
Side mesh panels promote breathability, even more, preventing your feet from sweating. This also inhibits bacteria growth and the formation of bad odors.
The rubberized S-Trac outsole also enhances traction and water management for the most comfortable wear.
Allowing for pull-on entry and secure fit, it also offers advanced water management, despite not having drainage holes on the sole.
Like most water shoes, this pair has a snug fit. Keep in mind, though, that it runs one size smaller. The mesh was also judged by some people as less breathable as advertised.
All in all, though, this is a great shoe for a wide range of applications; undoubtedly, a great buy for the money.
11th entry on our list of the best women’s water shoes, Mishansha Sport D is a flexible shoe designed to deliver utmost comfort.
It has a breathable yet durable spandex fabric upper that provides the perfect stretch and fit. The ultra-lightweight fabric ensures fast draining but also exceptional cross-ventilation.
Easy to put on and take off, it has a pull tab at the heel for quick and easy entry. In the water, the snug fit prevents the shoe from dripping off. Furthermore, elastic straps along the width of the foot allow for quick adjustment.
Besides the breathable upper, the quick-dry soles with drainage holes bring further value for money. The unique, anti-slip camouflage rubber sole not only makes this shoe visually appealing. It also ensures proper water flow and creates a cooler and healthier shoe environment.
The shoe is also easy to adjust to the width of your foot thanks to the bungee laces.
The only downside of this shoe is poor grip on some wet surfaces. Indeed, it has a good grip on sand, but you may struggle to walk on smoother surfaces. This makes the shoe ideal for watersports and the beach, but less ideal for wearing at a waterpark or for waterfall climbing.
Sport D has a wider fit; ordering half a size less than your true size would be ideal if you have a narrower fit or need a snugger shoe.
Apart from these slight downsides, this is a great water shoe for the money. Undoubtedly, one worth considering for this summer.
The sole is made from hard black rubber which is pretty much similar to a hiking boots. But unlike the typical metal sole end a standard boot has, this particular footwear has a light and soft plastic at the end which will provide you comfort, especially when it comes to walking or hiking in long distances along the riverbed or just at the beach. The only downside we experienced with the Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal is that sand and sediments can easily come in contact with your foot as there is no mesh protection surrounding the footwear. However, on the positive side, this open foot feature will come in handy when it comes to cleaning and rinsing the shoe.
Keen water sandals have a hydrophobic mesh lining and non-marking rubber outsole for fast drying and protection with a polyester webbing. The rubber sole has contours and grooves which makes it great for walking on all kinds of surfaces including dirt trails, sand, tennis courts. The bungee lace system makes putting these on and off quick and easy.
I would not recommend using them for snorkeling as they have a strap in the back that allows for more air to your heel, the surface area at the back is not strong enough to support a snorkel fin to prevent blistering. Also if you are walking around in the sand, you may get a bit underneath as you will with almost any shoe anyways, make sure you give them a quick rinse once you are back on harder, not sandy surfaces.
Women's Water Shoes - Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need water shoes for snorkeling?
Not necessarily, but if you aim for performance, you should wear either snorkeling shoes or fins. Snorkeling fins can be either short or long with open or closed heel design, but they typically fit your foot snugly; therefore, they don’t have room to accommodate water shoes or boots. Snorkeling shoes are a type of water shoe with a slimmer profile and snugger fit and could be a better choice than the fins when snorkeling in shallow waters, such as reef areas.
Can I use water shoes for hiking?
It depends on the type of water shoes. Swimming and beach water shoes are slightly thicker than a sock and have a thin rubber sole that would be uncomfortable for hiking. Some hybrid models are designed to be used as both hiking and water shoes; these are a great choice for camping, tailgating, and hiking in places that involve walking on slippery or wet areas, or when you have to cross rivers.
Can you swim with water shoes?
Yes, you can usually swim in water shoes. Most water shoes are designed to protect your feet from rocky river beds and sea or ocean bottoms, and they are snug and lightweight enough for swimming. Snorkeling shoes are the best for the purpose. The only exception is the hiking water shoes which could be too heavy for swimming.
Do you wear socks with water shoes?
It depends on your preference or water temperature. Most water shoes are comfortable enough to wear without socks. Some models have neoprene uppers and lightweight rubber soles that make them as comfortable to wear as socks. You can still wear neoprene socks when swimming in cooler waters or for river rafting or crossing. Neoprene socks are also suitable to wear with snorkeling shoes or fins.
Do water shoes stretch in the water?
No. Beach and snorkeling water shoes are usually made from a neoprene upper and rubber sole. The peculiarity of this upper is that it stretches enough to accommodate your foot comfortably, but it offers a snug fit both in and out of the water. Amphibian water shoes which are usually used for hiking will also not stretch in the water.
How tight should water shoes be?
The right water shoes should fit snuggly while still being comfortable. You don’t want them to cause you blisters, but if the shoe is too loose, you can easily lose it in the water. Most manufacturers provide size charts, but the only way to tell if the water shoes are the right size is to try them on and see how they feel.
Are water shoes slip resistant?
Yes. Water shoes are slip-resistant and some models have thick soles that make them suitable to use as work or training shoes. If you want to use water shoes for work or during a workout, the best thing to do is to get hybrid amphibian shoes designed for hiking on waterfalls or creek beds. While water shoes with thin soles are also slip-resistant, they might not offer sufficient support for activities other than swimming or walking on sand.
Can you wear water shoes at water parks?
While most water parks allow the use of water shoes inside the park, each facility might have a different policy regarding the use of water shoes in water. Those water parks that allow the use of water shoes in the water usually require the shoes to have no exposed metal parts, such as zippers or rivets that might damage the surface of the slides. If you plan to visit a water park, it is best to check their policy regarding the use of water shoes inside the facility.
What are water socks?
Water socks are neoprene or Lycra socks designed for swimmers, snorkelers, and divers. They keep your feet warm in colder water, preventing foot cramps and other associated conditions. Water socks should be used with fins or water shoes, although some models have a thin sole that makes them comfortable to wear out of the water. They can also protect your feet from burns on hot sand when you’re not wearing water or beach shoes.
Can Crocs be used as water shoes?
Crocs is the brand name of a distributor and manufacturer of foam clog shoes; although these clogs are waterproof, they often don’t provide the snug fit required from a water shoe. However, Crocs also produces a range of water shoes and sandals for men, women, and kids, so if you like the brand, you can still buy their specific footwear for your days at the beach.