Kayaking is fun, no matter if you’re a professional athlete or a first-time player. Over time, with the growing popularity of this water sport, water shoes are becoming more and more important gear to wear, too.
If you’re finding the best water shoes for kayaking, we’re here to help.
Here are the best water shoes for kayaking (Mar 2021 Update):
- Best Overall (Men’s Water Shoes): DOUSSPRT Men's Water Shoes Quick Drying Sports Aqua Shoes
- Best for Narrow Feet (Men’s Water Shoes): Speedo Men's Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 3.0
- Best for Hot Weather (Men’s Water Shoes): Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoe
- Best Overall (Women’s Water Shoes): DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes
- Best for Wide Feet (Women’s Water Shoes): hiitave Women Water Shoes
- Best for Warm Weather (Women’s Water Shoes): Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
|6 Best Water Shoes for Kayaking|
|DOUSSPRT Men's Water Shoes Quick Drying Sports Aqua Shoes|
Best for Narrow Feet
|Speedo Men's Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 3.0|
Best for Hot Weather
|Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoe|
|DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes|
Best for Wide Feet
|hiitave Women Water Shoes|
Best for Warm Weather
|Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe|
Best Overall (Men’s Water Shoes): DOUSSPRT Men's Water Shoes Quick Drying Sports Aqua Shoes
- Achieve superior comfort and water drainage capability - upgraded insoles, elastic rubber shoelaces, and breathable air mesh upper parts
- Lightweight – weigh under a pound
- Super-affordable – price ranges of $18 to $35
- Cheap laces
Going on a kayaking tour in Hawaii? No problem, we’ve got these water shoes from DOUSSPRT for you.
They are lightweight, drain water pretty fast, give not too much flex in the sole, and fit well. The upgraded insoles, elastic rubber shoelaces, and breathable air mesh upper parts work seamlessly together to achieve superior comfort.
The outsoles, while enhancing its water drainage capability, stand out for their decent slip resistance so that when standing/walking on wet surfaces, you can rest assured.
Overall, very good looking water shoes and the price was fantastic.
|DOUSSPRT Men's Water Shoes Quick Drying Sports Aqua Shoes Specifications|
1/2 inch thick.
upgraded insoles, elastic rubber shoelaces, and breathable air mesh upperparts
When it comes to the best overall men’s water shoes for kayaking, this is our top choice.
Best for Narrow Feet (Men’s Water Shoes): Speedo Men's Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 3.0
- Ideal for narrow-footed male kayakers – the shoes run narrow with pointy design
- Great protection & slip resistance – thickened toe areas, neoprene materials, & S-trac outsole
- Give secure fit - Stretch upper
- Not great for long walks
- Lack of arch support
Compared to other counterparts here, the Speedo Men's Water Shoes run narrow with pointy design and good flex on the upper parts, which will work flawlessly for tight-footed people.
You can wear them for some long paddles without feeling uncomfortable.
Their sole design does a great job of keeping your feet from getting beat up when you launch and return watercraft (kayak/jet ski, etc.) to shore. The fabric is comfortable and the outsoles grip well on wet surfaces whereas not leaving mark on the kayak.
What we feel thankful the most about these shoes was they didn’t allow much sand to be inside, except when we had a kayaking incident.
|Speedo Men's Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Specifications|
100% neoprene upper & rubber sole
the shoes run narrow with pointy design; thickened toe areas, neoprene materials, & S-trac outsoles; Stretch upper
In terms of a good pair of kayaking water shoes for narrow feet that you can wear and feel comfortable all-day-long outdoors, the Speedo is a fantastic choice.
Best for Hot Weather (Men’s Water Shoes): Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoe
- Able to use on hot surfaces - hybrid construction, durable high-quality synthetic sole, and good thickness
- Not lose strength - no-support and no-heel-lift construction
- Extra comfort - three toe design
- A bit hard to put on
- Not ideal for big-footed people
We highly recommend the Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoes for kayaking or water use during hot weather.
Why? Because they highlight hybrid construction, durable high-quality synthetic sole, and good thickness so that you can walk them on hot surfaces (like sand and rocks) with no issues.
