Best Swimming Shoes for Indoor & Outdoor Pools Reviewed
In damp places like a pool, bacteria build up ridiculously easy, which can cause quite a few health issues. Additionally, if you’re on the beach and enjoying your stroll through the sand or the water, there is a chance that you could step on broken glass or something equally hazardous. These reasons are plenty to warrant the fact that you should rather wear swimming shoes than go barefoot.
Whether you want to look stylish or have complete traction and control of your movements, there is a pair of swimming footwear for you. In our list, we have a multitude of brands that are loved by surfers, swimmers, and kayakers all over the world. Behold! The best swimming shoes reviewed and rated from one to ten.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
3mm Neoprene Upper
Strong and Durable Seams
Easy Slip-On Design
Thick Rubber Outsole
- Promate Beach Dog
- Coolloog Quick Dry
- Viakix Ultra Comfort
- WXDZ Beach
- Cior Aqua Shoes
- Speedo Surfwalker 3.0
- Barerun Barefoot
- YALOX Outdoor
- Vifuur Mesh
- Jiasuqi Aqua Socks
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Promate Beach Dog
3mm Neoprene Upper
Strong and Durable Seams
Easy Slip-On Design
Thick Rubber Outsole
No Arch Support
Now here is something a little different. While most other options on our list are made from textile, or from mesh materials, the Promate Beach Dog is a neoprene-constructed design. This is a fabric that is used in the making of wetsuits, which is why we are positive that you will find a place for this option in your water gear closet.Read more
The neoprene used in the construction of this option is 3mm thick, which makes it thin enough not to be heavy, but thick enough so that it is sufficiently protective. Not only that, but this material also provides insulation, ensuring that your feet are nice and toasty even in cold water.
The seams of the Beach Dog are sewn for strength and durability, and this design won’t fall apart so quickly. There is an added elastic tape that is sewn on top of the seams for even more strength and an easy slip-on effect.
The Promate Beach Dog may not be as fashionable or as cutely designed as some of the other items on this list, but its functionality is undeniable. It keeps you safe and warm, is easy to slide into, and it even has a thick rubber sole on the bottom to keep sharp, pointy things away from your feet. Overall, an amazing deal!
2. Coolloog Quick Dry
Quick Dry Upper
No Skin Irritation
The Coolloog design is made from stretchy fabrics that allow air to flow in and out without restriction. So whether you're in the water or on your boat, you'll be comfortable no matter what; no suffocating feet here! Even though it isn't a brand that many are familiar with their high-end water gear is on the same, if not a higher, level as some of the more popular brands.Read more
If you trap water in an enclosure without any way for it to get out, you're going to have an overflow. Water footwear that is all one piece will become worn out and ruined much quicker than the Coolloog Quick Dry. Coolloog made a design with seven points in the upper to give the water somewhere to escape. They're referred to as drainage holes, so your feet will dry much faster and so will your footwear. You also have less risk of shrinkage because the materials won't have to soak up the moisture to their limits!
Coolloog has a 30-day guarantee on their footwear, with a one hundred percent money back promise. They're so confident in their product that they're willing to risk revenue so that you can feel better about your purchase. If it doesn't work for you or if something goes wrong you won’t just waste your hard earned money.
The Coolloog Quick Dry has a thick sole to protect you against dreaded river rock and will keep you safely planted on your feet at all times. The "neck" of the design is also created so that it won't irritate your ankles and will keep your skin from chafing in the water. Check out these amazingly colorful shoes from Coolloog!
3. Viakix Ultra Comfort
Quick Drying Mesh Upper
Durable Rubber Outsole
For Wet & Dry Conditions
Durable and Stylish
Sometimes you want water footwear that is actually like a pair of real sneakers. This can seem hard to find because most of these are designed to be more like socks and are thin and can be completely folded up. Not these Viakix water shoes though! They are designed in the style of actual tennis sneakers, only made to be in the water! So whether you wear them to your friend's pool party or to a swim meet they'll do everything you need them to do.Read more
The entire upper on these is made out of a mesh material that is completely waterproof and ridiculously durable. No matter what you wear them for, you can bet they'll stand the test of time! You can even wear them as regular day footwear because they dry so fast that you’ll have no need for a different pair after you've finished swimming.
The majority of "aqua socks" have very thin bottoms with smaller rubber nodules on them for traction and protection, but if you're in need of something more heavy duty you'll be very happy with this Viakix option. Its outsole is similar to that of a regular sneaker, made from a thicker rubber that has all kinds of grooves underneath for extreme grip. Keep your traction and stay on your feet no matter where you are and what you're doing.
