The dog days of summer are the perfect time to go on a river rafting trip, a weekend getaway to the lake or a trip up the coastline. As you're packing your bags for your next water-centric getaway, make sure you're not forgetting one of the most underrated, but useful, pieces of gear you can find: the water shoe.
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What are water shoes?
A water shoe is a sneaker or sandal that has been crafted to maintain grip in wet or dry environments and keep feet dry and blister-free after water crossings. Different than an athletic sneaker, hiking shoe or lifestyle-oriented sandal, water shoes are specifically designed to maintain comfort and protection in wet and dry environments alike.
What should you look for in a water shoe?
A good water shoe will have a couple key features to look out for: the first is drainage ports or holes in the shoe or sandal that allow water to pass through. Wet or damp feet can result in blisters and skin abrasions; water shoes are built to quickly expel water, and when paired with breathable, synthetic uppers, maintain dryness and comfort. You should also look for lugs that are at least 2mm or more: burly, grippy lugs will allow you to maintain grip and balance when scrambling on wet or submerged rocks, and also maintain traction on trails, as well.
Are Crocs good water shoes?
The much-debated Croc is a decent water shoe. It doesn't have the tech of its more performance-driven competitors like Hoka or Keen, but it does have plenty of drainage, is lightweight and, despite naysayers decrying its aesthetic appeal, is insanely comfortable. If you don't expect your Crocs Clogs to perform like your technical hiking shoes, and instead accept them for the lo-fi clog that they are, you won't be disappointed.
Below are the nine best water shoes you can buy now.