We won’t tell you flip-flops don’t have a place in the world. A short walk to the pool, navigating a burning hot beach or forgoing real footwear to grab breakfast are definitely tasks such flimsy footwear can handle. But push flip flops to their limit, and you’ll find yourself in an incredibly annoying situation where the thong keeps coming out of the sole. Your shoes will then refuse to stay secure for more than a couple of steps, effectively rendering them useless.
At this point, you will most likely be cursing the inventor of flip flops and wishing you had a reliable pair of men’s beach shoes capable of taking on remedial tasks and providing protection in water-filled environments without worry. The product that will most likely solve this dilemma is a pair of the best men’s water shoes.
The best water shoes, also known as beach shoes, are designed for taking on rough, rock-filled areas of the beach, walking through the wave break and crossing forest streams. These shoes are even solid enough for boating or trekking without rubbing and chafing.
This type of shoe usually has a sneaker-like appearance and often covers your whole foot; however, there are also sandal-style water shoes. No matter the style of footwear, the materials they are constructed from allow water to quickly drain when it gets inside, and the tough outsoles provide protection from rough, underfoot surfaces. Many models also do away with laces for a more user-friendly experience.
What To Look For When Buying Water Shoes
Some watersports do require specific footwear, such as surf booties. However, for more general-purpose use, a reliable pair of water shoes is essential if you’re heading to the beach or hiking through creeks and rivers. When it comes to choosing the best beach shoes for men, it’s important to consider to following aspects:
- Purpose – Are you simply looking for a slight upgrade from your existing flip flops or do you need shoes that are capable of fast, action-filled movements? The activities you intend to do in your water shoes should have a big impact on your final choice. Some of the men’s water shoes below are designed for running and hiking, while others are better suited to casual days at the beach.
- Style – For some people, the idea of wearing flip-flops is repulsive. Not because of the feel, but because of their appearance. If style is at the top of your priority list, some of the best men’s water shoes balance function with a big dose of style.
- Durability – In general, the more you pay for your shoes, the longer they’re going to last. However, if you only go to the beach twice a year, there’s no need to shell out on fancy beach footwear. But, if you hit the beach on a daily basis, it’s worth investing in a pair of beach shoes that are built to last.
- Comfort – One of the biggest considerations to take into account is on-foot comfort. This is especially true if you’re going to use your shoes for more than a short walk to the beach. If you will be wearing your beach shoes for extended periods, consider more padded options that have made comfort a priority.
- Sole Thickness/Foot Security – Half the reason to wear shoes in the first place is the security and protection they offer your feet. When choosing shoes, make sure the pair you pick provides the right sole and upper materials for your chosen activities.
- Do They Float? – If you spend a lot of time on your boat, then you may want to invest in floating boat shoes, such as the new Sperry Boat Float Shoes.
So stop putting your flip flops in situations they just can’t handle and enjoy a pair of shoes built for watery tasks at home, on the beach or when you’re taking on water-filled natural environments. Keep reading to find the best beach shoes for men getting ready for summer.
1. The Best Men’s Water Shoes: Quicksilver Amphibian Plus II
Quicksilver is best known for surf and skate apparel, and they make some of the best water shoes for men, too. Unlike most awkward beach shoes, Quicksilver’s Amphibian Plus line of water sneakers could be worn on the street without looking like a total dork. The Upgraded Plus II shoes are available in a variety of different colorways, but we like the black/black/gray colorway pictured below. The soles feature holes for effective water drainage, while the supper is constructed from a single piece of mesh. With plenty of traction, you can wear these at the beach, in the water, on a boat, or anywhere else your summer adventures take you.
2. Croc Classic Clog
We were tempted to skip these divisive Croc Classic Clogs. But on greater reflection, with more than 10,000 five-star ratings, positive reviews from over 95% of users and endless testimonies from people saying how they thought they would hate them and ended up falling in love, we just couldn’t ignore them. Granted, their appearance is unlikely to win any beauty competitions, but their functionality, comfort, security, ease of cleaning and general quality certainly make a compelling argument to name these the best beach shoes for men. These lightweight water shoes are made from 100% Croslite and include a tough, synthetic sole. They also come in an impressive range of colors, meaning each household member can have their own identifying color. Love them or hate them, Crocs absolutely deserve to be considered with the best men’s water shoes form outdoor brands like Merrell, KEEN and ALEADER.
3. ALEADER Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes
These ALEADER Mesh Slip Ons are a solid water shoe choice as they are extremely comfortable, no matter whether you’re doing water or land-based activities. The solyte midsole gives them a lightweight feel which will have you leaping from rocks and back into the water in comfort. Additionally, the quick-drying mesh material effectively filters out water and keeps your feet cool and comfortable in both hot and humid environments. The under-foot traction also aids with steep climbs and adventurous trail walks. We’re also big fans of the stylish design, colorway choices and affordable price. So if you’re looking for the best water shoes under $30, slip into these before your next summer getaway.
