Do Water Shoes Protect Against Stonefish?

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Are water shoes good armor?


The ocean is filled with all sorts of scary and dangerous critters that can ruin a fun day at the beach within a second! One such creature is the stonefish, whose sting can end your life within 60 minutes! Feel like you need some protection? Well, water shoes aim to protect your feet from sharp objects in the water, but do water shoes protect against stonefish? Let’s find out!

What are water shoes made of?

To see what they can protect you from, we need to see what they’re made of. The body of a water shoe is usually some kind of a mesh that lets you retain your feet’s range of motion. The sole is thick and tough to protect you from anything sharp that could pierce through your feet. Neoprene is another material that is often used in the construction of water shoes. Neoprene is the same material that is used to make wetsuits. It does a great job at insulating your foot from the cold water!

What are stonefish?

Now that we know what is protecting us, let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with, shall we?


Stonefish are a type of fish in the ray-finned family found in Northern Australia in its shallow coastal waters. The stonefish is the world’s most venomous fish! It has venom that is so toxic that it can kill an adult human in under an hour’s worth of time.

When you step on a stonefish, spines come out from its back, sting you and shoot up deadly venom right into your feet. The more spines that prick you, the more venom enters your body and the worse your chances become of surviving the encounter.

Fun Fact: Though their killer venom might make them seem like ruthless predators, this is not true! In reality, stonefish use their spines and venom as a measure of self-defense against predators like sharks and other ray fish! To get their food, stonefish camp around and wait for an unsuspecting victim. Then, they ambush their prey and swallow it whole in the blink of an eye!

Do water shoes protect against stonefish?

So, water shoes are great for the ocean, but do water shoes protect against stonefish? Well, pal, I hate to break it to you, but wearing water shoes won’t guarantee you protection against stonefish. Some higher-quality water shoes with tougher soles may be able to slow down and stop a stonefish spike, but the cheaper ones will never. Regardless, water shoes are still better than nothing and could be the difference between life and death in a prickly situation.

To avoid getting stung in the first place, keep a close eye on the water while walking through it. Stonefish can sting you when you step on top of them directly, so instead of taking steps, keep your feet close to the ground while moving. When you get to deeper waters or where you can’t see the ground clearly, it’s best to swim instead of using your feet to walk.

What to do if you get stung by a stonefish

This is a matter of life or death, so we’ll keep it quick.

  • Your first step should be to call the emergency services and tell them about your condition and your location.
  • You have to act quickly because you have less than an hour to get help before the venom possibly kills you. You have a timeframe of 40-45 minutes to find and apply a solution to this problem.
  • Wash the area of the sting and clean it up.
  • Pour really hot water onto the venom to weaken it. The water shouldn’t be so hot that it burns you, just hot enough to handle.
  • You can also pour some vinegar on the sting to help with the pain while you wait for help to arrive.

Final Thoughts

So, do water shoes protect against stonefish? Well, while water shoes might not provide you with complete security against a stonefish, they can hold off the spine long enough for you to realize you’ve stepped on something dangerous and give you time to move your feet. However, staying alert while in the ocean is always the best form of protection. Safe swimming!

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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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