Looking for the ultimate pair of water sandals for your summer adventures? You’ve definitely found the right review to help you out! We will show you the ten best water sandals money can buy, with plenty of different options for both men and women.
Whether you want airy sandals that are perfect for kayaking or something super rugged for demanding hikes, you will find at least one pair that’s suitable for you. We’ve also included both open and closed toe options, as well as water sandals that are excellent for outdoor adventures, but look good enough for an evening stroll around the town.
At A Glance: Our Top 4 Water Sandals
Read on to find that perfect pair of water sandals for you!
Best Closed Toe Water Sandals For Women
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Best Quick-Drying Water Sandals For Men
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Best Open Toe Water Sandals For Women
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Best All-Terrain Water Sandals For Everyone
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The Whisper sandals by Keen are one of the best options for the ladies. This brand is a champion when it comes to hiking footwear, whether we’re talking about waterproof winter boots or just airy water sandals. Your Keens will not disappoint you, and you will be able to abuse them for years to come.
The Whisper sandals feature uppers that are made entirely from polyester, and which are machine washable. This is great because polyester doesn’t actually retain that much water, so these sandals are quick drying. Also, these are closed toe sandals with a generous rubber cap on the toe, which provides excellent protection and even traction to this part of your feet.
Another great thing about these water sandals is the adjustable fit. They feature a bungee cord that allows you to loosen up the uppers as much as you want, and from there it’s super easy to get that perfect fit. You can adjust each strap to fit your feet well, making these an excellent option even for people with high arches.
These Keen water sandals also feature a multi-directional lug pattern on the rubber outsole, which provides you with lots of traction and grip. However, the lugs are not very rugged and they won’t bite into the terrain, so there aren’t what you’re looking for if you want sandals that would work just as well on muddy terrain. They’re great for water though.
In addition to that, the water sandals also have a metatomical footbed that cradles the natural contours of your feet. It’s a textured footbed, so you don’t have to worry about your feet sliding around inside the sandals.
The Whisper sandals also feature hydrophobic mesh lining and NXT natural odor control. This keeps them smelling fresh even after they get drenched in muddy water, and it minimizes the risk of you catching an infection because you spent too much time in wet sandals.
Although Crocs is a polarizing brand of footwear, we can’t deny that they can do some thing extremely well. And the Swiftwater River sandals are an excellent example of that – the men’s water sandals are incredibly lightweight, with a Croslite foam construction that is incredibly soft and comfortable.
Also, the foam construction does not retain any water, making these sandals an excellent option for anyone who plans to spend a lot of time with their feet in water. Whether you’re kayaking, fishing or just hiking across streams and rivers, these sandals are truly an excellent option for you.
The one and only downside of these is the lack of toe protection, but even that has some pros to it. For one thing, because these are open toe sandals they are much more breathable. And this type of construction also means that they won’t retain any water in the toe area, which further reduces the chance of bacterial and fungal infections.
These Crocs feature very rugged outsoles with deep, multi-directional lugs. You will have all the grip and traction you could hope for, all the while feeling like you’re walking barefoot. Both the footbed and the outsole are made from Croslite foam – a material that is very soft and comfortable, but just as rugged as it should be.
These water sandals actually feature a relaxed fit, so you will have a little more room around your feet. And no worries – you can tighten the straps in order to ensure that the sandals are not too loose. The wider construction is also great because it means even people with slightly wider feet will be able to wear these – pretty useful considering that Crocs only offers these in the standard width.
Another thing I have to mention is that the footbed of these sandals is textured, in addition to being comfortable and supportive. So, not only will you feel super confident in your every step, but you also won’t have to worry about your feet slipping out of your sandals when walking in water.
Chaco is another brand that’s known for making some really good sporty sandals. Their footwear is always top of the line, and they have a great range of sandals – from some really rugged options for demanding hikes, to excellent water sandals like the ZX2.
The thing that Chaco is best known for is their toe strap. They always give you the option or toe strap or no strap with every model of their sandals, but I think that with water shoes specifically, you will really benefit from that extra protection.
