Best Water Shoes for Kayaking: Top Picks in 2023

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Kayaking is a fantastic water sport that offers both a great workout and an opportunity to enjoy nature. When gearing up for a kayaking adventure, many people focus primarily on the kayak and paddle, but proper footwear is just as important.

Water shoes not only provide comfort and support during your paddle but also protect your feet from slippery, sharp, or rocky surfaces when entering or exiting the water.

Water shoes specifically designed for kayaking offer a balance of breathability, quick-drying capabilities, and durability. They are made to withstand wet environments while providing a snug fit that prevents the shoe from slipping off during your paddle.

Additionally, water shoes for kayaking are designed in order to avoid sand, pebbles, and other debris from entering and causing discomfort while you’re enjoying your time on the water.

When choosing the best water shoes for kayaking, paying attention to factors such as materials, grip, drainage, and comfort is crucial. Materials that dry quickly and resist odor are ideal, as well as a sole designed to provide excellent grip on wet, slippery surfaces.

Shoes with proper drainage will allow water to flow through, ensuring your feet stay comfortable and dry. Comfort is also vital, as you will be wearing these shoes for an extended period, and ill-fitting footwear can result in painful blisters or chafing.

I’ve researched and tested multiple water shoes designed for kayaking to help you find the perfect pair that addresses these key factors while enhancing your overall kayaking experience.

Let’s dive in and discover the top choices available today.

Best Water Shoes for Kayaking

I’ve compiled a list of the best water shoes for kayaking to help you enhance your experience on the water. These shoes offer excellent grip, support, and comfort, allowing you to focus on your adventure.

HIITAVE Men Barefoot Water Shoes

HIITAVE Water Shoes

These HIITAVE water shoes are an excellent choice for kayaking and other water sports due to their comfort, quick-drying materials, and durability.


  • Comfortable minimalist barefoot feel
  • Adjustable shock lace system for easy slip-on and snug fit
  • Quick-dry materials with an integrated drainage system


  • Slightly thin sole for rougher terrain
  • Folds in the fabric may trap sand
  • Not recommended for pavement running

These HIITAVE Men Barefoot Water Shoes are comfortable and lightweight, providing a minimalist barefoot feel that is perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and other water activities.

The wide toe design allows for an easy-on experience, while the zero heel lift and low-profile ultra-grip outsole ensure maximum traction on wet and dry surfaces.

The adjustable shock lace system of these shoes allows for easy slip-on entry while maintaining a snug fit. This design, combined with the breathable and quick-dry materials, makes them ideal for any activity in or near water.

I particularly appreciated the integrated drainage system, which allows water and air to flow freely, further enhancing their usability for water sports.

One downside I noticed is that the sole is slightly thin, which may make these shoes less suitable for rougher terrain. Additionally, the folds in the fabric can trap sand, which may require extra rinsing after use.

However, these cons are minor compared to the benefits of the shoes’ comfort, quick-drying materials, and overall performance.

In conclusion, the HIITAVE Men Barefoot Water Shoes are an excellent investment for anyone looking to partake in water activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or just a day at the beach.

They offer comfort, a secure fit, and quick-drying materials, making them a practical and stylish choice for your water adventures.

Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes

Mishansha Water Shoes

These water shoes are an excellent choice for kayaking enthusiasts, offering comfort and durability.


  • Breathable and lightweight material
  • Quick-drying with good ventilation
  • Slip-resistant, quick drainage sole


  • Sizing can be tricky
  • Stitching might feel rough
  • Material may wear out on the toe area

I recently got my hands on the Mishansha Water Shoes, and after taking them out for a spin, I can confidently share my thoughts on their performance. These shoes are breathable and lightweight spandex material, perfect for keeping my feet comfortable and free while kayaking.

The stretch Lycra material ensures a snug fit and great salt resistance, essential when spending time in the water.

One of the best features of these shoes is their quick-drying ability. The design allows water to flow out easily, keeping my feet dry and comfortable throughout my kayaking adventures.

The ventilation the breathable material provides also means that my feet do not sweat, which adds to the overall comfort level.

The slip-resistant and quick drainage rubber sole is another excellent feature. The unique design of the sole ensures proper water flow, and the camo pattern keeps me steady on slippery surfaces, which is a must when getting in and out of my kayak.

