Three Shoe Styles Suited for Water

Water shoes can protect your feet and keep you from slipping in wet areas where regular shoes fail.

In the past, most water-shoe makers seemed to either focus on function or fashion. A good pair of water shoes would often look quite ugly, while an attractive pair might not have the attributes needed to meet the needs of a hardcore adventurer. Fortunately, many companies making water shoes have begun crafting good-looking shoes that are also quite functional and durable. Consider these tips when shopping for your next pair.

Lightweight and Fun

These are easy to put on, easy to take off and very durable. Crocs

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The ubiquitous foam clogs made originally by Crocs Inc., and now by a number of other companies, are so immensely popular that websites exist solely for people to show off their “croc tans.” Originally designed as boating shoes, the easy-drying material Crocs are constructed from and slip-resistant soles make them perfect for that purpose. Additionally, they’re extremely easy to put on and take off, and they feel great on many people’s feet, so their popularity for other activities has boomed. Made of a foam-like material called Croslite, the shoes will eventually reform to the shape of the wearer’s feet, yielding somewhat of a custom fit. Crocs’ non-marking, non-slip soles also make them popular for people who spend a lot of time on their feet at various jobs, and they’re quite easy to clean with just water and a brush.

Breathable Comfort

These have rubber soles that help you to avoid slipping on wet surfaces. SIMARI

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True water shoes are made for and marketed to more serious adventurers who need top-quality footwear that happens to be perfect for using in and around water. All are designed to provide comfort and protection in wet environments, and some are even more sophisticated and suitable for hiking and other activities that require a specialized shoe. Most have uppers made of lightweight, synthetic materials that are breathable and allow water to easily flow in and out. Their ability to drain and dry quickly is what keeps wearers from suffering blisters from extended walking in wet shoes. Soles are typically a hard material like rubber or hard plastic, and many have EVA midsoles for support and cushioning. Those who plan to use them for hardcore pursuits like hiking, backpacking, or canoeing will find a more specialized water shoe built for such purposes better fills the bill.

Washable Webbing

These water sandals have an EVA footbed that provides stability and support for those walking long distances. KEEN

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Water sandals have a myriad of uses and are extremely versatile. Like water shoes, they run the gamut from cheap slip-ons to wear when lounging around your lake house to high-tech sandals made to shed water while pursuing more serious adventures. Those who plan to do more than lounge around in water sandals should look for a pair with special features, including lugged soles for walking on treacherous surfaces, and firm EVA midsoles with stability and structure to keep feet healthy on long hikes. Since they are sandals, water flows in and out easily, allowing your feet to dry quickly once you are on dry land. Water sandals with quick-dry uppers are even better. Since wet shoes lead to blisters, you want your water sandals to dry out as quickly as possible.