The 10 Best Men's Water Shoes

Updated May 22, 2018 by Chase Brush

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Enjoy aquatic adventures of any kind while protecting your feet in style and comfort with a pair of these men's water shoes. Our comprehensive selection includes models designed for boating and/or kayaking, hiking over slippery boulders, paddling through shell-encrusted oceans, diving over rocky seabeds, or just taking a stroll along a wet beach. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best men's water shoe on Amazon.

10. Astral Buoyancy Brewers

Built with kayakers in mind, the Astral Buoyancy Brewers drain and dry quickly for all types of aquatic activities. They’re made with the company’s “G Rubber” outsole that has amazing traction on wet surfaces and slippery rocks, yet they still retain flexibility.
  • nice casual sneaker aesthetic
  • foot-balancing insoles
  • not the most comfortable
Brand Astral
Model Astral
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Salomon Techamphibian 3

If you're looking for something to protect your feet as you tromp down wet trails or across stony riverbeds, try the Salomon Techamphibian 3. They're almost a fully-fledged hiking shoe, save for the breathable, open mesh sides and quick-drying, neoprene Lycra lining.
  • attractive design
  • lots of arch support
  • lacing system is annoying
Brand Salomon
Model L35678300
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Speedo The Wake

Athletes who do a lot of aquatics-based training should consider the Speedo The Wake, which combine lightweight hydrophobic mesh and lateral synthetic bands to secure the foot during high-performance activities. Drainage ports let water easily move through the sole, too.
  • come in three color combos
  • good value for price
  • not the most durable
Brand Speedo
Model The Wake-M
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Teva Omnium Closed-Toe

The Teva Omnium Closed-Toe have all the right features for outdoor activity, including bungee laces, a protective toe, and a ShocPad heel for cushioning and impact absorption. But though the leather is designed to handle getting wet, they aren't for extended immersion.
  • quick-release top buckles
  • resemble sandal-sneaker hybrid
  • too many hot spots
Brand Teva
Model Omnium-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Sperry Top-Sider Flex Deck

Boaters are probably familiar with the name, and these Sperry Top-Sider Flex Deck have the same quality and iconic style that watersports enthusiasts have come to love. Quick-dry mesh uppers and bungee laces with a toggle provide fast drying and easy wearing.
  • removable foot beds
  • stay comfy even without socks
  • take half size smaller for best fit
Brand Sperry Top-Sider
Model Flex Deck
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

5. Columbia Drainmaker IV

The Columbia Drainmaker IV are an affordable option that can keep up with your active outdoor lifestyle. They have high-quality rubber outsoles for grip, and perhaps best of all, they resemble normal sneakers, so you can fashionably go from the river to running errands.
  • fit true-to-size
  • comfortable for all-day wear
  • take a long time to dry
Brand Columbia
Model -
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Chaco Outcross Evo 2

From a leading name in sport sandals come the Chaco Outcross Evo 2, a trail-ready water rambler that will go just about anywhere you're willing to take them. Their light weight, semi-collapsible heel, and webbing pull tabs all make them super easy to get in and out of.
  • podiatrist-certified foot bed
  • 25 percent recycled outsole
  • very durable construction
Brand Chaco
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Crocs Swiftwater Sandal

Expect extreme performance from the Crocs Swiftwater Sandal as you explore rocky rivers and lakes. They have everything you'd want in a good water shoe, including a minimal weight, a mesh upper that fits like a glove, and a hard toecap for added safety from the unknown.
  • available in a range of colors
  • great for boating
  • non-marking sole
Brand Crocs
Model Swiftwater Sandal M
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0

Whether you're tubing, snorkeling, or just hanging at the beach, the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 are the ideal choice for watersports. This classic pair is made with a breathable, hollow, four-way-stretch fabric upper that allows for maximum air circulation so they dry fast.
  • useful for water aerobics
  • easy to slip on and off
  • high traction outsole
Brand Speedo
Model Mens Surfwalker 3.0-M
Weight 13.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport

If you want an all-terrain shoe for land and sea, check out the high-performing Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport, which feature a 100 percent vegan-friendly construction. They have Vibram soles for added comfort, plus bellow tongues to keep unwanted dirt and debris out.
  • heel pull-loop for easy donning
  • effective toe bumper protection
  • ample 5mm lug length
Brand Merrell
Model J32441
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Canvassing For A Better Shoe

For a long time, canvas and leather were the go-to materials for footwear on or around water. It wasn't so much about keeping your feet dry and breathable as it was about giving you a little grip and protection from a shoe that wouldn't be destroyed by water's unique power to ruin everything.

