Last updated: by Kelly Bullock

Best water shoes for rocky beaches

Picture this. You’re wading out into the cool waters on a beach in a stunning location when you suddenly stub your foot against a rock. It’s a sharp, stinging pain we are all familiar with and it can really ruin the rest of your day, or indeed your trip. When packing for a holiday it’s always a great idea to purchase some water shoes, also referred to as aqua shoes.

So why should you purchase some water shoes? Water shoes take the worry away from the possibility of cutting your feet on coral, sea urchins or sharp stones during a day at the beach. They are quick drying, strong, durable and great for a variety of adventure activities. We never travel without them!

Finding the best water shoes can be tricky, with so many options for different styles and shapes. Luckily for you, we have done the hard work for you. We’ve hand-picked a selection of the top water shoes for men and women to help you choose for your holiday. Some of our favourite brands include Merrell or KEEN and they all come in a range of prices so you can decide what works for your budget.

Our comprehensive water shoe buyer’s guide at the end of this list will inform you of exactly what to look for in a pair of water shoes. Take a peek!

Featured Recommendations

Preview
BEST WOMENS
Vibram Women's V Running Shoe
BEST MENS
Fila Men's Skeletoes EZ Slide Drainage
ALEADER Women's Mesh Slip on Water Shoes
Title
Vibram FiveFingers water shoes
FILA Skeletoes EZ
ALEADER Slip-on water shoes
Features
Strong and durable for rocky terrain
Easy to put on, supportive & flexible
Excellent water drainage
Features
Ideal for adventurous activities
Protective and flexible
Quick-dry and easy to put on
Ideal for
Strong grip and traction
Breathable and quick-dry
Anti-slip, lightweight & stylish
Price
Price: Check here
Price: Check here
Price: Check here
BEST WOMENS
Preview
Vibram Women's V Running Shoe
Title
Vibram FiveFingers water shoes
Features
Strong and durable for rocky terrain
Features
Ideal for adventurous activities
Ideal for
Strong grip and traction
Price
Price: Check here
BEST MENS
Preview
Fila Men's Skeletoes EZ Slide Drainage
Title
FILA Skeletoes EZ
Features
Easy to put on, supportive & flexible
Features
Protective and flexible
Ideal for
Breathable and quick-dry
Price
Price: Check here
Preview
ALEADER Women's Mesh Slip on Water Shoes
Title
ALEADER Slip-on water shoes
Features
Excellent water drainage
Features
Quick-dry and easy to put on
Ideal for
Anti-slip, lightweight & stylish
Price
Price: Check here

Best water shoes for women

So that’s our top 3 recommendations, now let’s take a look at the full list of water shoes for women and men. All these water shoes will help protect your feet from those rocky beaches especially around Europe. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect water shoe for your next vacation, from slip-on shoes, sandals, sneakers and much more.

1 Vibram FiveFingers water shoes

Vibram Women's V Running Shoe

Available for: Men and Women

These Vibram FiveFingers water shoes (Amazon) are outstanding. They can be used for a multitude of adventure activities not just trips to rocky beaches and can be made secure via the adjustable elastic laces. The outsole is designed with multidirectional studs to provide a range of movement, improving flexibility and a strong grip on multiple terrains, wet or dry. Vibram have developed the synthetic upper to not only offer comfort and protection from the harsh ground but also to improve the climate of the foot and prevent odors. It’s constructed with synthetic fibers which give the shoe mechanical strength and durability meaning they can protect your feet for all your rocky beach adventures for years to come!

Pro’s

  • Strong grip and traction
  • Flexible and adjustable
  • Quick dry
  • Strong and durable for rocky terrain
  • Ideal for adventurous activities

Con’s

  • Slightly uncomfortable if you have large toes

2 ALEADER Slip-on Quick-dry shoes

ALEADER Women's Mesh Slip on Water Shoes

Available for: Men and Women

The ALEADER Slip-on water shies (Amazon) are an exceptionally lightweight, slip-on shoe with a durable upper air mesh for superior breathability. Protect your feet with a shoe that provides excellent bounce-back, featuring a ComforDry sockliner for a soft cushioning which creates a cooler, dryer, odorous shoe environment. The shoe has been designed with rubber pods, strategically placed in high-wear areas to help improve grip and aid the Water Grain outsole, which boasts anti-slip traction in wet or dry conditions. The designers have also incorporated a new FluidFlow technology to enable water to drain through the outsole because nobody wants a waterlogged shoe! They also come in a variety of colours so you can be fashion-forward on your trip to the beach.

Pro’s

  • Affordable
  • Quick-dry and easy to put on
  • Anti-slip
  • Excellent water drainage
  • Variety of colours

Con’s

  • Limited flexibility
  • Non-adjustable

3 Merrell Tetrex Rapid Crest

Merrell Women's Tetrex Rapid Crest Water Shoe

Available for: Men and Women

You really can’t go wrong with Merrel water shoes in general and these Merrell Tetrex Rapid Crest (Amazon) shoes are no exception. They are ideal for rocky beaches as the thick rubber sole is supportive and durable with a siped-sole to provide the wearer with non-slip traction so you can go from water activities straight into hiking in these fantastically versatile shoes. Featuring a neoprene lining and an EVA midsole for comfort, they are a protective water shoe with an open mesh for water drainage and quick-dry. You can adjust them rapidly via the elastic lace up system ensuring you’re ready for action as soon as you arrive at your rocky beach destination.