With the Viakix Ultra Comfort, you’re a getting a top-notch design for an outstanding price. They are completely versatile for dry land and water, durable to prevent rips and keep from falling apart, and even fashionable! Stay cool this summer while remaining stylish and get this pair of water sneakers.
4. WXDZ Beach
Water Drainage Ports
Two Pull-On Tabs
Multiple Color Choices
Needing or wanting something sporty and "cool?" Then cue the fanfare and take a gander at the WXDZ Beach! This design is technically referred to as a beach shoe - as its name says - but you can wear them anywhere, especially if there's water involved. You can join in on all the fun and not worry about getting your footwear wet or having to take them off.Read more
Not only is it fashion-forward, convenient, and water resistant, but the WXDZ Beach also has an easy-on design to make your day simpler. If you take a look at it real close, you'll notice that it has a pull-on tab in the back, as well as one on the front with an S for "sport" for added simplicity. This is a handy feature for if you're ever running late and want to avoid the hassle of trying to stretch the opening wide enough to put your water gear on!
Just because a water design has drainage holes doesn't necessarily mean that it breathes well. Why? Because the materials need to be water resistant and hold up against getting wet and dry over again, so they are usually a type of material that has very tight weaving that doesn't allow air to pass through. Fortunately, WXDZ designed their Beach option to have a breathable insole and upper so that you can stay comfortable both in and out of the water.
The WXDZ Beach is a simple design that makes your life easier in many aspects. You can slip it on in record time, and feel absolutely fabulous as you strut around the beach in it! It is also breathable and has convenient drainage ports, and will enhance your summer experience in a blink of an eye! What a great investment!
5. Cior Aqua Shoes
Seven Drainage Holes
Cute and Funky Color Options
Size Runs Small
Shiny and pretty is this option by Cior, with its contrasting designs and the "lower profile" silhouette. You can wear them for beach volleyball, boating, and plenty of other summertime activities. They're waterproof and breathable, meaning that they are exactly what you're looking for on this quest for a perfect water design for yourself.Read more
Not only are these stylish and great for giving you traction when otherwise there would be none, but they also protect your feet from potential harm. As we mentioned before, a beach or even a public pool can be a source of all kinds of sharp objects and pointy things on the ground, just waiting for you to injure yourself. This is why you should grab this Cior option and protect your feet while you still can.
The sole on the bottom of this pair is equipped with seven holes to ensure you don't walk around with sloshing water in them. If you aren't a fan of having wet feet all day you'll be quite satisfied with your purchase.
This Cior Aqua option is refreshing in its simplicity. It looks great - comes in so many vibrant prints and options - and it gets the job done. Despite the fact that it doesn’t come with any special technologies that some other items here have, it will not let you down when you need it the most.
6. Speedo Surfwalker 3.0
Stretch Textile Upper
Easy Slip-On Design
S-Trac Grippy Outsole
For All Water Sports
Size Runs Small
Higher Price Point
The Speedo Surfwalker 3.0 is really a great water shoe design. You have the Speedo name and guarantee with a heavy-duty synthetic textile that will hold its own against whatever kind of water sports you get these for. Put them to the test and use the heck out of them! You'll see that they are fantastic and exactly what you've been searching for.Read more
Speedo has been raising the bar for water sports since the early 1900s. They have several different technologies that they've created through trial and error to find what works best no matter the product. Their water designs have what they call an "s-trac" outsole that maximizes grip on the ground underfoot. A handy feature to have when dealing with river rock or just the slippery bottom of a pool.
Speedo uses a complete stretch upper that once you pull it on it snaps into place (well, not really snaps because that would hurt). It's an easy slip-on design that will have you relaxing and enjoying your summer fun while singing Hakuna Matata. No worries.
This high-performance design comes with everything you need out of a great water design - it has comfort, stretch, great traction and it’s not bad to look at, either! The Speedo Surfwalker 3.0 is just the kind of option you need for your next summer vacation.
7. Barerun Barefoot
Durable and Colorfast Polyester
With the Barerun Aqua Socks, you can have all the ease and comfort of going barefoot, while still being sufficiently protected against water and other ocean bed dangers. No more will we be burdened by the "No shirt, no shoes, no service," as it will appear that we're wearing footwear, but will feel as though we're barefoot. Work the system to our advantage thanks to Barerun!Read more
If you treat yourself to the Barerun Barefoot, you can simply squish them up when you aren't using them and stuff them in a nook or cranny anywhere! They completely fold up and are easy to store, giving you more room for even more new shoes (since there really is no such thing as too many).
