Water shoes need to be sturdy and easy to clean, but that doesn’t mean they have to be clunky and uncomfortable. The best water shoes have few moving parts to break and clog with mud and debris. That also makes them a snap to clean with a garden hose. Look for models that offer a little bit of grip on the upper soles that meet the bottom of the foot, so kids won’t slip and slide inside their shoe. Here are three other things to think about before choosing shoes built for the wild, wet side of the outdoors.

Easy to Please

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No kid wants to fuss with wonky straps and ties when their friends are hollering from the puddles in the front yard. Choosing water shoes that are easy to slip on and slip off makes everyone’s life more fun. If you’re looking for a water shoe suited for wet front yards, sidewalk play, and the occasional romp through the playground mud, go for a simple, one-piece design that’s easy to put on and easy to hose off.

The Drain Game

Water shoes need to be super comfortable. Puddle jumping requires thick, cushy soles, and when your child is wading through shallow creeks and marshes, you’ll want toes protected with a full covering. The challenge is finding shoes that aren’t clunky. Look for water shoes made from lightweight materials and constructed with generously sized drainage holes. That helps let water drain out while wearing, but also makes it easier to squirt down mucky shoes and get them ready for the next round of play.

Rough and Tumble

Puddle jumping is fun—but stomping around in creeks and ponds is an ever bigger hoot. If your child loves to play in the water and not just around it, a water shoe that offers more support and that will stay on wet feet through thick mud and mucky reeds is a better bed. Look for sandals with easy-to-use straps that can cinch down snugly, and sturdy, grippy soles that will let them rock-hop safely.