The elastic shoelaces with locking mechanisms make these shoes easy to put on and take off, and the fit can be quickly adjusted for comfort.

However, I found that the sizing can be tricky for some people. I recommend carefully checking the size chart before purchasing to ensure you get the right fit. Additionally, the stitching on some parts of the shoe might feel a bit rough, so ensure you wear them around the house to see if any adjustments need to be made.

Another thing to note is that the material on the toe area may wear out after considerable use. This could be an opportunity for improvement by reinforcing the toe area.

The Mishansha Water Shoes are reliable for kayaking enthusiasts. Their breathable, lightweight material, quick-drying features, and slip-resistant sole make them a solid choice.

Yet, ensure that you double-check the sizing and be prepared for possible wear in the toe area after extensive use.

Body Glove Women’s Cinch Trail Running Shoe

Body Glove Women's Cinch Running Shoe

The Body Glove Women’s Cinch Trail Running Shoe is ideal for anyone seeking a comfortable, lightweight, and versatile water shoe for kayaking adventures.


  • Excellent traction and grip
  • Quick-drying with drainage
  • Comfortable and easy to wear


  • It might feel strange at first due to the 3 toe design
  • Material may look cheap to some
  • Sizing might be off for some customers

I recently went kayaking and wore the Body Glove Women’s Cinch Trail Running Shoe, which turned out to be an excellent choice. These water shoes provided a perfect balance between protection and a sense of being barefoot, thanks to the three-toe design, zero-heel lift, and low-profile ultra-grip outsole.

This combination gave me maximum traction when walking on slippery surfaces near water.

The shoes’ stretch-fit upper and adjustable shock lace system made slipping them on and securing them to my feet extremely easy and comfortable. I was impressed by the breathability and how lightweight they were, making long hours of kayaking very enjoyable.

What sets these shoes apart from others is their quick-drying materials and integrated drainage system (IDS), allowing water and air to move freely, ideal for all water activities. I found this incredibly useful when transitioning between wet and dry surfaces without the hassle of having to remove my shoes and drain the water.

Initially, the three-toe design felt a little strange, but I quickly got used to it, and I appreciate the added dexterity and reduced risk of injury it provides. However, the sizing may be off for some customers, so checking the size chart and reviews before purchasing is essential.

In conclusion, the Body Glove Women’s Cinch Trail Running Shoe is an excellent water shoe for kayaking, walking on the beach, or any other water-related activities. Although it might take a little time to get used to the unique design, you’ll enjoy the fantastic grip, comfort, and quick-drying features it offers.

Maxome Water Shoes

Water Shoes Men, Mens Water Shoes

I’d highly recommend the Maxome Water Shoes for their comfort, quick-drying ability, and versatility for various water activities.


  • The comfortable and stretchy upper fabric
  • Quick-drying material
  • Non-slip, protective rubber sole


  • Limited color options
  • It may not be as durable as more expensive options
  • Sizing might be tricky for some customers

I recently purchased the Maxome Water Shoes for a kayaking trip and was thoroughly impressed by their performance. The breathable upper fabric is smooth and stretchy, ensuring my feet stayed comfortable throughout the day. They fit snugly like socks and did not chafe, even during extended water activities.

The quick-dry material of these shoes is a game-changer since nobody likes soggy, wet feet while kayaking. They dried up quickly after being submerged in water, and the easy on/off design made them a breeze to wear.

The anti-slip rubber sole provided ample traction on wet surfaces, and the separated protective toe guard came in handy when exploring rocky shores.

What makes these Maxome Water Shoes stand out is their versatility. They’re suitable for not only kayaking but also hiking, swimming, surfing, and more. The lightweight design, weighing only 160-170g per pair, ensures they’re unobtrusive during any activity.

The Maxome Water Shoes offer a comfortable, quick-drying, and protective option for various water-related activities. With their affordable price, they’re a great investment for anyone looking to enjoy their time on the water without worrying about their footwear.

Nonetheless, make sure to double-check the sizing before ordering!

XIHALOOK Athletic Hiking Water Shoes

XIHALOOK Water Shoes

The XIHALOOK Athletic Hiking Water Shoes are excellent for kayaking enthusiasts seeking comfortable and durable footwear with great traction.


