The 10 Best Men's Water Sandals

Updated March 02, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Men's Water Sandals
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're planning on hiking across rocky rivers, walking on shell encrusted beaches or boating on a lake this year, your feet will thank you if you clad them in a pair of these men's water sandals. Offering superior traction on slippery surfaces as well as protection from sharp and hard objects, they will let you enjoy any outdoor adventure comfortably. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best men's water sandal on Amazon.

10. Northside Burke II

The Northside Burke II are a closed-toe option that provide a good amount of foot protection with their rubber guard. They feature a water-resistant upper and secure bungee cord lacing with a simple toggle closure that gets you up and going fast.
  • textured sole for good traction
  • drain and dry out quickly
  • pull tabs can rip off
Brand Northside
Model Burke II-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Columbia Techsun

The Columbia Techsun leave more of your foot exposed than many of the styles on our list and have that classic sandal design purists will love. If you're ready to ditch the Birkenstocks and go with something that won't stink after getting wet a few times, consider these.
  • two-tone synthetic fabrication
  • dual hook-and-loop straps
  • padding under ball of foot is thin
Brand Columbia
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Crocs Fisherman

The trusted Crocs Fisherman will see you through any aquatic adventure in comfort and style. They're made with a lightweight Croslite foam that is interspersed with large ports, allowing air to flow in and water to drain out. A thick rubber toe shields you from debris.
  • two adjustable straps
  • quick-drying material
  • threads may fray after a while
Brand crocs
Model crocs 202111
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Teva Omniums

The Teva Omniums are so comfortable you might just be tempted to wear them everywhere. They have an encapsulated shock-absorbing ShocPad heel to lessen impacts on your joints, and feature a bungee lacing system and a quick-release buckle.
  • non-marking outsoles
  • adjustable hook-and-loop heel straps
  • take a long time to dry
Brand Teva
Model 6148
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Skechers Gander Selmo

The Skechers Gander Selmo have a lot of nice features, like a pull-on loop at the tongue and an adjustable hook-and-loop Velcro strap at the back for a secure fit. They are available in seven colors and have a simple gillie-style lacing system.
  • reinforced protective toecaps
  • feel very well made and sturdy
  • not available in half sizes
Brand Skechers
Model 64641
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Atika Maya Trail

If you're on a tight budget, but need to pick up some footwear to see you through a few marine outings, the Atika Maya Trail are a good choice. They won't be great for hiking and may not last forever, but it's hard to complain when they cost less than 20 bucks.
  • neoprene padded inner lining
  • come in a variety of color combos
  • comfortable contoured footbed
Brand Atika
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. J-41 Groove

Engineered with the highest quality materials, the J-41 Groove offer superior traction and durability in a sporty design to match your adventurous spirit. They are also made from an animal-friendly vegan textile for you animal lovers.
  • toe and heel bumpers for protection
  • low profile design
  • pull loops at the tongue and heel
Brand J-41
Model Groove Ii
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Crocs Swiftwater

Expect extreme comfort wearing the Crocs Swiftwater as you explore rocky rivers and lakes. Their lightweight and durable construction fits well thanks to the leather hook-and-loop strap, and the hard toecap gives you safety from the unknown.
  • great quality at an affordable price
  • pull-on loop at the heel
  • adjustable strap for a secure fit
Brand crocs
Model crocs 15041
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve

For outdoor enthusiasts, the water-shedding Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve are a dream come true. They feature a trail platform made to flex naturally on your amphibious adventure, offering you secure footing while still giving a good amount of support.
  • odor-reducing antimicrobial agents
  • lycra neoprene stretch collars
  • waterproof upper fabrics
Brand Merrell
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2 will have you ready for adverse conditions with their patented toe protection and 3 mm lugs that provide excellent traction on all surfaces. They are great for everything from tubing and days at the beach to warm weather hiking.
  • available in 19 color options
  • quickdraw elastic cord laces
  • fast-drying synthetic materials
Brand Keen
Model Newport H2-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

So What If A River Runs Through It

In the town where I grew up, a small river running the long length of our park system ended in a pair of waterfalls before passing out of town and continuing its flow underground. At the point of the drop, the park's designer had built an island of sorts that caused the river to split, creating two separate falls from one source.

