Last Updated On March 24th, 2021
Water shoes can be used for a myriad of activities and they can seriously help protect your feet in some instances, like with hot sand or on rough rocks at the beach. If you are looking for the best water shoes in the UK, you have come to the right place. We researched some of the most popular products available on the market today to bring you this list of the top 10 water shoes paired with a handy buyer’s guide so you can start playing in the water as quickly as possible. Keep reading to upgrade your flip flops and find out which one of our recommendations is for you.
Best Water Shoe Reviews – Top 10 Picks
The Saguaro Unisex is our number one pick for the best all-around aqua shoes. They offer high versatility that allows you to use them for trail running, minimalist running, swimming, water aerobics, rock climbing, and everything in between.
These Unisex water shoes by Saguaro feature a barefoot-style design with slight toe indentations and speed laces that allow you to adjust the tightness of the shoe on your foot. This design aims to give you the best possible grip in and out of the water. They have a non-slip gum rubber sole that is thick enough and has enough traction to protect your feet as well as the front of your toes.
The mesh upper portion on these shoes is both stretchy and breathable to compliment the soft insole. With the Saguaro water shoes, you can expect quick-drying material and comfortable protection making them great for land and water sports.
Saguaro Unisex aqua shoes are available in 11 different colour options, some of which are bright and colourful. For the most part, these shoes come in full sizes but a few half sizes are available giving you the opportunity to get a better fit.
Saguaro Unisex water shoes do a great job gripping wet and slippery surfaces, however, they don’t provide your feet with a lot of support and could be a bit too wide for people with particularly narrow feet. Additionally, the lace toggle may not be as durable as the rest of the water shoe.
The Vibram V-Aqua Men’s pair of water shoes are our top luxury choice. They are lightweight, quick-drying, and provide you with a superior level of traction thanks to their top-quality rubber sole and accentuated toe indentations.
Vibram V-Aqua Men’s water shoes are both breathable and stretchy to keep your feet comfortable and securely in place. They have silicone insole prints that create a superior fitting shoe. To further enhance the fit regarding both the length and width, they have two hook and loop closures, one on the heel and one over the bridge of your foot.
They feature Megagrip Vibram rubber soles that establish excellent traction. The soles also include added anti-collision protection on the front for your toes as well. This wraparound protection aims to keep your feet safe and also prevents you from painfully stubbing your toes.
Another reason we love the Vibram V-Aqua water shoes for men is that they are completely machine washable thanks to the durable mesh material upper, which can come in real handy if you encounter any mud on your adventures. They have a medium-width footbed and are beige and grey coloured.
Keep in mind, the Vibram V-aqua water shoes for men do not come in half sizes and they are only available in one colour. Lastly, they have thinner soles compared to some of the more rugged options so you may not want to take them on a hike but they are still great for the beach, pool, and water sports.
Nalu Hook and Loop Unisex slip-on shoes are a top value choice on our best aqua shoes list. This pair of water shoes is fast drying and can even provide your feet with a bit of warmth. They are best for use in the garden, pool, or on the beach and can be worn by both men and women.
Nalu Hook and Loop Unisex amphibious shoes are made with a neoprene material upper containing a patch of mesh. Just like in a wetsuit, the neoprene is able to trap some of your body heat and keep your feet a bit warmer than the temperature of the water. Neoprene material also has quick-dry properties and is relatively strong and durable.
These quick-drying aqua water shoes have a thick gum rubber sole that establishes good traction on wet and slippery surfaces. It has a hook and loop closure that allows you to tighten the neoprene collar around the top of your foot for a better fit overall. A loop on the back helps you slip them on easier, even when wet.
Nalu water shoes have a medium width that aims to suit most feet and the insole is unlined. They are available in five different colour options.
Sizing on Nalu water shoes may prove to be a bit tricky. They do not come in half sizes and there are several recommendations stating you would be better served by ordering a size, or even two sizes down from your typical shoe size to get the best fit. The sole on these shoes may not be thick enough to sustain trails or running.
When it comes to water sports, traction and a sleek minimalist design are often the most important things to look for in a water shoe. For these reasons, we chose the Vifuur Unisex water shoes as our top choice for water sport activities.
Vifuur Unisex water shoes have a simple, minimalist slip-on design with a comfortable elasticised opening. Paired with the polyester and spandex blended material upper portion, these slip ons stretch and conform to your foot for a comfortable and secure fit that feels like a second skin.
Vifuur water shoes feature an ergonomic gum rubber sole to give you optimal shock absorption and good traction. Overall, they are lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying which is great for playing water sports on the beach or in the pool.