  • Flexible and breathable fabric
  • Durable, anti-slip rubber sole
  • Wide toe box and elastic band design


  • May collect small rocks during use
  • Potential sizing inconsistencies
  • Not specifically designed for arch support

I recently wore these XIHALOOK water shoes while kayaking, and I must say, the stretch material on the upper part of the shoe provided excellent ventilation and drainage. The lightweight fabric allowed my feet to breathe while keeping them comfortably wrapped.

The rubber sole on these shoes deserves special mention as it offers excellent grip on wet and slippery surfaces. The anti-slip design ensured I could easily navigate the rocky terrain near the water. Additionally, the sole effectively protected my feet from broken coral, shells, and rocks.

These water shoes’ wide-toe box design improved my overall comfort and stability. The elastic band ensured a snug fit, while the anti-collision shoe toe kept my feet safe from sudden impacts. I appreciated the easy-to-use elastic-shoelace locking mechanism that let me adjust the tightness on the go.

However, I did notice that small rocks tended to get caught in the shoes during my water walks. Also, the sizing isn’t consistent, so I had to try a couple of different sizes to find the perfect fit. Although these shoes weren’t explicitly designed for arch support, they still offered decent comfort.

In conclusion, the XIHALOOK Athletic Hiking Water Shoes are suitable for kayaking and other water activities, offering great comfort, protection, and traction. Remember the sizing inconsistencies when ordering, and be prepared for the occasional small rocks getting inside. Overall, they provide excellent value for your money.

Body Glove Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoe

Body Glove Dynamo Rapid

Although these water shoes are a reliable and comfortable choice for kayaking and other water activities, they have some minor drawbacks.


  • Comfortable fit and easy to put on
  • Amphibious design with adjustable shock lace system
  • Quick-drying materials and Integrated Drainage System (IDS)


  • Sand may keep inside the shoe
  • It runs slightly larger in size
  • Not ideal for very narrow feet

I recently tried out the Body Glove Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes for a kayaking trip. The comfort and fit were impressive, making it easy for me to wear during all of our water activities. The adjustability of the shock lace system allowed me to achieve a snug fit and even collapse the heel when needed.

The quick-drying materials and Integrated Drainage System (IDS) were beneficial features, allowing water and air to move freely during our activities in the water.

However, I noticed that sand tended to stay inside the shoe, requiring me to take them off and rinse them occasionally.

While the Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes are designed for versatility across different activities, I found them to run slightly larger compared to my usual size. Although the fit was comfortable for me, someone with very narrow feet might find them loose.

Overall, the Body Glove Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes are a dependable and functional option for kayaking and other water-based adventures.

The comfort, adjustability, and quick-drying features outweigh the minor downsides, and I would recommend them to anyone needing versatile water shoes.

SEEKWAY Water Shoes for Kayaking

SEEKWAY Water Shoes

The SEEKWAY Water Shoes are excellent for kayaking lovers seeking comfort, protection, and breathability.


  • All-round protection with thick rubber soles and toe cap
  • Comfortable and flexible fit with elastic vamp
  • Quick-drying and ultra-breathable design


  • Efficiently retains odor when kept wet for long periods
  • Sizing can be a bit tricky to get right
  • The inner sole may detach after minimal use

I recently used the SEEKWAY Water Shoes for a kayaking trip and was quite impressed with their performance. The thick rubber soles and toe cap provided complete protection against sharp objects, and the 3D non-slip treads offered excellent grip even on slippery surfaces.

The elastic vamp ensured a snug fit, making it easy to slip the shoes on and off as needed. Despite being lightweight and non-bulky, the water shoes remained comfortable throughout my trip.

The breathability feature, including the tiny air holes in the spandex vamp and drainage holes in the outsoles and insoles, kept my feet cool and dry the entire time.

However, I did notice some drawbacks. They developed an unpleasant odor after keeping the shoes wet for an extended period. Additionally, finding the right size might take some trial and error.

Lastly, the inner sole seemed to detach relatively quickly, which could be an issue for those planning to use the shoes frequently.

Overall, the SEEKWAY Water Shoes are a great option for kayaking enthusiasts. They offer protection, comfort, and breathability, making them ideal for various water activities.

Be mindful of the drawbacks and select the appropriate size to ensure a positive experience.