These sandals feature some of Chaco’s best proprietary technologies, like the insanely comfortable and rugged Luvseat footbed. It is non-slip and textured, ensuring that you always have sufficient traction below your feet regardless of the surface you’re walking on. On top of that, the footbed is anatomical, and it is designed to provide you with as much support as you would want, making these one of the comfiest sandals you can get your hands on.
Another great thing about these sandals is that they are highly adjustable. Chaco actually has a video demonstration of how to properly adjust them, but you can widen and tighten all the individual straps until you get that perfect fit. This is great because it means that it’s going to be easy for everyone to make the sandals fit them well, regardless of the exact shape of their feet.
Also, the ZX2 sandals are available in both standard and wide options, so it will really be easy for you to get the right fit. The only downside is that they don’t make them in half-sizes – if you are normally between sizes, I would recommend that you go half a size up. Even though they normally fit true to size, they can be somewhat small, especially for people with wider feet.
In addition to that, these Chacos also features an excellent outsole that’s designed for water adventures. It’s a ChacoGrip outsole made from non-marking rubber compound, with lots of deep, multidirectional lugs for great grip and traction. And that means that these sandals will preform equally well both in water and on dry land.
If you’re looking for a rugged pair of all terrain sandals that just so happen to be suitable for water, the Keen Newport sandals are a great option for you. They feature a non-marking rubber outsole with deep, multi-directional lugs that will provide you will the grip and traction you need on different terrain types. Whether you’re casually strolling down the beach or hiking through a muddy jungle, the Newport H2 sandals won’t let you down.
Their uppers are made from polyester webbing, which is quick drying and tough. The sandals also feature a bungee cord for easy adjustment, ensuring that it’s not difficult for you to get the perfect fit. But for that, you will need to go half a size up, since these sandals tend to run small.
Considering just how closed they are, that makes perfect sense. Especially with the toe protection that is equivalent to that of a proper hiking shoe. The uppers of these sandals are also quick drying, and the sandals are even machine washable, so they’re really easy to take care of.
In addition to that, these water sandals for men feature anti microbial coating, which will keep the sandals smelling fresh and your feet safe from any bacteria. That’s a very useful addition, since I have a feeling these will retain more water than other sandals, because of their closed construction.
Another great thing about the Keen Newport sandals is that they feature a metatomical EVA footbed, which is very comfortable even after long hours. The footbed is also textured, ensuring that your feet won’t slide around inside the sandals.
The Newport H2 sandals are also available in options for women, as well as for big kids. If you wear a really small shoe size, definitely think about getting the kids’ sandals – they’re a lot cheaper than the version for adults, and the sizes go up to women’s 8.5.
Another option that is slightly less heavy is the Keen Clearwater CNX.
The Hurricane sandals by Teva are a great option for men who want something lightweight with a very rugged outsole. These sandals feature an outsole made from durabrasion rubber, with lots of really deep multi-directional lugs that bite into terrain with ease. Whether you’re walking down a muddy slope or just skipping stones in a stream, you will have all the grip and traction you could ask for in these sandals.
The footbed is slightly textured, but not as much as I would like. Which is why these sandals are a great option if you’re more interested in walking around the beach or just on wet terrain. They’re okay for walking in water if you’re not a clumsy person, but I’d still recommend you be cautious not to twist your ankle.
Considering that these mostly run true to size, they will feel pretty stable on your feet. Also, the sandals have a nylon shank that provides you with extra support and stability, which is very important for water adventures. These water sandals are not available in half sizes though, and I would recommend going half a size down for the best fit – they are a bit big, so the smaller size should fit you just fine.
Another great thing about the Tevas is that they feature uppers that are made from recycled PET webbing. This is awesome because webbing doesn’t really retain water, so even if you spend hours with your feet soaked the sandals won’t get soggy. And they’re really quick drying – leave them out in the sun for 10-15 minutes and they’ll be dry as a bone. Just don’t leave them in the sun too long, since rubber actually shrinks when exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time.
