Best Water Shoes For Hiking
Water shoes ensure that your feet aren’t squelching in soggy puddles inside the shoe, allowing water to get out as easily as it gets in. This prevents your feet from becoming sore, leading to possible skin conditions.
The shoes I’ve featured ensure that you can carry on doing what you love while remaining safe and comfortable on your feet.
For 2020, the best water shoes for hiking are:
- FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Hiking Shoes
- SITAILE Hiking Water Shoes (Unisex)
- L-RUN Athletic Hiking Shoes (Unisex)
- WHITIN Water Shoes (Unisex)
- BRIDAWN Hiking Water Shoes (Unisex)
The Adventurous Hiker—Why We Need Water Shoes
When we head off for hikes, we put a lot of strain and pressure on our footwear. Walking through water can be challenging, and we can’t always see what we’re walking through, so having shoes that’ll help protect our feet is key.
Britannica defines hiking as long, intensive walks in natural and rural settings. It’s a natural exercise that’s good for the body, promoting physical activity without the need for any specialist equipment or needing to undergo any specific training. Walking through water also boosts our fitness.
Hiking usually incorporates crossing lakes, climbing hills and venturing across uneven terrain. It’s important that your shoes are durable enough to cope with such endurance, and that they don’t fall apart while you’re halfway through your venture or cause you to slip while you’re walking through deep puddles.
Important Features that Water Hiking Shoes Should Have
As hiking requires you to spend hours on your feet walking through different lakes, streams and puddles, your choice of footwear needs to ensure your walk won’t end in pain and discomfort caused by soggy wet feet.
To this end, these are the most important features to look out for:
- Water management
- Non-slip soles
Comfort (Of Course!)
The most important thing that hiking shoes should be is comfortable. They should be made with materials such as mesh and rubber, which don’t irritate the skin and won’t cause sores when your feet get wet.
The shoes should support your feet, ensuring they’re stable and comfortable for the duration of your hike. Walking through water can cause your feet to lift away from the shoe, so it’s important that your shoes stay firmly in place.
Your feet can become tired when you’ve been walking for long periods. Shoes with cushioning pads built into them will comfort the feet, allowing you to keep going for longer.
Cushioning pads are also great for absorbing shock as you walk, protecting your feet from impact. These are ideal when you’re walking over uneven terrain, including rocks and pebbles, so your foot doesn’t take the full impact when standing on such bumpy surfaces.
Arch support is always an important feature, but even more so when water is involved. You’ll likely be more unsteady on your feet when walking through water and in slippery conditions. This puts increased pressure on the foot muscles and tendons, straining the arches of the feet.
By having excellent arch support, you’ll reduce the risk of long-term hiking injuries and have a much more enjoyable trek. Look for specific mentions of arch support and proprietary technology in the shoes.
Water shoes are designed with water-friendly materials, allowing water to pass through.
The materials should be lightweight and quick-drying to ensure your feet don’t remain wet for long periods after returning to dry land.
Ideal materials for the best water shoes include breathable mesh, lightweight fabrics and rubber for the soles.
As you venture through water and wet terrain, some surfaces may be slippery or uneven. Having non-slip soles will help to grip the ground as you walk, ensuring you remain safe and steady through wet environments.
A great sole material for this is rubber, as it grips different surfaces well, both in and out of the water. It’s also a great shock-absorbing material that offers extra support and cushioning for your feet as you walk, especially as you can’t always see what you’re walking over when in the water.
The shoes need to be well-made so that they last. They’re bound to be faced with many different challenges, from climbing over rocks to swimming through muddy waters.
They need to be strong and durable so that you aren’t faced with a new shoe bill every time you go hiking. Strong rubber soles are durable and will grip wet surfaces.
The Five Best Water Shoes for Hiking
Grab your coat, and put on a pair of these shoes. You’re ready to go hiking.
I’ve got five pairs for you to choose from, including my personal favorite. Prepare your feet for what will feel like a hike among the clouds.
With five drainage holes built into these hiking shoes, water and dirt will drain out of them fast after your feet return to dry land. The insoles are made with moisture-wicking materials, keeping your feet dry and soaking up any sweat to eliminate nasty foot odors.
The thick rubber soles on these shoes are durable, and their non-slip design will grip surfaces on both wet and dry land. They’ll help to protect your feet from impact, too, absorbing shock as you walk.
They’re lightweight and only weigh 1.5 pounds, so you can be sure that they won’t weigh you down on your hikes. This is due to them being made from a breathable mesh material that allows a natural airflow to your feet. This mesh is also quick-dry, helping to keep your feet dry.
Cushioning pads built into the midsole of the shoes protect your feet and absorb shock as you walk. The pads offer additional arch support, providing cushioning under the heel and ball of the foot to relieve pressure and pain.