This option is made from polyester, which is stretchy, durable and can be used in pretty much anything. It is also water resistant, making it the perfect material to use in water footwear. Thanks to that, the Barerun Barefoot will last you for a long time, and you’ll enjoy all the protective qualities it has to offer!
The Barerun Barefoot is what we go for when we don’t want to feel constricted by footwear. It can be annoying, traipsing around in your swimsuit, and being burdened by heavy designs at the same time. Fortunately, all of this can be avoided if you get the lightweight, breezy Barerun Barefoot for your next beach trip!
8. YALOX Outdoor
Aqua Sock Design
Durable TPR Outsole
Are you looking for a plain design that doesn't have a bunch of fancy add-ons, but will still keep you balanced, comfortable and safe? YALOX Outdoor knows how it goes, which is why they made their aqua socks to be almost like a regular pair of socks, except they are water resistant and are not made of cotton or wool. You can wear them all day and feel like you don't have special footwear on when doing your water sports, aerobics or even beach volleyball without any worries.Read more
So many designs have their insoles merely glued on and easily coming detached after only a couple of wears. It is a nuisance, to say the least, as when you try to return the insole to its original place, it never feels the same anymore! Don't worry, YALOX actually sewed in and properly attached the insoles of their water socks to prevent this tragedy from happening.
The sole of the YALOX Outdoor is made out of TPR. Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) is a substance that has been created from compounds similar to vulcanized rubbers. It is known for being very flexible, along with having exceptional resistance to chemicals (no more corrosion from the chlorine in the pool).
With this design, you get exceptional quality and long-lasting materials to ensure many (many) wears, and if you like you can buy several for the price of one of the really expensive pairs. Polyester and spandex make up the upper for increased stretchiness, and the outsole is specially designed to provide traction and grip on any surface.
9. Vifuur Mesh
Breathable Mesh Upper
Hook and Loop Closure
Size Runs Very Small
We have neoprene options, we have textile and polyester options, and now we have the Vifuur Mesh, which is a design made entirely out of mesh materials! However, compared to the other mesh choice in this list, the Vifuur shoe is lightweight and easy to wear, and even easier to love! You will have a blast doing beach yoga, going hiking or even jogging in this versatile water design.Read more
The Vifuur Mesh has a breathable, porous upper. We love this material because it allows for good ventilation, it is quick drying, and it also doesn’t trap any water inside the design. Your feet will be comfy and breezy as you enjoy your summer vacation!
The Mesh comes with a hook and loop closure which allows for an adjustable, secure fit, and which makes it super easy to put these on and take them off. The outsole of this option is made from non-slip rubber and both lightweight and wear-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about these babies falling apart any time soon.
We’re taken by the minimalist, sleek design of this option, as its transparent upper also reminds us a little bit of Cinderella and her glass slipper. Now you can too feel like royalty by the water when you slip the Vifuur Mesh on and get ready to enjoy your day!
10. Jiasuqi Aqua Socks
Not Bulky or Heavy
33 Color Options
Not all items here are designed like shoes, some are more like socks. With the Jiasuqi Aqua Socks, you get all the protective qualities without the bulky rubber sole. It's like putting on a pair of waterproof socks (your feet still get wet, just without the uncomfortable soggy feeling). They're great for any kind of activity, such as surfing or beach volleyball, and even indoors they'll help you avoid slipping on the tile around the pool.Read more
One really awesome thing about these is that they come in a wide range of colors. If you want to be matching with your swimsuit or are on a watersports team, you can color coordinate. This pair, in particular, comes in thirty-three different colors and patterns like checkered, starburst and striped. If that isn't really your "scene" though, you can still get them in plain old black as well.
Sizing always seems to be a problem in the footwear world; you can be one size in a certain pair but a totally different size in another! Jiasuqi has based the sizing of their footwear on the length of the foot and gives you the proper measurements so you aren't stuck guessing what will actually be the correct size for you.
These are durable while still remaining thin, and they're also super stretchy to make them easy to pull onto your foot. Who wants to fight their water socks when you just want to jump into the pool and join everyone that's having fun? They also dry really fast, so you can wear them even after the swimming is said and done because they're so comfortable that you won't want to take them off. Heck, they could even replace your everyday footwear!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The important thing in this section is to distinguish between products that are water friendly and those that are waterproof.
