2023 Guide to Water Shoes and Sandals

2023 Guide to Water Shoes and Sandals

If you love fun in the sun, you’ll want to consider water shoes and water sandals as part of your swimwear wardrobe. Let’s look at some tips for what will work for you with these.

Water Shoes 101

Water shoes are soft shoes designed to be worn in situations where your feet are likely to get wet but still need protection from uneven surfaces like rocks or seashells. They are waterproof, stretchy lowcut “booties” that cover your entire foot and go up to your ankles.

You typically don’t need to wear water shoes at a pool. Don’t rule them out for this environment, though, as they can provide additional traction. If you are unsteady on your feet, this can be a boon. Also, they are a nice option if you are shy about going barefoot in public. They are typically constructed from breathable materials that dry quickly and have hard soles that help to protect your feet from the bottom. Water shoes need to fit snugly so there is no chance they will cause rubbing and come off while you are in the water. Conveniently, they are designed to clean up easily. Water shoes not only dry fast but can usually be washed in your washing machine. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Water Sandals 101

Water sandals are similar to water shoes, but as the name implies, they have open toes and typically somewhat open sides and heels. You wear them with your swimsuit for water activities like you would with water shoes. The non-slip soles are designed to protect the bottom of your feet while you are in the water. As the toes and sides are open, your feet will still get wet (which can be pleasant if the water is cool). You will have little to no protection on your toes from scrapes or cuts, so choose the option that will be best for the specific environment and the fun activities in which you will be engaging.

If you will be in an area that involves sand instead of a smooth swimming pool bottom, water sandals are a great option. They can also be worn as poolside shoes as they are completely waterproof and will provide traction on wet surfaces. Some people like to wear water sandals instead of water shoes for water aerobics classes in swimming pools along with their swimsuits or women’s swim dresses because they prefer the feel of the cool water on their feet while they are exercising.

Kids and Water Shoes and Sandals

Water shoes or sandals are a great idea for kids! In addition to shopping for new kids’ bathing suits and beach towels at the beginning of the season, consider getting each kid in your family a pair of water shoes or sandals. Once again, water shoes will give their toes protection that water sandals won’t.

When choosing water shoes or sandals for your little ones, think about where they might need to wear them. Do they swim at the neighborhood pool? What about attending a day camp or overnight camp with water activities? Do you have fun exploratory adventures on tap, like walking in creeks or a trip to the shore?

Shopping for Water Shoes and Sandals

When shopping for water shoes and sandals, start with the current shoe sizes of each family member who needs a pair. Sizes are typically the same as sizes for regular street shoes, but because you will want a snug fit, you might need to go down a size. Make sure the retailer you purchase them from has a great return policy that will cover your family swimwear in case you need to try a different size or style.

When shopping for any swimwear, water shoes, or sandals, start as early as possible. You’ll want to have everyone’s measurements and have some lead time before any of your crew will be invited to swim parties, spend the day at the beach with friends, or start a new set of swim lessons or camp. Give yourself the gift of a little extra time so you can choose the items that will work best for your family in a stress-free way.

Water shoes and sandals can be a great way to feel comfy and protect your feet while you enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Why not check them out and see if they would be right for your family? Have a great time in the water!


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