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The 7 Best Shower Sandals

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

In this article

If you’re visiting a campsite, neighborhood pool, or airport lounge, shower sandals are the best way to protect the bottom of your feet from communicable diseases commonly acquired from public spaces, says Dr. Krista A. Archer, a podiatric surgeon. To help you shop for the right pair — whether it’s something that you can set and forget in your gym bag or that can double as casual footwear — we rounded up a bunch of options below. We spoke to travel bloggers, fitness trainers, and camp counselors about their favorite non-slip, fast-drying pairs, and I even tested out a few at my local gym shower for good measure.

What we’re looking for

Size range

We’re on the lookout for shower sandals with a wide range of sizes. As with slippers, sizing can be more limited in this category of footwear (no half-sizes), but a few of our picks come in a variety of widths, and those are noted. We’ve also listed both Women’s (W) and Men’s (M) sizes for easier shopping.

Material

It goes without saying, but you want a shower sandal that’s waterproof. That means shopping for footwear made out of rubber, EVA, or any other material that dries quickly or with the swipe of a towel. All of our picks meet that criteria, and we even found an option that’s more sustainable than other plastic-based ones.

Design details

When picking out shower sandals, you might want to consider a few key design features: Do you have a narrow or wide foot and prefer adjustable straps? Do you need extra ankle support? Do you want something that drains water as you shower or something more traditional that can double as casual footwear? We’ve noted all of those details here, so you can easily spot your preferred types of shoes.

Price

Most of the shower sandals that came up during our research were under $50, but we’ve focused on affordability. Each sandal below is marked as $ (under $25), $$ ($25 to $50), and $$$ (over $50).

Best overall shower sandal

Size range: W 4 to 12.5, M 6 to 13.5 with narrow and wide options | Material: EVA | Design details: Open-toe with two adjustable straps | Price: $$

Birkenstock’s waterproof version of their classic Arizona shoe came up the most among our experts. Frankie’s on the Park founder Lisa Burik packs pairs for her daughters, who go to sleepaway camp, because they’re “great for the rustic walk from cabin to shower house and hold their own in the showers.” Burik, who’s had a pair herself for at least three years now, adds that they “dry in no time, especially if left in the sun for a moment.” This makes them especially “easy to toss in my bag,” says Summer Hull, travel blogger and director of travel content at the Points Guy. “When I used them in London during a shower in the arrivals lounge, I just wiped them dry with the towel once I was done and they were good to go back in my backpack.” When I tested them at my gym’s shower, they dried by the time I was dressed and ready to pack them up. Another selling point for the Arizonas is that they double as casual footwear — justifying the slightly higher price point. I frequently wear mine out to picnics, on beach days, and on warm-weather walks around the city.

Best shower slide

Adidas Adilette Slides
From $20

Size range: W 5 to 14, M 4 to 13 | Material: EVA and Cloudfoam | Design details: Open toe with one strap | Price: $

Casey Johnston, author of Liftoff: Couch to Barbell and newsletter She’s a Beast, has owned “some variation of these since I was in high school.” While she no longer wears them after sports practice, she continues using her navy blue pair at her gym’s locker room (and occasionally out of the gym, too). She likes that they’re “very comfortable” and rates them about a 4 out of 5 in terms of slip resistance. Another reason she keeps going back to the Adidas: “I can’t believe how inexpensive they still are,” Johnston says. “But you can’t beat the classics.”

Best less-expensive shower slide

Shevalues Shower Sandal Slippers
From $14
From $14

Size range: W 5 to 14, M 3.5 to 12.5 | Material: EVA | Design details: Open-toe with single strap and perforated footbed | Price: $

For an even more affordable pair, JT Netterville, personal training lead at Life Time Midtown, recommends these slides. They’re designed with a perforated sole that allows both feet and the shoes themselves to dry quickly. And, Netterville notes that these have the “added benefit of arch support for those that need it.” Like our best overall pick, they’re made of lightweight EVA so they’re easy to pack, but come at half the price of the Adidas slides.