As a kid, reaching the island was a kind of dream, as the water was knee-high to anyone under 10-years-old, and it was–according to our parents and a few of the bigger kids–populated with vicious snapping turtles. The turtle story turned out to be a lie, for the most part, but the water was high and there was no bridge to cross.

One summer's day during a long spell between rains, the water level had dropped enough to reveal the tops of a pattern of stones running from the banks of the river straight out to the island. Without hesitating, we all made our way across on the stones. They were slippery, though, and none of us had the time or the inclination to research better footwear options than whatever we all happened to be wearing. I wasn't the first one to fall into the water, but I also wasn't the last.

We had on a combination of Converse All-stars, Keds, and Airwalk sneakers, none of which had any decent kind of grip to their bottoms, and all of which, once soaked with river water, were more or less ruined. If we'd had any of the water sandals on our top ten list with us, we might not have even fallen to begin with. If we had fallen, anyway, the sandals would have been fine and our legs would have dried out in just a few short minutes.

That's because these men's water sandals all share a porousness: holes either small or large in stature that allows them to drain water and dry out with incredible effectiveness. When moisture of any kind is trapped in a shoe, there is limited airflow, which inhibits evaporation. But within a porous show structure, airflow is maximized, and, therefore, so is evaporation.

That means that these shoes can stand up to anything from a sweaty foot to full submersion underwater and last longer–while getting your feet drier sooner–than anything else on the market.

On Even Ground

The water sandals on our top ten list all work at keeping your feet dry, but they each have their ideal terrain, regardless of the water issue. It's rather like your collection of sweaters: they all keep you nice and warm, but you really only wear the hideous one with the reindeer and the snowflakes on it around Christmas.

If you're on the beach, whether its a lush, sandy loam or a nasty, rocky shore, you'd do well in either the water sandals on our list that look a bit like they're made of wet suit material, or the sandals that look the most like sandals. The latter have the most generous openings of anything on our list, which means you'll get far less sand trapped among your feet. The former looks the part of the beach-goer more than having any special attribute conducive to a better beach experience.

The sandals on our list with more coverage are a better fit for the rugged among you, those who hit the trails on a regular basis and who don't want to worry about any water fouling things up along the way. Some of these water sandals are ideal for hiking tough terrain, as they have better arch support and even Vibram soles, which are synonymous with comfort and durability.

Once you've decided on your intended terrain, you can evaluate the remaining sandals on our list with an eye for apparent comfort, but also with an eye for style. Nowadays, workout clothes, as well as hiking apparel, have become completely legitimate tools of an individual's fashion statement. If your choice comes down to a pair of sandals that checks off every technical box but leaves you feeling stylistically underwhelmed against a pair that almost gets there technically, but that gets you excited to wear them and be seen in them; my advice says go with the pair that'll make you the happiest.

An Irish Origin

Before the sandal was the sandal, mankind had a number of foot coverings intended to bring protection to one of the most valuable assets of his body. Early on, ancient civilizations the world over strapped tough leaves or leather to their feet with bits of bark, or with more leather.

In ancient Greece and Rome, sandals began with a leather base and wrapped up the ankle in a crosshatching of leather straps. Higher ankle straps usually denoted a higher standing in society, though many lower individuals would surely have used a higher boot to garner undue respect in the streets.

While these Mediterranean sandals made for fine fashion and a comfortable way to get around, they couldn't really be said to have been water sandals. Nowhere in their design was a thought given to draining water or evaporating moisture more effectively.

Not until peasants in the Irish bogs took a hole punch to their leather foot coverings did we see a shoe of any kind specifically designed to drain water. These punched leather foot coverings developed into the shoe we now call the brogue, or the wingtip in America. Their modern design is miserable for walking in water, but historically, they set the precedent for all the water sandals on our list.

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Last updated on March 02, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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