A notable thing is that many professional kayakers or kayaking enthusiasts also show their appreciation to these shoes for the no-support and no-heel-lift construction.
This specific design helps them build feet better as well as prevent losing strength. Finally, a bonus for the additional three toe design for extra comfort during the use.
|Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoe Specifications|
hybrid construction, durable high-quality synthetic sole, and good thickness; no-support and no-heel-lift construction; three toe design
The Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Max Water Shoes are a bit different from most of the others in this lineup, which is the capability to be used in hot weather with little wear or lack of support.
Best Overall (Women’s Water Shoes): DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes
- Protective - Full Covering Design: anti-slip rubber soles & ultra-lightweight fabric
- Fit well & easy to wear - Elastic Straps & The pull tap at the heel
- Breathable & odor-free - Open mesh on the upper & drainage holes at the soles
- Not suitable for walking on slippery rocks
The DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes are worth taking a chance to try because they’re very comfortable, easy to wear, and protective.
Much better than other women’s water shoes, they highlight full covering design made of ultra-light, durable, and breathable fabric and non-slip rubber. For a snugger fit, while avoiding the annoyance of tying shoes, they are built with elastic straps.
A pull tab is also added at the heel area for faster entry, keeping your feet against dripping off.
What’s more, they drain water really fast thanks to the drainage holes on the outsoles while the open mesh helps to keep your feet always cool and odor-free.
|DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes Specifications|
90% fabric & rubber
anti-slip rubber soles & ultra-lightweight fabric; Elastic Straps & The pull tap at the heel; Open mesh on the upper & drainage holes at the soles
The DLGJPA is our first choice whenever it comes to the best overall women’s water shoes, as it’s the pair you’ll wear again and again for any type of kayaking.
Best for Wide Feet (Women’s Water Shoes): hiitave Women Water Shoes
- Ultra-comfortable feeling for wide-footed female kayakers - wide five-toe box design
- Good fitting - flexible shoelaces and elastic band
- Great traction and grips – high-quality non-slip rubber outsoles
- Allow the sand to be inside
While regular water shoes don’t work for your wide feet, these will. They feature a wide five-toe box design so your feet can easily enter and feel more comfortable. For the souped-up fitting, there comes with flexible shoelaces and elastic band.
Regardless, they’re like other counterparts here, featuring drainage holes at the bottom and breathable fabric.
But in terms of traction and grips, this pair is superior – we found it to be very stable on wet rocks and waterfalls. So if you’re going to attend tough kayaking trips, pick this.
Good looking is a nice bonus.
|hiitave Women Water Shoes Specifications|
Breathable polyester & rubber
wide five-toe box design; flexible shoelaces and elastic band; high-quality non-slip rubber outsoles
The hiitave Women Water Shoes are a comfortable pair for wide-footed female kayakers or even wearing for other water sports, according to its versatility and durability.
Best for Warm Weather (Women’s Water Shoes): Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
- Perfect for hot weather use - M Select® FRESH antimicrobial treatment for odor control
- Good impact resistance - stretchy Lycra® neoprene and waxy waterproof leather
- Nice grips - TC5+Vibram® outsole with 3 mm lugs
- Good protection – thickened toe areas, 1” heel height & extra pad in the back
- Not very attractive
- A bit pricey
- These water shoes fit great, look great, and feel great.
They are made entirely of stretchy Lycra® neoprene and waxy waterproof leather with an emphasis on TC5+Vibram® outsole with 3 mm lugs for better grips, and UniFly® midsole. The biggest selling point is M Select® FRESH antimicrobial treatment for odor control, which comes in handy during summer uses or hot weather conditions.
The outer toe areas, in addition, are thickened for extra protection against bumps.
Meanwhile, the heels are lifted nearly one inch to walk through sharp rocks and rough surfaces more comfortably.