Best closed-toe shower sandal

Size range: W 6 to 12, M 4 to 17 | Material: Proprietary Croslite | Design details: Closed-toe with optional ankle strap | Price: $

When we spoke to camp counselors and parents about the things kids should pack for summer camp, Crocs were the most popular waterproof shoes by far. Kayla Weissbuch, co-founder and executive director of Brave Trails in California, likes that the versatile footwear are “closed-toe, but they’re still airy and open,” and the adjustable strap provides “a little bit of ankle protection.” Experts we spoke to prefer the waterproof clogs for themselves, too. “There’s no better shower slipper than Crocs. They’re fun, functional, offer great grip, and let you make a statement,” says Rachel Webb, executive director at yoga studio Three Jewels. “You can literally wear them from the shower in your neighborhood yoga studio straight onto the street. What’s better than that?”

Best compact shower sandal

Size range: W 6 to 12, M 8 to 12 | Material: PVC and rubber | Design details: Flip flop | Price: $$

If you’re tight on space, two experts we spoke to recommended the Brazilian brand Havaianas’s slim flip-flops. “Their compact size allows for easy packing in my gym bag, so I can enjoy a comfortable and hygienic shower experience after a workout,” Colleen Rothschild, founder of Colleen Rothschild Beauty, says. Travel blogger Paige Benattar, who owns five pairs herself, says they’re a must-have on trips. For one, the range of colors allows her to match with different outfits, and they feel secure and slip resistant whenever she uses them in pool and gym showers. Note that this specific style is available in most women’s sizes but not in men’s. A similar style that’s just slightly wider than the Slim flip-flops are Havaianas’s Top flip-flops, which come in men’s sizes 8 to 13.

Best less-expensive compact shower sandal

Size range: M 6 to 13 | Material: EVA | Design details: Flip flop with drain holes | Price: $

For a more affordable pair of flip-flops, Netterville recommends this “compact, quick-drying” pair by Shower Shoez. They’re made out of EVA, meaning they’re a bit more lightweight than the above option, and they’re designed with a perforated bottom that drains water and allows your feet to dry more quickly than a regular footbed. The downside is that they don’t come in as wide of a range of colors as Havaianas, and these are likely going to serve solely as shower sandals (instead of doubling as casual footwear).

Best sustainable shower sandals

Size range: 5 to 16 | Material: Proprietary SweetFoam®, made with sugarcane-based green EVA and recycled polyester | Design details: Open toe with one adjustable Velcro strap | Price: $$

Allbirds Sugar Sliders were brought up by two of our experts — shoe brand Either/Or co-owner Emily Eddy and petite newsletter writer Lwany — for their sustainable materials and cushion-y feel. Neither Eddy or Lwany wear the shoes in showers however, so I tested them to see how they’d fare at my gym. These are made with Allbirds’ proprietary SweetFoam®, a sugarcane-based EVA material (rather than a plastic-based EVA), and they feel similar to Birkenstock Arizonas in terms of plushness. The Sugar Sliders have a thicker sole but are still lightweight and easy to walk in. What did stick out to me was the shoes’ pebbled footbed, which feels more grippy and thus more secure in the shower than the Birkenstocks’ smooth footbed. The Velcro strap is easier to adjust for a better fit, but this is also where my main issue with the shoe came in: the top of the strap is a recycled polyester and doesn’t dry as quickly as EVA or rubber. I ended up wearing these shoes out, and the strap dried by the time I got home (about 30 minutes), but if you were packing these up immediately after use, they might require a shoe bag to keep other things dry.

Some more slippers we’ve written about

Our experts

• Dr. Krista A. Archer, podiatric surgeon
• Summer Hull, travel blogger and director of travel content at the Points Guy
Frankie’s on the Park founder Lisa Burik
• Casey Johnston, author of Liftoff: Couch to Barbell and newsletter She’s a Beast
• JT Netterville, Life Time personal training lead
• Kayla Weissbuch, co-founder and executive director of Brave Trails in California
• Rachel Webb, executive director at yoga studio Three Jewels
• Colleen Rothschild, founder of Colleen Rothschild Beauty
• Paige Benattar, travel blogger
• Emily Eddy, Either/Or co-owner
• Lwany, petite newsletter writer

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The 7 Best Shower Sandals