After 11 hours of research evaluating 55 products, we picked Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve as our top choice.
They're built for hiking, walking, and exploring, but with a water-friendly design that can handle ocean, lake, or river water. Whether you're playing beach volleyball, trekking a tropical forest, or splashing in a pool, they'll keep your feet comfortable and protected.
There are so many types of water shoes (known also as aqua shoes), that we decided to select the best water shoes for women across each specific category.
You need a pair!
Below, we've done the hard work of combing through the many women's water shoes on the market to find only the best water shoes for women like you.
Comfortable, sturdy, practical, and versatile—we've found only the top-rated water shoes, water socks, and aqua shoes for your use. Get a pair that will travel with you and be your best friend in and out of the water.
Beautifully low price tag, very comfortable, good quality material, great for hiking, not too hot, true to size, great durability, and stylish-looking.
Lacking arch support.
If you're looking to save on your vacation footwear, give these water shoes a try. Built with a durable protective toe and open sides and back, they offer good protection while still keeping your feet ventilated. You can hike, walk around town, play on the beach, or go swimming in these bad boys, and they'll keep up regardless of the activitity.
They're comfortable to wear for hours at a time, but those with flat feet need to know they're not the best shoes for arch support. The heel has decent cushioning, but there's no lift for your arches.
The shoes are rugged and comfortable, with a quick-lacing system that will grip your feet tightly as you walk or hike. The synthetic material is surprisingly durable, even when wet. The pull-on loops will allow you to easily slip the shoes onto your feet. Thanks to the protective rubber toe cap, you'll never have to worry about scraping, stubbing, or injuring your toes as you hike.
The sole is sturdy, with a surprisingly aggressive tread for a pair of water shoes. Whether you're scrambling over wet rocks or hiking dusty trails, you'll have good footing thanks to the solid rubber soles.
At a little over $25 per pair, these are some of the best-priced water shoes you'll find anywhere. They're durable enough for heavy use but comfortable and stylish—the perfect beach footwear!
Sleek, lightweight, compact, portable, offer good traction, rubber sole is very grippy, bright colors, and stylish.
Minimal support and for beach use only.
For those who want footwear to protect your feet at the beach or in the ocean, these water socks (also known as aqua shoes) are the perfect choice. They're slim and lightweight enough that you'll feel like you're walking around barefoot, but the rubber sole will protect your feet from rocks, seashell, sea glass, and other debris.
The shoes don't offer much in the way of support, so only use them when at the beach or lounging on a boat. Thanks to their rubber sole, you'll never slip on a wet deck or slippery rocks.
Made from neoprene (upper) and rubber (sole), these shoes are a fairly durable option. They're designed in the classic slip-on style, with a pull tab that allows you to slide your feet in easily. The collar will grip your ankles, but not so tight you have to struggle to put them on.
The shoes come in a broad selection of colors and styles, and they're a great choice for those who want to wear something colorful and eye-catching at the beach.
Starting at just $13, these are a beautifully-priced pair of water socks that will keep up with your beach volleyball, surfing, rock hopping, and swimming!
Easy to slip on and off, comfortable, casual style, great for walking and lounging, full-foot mesh, good drainage via the sole, thick cushioning, lightweight, quick drying, stylish, and resistant to wear and fading.
Not the most durable, and the material is uncomfortable when new.
If you want a comfortable pair of shoes to wear around the hotel, beach town, or pool, you'll want to give these a try. They're made to slip on and off, and they can be worn with or without socks. You'll never have to bother with laces or elastics again.
The shoes aren't the most durable, and the material can be a bit uncomfortable when new. However, they're stylish, lightweight, and once broken in will be highly comfortable to wear. They offer good cushioning and support for your heels and arches. If you're going to do a lot of walking (exploring town or strolling the beach), these will be just what you need.
The shoes are designed to be comfortable for walking, but they're not suitable for running or hardcore hiking. They are, however, wonderful for use on the beach, by the lake, or poolside. The synthetic mesh upper dries quickly, and the holes in the sole offer excellent drainage. The shoes won't bleed color or wear out too fast, but will look beautiful and stylish even after months of use in the water/under wet conditions.
The water grain outsole gives you good traction in slippery and wet conditions, and you'll find the shoe will encourage natural motion of your feet. Very comfortable for long hours of walking!
Starting at $20, these are a great product at a great price. They're not hiking boots or running shoes, but they're the right water shoes for women who want to stroll around town or see every corner of their resort.
Aggressive and sporty design, solid lacing system, good support, thick foam cushioning, excellent drainage, built specifically for women, and extremely comfortable.