Waterproof footwear exists, but this isn’t what we’re talking about in this guide. This style is reserved for boots, for options that one wears in the snow, in the rain and mud, when working in extreme conditions (for example, when cleaning horse stables). Waterproof means that not a drop of water gets past the material of the upper and the sole, and that your feet are completely dry at the end of the day when you take off your footwear.
Obviously, water designs such as the ones in our list, are not waterproof.
However, they are water friendly.
Water friendly means that a design is okay to get splashed, and even completely submerged in water. It means that its seams won’t disintegrate, that its sole won’t separate from the upper, and that the design, in general, won’t stretch out into a shapeless, useless thing after you take a single dip in the ocean. Water friendly footwear remains intact no matter how many times you wear it in wet conditions. That is what we’re talking about here, as all of our items are water friendly.
In addition to that, they are also quick drying. This is important because no one likes walking around in wet footwear for long. You probably won’t be spending all of your time swimming, so it stands to reason that you might also wear your footwear around the pool or the beach, to grab a bite at the nearest food stall, or to take a walk on the nearby pier.
Quick drying footwear is a great option for when you want to wear it both in the water and on land, and you don’t want to have cold and damp feet all day long.
In conclusion, when looking for a great design to take with you on your next beach adventure, definitely opt for water friendly and quick drying, and you will have absolutely nothing to worry about!
Have you noticed that some of the designs listed above are thin and some are even called a sock? This is something that you want in a water shoe, because if you can’t fold it up, then it’s not going to be able to let water through very well. Thicker options have trouble draining water out of them, and they also have a much slower drying time.
Flexibility is also important during the act of swimming itself. When you’re in the water, you need to be able to flex your feet properly for any kind of stroke (like the backstroke or the butterfly especially, which need pointed toes). This can be somewhat difficult when wearing footwear, but a flexible design should allow you to perform naturally, and shouldn’t hinder your in-water movement in any way.
There’s also the fact that if you’re going to be swimming in a natural water source, like a lake or the ocean, you need to be able to grip the ground and push off, especially if you are going snorkeling or diving. A stiff design won’t be able to help with that, and you need one that provides you with almost the same feeling you have as though you were barefoot.
Lastly, the benefit of a completely flexible design is that you can roll it up and stuff it in any kind of bag you need to. These options don’t take up too much space and are so easy to pack for traveling. You won’t even feel that they’re there until it’s time to bring them out and go for a swim!
Flexibility is not a crucial aspect of this category of footwear, but, as our Criteria shows, it is one of the top five most important ones. When it comes to water footwear, always go for more flexibility and more movement, though not at the cost of accidentally getting a design that is too flimsy and completely unsupportive. Find a good balance between the two, and you have a winner!
If you’re going to wear these options both when in the water and outside of it, you’re going to have to be comfortable all throughout. And the standards for determining whether a design such as this is comfy or not are a little different compared to regular footwear.
Usually, right off the bat, you should know that water designs don’t have much of a footbed. It won’t be cushioned, and it won’t be contoured, and you can forget about arch support. These options are not meant to be supportive, and if you are looking for something that will keep you comfortable as you embark on long strolls and sightseeing tours, then you should look elsewhere.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should settle for hard and stiff and unyielding. As we mentioned in our previous section, flexibility is key, and thus you would do fell to choose a flexible, easily manipulated design.
The second feature to keep in mind in regards to comfort are the materials the design is made of. We’ve already mentioned some, like polyester, mesh, neoprene and similar, and while all of these are great, water friendly choices, they can vary greatly in terms of comfort.
Before you commit to a purchase, you need to make sure that the upper isn’t rubbing you the wrong way. There shouldn’t be any chafing or abrasions, and no seams should be digging in the sides of your foot.
Any touch of discomfort that you feel in the initial wear will only grow worse as time goes by - especially when you introduce moisture into this equation - and you will likely end up with the most uncomfortable footwear ever.
Once again, we reiterate: flexibility and soft, gently hugging materials that don’t cause hot spots or blisters. That is what you need, in terms of comfort.
While this may not be an issue at a public pool - though even that is up for debate - by a river, a lake, or by the sea, there are dozens of dangers lurking in the ground. Hidden in the sand, in the waterbed, we can find sharp rocks, pieces of glass or trash, metal, and even unfriendly fish just waiting for you to step on them and puncture your foot.
This is why having a good, protective outsole is important. This type of outsole will prevent you from accidentally impaling yourself on the horrors at the bottom, and will save you from pain and the visit to the doctor’s that it entails.
Mind you, an outsole that provides sufficient security doesn’t have to be too thick. A lot of the options on our list have quite thin outsoles, considering, but they are still protective enough so that you can explore the shallows as much as your heart desires.
