Best water shoes for Hawaii, Kaui, Maui and Big Island

The stunning islands of Hawaii offer a vast, exciting range of land and water activities from rainforest hikes and volcano treks to kayaking, waterfall excursions and much more. If you’re planning such activities on your trip to Hawaii you might be wondering what kind of footwear would be best considering such a range of diverse excursions.

What type of shoe would be ideal for trekking through the Rainforests in East Maui that could also be non-slip and protective from the rocky waterfalls at Akaka and Rainbow Falls? Or perhaps you might want to kayak in Kaneohe Bay by day and climb to the summit of Mauna Kea by night?

Whether you’re there for the adventurous river rafting or you just want to protect your feet from some of the rocky beaches, this list of the best water shoes for Hawaii (ranked) are sure to help you choose the most suitable water shoes for your Hawaiian adventure.

Featured Recommendations

Preview
BEST CHOICE
SITAILE Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Camp Shoes for Beach Walking River Bed Boatting Kayaking
Gold Pigeon Shoes GP7656 Men Women Adjustable Straps Outdoor/Water Sandals: Lite Arch Support
Merrell Women's Capra Rapid Sieve Water Shoe
Title
SITAILE Quick Dry Aqua Shoes
Gold Pigeon Water Sandals
Merrell Capra Rapid Sieve
Features
Lightweight & breathable
Thick for rocky terrain
Extremely durable, water drainage
Features
Anti-slip rubber sole
Shock absorbent and cushioned sole
Non-slip outsole in wet or dry
Ideal for
Ideal for Kayaking, beach & hiking
Ideal for the beach, swimming & walking
Ideal for the beach, swimming & canoeing
Price
Price: Check here
Price: Check here
Price: Check here
BEST CHOICE
Preview
SITAILE Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Camp Shoes for Beach Walking River Bed Boatting Kayaking
Title
SITAILE Quick Dry Aqua Shoes
Features
Lightweight & breathable
Features
Anti-slip rubber sole
Ideal for
Ideal for Kayaking, beach & hiking
Price
Price: Check here
Preview
Gold Pigeon Shoes GP7656 Men Women Adjustable Straps Outdoor/Water Sandals: Lite Arch Support
Title
Gold Pigeon Water Sandals
Features
Thick for rocky terrain
Features
Shock absorbent and cushioned sole
Ideal for
Ideal for the beach, swimming & walking
Price
Price: Check here
Preview
Merrell Women's Capra Rapid Sieve Water Shoe
Title
Merrell Capra Rapid Sieve
Features
Extremely durable, water drainage
Features
Non-slip outsole in wet or dry
Ideal for
Ideal for the beach, swimming & canoeing
Price
Price: Check here

Our Top 10 water shoes

So that’s our top 3 recommendations, now let’s take a look at our full top 10 list, here you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your needs or activity; from slip on water shoes, trainers, water shoes for hiking, kayaking and much more. So no matter your style of preference we’ve got you covered.

1 SITAILE Water Shoes

SITAILE Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Camp Shoes for Beach Walking River Bed Boatting Kayaking

Available for: Men and Women

The Sitaile Water Shoes (Amazon) are a fantastic water shoe that ticks a lot of boxes. It is made with an open mesh upper part providing drainage of water and sweat with a supportive rubber wrap around the upper part of the foot.

There are elastic straps in the place of laces to enable you to slide the shoe off and on and adjust according to the width of your foot with a toggle grip. The traction on the outsole is very adhesive to prevent slipping in wet or dry conditions and allows for excellent friction and grip on rough surfaces as well as protection from jagged rocks and stones.

The honeycomb design insole provides air circulation to prevent the feet from sweating and cushions the foot to ensure comfort when hiking. They are super lightweight making them dry very quickly and easy to pack. They are ideal for land and water adventures such as swimming, diving, boating, hiking, canyoning, kayaking, cycling and running. Sizes run a little bigger so it is recommended to get a half size smaller.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable elastic
  • Quick dry
  • Non-slip outsole in wet or dry
  • Ideal for adventerous activities

Con’s

  • Mesh collects sand
  • Toes exposed

2 Gold Pigeon Water Sandals

Gold Pigeon Shoes GP7656 Men Women Adjustable Straps Outdoor/Water Sandals: Lite Arch Support

Available for: Men, Women and Kids

The Gold Pigeon Water Sandals (Amazon) are great for those looking a for fast-drying breathable footwear for multiple activities while on vacation. They are made from synthetic material with adjustable velcro straps for comfort and snug fit. The rubber sole is 1 inch thick so it is ideal for trekking on harsh stones and rocks and is slip resistant in both wet or dry conditions.