Traction and durability is iffy and these shoes do not offer the best ventilation.
For women that plan to do it all—hiking, walking or running on the beach, rock climbing, strolling around town, etc.—these are the shoes for you. They offer a thicker sole than your average water shoes, with good cushioning and support that will reduce joint fatigue. They're very stable even on rough terrain, and you'll find they are one of the best shoes for an active day.
Sadly, they're not the most durable, made from flimsy-feeling material and with a lacing system that is prone to breaking. However, you'll find they'll serve you well while they last, and they'll enable you to run, hike, and walk in style.
If you want water shoes that can keep up with an active vacation or lifestyle, you'll love these. They're built like regular running shoes, but with drainage holes in the side that allow water to drain out. Their full coverage design may make them a bit too hot in tropical climates, but they offer maximum protection for your feet.
The sole is thick and offers good cushioning, though the tread could be a bit better. However, the upper is made of a synthetic material that dries quickly, and the mesh is resistant to chlorine (from the pool/water park) and salt water damage.
Starting at $40, these are very well-priced water shoes. They're versatile enough to be used for running, walking, hiking, and strolling, making them worth every penny!
Well-sized, sleek and colorful, lightweight, good ventilation, comfortable, soft lining offers good support, water drains easily, lacing system keeps them firmly on your feet, and suitable for water sports.
Pricey and not the most durable.
If you're going to be walking around on the deck of a boat, these are the shoes for you. They come with a solid rubber sole that gives you excellent grip on a slippery deck, and they are some of the most comfortable water shoes on the market. Despite their enclosed design, they have ventilation holes that allow water to drain out and air to get in. You can keep your feet cool and dry thanks to this unique design.
The shoes use laces rather than a bungee cord, so they'll stay securely on your feet. Though they're not the most durable shoes, they're a good pair for casual use on a fishing boat, sailboat, or private yacht.
The shoes come with the classic Adidas three-stripe design, and they look surprisingly sporty for a water shoe. They're sleek, lightweight, and have good cushioning, so you'll be comfortable in them all day long. The open mesh design gives you good breathability without sacrificing stability and support. All in all, a great pair of shoes for when you want to look your best.
Starting at $40 for the pair, these are a bit on the pricey side. They're not suitable for hardcore use, but mainly for boating or basic water sports. Still, if you want form over function, these are your top pick.
Thick soles, good cushioning, very durable, designed specifically for women, lightweight, good arch support, versatile, odor-resistant, can float, and available in a wide range of styles and colors.
Sizing can be a mixed bag, and the straps are prone to damage.
If you want a pair of water shoes for women that can keep up with any outdoor activity, these are the ones you're looking for. Thanks to their thick sole and built-in cushioning, you'll be comfortable as you walk, hike, or even run in wet conditions. The shoes offer good arch support and stability, even on rocky terrain. Wherever you're going to be, these water shoes will keep up with you.
They do, however, suffer issues with durability, and the straps/lacing system can break a bit too easily. The sizes offered by Keen are a bit strange, meaning it can take a bit of experimenting to get the right fit. However, once you get the size right, you'll find these are some of the most comfortable shoes, period!
These shoes are more sandal than hiking shoe, with a thick toe cap but open sides and back. Not only do the vent holes improve ventilation and drainage, but they'll enhance the odor-resistance of the shoes. You'll never have to worry about stinking shoes thanks to the open design.
The soles are thick enough to protect your feet on the rockiest terrain, but the shoes weigh surprisingly little. They even float, so you'll never have to worry about losing them. With their bright colors and snazzy style, they're a good choice for women who want to look their best.
Starting at a little over $50, these are on the pricier side of the shoe spectrum, but well worth it if you plan on doing a lot of walking or hiking and need reliable comfort.
Built for hiking, high-quality, protective, good stability and support, durable Vibram rubber sole, solid heel cushioning, great price, stylish, great for all-day use, sturdy lacing system, keep your feet firmly in place, and no slipping or sliding.
Holes in the shoes are large, meaning debris can get into the shoe.
If you plan on doing a lot of walking, hiking, or exploring, you want a pair of these bad boys. With their sandal-style heel, you get enough cushioning to reduce joint fatigue and keep your arches properly supported. The Vibram rubber sole gives you excellent grip on the ground, and the soles are thick enough that they allow you to scramble over rocks and debris like a regular pair of hiking boots.
The construction is a bit narrow, but the shoes are lightweight enough that you won't feel them weigh you down even after a long day of hiking. They're durable, stable, supportive, and comfortable—everything you need in a pair of water shoes.