The LiteRide open toe sandals are a good option for the ladies who are looking for casual footwear. These sandals are great for the beach, kayaking and any other water sports where you’re not spending a lot of time on really rough terrain.
The main reason for that is the outsole – it’s durable and not entirely smooth, but it’s certainly not rugged enough for rough terrain. It lacks multi-directional lugs that bite into terrain, and it would not provide you with enough grip and traction for demanding outdoor hikes.
But if you want sandals that you can wear on your vacation while walking on pavement, around the beach and even in the water, these Crocs are a good option. They have a great foam footbed – it is textured, so your feet won’t slip around in the sandals. It is also anatomical and supportive, ensuring you stay comfortable even if you walk around in these sandals for an entire day.
The uppers are made from a stretchy material that hugs your feet, so these should be really comfortable. The toe strap is not as stretchy as the heel and arch ones, but it does have some give. The only downside of this is that you can’t properly adjust the sandals, so getting the perfect size for you it not going to be so simple.
The Crocs LiteRide sandals run true to size, but they are not available in half sizes or options for wide/narrow feet. The straps can be a bit loose for women with narrow feet, so go half a size down for the best fit in that case. But if you have wide feet, you’ll want to go half a size up, in order to avoid the straps cutting into your skin.
Another thing to keep in mind about the uppers is that they will retain some water, but they’ll also dry off very quickly. Just don’t leave them out in the sun too long – anything stretchy will shrink in really high heat, and it’s best to take the sandals out of the sun as long as they are dry.
The Columbia sandals are a great option if you want something primarily for hikes, but that’s also suitable for crossing the occasional stream. Because of the smoother footbed, I wouldn’t recommend these sandals if you primarily need something that you can wear in water for hours on end. But they’re perfect if you need all-terrain sandals that can help you cross the occasional water obstacle.
The sandals feature synthetic uppers that are quick drying and don’t retain a lot of water. They are adjustable, with Velcro straps around the toes and at the ankles. So, even though the footbed of the sandals is pretty smooth, if you tighten the straps enough your feet shouldn’t slide in them.
These mostly run true to size, but they are not available in half sizes. And in case you normally wear a half size, you should definitely go up when choosing a size – they can be a bit small, especially since there are no options for wide feet.
The best thing about Columbia’s water sandals for men is the outsole. It is extremely rugged with really deep, multi-directional lugs. They will bite into the ground, and you will have perfect traction even when going down a muddy slope. The outsole also offers excellent performance on wet surfaces thanks to the non-slip rubber that it is primarily made from.
Another thing you’re going to love about these is the amount of support they provide. The TechLite footbed and frame really hug your feet, ensuring you are supported in your every step.
Also, these sandals are actually very affordable for Columbia footwear. The brand is usually a little pricey, but they manage to justify the price points with excellent performance and great durability. You can expect both of those from these water sandals, and you don’t even have to pay a lot of money for them!
The Forebay sandals from Teva are a good option if you’re looking for closed and protective sandals. They are slightly more open than the Newport option from Keen – these Tevas don’t have protective rubber around the toes, so they’re definitely not the best option out there if that was your main priority.
But hey do have a very rugged outsole that is suitable for any terrain. It features deep, multi-directional lugs for great grip and traction on different terrain types, and it is also very flexible. Which means that the sandals will bend along with your feet, for ultimate comfort on the trails.
In addition to that, the outsole is made from non-slip rubber so you should feel pretty stable even on wet and slippery terrain. Especially with the Shoc Pad heel, which provides additional support in your every step.
The interior of the sandals also features anti-microbial lining, ensuring that they will smell fresh even after really long days in them. However, that’s actually not so great – while the anti-microbial coating is definitely a plus, the presence of textile inside the shoes is actually a downside. It will retain water, and because of the textile the sandals will take a longer time to dry.
Another thing I have to point out is that the uppers of the heel are not very comfortable. Several people had issues with the heel causing blisters and ripping skin – if you have sensitive feet, I strongly suggest you at least put on a bandaid, to create some sort of barrier between the rough fabric and the skin. The sandals will get more comfortable over time, once they are fully broken in.