The inside sole has a contoured bedding for lite arch support and a high bounce back cushioning making it shock absorbent for reduced pressure on joints. It also has a strap around the back of the ankle for good joint support and stability when hiking. It also means they stay on your feet when in deeper water.

These are lightweight sandals which are waterproof, machine washable with a quick dry fabric lining and are easy to compress for packing. They are ideal for activities such as walking, hiking, waterfalls, water rafting, rockpooling etc. They might not be so ideal for swimming as they are quite chunky and not as lightweight as other water shoes would be for this specific activity nor as streamlined for more arduous swimming.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable straps with velcro
  • Quick dry
  • Non-slip outsole in wet or dry
  • Thick for rocky terrain
  • Good ankle and arch support
  • Shock absorbent and cushioned sole

Con’s

  • Not so adaptable to certain activities
  • Toes exposed

3 Merrell Capra Rapid Sieve Water Shoes

Merrell Women's Capra Rapid Sieve Water Shoe

Available for: Men and Women

The Merrell Capra Water Shoes (Amazon) are an extremely durable and supportive water shoe which will cover a wide range of activities. It is made from PU coated leather and textile for the upper part with a rubber outsole which provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces. The cord and lock lacing system lets you adjust the shoe to fit the width of your foot for maximum comfort.

There is an ankle strap around the back which supports the ankle leaves space at the heel for the air to get to the inside of the shoe and stops the shoe from coming off in the water. The inside is made from a quick-drying, breathable neoprene lining which is padded for extra comfort with an air cushion in the heel for shock absorption and stability. There is also a drainage channel in the outsole for the water.

Pro’s

  • Adjustable elastic
  • Quick dry with water drainage
  • Non-slip outsole in wet or dry
  • Extremely durable

Con’s

  • Expensive
  • Not as lightweight as other water shoes

4 FCKEE Quick Dry Aqua Shoes

FCKEE Quick Drying Mesh Water Aqua Shoes for Men and Women

Available for: Men and Women

The FCKEE Quick Dry Aqua Trainers (Amazon) are made from a light air mesh upper and a rubber sole. The upper part of the shoe is a breathable mesh material which stretches easily to enable the wearer to put on and take off the shoes with ease. It also allows for drainage of water and quick drying.

Additional water evacuation is provided by the outsole. The laces ensure that the shoe can be adjusted to the wearers liking to provide maximum comfort. The sole provides a durable protection from rough terrain with many grooves to prevent slipping in wet conditions. These water-shoes are flexible and lightweight, compressing easily for packing and can be used in a wide range of activities.

Such activities include hiking, rafting, wakeboarding, sailing, cycling, jogging, walking, kayaking, waterfalls etc. They might not be ideal for strenuous hiking as the mesh upper part of the shoe does not provide such good structure and ankle support, however, these are very comfortable shoes which allow the user to go from hiking to waterfall swimming with ease and they dry off very quickly after.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable
  • Quick dry
  • Affordable
  • Non-slip durable sole

Con’s

  • Minimal ankle support
  • The structure is weaker than other shoes
  • Mesh collects sand

5 WXDZ Barefoot Water Shoes

HEETA Water Sports Shoes for Women Men Quick Dry Aqua Socks Swim Barefoot Beach Swim Shoes

Available for: Men and Women

The WXDZ Barefoot Water Shoes (Amazon) are great quality, affordable footwear for your adventures in Hawaii. The thickened rubber outsole provides adequate protection, solid grip and slip-resistance from jagged rocks and surfaces and the upper is made from a breathable material which stretches to accommodate most foot widths. There is a mesh insole to allow airflow to keep your feet dry and comfortable as well as drain water from the shoes so they dry faster after use in water.

