Do You Need Water Shoes for Snorkeling?

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Can they fit inside fins?


Snorkeling is a fun hobby that anyone can get behind, no matter your age. You get to watch fish, coral reefs and other aquatic animals in their natural habitat, which can be a therapeutic experience. However, accidentally stepping on a crab isn’t exactly the most relaxing experience. This brings a question to the mind; do you need water shoes for snorkeling? We’ll talk about this in today’s article. Let’s dive right in!

Are water shoes necessary?

Before we look at whether or not you need water socks for snorkeling, let’s see if they’re even useful in the first place!


Water shoes are meant to provide you with the following services; protection, comfort, traction, and insulation.

They provide protection with the help of their tough and thick soles that stop any prickly things from getting through to your feet. Next, they add a layer of comfort to your adventure in multiple forms. Water shoes are designed to drain out water and sand quickly from the shoe in order to avoid that wet, sandy shoe feeling that everyone despises. They can also save your feet from the hot sand on a beach! The mesh used to make water shoes is stretchy and flexible to allow you to move your feet around freely. Coming back to the soles, water shoes have rubber soles laced with deep grooves in patterns that are specially designed to give you a much-needed grip on slippery surfaces. You don’t want to slip on that hard rock while hiking, now do you? Finally, you know how in winter, you feel much better/warmer even if just your feet are nice and warm? Following the same principle, water shoes can insulate your feet while you’re swimming, walking or hiking through cold water.


If you’re someone that likes going to the pool, your water shoes will be your guardian angels. These shoes can protect you from the nasty viruses, bacteria and fungi that dwell on pool changing room floors. Better safe than sorry!


After looking at all those benefits, it’s safe to say that water shoes are necessary for anyone who loves going to the beach, hiking or even going to the pool!

Do you need water shoes for snorkeling?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not you want to wear fins (or flippers) while snorkeling. While flippers can be amazing accessories that can help you slice through water like a fish, some people don’t like the heaviness that fins may add. Luckily, most water shoes are light and comfy, so you won’t have to face that issue. But do you need water shoes while snorkeling? Well, you don’t really need them per se, but water shoes can add some extra protection, insulation and peace of mind to your swim. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for wearing water shoes when they’ll save your feet after you accidentally step on a coral. Coral scrapes on your feet are bad news. They can be painful, irritating and hard to heal!

If you do choose to wear a fin while snorkeling, you won’t be able to fit a water shoe in them (not that you’ll need one anyways). However, if you still want some more insulation for your feet, you can wear something called a water sock that will keep your feet warm inside the fin and will also protect them from any possible chafing.

Do you need to wash water socks?

Yes! Always remember to wash your water socks after coming back from a snorkeling session to avoid bad smells and possible infections. Just rinse them off, turn them inside out, wash and soak them in warm soapy water. Later, soak up the excess water in/on them with a dry rag and hang them in a well-ventilated place (away from direct sunlight) to dry off.

Final Thoughts

Water shoes are undoubtedly a gift to people who love getting into water. The benefits they provide are unmatched and everyone could benefit from getting a pair. However, the question, do you need water shoes for snorkeling, largely depends on whether or not you’re using fins. Remember to wear water shoes if you’re not wearing fins. Happy snorkeling!

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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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