Swim Shoes vs. Sandals — What's Better?

Swim Shoes vs. Sandals — What's Better?

Most people usually do not think of water shoes as the peak in fashion choices, but we are here to tell you that is an idea of the past. With so many new styles and types to choose from, water shoes and water sandals are form meets function.

Should you go with classic, flexible close-toed water shoes or a more solid-soled open-style water sandal? We are here to help you break this down and assist you in making the best footwear choices this season.

Understandably, when you go for a swim, you may not want something on your feet, but if you are someone who has ever slipped on an algae-covered river rock or fallen on a wet dock, you understand why water shoes can be so important.

Types of Water Shoes

There are many types of water shoes. They can range from resembling a training sneaker to looking like chic beach sandals. While that classic slip-on water booty style is still around and certainly has its practical place in the footwear world, water shoes now offer much more variety.

Add water shoes to your list of family swimwear to pack, no matter your fun-in-the-sun destination this summer. They are also a great option for the little ones as their sneaker-traction provides a good surface grip for those who run around on wet slippery surfaces.

Activities You Need Water Shoes For

Whether you are being towed around a lake by a boat or floating down a river or creek, tubing is definitely an activity you will want good, snug-fitting water shoes for. When avoiding stepping on sharp rocks or oysters on your way in and out of the water or if you need to grip slippery smooth river rocks while wading around, sneaker-style full-coverage water shoes are the best option here. We also recommend one-piece swimsuits for these activities where other styles might slip and move around.

For boating activities, sans the tubing, you should still certainly wear a comfortable, grippy water shoe but can opt for a more casual and fashionable open-toed sandal style. The same goes for fishing. Don't forget to also wear sun-protective swimwear when you are spending all day out in the sun. For hiking around rivers or down very wet or muddy trails, a breathable and flexible-soled sneaker-style water shoe is a great option.

The Difference Between Water Shoes and Water Sandals

As mentioned before, water shoes are closed-toe sneakers, usually with a flexible, thinner sole. Traditionally used strictly for in-water activities, newer designs can cover a whole range of activities that take place in, around, or near water. Water sandals are open-toe shoes that usually have a harder, more supportive sole and offer more breathability. Sandal styles are also more versatile in that they can be worn for non-water-related activities as well.

Good, high-quality water sandals are a wonderfully versatile footwear option that can take you from wet and in-water activities to hiking on dry terrain with ease. They also provide the most breathability for hot climates and strenuous activities that might otherwise cause blisters. Good water sandals offer a textured sole that supports the wearer while also providing much-needed traction on slippery surfaces. They are designed for walking through rivers and lakes, but they also look and feel great on dry land. Throw on your favorite summer maxi dress after the river, and you are good to go out for dinner.

While they may not be as fashionable, full-coverage water shoes are the best for rocky, slippery, and unpredictable in-water situations. This style is ideal for very rocky and sandy rivers and lakes, where these bits of rock and pebbles might slip under your feet in your open-toe water sandals.

So, Which Is Better-Water Shoes or Sandals?

The short answer is: It just depends on what you are planning to do in them. For most fun-the-sun, water-based activities, water sandals will be just fine. For more outdoorsy and strenuous activities, you will probably want full-coverage water shoes. If you are headed to the shore for a day of laying on the sand, pack sandals in your beach tote. If you are headed out to the river for a day of water sports, choose full-coverage water sneakers.

As you can see, water shoes can have endless uses. These shoes will keep your feet protected from sharp rocks and slippery boulders when spending your day at the river while being versatile and fashionable enough to wear downtown later that evening.


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