Pro’s

  • Supportive and protective
  • Durable with excellent traction
  • Versatile and comfortable
  • Quick-dry
  • Variety of colours

Con’s

  • Not as lightweight as other water shoes
  • On the expensive side, but your getting great quality

4 Vibram Signa Water shoe

Vibram Women's Signa-W

Available for: Men and Women

Yet another fantastic water shoe from Vibram. For those wanting more of a ‘barefoot’ feeling, the “FiveFingers” Vibram Signa Water shoe is thin, flexible and lightweight. It boasts an abrasion-resistant stretch polyester so you needn’t worry about discomfort from chafing. The shoe features drainage holes for efficient water evacuation and fast drying time, allowing better breathability to improve the climate of the feet on your beach adventure as well as a strap to adjust them. They are also ideal for surfing, rowing, and kayaking. The shoe’s rubber outsole features Wave Grip texture to help you grip those slippery stones and you can pack them easily into your bag at the end of your trip due to their extreme lightweight design.

Pro’s

  • Barefoot feeling
  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Superior grip and traction on rocky terrain
  • Adjustable

Con’s

  • Not ideal for long trekking or hiking
  • On the expensive side, but again you’re getting quality.

5 Keen Whisper Water Shoe

Keen Women's Whisper

Available for: Men and Women

Are you Keen to purchase an outstanding water shoe? Sorry, terrible pun…but excellent shoe. The Keen Whisper Water Sandals are durable, supportive and feature a foot-cushioning EVA molded footbed for comfort when you’re exploring the rocky shores of your beach destination. The upper is constructed from a washable polyester with odor-reducing Aegis Microbe Shield® and they have a quick draw elastic cord lacing system for you to adjust them to ensure a secure fit and extra comfort. They come in a variety of colours, some with cute patterns so you can pick the one that goes well with your bathing suit and rock a coordinated look at the beach. Too many puns? Okay, we’ll stop now.

Pro’s

  • Durable and supportive
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Quick-adjust
  • Odor-reducing and breathable
  • Variety of colours
  • Affordable and great value

Con’s

  • Not as flexible as other shoes
  • Stones can get inside the shoe

Best water shoes for men

1 FILA Skeletoes EZ

Fila Men's Skeletoes EZ Slide Drainage

Available for: Men and Women

The FILA Skeletoes EZ shoes mean business. Most people get scared off by this glove-like shoe because the idea of feeling like you’re not wearing any shoes mean that the shoe is not protective, right? Wrong. While they maybe aren’t ideal for trekking up mountainsides, the rubber outsole offers sufficient protection from rough terrain such as rocky beaches and provide the wearer with a unique flexibility that little to no other styles can. This comes from the toe compartments which allow your toes to grip the surfaces, making them excellent for use when visiting rocky beaches. They boast an EZ slide feature which includes the smallest two toes in the same compartment so they can slide in with the greatest of ease and the hook and loop straps allow you to customise the fit. No need to fuss about with laces! The cushioned footbed makes them super comfortable and supportive and has an open air mesh making them breathable and quick-dry. Overall, a highly recommended water shoe for rocky beaches!

Pro’s

  • Protective and flexible
  • Easy to put on
  • Quick-adjust
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Breathable and quick-dry
  • Affordable and great value

Con’s

  • Not great protection for long hiking or trekking

2 Nike Aqua Sock 360

NIKE Aqua Sock 360

Available for: Men and Women

The Nike Aqua Sock 360 is perfect for those looking to get to the beach and get straight into the water. No fuss, no faffing, simply slip on these stylish sock-like shoes and you’re good to go! Enjoy the flexibility and protection provided by the strategically placed rubber pods on the outsole which help with traction. They also feature a TPY heel clip and an elastic collar to ensure they fit snugly to your feet. Water socks are simple and great for rocky beaches, however, if you want to get multiple activity use out of them, ie hiking or white water rafting as they don’t provide the best support and protection that other shoes provide, nor are they adjustable. You wouldn’t want them slipping off in rushing rapids!

Pro’s

  • Easy and quick to put on
  • Stylish
  • Flexible and breathable
  • Good protection from rocky beaches
  • Comfortable

Con’s

  • Non-adjustable
  • Not great for hikes
  • The white colour could get very dirty

3 ADIDAS Terrex Climacool

adidas outdoor Men's Terrex Climacool Boat Water Shoe

Available for: Men and Women

For the traveler looking for style and practicality, you’ve come to the right place. These ADIDAS Terrex Climacool shoes are awesome for the fashion-forward adventurer. They have a number of uses, whether you’re looking for a fashionable trainer or need something to wear into the sea that protects your feet from jagged rocks and pebbles. The sole is a thick layer of hard rubber to protect the feet which is “the perfect combination of stability and grip for everyday outdoor activities” and features a number of water evacuation holes.