These shoes are available in sizes 6 to 12 for men.
- Elastic laces for quick fastening.
- Toe cap for added toe protection.
- Removable and breathable insoles.
- Narrow toe box.
With an impressive 11 drainage holes built into these shoes by SITAILE, they ensure water flows out of quickly without sitting inside the shoe. Also, the shoes are fully flexible and will mold to the shape of your foot for ultimate support and stability.
Mesh material used in the upper half of the shoe pulls water from the inside of the shoe, helping to keep your feet dry inside. The material is breathable and allows a natural flow of air to your feet to help keep them cool in hot temperatures.
The durable rubber soles will feel soft underneath your feet and provide cushioning to protect them from impact. The non-slip design will grip wet and dry surfaces firmly, preventing you from slipping, while built-in toe caps protect your toes as you walk.
Honeycomb insoles provide cushioning for your feet, absorbing shock as they bounce off the ground with every step. The material is soft and comforting and provides natural air circulation throughout the shoe.
These are available in sizes 6 to 14.5 for women and sizes 4.5 to 13 for men.
- Elastic lock laces.
- Quick-drying insoles.
- Easy slip-on design.
- Wide toe box.
- Size runs large.
These hiking shoes fit like socks, sitting closely against the skin to give you great motion control and flexibility as you move.
The mixture of mesh and leather materials used in the upper half of the shoes are breathable, helping to keep your feet cool and dry. Consider this a soft combination against your skin, preventing irritation.
I like how the rubber soles have drainage holes built in to prevent water from sitting inside the shoes when wet. The soles are thick and durable, protecting the feet when standing on uncomfortable surfaces and helping to absorb shock. In addition, the soles will grip wet and dry surfaces firmly, keeping you safe on your hiking adventures.
These shoes are designed to give you the feeling of walking barefoot, and so cushioning and arch support are kept to a minimum. This is to encourage the foot muscles to strengthen independently.
Currently, they’re available in sizes 2.5 to 14.5 for men and sizes 4 to 16.5 for women.
- Elastic drawstring lace design for easy fastening.
- Adjustable shoe straps for a personalized fit.
- Sizes run large.
- Not ideal for people with flat feet or high arches due to minimal arch support.
These simple, yet effective, water shoes by WHITIN are designed to offer support and protection for your feet both in and out of the water. Various drainage holes are located in the sole of the shoes, encouraging water to spill out of them and not sit inside the footbed.
The rubber soles offer stable support as you walk and will grip all surfaces. They’ll also help to absorb shock, protecting the feet from impact against hard rocks or small pebbles.
A stand-out feature for me is the water-friendly mesh material used in the upper half, which is stretchy and will sit against your foot comfortably. The material also offers flexibility as you move, as it molds against your foot’s natural shape. It’s breathable, too, helping to keep your feet cool and dry.
I also like the stretchable heel inserts, which offer cushioning and extra protection for your feet, absorbing impacts as you walk. Also, you can easily slip into these shoes and just go, with an elastic lace-up system for quick fastening.
These shoes are currently available in sizes 5.5 to 15 for women and sizes 4 to 13 for men.
- Toe cap provides toe protection.
- True to size.
- Soles aren’t skid-proof.
- Users mention how the webbing pull tabs get stuck under your foot, which can be annoying when taking off.
These hiking shoes have drainage holes in both the soles and the upper half of the shoe, pushing water and moisture out and keeping your feet dry. The mesh fabric is also breathable and encourages natural airflow to your feet while being quick-dry, preventing irritation.
Thick rubber soles on the shoes protect your feet on all terrains, and the traction design will grip wet and dry surfaces firmly. On top of this, the soles will absorb shock while you walk, protecting your feet from impact.
Sticking with the soles, they extend around the sides and the front of the shoe, providing wider protection for the sides toes.
Boosting the already impressive cushioning, the insoles provide stability and comfort for your feet, supporting them in their natural positioning.
These shoes are unisex and are available in sizes 5.5 to 13 for women and sizes four to 12 for men.
- Elastic lace-up system for quick fastening.
- Fit the feet like a sock.
- Take a little longer to dry than others.
- Narrow toe box.
Hiking Your Way to The Top
Say goodbye to noisy squelching, smelly foot odor and annoying damp feet. When choosing the best water shoes for hiking, the one clear winner for men that stands out for me is the FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Hiking Shoes. These shoes have effective drainage holes that remove water from the shoes quickly and effectively so that your feet stay dry and aren’t saturated.
The L-RUN Athletic Hiking Shoes are the best water shoes for women. They’re flexible and should fit your feet comfortably, and the built-in water holes will keep water flowing outwards, quickly drying your feet as you walk.