These Tevas run true to size, but they are not available in half sizes. For the best fit I recommend you go half a size up if you are normally between sizes, since then can be a bit small due to the closed construction. They are fully adjustable though, with the Velcro hook and loop closure and the bungee strap that make it super easy to tighten the sandals for the perfect fit.
The Camel Crown water sandals are a great option if you’re on a tighter budget. With a retail price around $35, these awesome sandals won’t break the bank, and you will still be able to wear them whenever you want. Their style is very casual, but the quick drying webbing uppers and rugged rubber outsole are anything but.
The outsole is actually the star of these sandals. It features lots of deep, multi-directional lugs for excellent grip and traction on all terrain types. It is made from anti-skidding rubber, so you will be really stable even on wet terrain. On top of that, part of the outsole features sawtooth lugs, which really bite into terrain – this is great for softer terrain when you need that extra ruggedness.
The webbing uppers of the sandals are easily adjustable, with Velcro straps around the ankles and toes. So, even if you can’t get the sandals in your usual size because they’re only available in whole sizes, at least you can be certain that you can adjust them until they fit you just right. And if you’re usually between sizes, we recommend that you go half a size down for the best fit, since these water sandals can be a bit large.
These Camel Crown sandals for mean feature a very comfortable insole that follows the shape of your feet. Which means that it offers excellent arch support, and it is even textured for great traction in water. Also, the curved shape of the insole further increases the traction you have in water, and reduces the chances of your feet slipping.
One downside of these sandals is that there’s no anti-microbial coating, so there’s nothing to ensure these won’t get smelly after long hours in water. But considering just how affordable these sandals are, I think that’s entirely fair.
The Keen Bali sandals are a good option for women who want toe protection, but don’t want a fully closed sandals. These are very airy and breathable, with straps around the heels, ankles and your toes. And with polyester webbing uppers, they won’t retain water and they will dry off very quickly.
The Bali sandals feature a compression molded EVA midsole, as well as a metatomical EVA footbed for premium wearing comfort. The footbed is also textured for good traction in water – even though the sandals aren’t as supportive as the ones that are closed at the sides of your feet, the footbed features will ensure that you are as stable as possible when wearing them.
There’s also hydrophobic mesh lining, which helps with repelling water and ensuring your feet stay as dry as possible. And the footbed is even infused with probiotic technology that keeps both the sandals and your feet smelling fresh.
On top of that, these Keens also feature a non marking rubber outsole with deep, multi-directional lugs. Which means that you will have plenty of grip and traction regardless of the terrain beneath your feet. Whether you’re looking to take on steep treks or just run around on the beach, the Bali sandals will help you stay confident in each step.
The straps around the ankles and heels are both adjustable, ensuring you will be able to make these fit you just right. Also, these sandals are available in both whole and half sizes, making it easy for everyone to get a size that will fit them well.
They are a bit on the bigger side, which is great for ladies with wider feet since there are no different width option for the Bali water sandals. Because of that you might want to consider going half a size down for the best fit, but be sure to check Keen’s sizing chart first, just to be on the safe side.
When buying water sandals, it’s important to look at what their uppers are made from. You generally want a material that doesn’t retain a lot of water, so that the sandals don’t get soggy and they can dry off quickly. Look for polyester, nylon, webbing or any similar synthetic that usually just repels water.
All of the sandals featured in this review have quick drying uppers that don’t retain water, so you’ll be safe no matter which ones you get. Some pairs – like the Crocs sandals – are actually made from foam, which is even better than webbing at repelling water.
If you don’t like any of the sandals I showed you and want to get something else, just don’t get leather sandals. They’re not designed for water, and the uppers will get soaked, soggy and could get irreparably damaged. Also, leather sandals will normally have a smooth and soft insole, which easily get soaked and does nothing for your traction in water. That’s why you should avoid them, as well as any other sandals that have a smooth insole that looks like it’s going to get drenched once you step in water.
With water sandals, the outsole is perhaps the most important feature. You want to have good grip and traction in water, otherwise there’s really no point in wearing the sandals. That’s precisely why all the sandals featured in this review are made by great outdoor brands, which are known for the excellent qualities and innovative technologies in their footwear.
