Can Water Shoes be Used for Running?

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Do water shoes have a place outside the beach?


Looking to cut down on some weight and get that beach body ready for summer? Well, you can never start too early. It’s likely that you’ll take the running route to lose fat, which is great, but what shoes are you going to run in? Will you have to buy new, expensive running shoes? You might see your old water shoes lying around in your shoe rack and wonder, can water shoes be used for running? Well, continue reading and you’ll find out!

Qualities of a good running shoe

To see if water shoes can be used for running, we’ll find out the qualities of a good running shoe, then we’ll compare them to the qualities of water shoes.


Firstly, any good running shoe should fit your feet snugly and comfortably. The shoes should not be too tight or too loose. They should feel like a cloth hug around your feet. Moving on to the placement of your feet; they should land right in the center of the shoe.

Next, the shoe should be flexible. A running shoe that is flexible is typically more stable while running because it allows your feet to flex naturally and gain balance easily. The shoe should flex at the same points where your feet flex while running.

To test the flexibility of a running shoe, in your mind, divide the shoe into three equal parts. The heel, the middle and the toe. The toe part of the shoe should be able to flex backwards completely so that it looks perpendicular to the ground. The middle part should resist this flexion and the heel should stay firm and stay strong. The heel counter of the shoe should be rigid to provide support to your heel. You can test this by grabbing just above the midsole and pinching the counter. A firm heel counter won’t give in to the pinch.

Can water shoes be used for running?

So, can water shoes be used for running? Well, as you can see, the qualities of a good water shoe and the qualities of a good running shoe mostly overlap! Water shoes are minimalist shoes that can flex to allow more natural movement of your feet. Their meshy designs wrap around your feet securely and comfortably.


However, while they might not provide the most support to your heels, some would call it a plus! People who advocate for barefoot running would rather let the heel (and feet) grow stronger over time, rather than using the structure of shoes as a crutch. Depending on whether or not you agree with this outlook, you can decide for yourself if you want to wear your water shoes on a run. You could always give it a try!


Quick Tip: While you could always run in water shoes, they’re not as durable as proper running shoes and you could find yourself needing to replace your water shoes more frequently.

Should you wear socks with water shoes while running?

Yes! Regardless of whether or not you use water shoes or regular shoes, please always wear at least a thin, soft pair of socks with them. Running without a sock is ultimately the same as giving an invitation to all sorts of problems like blisters, rashes and painful irritation caused by the constant friction. Not to mention the possibility of your shoes smelling worse quicker because they’ll be directly exposed to the sweat from your feet! The simple act of wearing socks can prevent all this!

What else can you use water shoes for?

As you may already know, water shoes are useful for any situation involving water, where your feet may need protection, traction and insulation.


Situations you can use them in include (but are not limited to):

  • Visiting the beach
  • Boating
  • Swimming pool changing rooms/showers
  • Hiking on wet rocks
  • Water wading

Final Thoughts

Water shoes are incredibly versatile shoes that virtually have no limits to what they can be used to do. To conclude, the answer to the question; can water shoes be used for running, depends on whether or not you find them comfortable and suitable for your feet. If you feel like they’re working for you, go right ahead and use them.

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Jenny Schmidt

Jenny Schmidt

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I'll let you in on some secrets only a few know...

About Me

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I’ll let you in on some secrets only a few know…

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