The elasticated quick-fasten laces are ideal for getting the shoes on and off quickly and for adjusting to the tightness of the shoe so they don’t slip off easily in water or mud. The shoes are light and easy to pack, store and carry with you. They are ideal for swimming, sailing, windsurfing, cycling, jogging, walking, diving, and yoga. They come in a variety of styles and colours and are extremely durable.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable elastic
  • Quick dry
  • Protective non-slip outsole
  • Drains water easily
  • Elasticated quick-fasten laces
  • Variety of styles and colours

Con’s

  • Inadequate arch support
  • Not ideal for lots of hiking

6 Vibram KSO Evo Cross Training Shoe

Vibram Women's KSO EVO-W

Available for: Men and Women

If you can get through the initial break-in period to get used to them, the Vibram KSO Evo Cross Training Shoe (Amazon) are worth their weight in gold, they are extremely durable, comfortable and practical for those who want to take their Hawaii adventure experience to the next level. They are made from a breathable polyester with a rubber serrated blade lug (sole) to ensure that you have excellent grip when hiking or on slippery surfaces with 360° traction. They have a strong structure with an arch support, a lightly padded tongue for comfort and speed lacing to adjust them.

The separated toes allow flexibility of your whole foot, allowing you to have a better grip when navigating rocky waterfalls. Suitable for hiking on rougher surfaces without discomfort and can be used for any number of activities from hiking volcanoes to water sports activities. They run on the small size so it is recommended to purchase a size up. If you have uneven toes, they might not fit comfortably within the toe compartments so it is recommended to go up further in size to accommodate this.

Pro’s

  • Extremely comfortable and durable
  • Excellent traction and anti-slip
  • Arch support
  • Good for hiking
  • Waterproof and adjustable

Con’s

  • Break-in period (not ideal for immediate use)
  • Not suitable for varying toe lengths

7 Adorllya Aqua Hiking Shoes

Adorllya Water Shoes Women Men Mesh Aqua Shoes Slip on Hiking Swim Shoes

Available for: Men and Women

These slip-on Aqua Hiking & Swim Shoes (Amazon) from Adorllya are made from air mesh upper and a rubber outsole with holes the bottom to drain water. The insole is mesh also so it is highly breathable to prevent excessive sweating and promote airflow to enable quick drying after water activities. The outsole is anti-slip and is thick and durable enough to protect the feet for trekking and hiking on rough terrain.

They have a rapid-lacing system for a secure fit and the midsole provides support and cushioning to the arches and soles of the feet as they are great to wear for long periods of time. They are easy to store, pack and carry and come in a range of colours for men and women. They are stylish and can be worn as everyday trainers or for a range of activities such as jogging, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, waterfall swimming, cycling etc.

Pro’s

  • Breathable and quick dry
  • Anti-slip rubber sole
  • Water drainage holes in sole
  • Rapid lacing system
  • Arch support
  • Great for a range of activities

Con’s

  • Traction and grip is not ideal for advanced hikers
  • The mesh collects sand

8 WHITIN Unisex Running Shoes

WHITIN Unisex Premium Water Shoes | Wide Toe Box | Barefoot Inspired

Available for: Men and Women / UNISEX

The WHITIN trail running shoe (Amazon) is extremely flexible and light. The rubber non-slip outsole is thin and but firm and allows you to feel the ‘barefoot’ sensation whilst retaining traction, making it ideal for activities like walking, swimming, kayaking or boating. The shoes have the elastic to tighten the shoe so it fits more comfortably and the upper section is made from a stretchy breathable material that dries quickly after use in water.

The front of the shoes has a wide toe box which gives your toes space to spread out and relax leading to better balance and ensuring that they do not rub against the inside of the shoe. They are extremely flexible to allow the feet to move freely which prevents muscle atrophy, making them easy to pack for your trip. Although the outsole does provide protection, it might not be sufficient protection when hiking for long periods on rocks and other jagged terrains so for this you may be wanting a more durable shoe.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable laces
  • Non-slip and quick dry
  • Wide toe box

Con’s

  • Thin outsole
  • Not ideal for hiking
  • Insufficient arch support

9 CIOR Quick dry swim shoes

CIOR Water Shoes Men Women Aqua Shoes Barefoot Quick-Dry Swim Shoes Boating Walking Driving Beach Yoga

Available for: Men, Women and Kids

Despite the low price, the CIOR Quick Dry Swim Shoes (Amazon) has some excellent features for the types of activities Hawaii has to offer. For this type of sock-like shoe, one of its unique features are the seven drainage holes which permeate the non-slip rubber sole to ensure water evacuates the shoe to enable faster drying.

