Top 10 Best Water Shoes For Kayaking | Ultimate Review [year]

We’ve all been there, slipping and falling on our backs because we didn’t have the right footwear on or any at all for that matter! Able to grip to the wettest of surfaces, water shoes are there to keep us steady on our feet.

Out on the water, it’s hard to think beyond the brilliant adventure.

But, keeping your feet protected and secure is a must, especially when there are a lot of conditions and safety requirements for kayaking.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. We are going to take you through the top 10 best water shoes for kayaking on the market right now!

This is the best water shoe for kayaking on this list: 

Chaco Men's Z2 Classic Sport Sandals
10 Reviews
Chaco Men's Z2 Classic Sport Sandals
Durable, comfortable, elegant. This is the perfect footwear for any kayakers feet. Just look at the reviews!

Best Water Shoes for Kayaking – Reviews

1. Chaco Men’s Z2 Classic Sport Sandal

Chaco Men's Z2 Classic Sport Sandals

What’s Good?
  • Durable and providing a secure fit, the Z2 has a customisable fit toe loop for added comfort and support
  • Adjustable buckle
  • Vegan-friendly materials used
  • Non-marking and non-slip ChacoGrip rubber sole
What’s Bad?
  • Not suitable for wider feet
  • Hard and stiff sole

Overall the Z2 is a versatile shoe. With its adjustable straps, you can rely on the Z2 to stay securely on your feet in choppy conditions as well as gentle paddling. The durable 3.5mm rubber sole gives you maximum traction on wet surfaces too keeping you secure as you walk.

With the additional buckle and quick dry material, the Z2 has all the comfort and support you need from a water shoe. Water quickly passes through their innovative drainage system, making it easier for you to navigate the sea, lake or river you’re exploring.

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2. Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Low Rise

Merrell men's all out blaze aero sport low rise water shoes

What’s Good?
  • Versatile use – great for kayaking, hiking, fishing and the active adventurer
  • Excellent traction and grip on a broad range of surfaces
  • Lightweight and quick-drying
  • Lace-up style so secure on your feet
  • Cushioned and protective UniFly midsole
What’s Bad?
  • High instep
  • More suited for warmer weather conditions

There’s a lot to like with the Merrell. Breathable and lightweight, the Merrell dries out quickly, and the mesh-mined liner helps water to pass through easily. Offering maximum support and durability for rugged terrain as well as water, the Merrell is an all-rounder.

Unlike its open toe counterparts, the Merrel’s closed-toe design offers more protection to your feet. In addition to the thick non-slip rubber sole, you will have excellent grip for climbing as well as navigating your slippery deck. Having laces, the Merrell offers you maximum support and protection for your feet.

As a bonus, longer hikes are made more comfortable with the heel and arch support allowing you to enjoy the land and sea.

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3. Chaco Women’s Zx2 Classic Athletic Sandal

Chaco women's Zx2 classic athletic sandal

What’s Good?
  • Adaptable polyester jacquard webbing wraps around your foot for a customised fit
  • Durable and providing a secure fit, the Zx2 has a customisable fit toe loop for added comfort and support
  • Adjustable, sturdy buckle
  • Vegan-friendly materials used
  • Non-marking and non-slip ChacoGrip rubber sole
What’s Bad?
  • Not suitable for wide feet
  • Hard and stiff sole

Specially designed for water sports, the Chaco Zx2 is built with slippery surfaces in mind. Perfect for paddling and gripping to your slippery kayak deck, the Zx2 features a non-marking rubber sole.

Flexible and durable, the Chaco Zx2 contours to the shape of your foot for bonus comfort and support. Not only is the Chaco Zx2 great for the water, but its versatile design is great for walking and short hikes.

The Chaco Zx2 is an innovative water shoe that is designed to be worn in Class 5 whitewater. This makes it the perfect choice for the hardcore kayaker who thrives in the rougher conditions!

With its adjustable webbed polyester straps, the Chaco Zx2 allows a tailored fit. They’re also quick drying and breathable. So, you can say goodbye to all the rubbing and blistering that comes with other comparable brands!