We want you to feel like you’re walking around on pavement, and not like you’re slipping around on a slip-and-slide – broken ankles are not part of fun outdoor adventures, and an excellent outsole is the main thing that can prevent them.
You need to look at the materials an outsole is made from, as well as the depth and amount of lugs. The most rugged water sandals will have some really deep multi-directional lugs, which bite into terrain effortlessly, and ensure you have excellent grip and traction no matter the surface below your feet.
Footbeds are equally important as outsoles – even if you have the best Vibram outsole you could hope for, if the footbed is smooth and doesn’t feature any protection, you could still easily twist your ankle in water.
There are two main things you need to pay attention to when looking at footbeds – non-slip features like a textured surface and support. The best footbeds are made from non-slip rubbers, and they are either perforated or textured. You don’t want a smooth footbed in water sandals – it doesn’t do much to provide traction to your feet, meaning that the chances of you twisting an ankle in water are higher. We’re looking to minimize those chances as much as possible, and a sturdy rubber footbed is the first step.
If you have flat feet, high arches or any other feet condition that requires you to wear a special type of insole, you need to make sure that the sandals you’re eyeing will be comfortable enough for you. Especially since you can’t just buy an anatomic insole and put it on the sandals.
Another feature that you should look for is anti-microbial coating on the insoles. This isn’t as imported as perforation, but it’s still a nice addition to have. When you’re spending a lot of time with your feet in the water, the chances of a fungal or bacterial infection are significantly higher. Especially if you then continue walking around in wet sandals. When you have a footbed that’s coated with antimicrobials, the chances of an infection are greatly reduced, and there’s one less thing you need to worry about.
Another important choice you need to make is between open and closed toe sandals. Both have their pros and cons, so you should think about when you want to wear the sandals, in order to figure out which ones are the better fit for you.
If you are going to be doing a lot of hiking that includes water bodies and rocky terrain, closed toe sandals are the better option for you. They provide you with protection for your toes, and ensure that even if you manage to slip on a rock in water, your toes won’t be exposed.
On the other hand, closed toe sandals are heavier, slightly less breathable and they retain more water than open toe sandals. If you are prioritizing airiness and breathability over toe protection, then open toed options are probably the better fit for you. Especially if you’re not in need of something super rugged, and if you mostly want the sandals for some light water fun.
Not sure which of these water sandals you should get? Then grab one of our top three picks – they’re the best of the best and you certainly won’t be disappointed!
If you want rugged sandals that are suitable for any outdoor adventures, go with the Keen Newport H2 sandals. They’re available in options for men, women and kids, so they’re the best thing out there if you need water shoes for your entire family. These sandals feature quick drying uppers that don’t retain water, a supportive and textured footbed for excellent stability and traction, and an outsole that is worthy of a winter hiking boot. They’re amazing water sandals, but they’re also much more than that and I’m pretty sure they will quickly become your go-to summer shoe.
One of the best options for men are definitely the Crocs Swiftwater sandals. They are entirely made from Croslite foam, which is very comfortable and supportive. But the best thing about the foam is that it does not soak in water at all, and it dries off really quickly. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time with your feet in the water and don’t want sandals that will get soggy, this is definitely the best pair for you. The Swiftwater sandals also feature a textured insole for great traction, as well as a grippy outsole that is perfectly suitable for all terrain types.
Ladies, if you’re looking for an airy and breathable sandal that’s suitable for water, hiking and night out, go with the Chaco ZX2. The classic exterior will go with any outfit you put on, but the performance of these is on par with some of the best outdoor sandals that exist. They feature a textured, non-slip footbed for excellent traction in water, as well as a non-marking rubber outsole with deep, multi-directional lugs that’s perfectly suitable for any terrain. Plus, the sandals are available in regular and wide options, and all of their straps are adjustable, ensuring you can get something that fits you perfectly.
Head over to Amazon to see the prices of all the water sandals featured in this review. And go check out our related posts, for ideas on other summer footwear you might love.