This also creates an airflow to the foot to reduce sweating in the humid Hawaiian climate. The shoes also boast a comfortable foam arch on the inner sole to support the feet and the rubber sole is protective from discomfort when walking on rock and stone. The neck of the shoe is sturdy enough to keep the shoe from slipping off during water sports activities and yet the neck of the shoe doesn’t chafe against the skin when walking or moving.

These are flexible shoes made from breathable fabric which are ideal for activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, wakeboarding, canoeing, surfing, kayaking, sailing and beach volleyball. As always with this type of shoe, they aren’t as supportive or protective as others on this list for certain activities such as hiking up the Volcanoes but if you’re looking for some great quality and very fairly priced shoes for light trekking and water sports activities, these are ideal.

Pro’s

  • Flexible, breathable textile
  • Affordable
  • Non-slip rubber sole with drainage
  • Foam arch support
  • Easy to pack

Con’s

  • Non-adjustable
  • Not ideal for hiking or rough terrain

10 WateLves Barefoot Aqua Socks

Womens and Mens Kids Water Shoes Barefoot Quick-Dry Aqua Socks for Beach Swim Surf Yoga Exercise

Available for: Men, Women and Kids

The WateLves Barefoot shoes (Amazon) are made from 92% polyester and 8% spandex, these water shoes are super light and stretchy. They slip onto your feet easily and the smooth fabric and neck of the shoe hugs the skin comfortably without slipping off from your foot when swimming. The rubber sole is flexible and anti-slip and provides some protection from rough surfaces. These shoes come in a range of sizes for men, women, and kids as well as a big variety of colours and designs.

These shoes are ideal for are surfing, rockpooling, swimming, white-water rafting, aqua zumba, beach visits, and waterparks. They would not be so efficient for walking activities such as hiking and exploring waterfalls as the sole is not thick enough and may not provide sufficient grip for the terrain. The body of the shoe does not provide a strong enough structure to support the foot during more strenuous activities and hiking ventures.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Non-slip sole
  • Affordable & trendy
  • Variety of styles and colours

Con’s

  • No arch support
  • Minimum protection from rocks and stones
  • Non-adjustable
  • Insufficient water drainage

Criteria for Evaluation

Criteria for choosing the best type of water shoes for you

Choosing an appropriate shoe for your trip to Hawaii is absolutely a personal decision so here are some helpful criteria for picking the best water shoes for you.

1. Drainage

It may be that you need a shoe that drains water easily so that it dries quickly for you to continue wearing the shoes for other various activities throughout the day such as rainforest trekking and waterfall swimming. Mesh shoes drain water very efficiently but if sand getting in your shoes irritates you then you may want to find a shoe with a sophisticated draining outsole to avoid this annoyance.

2. Adjustability

Everyone’s feet are different and shoes need to be comfortable and sturdy on your feet, especially in water where they might slip off easily. Quick-adjust elastic laces are great for adjusting the shoe to the width of your feet and keep them on tight when trekking through muddy river water.

3. Traction and grip

Many of the shoes on this list have sophisticated grooves or serrated rubber soles to help your feet grip the terrain and keep you from slipping on wet surfaces, be it a rocky crater or the bottom of a white water raft.

4. Structure and support

Having well structured, supportive footwear not only keeps your posture and balance in-check but also relieves pressure on muscles and joints. Look for sturdy materials, particularly around the ankle and the upper part of the shoe. A shoe with good arch support and shock absorption will keep you comfortable on long excursions.

Summary
  • Quick dry
  • Lightweight & Breathable
  • Durability & Sole
  • Non Slip
  • Value for money
4.8

Our recommendation

So if you’re traveling to Hawaii on your next holiday you can’t go wrong with Sitaile, Gold Pigeon or the Merrel Water shoes. However that said, it all depends on what you’re doing in Hawaii, if you are swimming or paddle boarding then you might want to consider a slip-on water sock.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our top 10 water shoes for Hawaii, within our top 10 you’re sure to find the right water shoe for you, whether you’re on the beach, hiking, swimming paddle boarding. Thanks for reading our guide and have a great time in Hawaii – with your new water shoes!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you,
we earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Kelly Bullock

I'm Kelly, we are a family of 4 who loves traveling the world and sharing our experiences. Offering travel tips, reviewing the best travel gear and gadgets to make your travels easier.
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2018-09-28T11:47:30+00:00