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4. Mishansha Men’s Water Shoes

mishansha men's water shoes

What’s Good?
  • Ultra-light, breathable and quick-drying outer material
  • Inner material feels like a comfortable thin skin
  • “Barefoot” feeling water shoe
  • Easy heel pull tab for fast removal
  • Durable and gripped rubber sole
  • Unisex design
  • Elastic, adjustable straps – no need to tie laces!
What’s Bad?
  • Struggle with long hiking conditions
  • Be prepared to size up or down

Chic and stylish, the Mishansha men’s water shoe certainly lives up to its “barefoot” feel. The Mishansha is designed with an ultra-lightweight fabric that allows your time in the water to feel like you’re closer to nature. Fast-draining and breathable, your feet will be dry in no time.

With a solid rubber sole, your feet will feel better protected as you tackle sharp rocks and rough conditions in the water. At the same time, when you climb onto your kayak deck, you’ll feel more secure as you move around.
Available to purchase from Amazon for less than £23, the Mishansha isn’t going to break the bank. The only drawback is that with its soft, breathable material, the Mishansha won’t last for long.

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5. Speedo Men’s Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 3.0

speedo men's water shoe surfwalker pro 3.0

What’s Good?
  • Stretchy neoprene upper allows for easy slip-on entry and offers a secure fit
  • Quick-drying and breathable mesh panels
  • Snug, sock-like feel
  • S-trac outsole offers non-slip protection perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming
What’s Bad?
  • Not designed for hiking inland
  • Be prepared to size up or down

Overall the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 is an innovative and well-thought-out design. Perfect for hopping on and off your kayak, or going for a splash in the sea, the neoprene outsole will give you enough grip and protection from the rocky ground.

Designed to fit snugly to your foot, the Surfwalker will stay securely on your foot while preventing chafing and blisters. Ideal for kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming, the Surfwalker is a well-thought-out water shoe.

Great for running around the pool and on the beach, the Surfwalker water show is highly rated on Amazon. Versatile and durable, this would be a great addition to your kayaking kit.

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6. Body Glove Men’s 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoe

body glove men's 3t barefoot max water shoe

What’s Good?
  • Barefoot feel while providing maximum traction from the ultra-grip outsole
  • Easy slip-on water shoe
  • Snug fit
  • Flexible, breathable and lightweight
  • Integrated drainage system for quick dry – ideal for any water activity
What’s Bad?
  • Sizing comes up small – order a size up
  • Not ideal for extended wear

Praised for their “barefoot” feel, the Barefoot Max is designed to feel as close to your foot as possible. On top of that, their innovative Integrated Drainage System makes them a standout water shoe. Quick-drying and breathable, the Barefoot Max will make you feel closer to the water.
You won’t find yourself slipping around your kayak deck with the Barefoot Max on your feet! With the Ultra-grip rubber sole, you will have good traction on tricky surfaces and terrain. The neoprene upper gives you the snug fit, aided by the drawstring closure.

Other than some users finding the Barefoot Max coming up on the smaller side, they are a great water shoe. With the three toe style, your feet will find navigating uneven ground more comfortable. Perfect for paddling, wading, kayaking and other water sports.

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7. Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Sandals Trekking-& Wanderschuhe

merrell womens all out blaze sieve sandals trekking and wanderschuhe

What’s Good?
  • Designed with challenging terrain and all weathers in mind
  • UniFlyTM Impact soles give you confidence in every step you take
  • Glove-like fit for lightweight durability and natural movement
  • Cushioned midsole to reduce impact effects on your feet
  • Built for comfort – for the avid hiker to the water explorer
  • Breathable mesh lining keeps your feet dry
  • Omni-fit lacing system for a precise and secure fit
  • Sturdy and durable outsole offers maximum grip and traction
What’s Bad?
  • Sizing comes up small – order a size up

Durable, lightweight and innovative, the Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Sandals are a head above the rest. Built to withstand any terrain and weather, the All Out Blaze will keep you connected to the ground while you gain momentum in the water or inland.

Easy to adjust, the All Out Blaze Sieve water shoe features a neoprene lining at the ankle for a snug fit. With the Omni-fit lacing system, you will get a precise and secure fit.

An all-rounder water shoe, you can wear them for long-distance hiking as well as exploring lakes, rivers and the sea. They feature a thick, rubber lug sole that gives you maximum traction on tricky terrain. So you can confidently hop on and off your kayak to navigate rocky terrain, paddle and wade.