There's an interesting shot in "Jaws" that stayed with me from the first time I saw it. It's a shot along the side of the boat, right around the middle of the film, when both Brodie and Hooper are clambering all over the ship in pursuit of the shark. In the shot, you can clearly see the shoes both men are wearing: Converse and Keds, respectively, made of canvas and leather.

Modern water shoes are made of a combination of those traditional materials and a slew of fancy synthetics that shed and evaporate water at a much greater clip. Some are designed for rougher applications than others, like kayaking or light spelunking. Others have simpler applications in mind like walking along the shores of a lake or ocean, or floating peacefully in either of the same.

Whatever the specific application, water shoes are designed with larger holes through which water can drain, and many smaller holes for the circulation of air and the evaporation of water in the shoe. A good water shoe will dry itself rather quickly and can withstand long periods of submersion.

Your Gut Knows What Your Feet Need

The thought of taking one's shirt off in public can be a terrifying one. Admittedly, there was a time when I was that chubby kid who kept his shirt on, even in the pool. I wasn't even that big, but the psychological pressure to live up to certain beauty standards, even for men, is supremely heavy.

Whether or not you're in particularly good shape, there are things you can do to make sure you look good in and around the water all season. Trekking around in the right pair of water shoes is a good start.

Whatever the features of a given pair of water shoes, they're useless to you if you won't wear them where anyone can see, unless you own your own private slice of beach and only ever swim alone like some modern summertime Charles Foster Kane.

Of course, features are important, and understanding your need for a pair of water shoes will be your first step in selecting among all these great pairs. If you're out in the wet wilderness, hiking through well-maintained trails that cross some streams and creeks, you'll do best with a pair of water shoes that most resemble hiking shoes. Upon first glance, you might even mistake these for low-cut hiking shoes, especially with their clearly accentuated arch support. But with closer inspection, you'll see that they are built for drainage and evaporation.

Water shoes for lighter use look more like weird, webbed socks or thin toe shoes. If you're swimming in an area with a lot of coral or zebra muscles or anything that could be dangerous–swimming anywhere near the Jersey Shore, for example–these light water shoes will keep your feet protected without weighing you down.

All that said, style is the final variable on which you must stake your decision. If you're torn between the water shoes at numbers one and seven, but the pair at number seven gives you those sweet consumerist butterflies we all know so well, follow your gut and your feet will thank you.

Wingtips Were Once Aquatic

You've no doubt seen the gaudy black-and-white shoes with the strange pattern of holes in them worn by swing dancers and sporters of Zoot suits stuck in the 1940s. These contrasting shoes are later manifestations of the wingtip shoe, originally called the brogue.

The brogue has had a resurgence in menswear over the last decade or so (albeit in a less gaudy monotone presentation), and it's interesting to note how a piece of modern formal wear got its roots among the Irish poor.

You see, brogues were the first water shoes, dating back at least to the 16th century. Irish farmers constructed leg coverings of untanned hide into which they'd punch a series of holes. One can assume these holes were far less decorative than those found on modern brogues, and that they also did a much better job draining off bog water than their modern equivalents might.

In the absence of traditional brogues, people who wanted to spend time around water and still protect their feet turned to other, more basic constructions of leather and canvas, like the Converse and Keds mentioned earlier. In the past few decades, though, water shoes designed from synthetic, water-resistant materials made a big splash in the market.

An early manifestation of this new style of water shoe was the Aquashoe. This was a small, inexpensive slip-on water shoe sold in discount stores across the land. I lived in Aquashoes for a few summers, their distinct, ankle high tan-line my badge of aquatic honor.

Customers keen on what these shoes offered demanded something a little more rugged, however, and soon companies began to manufacture the kind of shoes we're evaluating for you today.

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Last updated on May 22, 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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