Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
While we’ve written here before about the best sandals for women, the best rain boots for women, and the best workout shoes for women, we’re going deep on the best water shoes for women on Amazon, according to the people.
Best-rated water shoes
“I have lived on an island a few blocks from the beach for over 20 years, so I have owned more water shoes in my life than I can possibly count. These are literally the best water shoes I have ever owned, which is a huge compliment, seeing as I have owned so many,” writes one satisfied shopper who wrote an 800-word review on this pair. “I may sound way too excited over water shoes, but if you wear them as much as I do you would probably feel the same way. They are also extremely comfortable for walking around the house, or actually walking anywhere at all. There is no shoe that comes anywhere close (flip-flops excluded, of course) to being as breathable as these shoes are.” Others like the removable inner sole. As one reviewer says, “The holes allowed the water and sand to easily come out. Plus the insoles are removable so take them out to wash off the sand and put them back in easily. I wore them at the beach and in the pool every day for two weeks and they still look and feel brand-new. Also, and this is important, they do not smell.”
Best-rated (less expensive) water shoes
The weightless, barely-there design of these water shoes appealed to dozens of reviewers. One writes, “If you want to feel like a ninja with the most lightweight shoes on in the whole world and have the feeling you can leap and hop across all of America with no effort while wearing these water shoes, then you are in luck. The sole is flexible and thin yet sturdy, and you cannot feel any heat or cold or sharp rocks from the ground on the bottom of your feet. The water also drains very fast. The snug yet comfy material doesn’t let sand in them very easy.”
Some were even shocked at how much grip they had for such a low cost, like this pro fisher who wrote, “The material is comfortable and light (I often forgot I was wearing them). The sole is also thick enough to protect your feet and keep it safe from the hot sand. The unexpected plus for me was that the shoes have really good grip. I often climb the rocks on the jetty to get to a good fishing spot, and I had no problems and no fear slipping with these.” This mom who bought them for the whole family boasted about her blister-less feet after wearing them. She wrote, “I haven’t had the best luck with swim shoes. Some cause blisters, others don’t stay on, and some my son keeps trying to take off. These swim shoes have been by far the best pair we’ve tried. They didn’t blister my son’s feet and he seems very comfortable with them on too! They work well at the pool and on the beach. It was definitely worth it.”
Best water sandals
Reviewers love these sandals so much they don’t want to take them off — one even describes them as “basically a second pair of feet.” She also writes, “I am in love with these shoes. I bought them for a study-abroad tour in Europe, and they were the only shoes I wore the entire month we were there. We walked upwards of 10 miles a day in all sorts of weather conditions. They were warm enough to comfortably wear in chilly Germany and ventilated enough to handle the heat in Italy. I still wear them all the time … They are the comfiest shoes I own.” For another shopper, these were the answer to a long hunt for the perfect pair of water sandals: “I have tried six pairs of water sandals in an effort to find an acceptable pair for an upcoming trip to Galapagos. This is THE first and only pair that fits my crazy feet (bunions, hammer toe, and a recently broken second toe that is still sore and swollen) … They are light, waterproof, and lined with neoprene, making them surprisingly comfortable. Also have toe guards for protection from rocks, are priced fairly, and are nice looking.”
Best plastic water shoes
Reviewers find the plastic material of the shoes makes them a practical choice for water activities. One shopper notes that they have “no cloth to sour or mildew,” while another writes, “The best part about these shoes was that, being rubbery plastic, they didn’t need time to dry out after being wet. While my friends had to plan time to wash out and dry their soggy cloth water shoes, these just needed a quick rinse and I was ready to go.” One commenter calls them “cuter and less obvious than Crocs.” Just be sure to wear them with sunscreen: “A note — these give your feet a VERY strange tan pattern, like giraffe spots. LOL.”
Best quick-drying water shoes
“These shoes are the perfect beach walking shoes. They are not meant to be fashion statements or to be worn all day. I walk the beach daily and they provide just enough support and protection from hidden items in the sand,” wrote one reviewer. “If I get soaked in an unnoticed tide, they do not retain the water, it drains out quickly and they dry quickly for use the next day.” To dry them faster, one recommended, “you remove the inserts and dry separately,” adding, “I was able to wear them again after drying overnight. I highly, highly recommend these.” Others felt they were challenging to get on at first, but one reviewer provided helpful suggestions: “I believe this design is best for keeping unwanted grime out of the shoes and socks and off the feet. Point the toes in while holding the sole with the opposite hand. Completely fit the toes first, then pull the sole back toward the heel, then have that heel open with your finger or use a shoehorn and it slips right on.”
Best water shoe for the beach
“I really can’t say enough about these shoes. These work amazingly for the beach. I hate going in the ocean without something on my feet, but other water shoes, sandals, or flip-flops always left me with painful feet because shells and grainy sand would still fill them and tear up my feet,” wrote one happy mom after her tropical family vacation. “They are also a breeze to clean out, I just removed the insert and was able to completely turn the shoes inside out to get a complete rinse done and then slide the insert back in and wring them out. They also dry nicely. I definitely need to get more for my entire family for our next beach trip, and see myself getting some as future family gifts.” Another reviewer loved how trendy these water shoes are, writing, “They are thin and stylish, unlike other department-store water shoes that are bulkier and have bright multiple colors. I’ve used them for the lake so far and have gotten compliments on them.” One woman with major feet qualms even thought these were a hit, commenting, “After three foot surgeries, I can’t walk barefoot in the sand, and even tiny pebbles or shells hurt if I step on them. These have a thin sole but they worked out great. I was able to walk on the beach and wore them in the water as well.”
Best slip-on water shoes
“Easy on and easy off,” writes one reviewer — and ease is a theme among these shoppers, with another writing, “A big plus for me is the pull-on tab at the top of heel that allows for help in getting shoe on a wet or dry foot, yay!” These slip-on shoes boast all the best qualities of the other water shoes on this list. “They’re breathable, extremely comfy, grip well, don’t rub and cause blisters, hose off quickly and easily, dry fast, and look great. They’re also lightweight and perfect for compact packing and travel,” says a commenter. “The real test was being on my feet for eight hours doing heavy muddy lifting under the hot Florida sun. Not once did my feet bother me. Best shoe purchase ever.”
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The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultraflattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
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