One more feature regarding the outsole is that it has to have good traction. You need good traction and grip when you’re taking on rough terrain such as sand and rock, but even more so when you’re walking - or even running - on sleek, tiled floors that usually surround a public pool. Wet conditions are a hazard as there are puddles everywhere, and an outsole with good traction will save you from slipping, skidding or taking a fall and seriously injuring yourself.
So two things to keep in mind regarding the outsole of your water footwear: that it is protective, and that it provides good traction. Both of these features will save you from many headaches down the line.
There isn’t always time to run and change your shoes after a day in the water, especially since putting socks and regular sneakers over dirty feet isn’t something we really enjoy doing.
Yes, your feet will get dirty if you touch the ground with them while they’re wet and as a result, the sand and dirt particles will dry onto your feet. No, it really doesn’t feel good when later in the day a splinter randomly stabs itself into the ball of your foot.
We ranked the designs in our list according to their versatility, or how good they are from taking you from water to land without any inconveniences along the way.
Some of these options are not so good for walking in them regularly, as they are more sock-like than shoe-like, and they don’t provide enough support for activities such as beach volleyball, getting ice cream, hunting for crabs and similar.
If you want a design that will behave almost like a normal sneaker, but will still be able to perform well underwater, then go for something like the Viakix Ultra Comfort, or even the Speedo Surfwalker 3.0, which are outstanding in terms of versatility. They have outsoles that are thicker than usual and which handle asphalt well, and they will make sure that you are comfy and secure as you waltz out of the water and continue with your fun summer day.
Of course, versatility is not a priority for everyone. If you find that you don’t mind taking off your water footwear after your swim and putting it on before going into the water again, then we don’t mind either! This is all a matter of personal preference, and you don’t have to worry about versatility at all if you feel like that doesn’t concern you or the way you like to spend your beach time.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Water shoes are perfect for many outdoor activities like kayaking, beach going, surfing, wake boarding or even just sailing or hitting the local pool. They provide protection from sharper things you may step on outside, but also give traction and grip for better performance in some sports.
One big thing to note to help keep your water shoes in prime condition, is that you let them air dry after use. Placing them in the dryer, or near hot sources of heat can actually damage the materials.
Other Factors to Consider
Wearing footwear while swimming is not required. There are people who go through their entire lives, through hundreds of beaches, lakes, poolsides, and never wear swimming shoes and they’re none the wiser.
However, there are several reasons why choosing a good pair of footwear like this is a good investment: these designs can protect you both from the cold water and from unknown waterbeds or terrain, and they can provide necessary traction so that you don’t slip and fall when running around.
Indeed, having water footwear is convenient, and it doesn’t take long to get used to it. So give it a chance, pick a design from our list that you liked best, and get ready to enjoy the heck out of your next seaside vacation!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is style important here?
This entirely depends on you! Is style important to you in general? Do you want to be stylish at the beach? Do you need a design which matches your swimsuit? If yes, then style is important! If not, then it’s really not! Whichever option you go for - more stylish or more practical - as long as you’re happy, it’ll be the best one for you.
q: How to wash this type of footwear?
Caring for water footwear seems pretty simple, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to washing it. Chlorine and natural water, when left between fabric particles, can cause mildew and bad odors. The materials can also be ruined if not taken care of properly.
You’ll want to rinse your footwear out really good with purified (tap) water, wring it out (as much as you can), and leave it to dry in the sun. There shouldn’t be any risk of shrinkage but if the design does feel a little tight when you put it on again, simply wear it around the house and it’ll loosen up.
q: What are these designs called?
“Swimming shoes” is the obvious answer, but they can also be called a number of different things. Such as aqua socks, water shoes, swim shoes, and water sports shoes because they are used for many different activities. They also aren’t only good for water. Many people wear them for yoga, aerobics, fighting and hiking across wet and rocky terrains. These are an excellent alternative to going barefoot, meaning you don’t risk foot health and you can keep your toes looking all soft and pretty.
q: Why wear footwear like this?
Swim options, or aqua socks, are great for when you don’t want your feet to touch the bottom of a dirty pool. They also work for giving better traction on a slippery rock bed and even protect you against things like glass and rusty nails that can give you tetanus and other diseases.
q: How durable are these designs?
This entirely depends on the manufacturer, and the quality of each individual design. Overall, these are quite durable and should last you at least a couple of seasons. Though there are designs which fall apart in record time, this is more due to a fault in their production than the general lack of quality of that brand.