The protective toe feels and looks like a pair of hiking shoes, offering maximum coverage against stones and dirt. However, the open sides and heel of the shoes gives you awesome ventilation—both for sweat and water.
The uppers are made from a synthetic leather with a textile lining, but they can get wet without becoming waterlogged or damaged. The elastic lacing system and elastic heel fabric will help the shoes to grip your feet tightly. Be warned: the holes in the sides are large enough that pebbles and small debris can get in.
At just under $60, these are a very well-priced pair of shoes. They can handle A LOT of outdoor activity, but they're comfortable and convenient enough to wear by the beach or at the pool. All in all, they're your top choice if you need water shoes!
Water shoes are built for providing protection, support, and comfort in any water-based activity. Some people like to call them Aqua shoes, but we can all agree that they’re designed to be tough and resilient yet light and trendy. They’re made of water-resistant materials that protect the feet from activities that leave the feet wet or require you to stay submerged in water. Do you plan on going out to the beach? Or perhaps you want to go out with your friends on a light hike? These shoes are definitely for you.
So, do you plan on buying water shoes soon? Well, we’ve got the ultimate buying guide for you!
Why should you get water shoes?
Water shoes are designed in a variety of styles and made with different materials, and choosing from this wide array can be a daunting task. The first question you have to ask is for what activity you’re going to use your water shoes.
We most definitely recommend water shoes for activities like beach volleyball, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. They can also be used for hiking and trekking in tropical forests or trails where you’d expect bodies of water.
Water shoes protect the feet from getting waterlogged and blistered. Some shoes have built-in drainage holes to make water and moisture flow out from the shoe faster. On the other, some are designed to make it easier to remove and put on. Also, with their superior grip on slippery surfaces, they help prevent accidents and falls. Ultimately, these shoes suit you best if you live an actively wet and wild lifestyle.
Types of Water shoes
Every water shoe is made different and suited for a different purpose. Water shoes can be categorized based on the activity they’re going to be used for. This categorization is helpful since you won’t have to follow a complicated scheme in choosing your next pair of water shoes.
What about the water shoe material?
Most water shoes are made from some kind of synthetic material or mesh that allows for easy drainage and ventilation. Materials that make up water shoes differ according to the activity they’re going to be used for.
Mesh water shoes make for more general water-related activities because these allow more water in while allowing proper drainage of the feet. Some shoes, on the other hand, are made of neoprene. Neoprene is used usually in aquatic shoes and they’re suitable for hikes/water-related activities in colder climates.
The anatomy of a water shoe
The three most important parts of a water shoe to consider are the upper, the outsole, and the lacing system, or the absence of. These main parts play a huge role in the protection, drainage, and support your water shoe will provide you.
Uppers are made of either neoprene or mesh. If you want to know which shoe you should use, research on the activity or the climate you’re going to be in would be a big help to decide which material suits you best.
As for the outsoles, matching your shoe to the amount of protection you need from the terrain is a smart choice. Thicker soles with drainage holes spread throughout the shoe and grip lugs are perfect for hiking and stepping on shells or rocks. Meanwhile, breathable, thinner, and more flexible outsoles are more ideal if you plan on spending most of the time in a boat or a kayak.
But what about the lacing systems? The slip-on type of water shoes is great for light activities that don’t require that much support and hold. Despite that, they’re still made with materials designed to withstand hot sand. Totally recommended to wear for beach and underwater activities.
Lace-up type water shoes provide ankle support and have more built-in functions to keep the wearer secure and stable in rocky and wet terrains. If you plan on trekking through trails with streams and creek beds, opt for shoes with lace-up support.
Lastly, bungee-cord laces are a hybrid between slip-on water shoes and lace-ups. They’re easy to put on just like slip-on water shoes, but they also provide the protection and support of lace-up water shoes.
What to look for in water shoes
Women’s water shoes buying tips
Water shoe maintenance and care
Water shoes are generally easy to clean and maintain. The rule of thumb here is to always rinse your shoes with clean water and dry your shoes out in a well-ventilated spot after every use. However, if the manufacturer has specific care instructions, it’s best to stick to those.
If your shoe has a removable sole, remove it from the shoe and rinse it separately. Because of bacteria build-up, the shoes will take on a weird smell, so the emphasis here is on consistency. Again, you need to clean and dry your shoes regularly. Don’t keep them in bags or boxes because they’ll remain damp. However, you can use antibacterial deodorizers if the smell really stays.
Wet shoes are really fun and versatile shoes. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when buying a pair is to suit your shoe to your purpose and your comfort. Anyway, enjoy your new pair or wet shoes and your relaxing day at the beach!