HIITAVE Women’s Water Shoes

HIITAVE Women's Water Shoes

These water shoes are perfect for kayaking and other water-related activities due to their comfort, grip, and quick-drying capabilities.


  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • Excellent grip on various surfaces
  • Quick drying and breathable


  • It may require sizing down
  • Some users report quality issues
  • Not the best slip-resistance on wet flooring

Having recently tried out the HIITAVE Women’s Water Shoes, I found them to be a fantastic accompaniment to my kayaking trip. The wide-toe design provided a barefoot feel that was easy to get used to, while the rubber sole ensured I had sufficient protection from sharp rocks or debris.

The adjustable shock lace system ensures a snug fit, which is essential when you’re in and around water. It made slipping the shoes on and off a breeze, allowing me to focus on my kayaking adventure.

One thing to note is that I had to size down based on customer feedback, and I’m glad I did, as the smaller size fit perfectly. However, I experienced some slipperiness on wet flooring, so it’s crucial to be cautious in such situations.

Despite the minor drawbacks, I highly recommend the HIITAVE Women’s Water Shoes for anyone in need of a comfortable, protective, and quick-drying shoe for kayaking and other water activities.

Buying Guide

In my experience, finding the best kayaking water shoes is essential for comfort and protection. There are several important features to consider when purchasing water shoes.

One of the key factors to look at is material. A good water shoe should be made from lightweight, quick-drying, breathable materials and able to drain water quickly. This helps in avoiding water-logging and helps maintain comfort while kayaking.

Another vital aspect is traction. The best water shoes should have a solid and grippy outsole, allowing for a good grip on wet surfaces. This is crucial in preventing slips and falls in and out of the kayak.

Fit and Comfort

When it comes to fit and comfort, I believe that proper sizing is crucial. Water shoes should fit snugly but not tight enough to cause discomfort. An adjustable closure system, like a bungee cord or hook-and-loop strap, is also useful in ensuring a secure fit.

Furthermore, the insole should offer adequate cushioning while also being removable for easier cleaning and drying.


In my opinion, durability is another crucial factor to take into account. A good pair of water shoes should be able to handle the wear and tear of kayaking and other water activities. One should look for reinforced stitching, strong materials, and solid construction to ensure a longer lifespan of the shoes.

Style and Design

Lastly, while the style and design of water shoes might not be of utmost importance, choosing a pair that looks appealing and complements your personal taste is still good. There is a wide range of designs and colors to choose from, so finding one that suits your style shouldn’t be too difficult.

When looking for the best water shoes for kayaking, one should focus on the material, traction, fit and comfort, durability, style, and design.

By considering these factors, I am confident that you will be able to find a pair of water shoes that not only works well for kayaking but also keeps you comfortable and confident during your adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I look for in kayaking water shoes?

When choosing water shoes for kayaking, I consider several key features. These include quick-drying materials, good traction on wet surfaces, comfortable fit, and proper drainage. Durability is also important since kayaking typically involves exposure to rough surfaces and water.

How do I choose the right size for kayak shoes?

To find the right size for my kayaking shoes, I usually consult the manufacturer’s size chart and read customer reviews for guidance. I may go a half size up if I plan to wear thick socks or paddling booties for added insulation.

Are there specific water shoes for cold-weather kayaking?

Yes, there are water shoes designed for cold-weather kayaking. I look for shoes with thicker materials, neoprene or insulated uppers, and higher ankle coverage. Booties can also be helpful by offering more insulation and keeping my feet warm in colder water conditions.

What are the top brands of kayaking shoes?

Some of the top brands I trust for kayaking shoes are NRS, Astral, Chaco, Teva, and Keen. Each of these brands offers various styles and features, making them popular choices among kayakers.

Can I wear the same shoes for kayaking and hiking?

While using the same shoes for both activities is possible, I recommend having separate footwear. Kayaking shoes are designed for wet environments, and hiking shoes often have a more aggressive tread and additional ankle support for rough terrain. It’s best to use shoes specifically designed for each activity to ensure optimal performance, comfort, and safety.

How do water shoes for kayak fishing differ from regular ones?

Water shoes for kayak fishing typically have features that cater more to anglers, such as extra storage compartments, reinforced materials for added durability, and a higher level of traction for stability while casting. These shoes are specifically designed for fishing enthusiasts who require additional functionality from their footwear.

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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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