To secure your feet and give nicer fitting, their bungee shoelaces are specifically designed for easy and quick adjustments. The extra pad in the back is a big plus as you don't get a blister on the Achilles tendon.
|Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe Specifications|
100% Leather and Synthetic
M Select® FRESH antimicrobial treatment for odor control; stretchy Lycra® neoprene and waxy waterproof leather; TC5+Vibram® outsole with 3 mm lugs; thickened toe areas, 1” heel height & extra pad in the back
The Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe is exceptionally breathable, comfortable, and cool to wear during warm weather, which makes it worth spending a little extra.
How To Choose The Best Water Shoe for Kayaking?
To find a good pair of water shoes, you have to take into account the water temperature and terrain factors.
When you kayak, you will get in and out of the boat a lot, so you need warm shoes, especially if you’re in cold water. The best choice, in this case, is 4mm thick neoprene shoes as they protect your feet from hypothermia though this material is not as durable as polyurethane.
Besides, to protect your feet from rough terrains like jagged rocks, you should choose a pair of water shoes with a thick sole.
On the other hand, for muddy terrain, you will need shoes that drain well and dry quickly while you need a good tread for smooth surfaces to avoid slipping. And regardless of the type of terrain, make sure your shoes have closed-toe.
Neoprene is the best overall material for kayaking shoes as it’s lightweight, flexible, and non-slip, which is everything you need in a pair of water shoes. To make it more durable, manufacturers may combine this material with titanium or others.
Mesh is another good material for water shoes. It’s lightweight drains fast and prevents mold from building up while allowing your feet to breathe.
While neoprene keeps your feet warm and comfortable, a thick rubber sole keeps your foot safe from rocks and offers a sturdy grip when you walk.
Size & The Fit
Your kayaking shoes should fit your feet but not constrict. When you try on water shoes, check if there’s any gap on the top or side. You should also make sure your water shoes fit the kayak’s casing.
Weight & Height
It’s best if your water shoes are lightweight because they will make you feel like wearing nothing, which allows for long kayaking trips. Regarding height, you can choose knee height, ankle height, or low-cut shoes.
Low-cut: best for sunny weather, this type is light, thin, and breathable.
Ankle height: the most common, this type is easy to wear and carry a good combination of breathability, warmth, and sole protection.
Knee height: best for cold weather, thicker and more insulated for protection against cold water.
Which Brands Make The Best Water Shoe for Kayaking?
Over the past 7 years of operation, this brand has been working to create products that encourage users to go outside more with a focus on comfort and practicality for all day long. With that in mind, it offers water shoes that are innovative and good quality.
This brand offers water shoes for both men and women, which are both breathable and stylish. Its water shoes help you conquer almost any terrain you encounter with enhanced drainage function.
With over six decades of experience in the field, this brand is specialized in water sportswear, including water shoes for you. It takes pride in delivering innovations and each product and commits to offering you the best support while you’re on the water.
Merrell is dedicated to delivering fit, performance in comfort in each and every one of its water shoes. For each of these aspects, the brand offers different features like ventilation and insulation for comfort, waterproofing, and traction for great performance, as well as insoles and shape for fit.
Do you need water shoes for kayaking?
Yes, you do. Water shoes keep your feet dry when you’re out of the water and keep them warm when you’re in the water. They also help you move comfortably and safely.
Can you kayak barefoot?
Yes, you can. For many, it’s fun to paddle a boat with bare feet, which also helps avoid wetting the kayak with water from water shoes or sandals.
Can water shoes be used for walking and other water sports?
Yes, they can. You can wear a pair of water shoes for multiple water sports such as swimming, surfing, sailing, etc.
Are water shoes washable?
Generally speaking, you can wash your water shoes in the washing machine with a maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, then dry them in a well-aired sport with sunlight.
How to dress for a kayak tour?
Choose the suitable clothes based on the weather forecast.
Avoid wearing cotton, opt for easy-to-dry clothes.
Dress in layers with the outer layer to keep you dry.
Wear water shoes.
Wear a life jacket.
Wear a helmet that protects you from the weather and rocks in the case of a rocky environment.
Eventually, we hope that with the help of this detailed guideline, you will be able to get yourself the best water shoes for kayaking from a reliable brand. Remember to consider all essential factors like fit, weight, material, and warmth.