The upper is a Climacool open mesh with a perforated EVA tongue which enhances breathability and comfort. No need to wear socks with these water shoes and they also have a unique, stretchable heel insert to ensure that you have an optimal fit! The only thing that they are missing is the high-quality grip and flexibility that other water shoes offer.

Pro’s

  • Protective with stretchable heel
  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Good grip and traction
  • Good protection from rocky beaches
  • Breathable

Con’s

  • Not flexible
  • Slightly on the expensive side

4 KEEN Newport H2 Sandal

KEEN Men's Newport H2 Sandal

Available for: Men and Women

Lightweight but protective, meet the Newport H2 Sandal (Amazon) from KEEN. It has the airiness of a sandal combined with protection and the traction of a hiking shoe. They are seriously versatile and supportive. The bottom is a razor-siped outsole which provides outstanding traction so you can wear them when wading across jagged stones and rocks without worry of slipping in front of the whole beach. The lace capture systems allow you to adjust your shoe to your liking and the metatomical EVA footbed and compression molded EVA midsole provides memory foam comfort for use over long periods.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Protective and durable
  • Strong sole for protection from sharp rocks
  • Adjustable and supportive

Con’s

  • Not as flexible as other shoes
  • Slightly on the expensive side

5 Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal

Crocs Men's Swiftwater Mesh Sandal

Available for: Men and Women

While the brand gets a bad rep (let’s face it, they aren’t the most stylish of footwear brands!), the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal (Amazon) not only provides extreme comfort, but also features a wrap-around toe bumper for extra protection from rocky beaches. Water sandals like these are excellent for wearing on rocky beaches because they drain water extremely efficiently so you’re not weighed down by any water in the shoes when walking back up to your belongings. This also means that those smaller, pesky stones can evacuate the shoes easier so you’re not attempting to fish them out yourself or remove the shoe altogether. They feature a quick-drying mesh upper and a hook and loop closure strap so you can adjust them to your foot measurements so they fit securely. They’re lightweight, have great arch support so your posture is supported when wearing these excellent water shoes! Also, I think they’re actually a really stylish water shoe!

Pro’s

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Extremely protective
  • Excellent water drainage
  • Supportive and stylish
  • Adjustable
  • Quick-dry

Con’s

  • Not as flexible as other shoes
  • Slightly on the expensive side

Criteria for Evaluation & Buyers Guide

Criteria for choosing the best type of water shoes to protect your feet from stones and rocky beaches

Here are some helpful tips of what to look for when purchasing your next pair of waters shoes. Your shoes not only need to be durable to protect your feet, but lightweight, breathable, quick-dry and also provide good water drainage.

1. Comfort

It’s likely you’ll be spending a fair amount of time in your water shoes so it goes without saying that you need to be comfortable in them. Check to see if a product runs on the small side and it helps to purchase shoes that can be adjusted to fit snugly on your feet.

2. Durability

If you’re planning on using your water shoes for multiple trips, it is essential that they are durable to last you a multitude of adventures! Make sure you get a rubber sole and see that the rest of the shoe is made from a strong material too. It’s worth paying that little bit more and getting something for the long term.

3. Lightweight

The last thing you want when walking a,nd swimming is something heavy on your feet. Ensure you choose a shoe that’s lightweight, albeit durable too, so you aren’t weighed down by them and they will also be easier to pack, carry and store.

4. Breathable

Nothing is worse than sweating and chafing in your shoes. Water shoes that have breathable mesh ensure they allow the feet to breathe and provide ultimate comfort on your travels.

5. Quick drying

It’s really important that you purchase quick-drying water shoes for your vacation. Not only will you be able to go from paddling in rock pools straight into a trek but it means that last minute aqua adventure before bundling your belongings into your luggage to go to the airport won’t leave the rest of your belongings soggy and smelling.

6. Slip on

Most water shoes are slip on anyway, but if you’re on the go you need something you can quickly take on and off with ease – especially great for eliminating faff when traveling with kids!

7. Style

Most water shoes come in a variety of colours and styles so you can select one that’s not only practical but fashion-forward so that use of them can extend to non holiday related activities too!

Best water shoes review:
  • Quick dry
  • Lightweight & Breathable
  • Durability & Sole
  • Non Slip
  • Value for money
4.7

Summary

You can’t really go wrong with any of these water shoes, it all depends on what you’ll be doing on your vacation. There are shoes to meet everyone’s needs. The ALEADER water shoes are a great all rounder both men, women, and kids, they are extremely lightweight and affordable. We recommend the Vibram water shoes for women and the FILA Skeletoes for men, they both have excellent reviews on Amazon and will survive those rocky beaches.

Thanks for reading our list and buyer’s guide, we hope you found this article helpful. Now you have all the information you need, you can now travel lighter and keep your feet in one piece on those rocky beaches!

Check out our article on the Best Water Shoes for Hawaii if you’re planning on doing more advanced adventure activities.

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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2018-09-30T21:27:20+00:00