Overall the All Out Blaze Sieve water shoe is excellent for keeping your feet cool on sunny days while letting all the water drain through from your time on your kayak. A great addition to the avid hiker, adventurer and explorer, the All Out Blaze Sieve is a must!

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8. Neo Sport Wetsuit Boots

neo sport wetsuit boots

What’s Good?
  • Uses Dura-Flex neoprene for flexibility
  • Multiple thickness levels (3mm, 5mm, 7mm)
  • Titanium 2 lining for warmth
  • Durable reinforced heel and toe
  • Hook and loop ankle straps for a secure fit
  • Free-flex heel and slip-on ankle entry
What’s Bad?
  • Soft and thin sole makes some terrain uncomfortable to walk on
  • Sizing comes up small
  • Short ankle strap

As we all know, some waters can be challenging, rough and cold. That’s where the Neo Sport wetsuit boots really shine. With their innovative Titanium 2 lining keeping your feet warm, colder water shouldn’t feel as chilly and uncomfortable.

With the Neo Sport, you will find good grip from the sturdy sole that has been cleverly reinforced at the heel and toe. The hook and loop ankle straps will give you a secure fit as you navigate choppy waters and the rocky shoreline.

Overall the Neo Sport is a reliable water shoe. Where it perhaps fails, is the soft and thin sole that can make particular terrain less comfortable to walk on. Other than that, they are a fantastic water show for kayakers and surfers alike. Keeping your feet snug and warm is a gamechanger in the water shoe market!

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9. NRS Men’s Paddle WetShoes

nrs mens paddle wetshoes

What’s Good?
  • Stretchy 3mm Terraprene neoprene provides cushion and warmth
  • VaporLoft lining repels water and dries quickly
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Protective runner on heel and toe
  • Textured 1.5mm rubber sole protects your feet in and out of the kayak
What’s Bad?
  • Only come in whole sizes
  • Sole struggles on rockier terrain

Stylish and functional, the NRS Mens Paddle is a durable and flexible water shoe. The design allows you to navigate tight cockpits, as well as providing protection fort put-ins and portages.

A kayaker’s dream, the NRS paddle features a stretchy 3mm Terraprene neoprene that keeps your foot cushioned and warm. Cold, bruised, battered feet and ankles are a thing of the past with the NRS Paddle as your water shoe. They also feature a soft, fleece-like lining that repels water and dries out quickly.

Stuffing your feet into a tight kayak is undeniably made more comfortable with the NRS paddle. Other than the soft 1.5mm textured sole hindering you on rougher terrain, the NRS paddle will make your paddling days more comfortable and warm.

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10. Hiitave Men’s Water Shoes

hiitave men's water shoes

What’s Good?
  • Anti-slip and flexible rubber sole
  • Wide sole for relaxed feet
  • Safe and comfortable
  • Quick-drying water shoe
  • Speed laces for a secure fit
  • Four elegant colour options
What’s Bad?
  • Fit can change over prolonged use in water
  • No arch or heel support

The Hiitave water shoe excels in having a slipper-like quality while giving you the “barefoot” feel. Featuring an anti-slip, flexible rubber sole your feet will feel protected from gritty shingle and rocks.

Designed to dry quickly, the Hiitave has seven small holes for ventilation and to help create a healthier shoe environment. With the user-friendly speed laces to give you a secure fit, the Hiitave won’t be going anywhere once they are on your feet!

Where the Hiitave comes up short, is where the designers have neglected the arch and the heel. You won’t find them too comfortable after a long day exploring on and off your kayak.

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What should you look out for when buying water shoes?

Before you even begin, think about the activities you plan on wearing your water shoes for. From kayaking to fishing or swimming to sailing, there’s a great pair of water shoes waiting for you.

Related guide: Best kayaks for fishing

Built to withstand the harshest of conditions, you can trust that your feet won’t suffer rock or deck damage. So look for breathable fabrics that dry quickly. You will also need a well-gripped sole to give you the best traction on challenging and slippery terrain.

With so many different brands and types available on the market, it’s hard to know which water shoes are worth the investment. However, you know your style and what makes you comfortable, so start there.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right level of comfort, warmth, and good traction is all you need from your water shoe. Looking out for materials like neoprene and soles that deal well with impact is all part of the water shoe process.

You know your limits, and you know how your feet need protection on rough terrain.

Now you know what the 10 best water shoes for kayaking are, which pair will you choose?

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