4. Speedo Water Shoe Tidal Cruiser
BEST SLIP ON
Putting on wet shoes is rarely easy. Water-saturated materials tend to stick to your skin and make the whole process tedious. These Speedo Tidal Cruisers solve this problem by using a laceless design that simply slips onto your feet. The neoprene upper stretches to allow your feet inside with ease, and the heel loops add additional leverage. Each shoe is made with ventilation so you can expect your feet to dry in a matter of minutes once you’re out of the water.
5. Croc Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Water Shoes for Men
Whether you like it or not, Crocs knows how to make some of the best water shoes known to man. In these Croc Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Water Shoes, you’ll find a rubber sole that covers your feet and provides protection from rocks or debris as you venture into watery environments. You’ll also find the upper material is breathable, allowing your feet to enjoy maximum comfort. Finally, a little unlike their more garish sister style, the combination of materials in this pair offers a true water shoe option.
6. Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes
BEST FOR BEACH RUNNING
Do you love to go running on the beach? Or maybe you need reliable men’s water shoes for summer hiking adventures? Then you’ll want to invest in the Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes from Body Glove, a surf brand that also makes some of the best water shoes of the season. These amphibious water shoes were designed to perform equally well on land and at sea, and they feature an ultra-grip rubber sole that can handle all types of terrain and a comfortable mesh upper. With fast drainage and great traction, they have everything you need in a pair of water shoes, including a stylish design and a reasonable $50 price tag.
7. Sperry Float – Floating Boat Shoes
BEST FLOATING SHOES
Looking for the best water shoes that will also float to the surface if they slip off your feet? Then invest in a pair of Sperry Float Boat Shoes, which are as buoyant as they are comfortable. Drainage holes keep your feet dry while a textured sole keep your feet firmly on the ground. These shoes are 100% waterproof and come in a range of snazzy colors, perfect for summer days on the water. According to Sperry, they’re designed to be roomy, so “if you’re a half size, size down for [the] best fit.”
8. Merrell Hydro Moc
These easy on and off “mocassin” water shoes are built for days on end in and around your favorite body of water. The local lake? Sure. The stream near your house? Go for it. The Mediterranean? Sure. A puddle? Why not? These single-density water shoes easily allow for water to flow in and out through the various holes placed on top. There is an arch to keep your feel feeling comfortable and they’re also great for walking in non-water locations.
9. Columbia Men’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes
The Columbia Men’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes could easily be confused with a normal pair of Columbia sneakers, and they have everything we look for in the best beach shoes for men. The tough and rugged exterior provides the same protection for your feet as many average pairs of outdoor shoes. However, the synthetic materials used in the construction of the upper provide a breathable experience, which is ideal for wet conditions. Plus, the lace-up front ensures a secure fit, while the rubber sole sports high traction to deliver plenty of grip whether you’re climbing over rocks or crossing a boat’s deck. If you prefer sneaker-style water shoes to slip-ons, consider these stylish and durable water shoes.
10. YALOX Men’s Water Shoes
If you’re not heading to the beach every day and just looking for a budget-friendly and reliable pair of the best beach shoes for the odd occasion, definitely consider these YALOX Water Shoes. They’re available in a range of subdued and elaborate colors and boast fast-drying technology which means your feet never stay wet for too long. They also include a non-slip surface on the sole and weigh less than 100 grams, making it feel like you have nothing on your feet at all. Additionally, these slip-on-style shoes have loops located in the back for added purchase when putting them on.
11. KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal
BEST WATER SANDLES
These KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandals are made for a waterfront lifestyle. Whether that’s days at the beach, wading through streams or living in a particularly rainy environment, these sandals are rough and ready. The rubber sole, which includes a full toe covering, puts plenty of distance between your feet and any potential hazards. The razor grip on the underside offers traction on slippery surfaces, while the quick lace bungee system ensures the shoes remain secure on your feet, even when you’re running or swimming. Additionally, the sandals come in a range of color combinations, meaning there’s almost certainly a pair to suit your style. While most of our selections for the best water shoes of 2021 look more like sneakers, these durable sandals are well suited for beaches, trails and boats alike.
12. SEEKWAY Men’s Water Shoes
BEST FOR YOGA
The SEEKWAY Men’s Water Shoes come in a range of different styles and feature a design that’s focused on keeping you comfortable. They are constructed from 92% polyester and include a smooth neck which prevents chafing and discomfort when the shoes are on your feet. For added comfort, there’s added cushioning, and the rubber soles keep a protective barrier between your feet and any sharp rocks or extremely hot surfaces. These waterproof shoes are great for beach-based activities including yoga, surfing, sailing, water parks and fishing.
13. VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes
With over 40 different design options to choose from and an extremely budget-friendly price, the VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes are an easy choice for anyone after individuality and style in water-based environments. These men’s water shoes feature a rubber sole for protection from sharp objects, while the smooth design around the neck helps to prevent unwanted chafing throughout the day. The breathable and stretchy fabric also ensures a secure fit around your feet all while remaining at a comfortable temperature. Plus, the versatile style makes these shoes great for all activities, including jogging, cycling and boating.
14. Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes
One thing people hate about wearing footwear in or around water is having to deal with wet, squelchy feet for hours after. These Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes address that problem by including an upper and sole which lets water escape the instant you step out, meaning the drying process starts right away. This design also lets your feet breathe and keeps them comfortable in warmer temperatures, too. Additionally, you’ll find a drawstring closure that keeps the shoes secure on your feet in even the wettest and most slippery places. Combining the flexibility of a lace-up with the convenience of a slip-on, these are some of the best men’s beach shoes under $50.
15. L-RUN Athletic Hiking Water Shoes
BEST FOR HIKING
Picture this: it’s a hot summer day, you’re hiking in the middle of the woods with a couple of friends with a destination in mind. You’re carrying a backpack full of snacks and sandwiches, your friend’s got a couple of brews as he trails behind you in a cooler, your other friend has a portable speaker he’s bringing to where you’re headed. But, where is it exactly that you’re headed? To the cliffs. It’s time to get cliff jumping. These hiking water shoes are exactly what you should be wearing when hiking to a cliff jumping destination or any other body of water that anticipates a bit of a walk. Your feet will stay comfortable the whole day through and safe from any jagged rocks or unseen branches.
16. Neo-Sport Premium Neoprene Men’s Wetsuit Boots
These Neo-Sport Premium Neoprene Men Wetsuit Boots are a versatile water shoe answer which can come in handy even if you’re not using them for surfing or diving. They are made from strong yet stretchy neoprene which is an excellent water-repelling material, meaning it’s easy to empty your shoes when you want to stay dry again. They’re great for river walks or wading in the ocean and can keep your feet surprisingly dry and comfortable throughout. Check these shoes out if you want a more durable and resilient water shoe that can also be used for boating and other water sports.
17. Croc Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandal
BEST WATERPROOF SANDALS
Our final Croc offering combines the best of the previous two. A tough synthetic sole protects your feet from the hot or unpleasant ground, while the minimal yet supportive upper delivers comfort which is hard to beat. For added security and comfort, you’ll notice an adjustable velcro strap that ensures a secure fit along with a built-in heel loop which makes putting them on easier. These sandals have positive reviews from over 95% of Amazon users and come in three different color options, allowing you to choose the one that suits your style best.
18. Vibram Men’s Five Fingers
BEST FOOT GLOVES
If you love that barefoot feeling but want the added protection a pair of shoes can bring, it’s worth investing in a pair of these Vibram Men’s Five Fingers. As the name suggests, the design includes five individual coverings for each toe, giving you the flexibility and freedom of being barefoot. The shoes include a tough rubber sole which delivers the protection you desire, while a velcro strap ensures your shoes remain secure when on. In addition, these vegan-friendly shoes are available in three different colors and sport a unique underside to give you impressive amounts of grip on slippery and wet surfaces.
19. Reef Rover Flip Flops
BEST FLIP FLOPS
Alright, while it’s not always easy to walk around in a pair of wet flip flops, these Reef Rover flips are the best you’re going to get. Yes, we know we knocked them in the beginning, but hear us out. Sure, your feet might slip and slide around in the beginning, but they don’t saturate with water so they will eventually dry. They have a decent sole to keep you grounded at all times and are effortless to slip on.
20. SIMARI Men’s Beach Shoes
If you’re after some sneaker-style shoes which are capable of dealing with water-filled environments, then the unisex SIMARI Men’s Beach Shoes definitely fit the bill. The rough and ready design includes a drawstring, lace-up system which ensures the shoes remain secure and comfortable, while the built-in heel loop gives you added purchase when putting them on. They’re available in a range of different colors and include a tough, rubber sole to allow you to walk on hot and rocky surfaces without any trouble. Additionally, the sneaker-like style gives these shoes a more casual appearance which won’t stick out as much as other options on our list.
21. Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Boat Shoes
The Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Boat Water Shoe walks the line between everyday sneaker and fashionable water shoe. From the outside, these stylish shoes look like normal footwear; however, on closer inspection, you’ll find the perforated Adidas drainage system in the midsole and outsole which allows these shoes to cope in watery environments. The sole includes added grip for greater traction on wet and slippery surfaces. Furthermore, these shoes come in four color options and boast a lace-up closure for a secure fit.
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Some FAQs About the Best Water Shoes for Men
Water shoes are exactly what they sound like — shoes you wear in the water. Though, you want to ensure that your water shoes will be comfortable suit you as well as they do in the water that they do on land.
You can purchase water shoes just about anywhere that sells clothing online, but your best bet is likely going to be Amazon given the number of options available for not only men, but women and children as well.
Crocs can absolutely be considered water shoes. They work perfectly in the water and land alike.