To help you put these shoes on, a pull tab has been incorporated into the rear. Considering how snugly these shoes fit, this can be a big benefit if you try to put them on while they are wet. We also really like that these shoes are available in 23 fun and bright colours and multi-colour patterns.
Due to the exaggerated stretch of these shoes’ material, they only make one size for two actual shoe sizes so some people may find it tricky to get an accurate fit. Also, recommendations indicate that you may want to order a size up from your regular shoe size. Lastly, these water shoes lack a rubber bumper in the front to protect your toes.
Next up on our best water shoes in the UK list are the Lakeland Active Eden Unisex water shoes. We really like their fully adjustable foot opening that creates a better fitting shoe, strong neoprene upper that is perfect for playing in the sand on the beach, and their slim and lightweight design.
Lakeland Active Eden Unisex water shoes feature an easy slip-on style. To establish a tighter fit that doesn’t allow debris inside the shoe, they have a drawstring opening with a tightening toggle that secures in the back. The upper portion of these shoes is made with breathable mesh and neoprene material, which we know is durable and can also store heat.
Active Eden water shoes have a non-slip synthetic outsole and a removable padded insole for added comfort. The outsole wraps up to create an added bumper so the shoes protect the front of your toes as well as the bottom feet from potential scrapes. They are lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable, all of the best traits you can find in a pair of water shoes.
Lakeland Active Eden water shoes have a medium-width footbed. They are available in 10 different solid and two-tone colour options and are suitable for use by men and women alike.
Be aware, with the Lakeland Active Eden pair of water shoes you should expect thinner soles and less traction compared to some of the other options which result in lower versatility overall. Also, these shoes only have two half-size options available.
Aleader Men’s 8859M water shoes are another great option on our list. We recommend these shoes for anyone looking for added protection and a thick rubber outsole. These water shoes are not only good for the beach and sand but can also be worn on trails as well.
Aleader Men’s water shoes feature a finely-woven durable mesh upper material that is highly breathable and quick-drying. They have fixed elastic laces that enable a slip-on style while still hugging your foot on the top for the best fit possible. Aleader water shoes have a Solyte midsole that gives them bounce and support while they also protect your feet and toes from a possible collision.
To increase water flow, Aleader shoes feature a Water Drain outer sole that improves traction on wet surfaces and has several drainage holes to prevent water from being trapped inside the shoe itself. A ComfortDry sock liner completes the sole’s fast-drying ability.
Aleader water shoes are lightweight and relatively versatile as well. They have a medium-width footbed, come in seven different colours, and even have a few half sizes available. A pull loop on the back should also make putting them on easier.
Unfortunately, Aleader water shoes are not designed for women, however, that shouldn’t discourage all women from considering them. Additionally, smaller pebbles and sand may make fit through the larger holes in the rubber outsole or block them causing you to have to pick them out occasionally.
Mabove Unisex water shoes are another great option on our list for anyone seeking a more substantial water shoe with higher versatility. These water shoes are designed to be an all-purpose shoe that easily goes beyond the sand and beach to be worn for hiking and minimalist running as well.
Mabove Unisex water shoes are lightweight and quick drying. They feature elastic speed laces with a lace capture system for adjustable tightness and a better fit around your entire foot. They are made with a polyester and spandex upper that is woven into a dense breathable mesh material which effectively prevents any debris from entering the footbed and interfering with your excursion.
Mabove water shoes also feature a normal-width thick gum rubber outsole that is non-slip, provides good traction, and includes anti-collision toe protection in the front. To speed up the water drainage process and keep your shoes and feet as dry as possible once you leave the water, Mabove shoes also include several outlet drainage holes in the soles of their shoes.
These water shoes have a soft elasticized foot opening and a heel pull tab that makes putting them on as easy as possible. They come in extensive colour options and even have a few half sizes.
Keep in mind, Mabove Unisex water shoes have larger than normal sizing so you may want to order a size down. In addition, there are reports indicating a lower durability lace clip and the insole possibly separating from the footbed.
IceUnicorn Sport Unisex water shoes are highly versatile when it comes to sand, water, pool, and beach activities. IceUnicorn also recommends these water shoes for yoga if you need added grip for your feet and want to avoid sliding around on your yoga mat.
IceUnicorn Sport water shoes feature elastic speed laces with a velcro tab that pins the excess elastic in place and prevents them from getting caught on things. They have a lightweight and breathable dense mesh upper made from stretchy lycra material and a soft elastic opening making them slip ons.
These shoes protect your feet but still give you an excellent sense of the ground below. They have a barefoot-style sole that is non-slip and provides excellent traction. The soles also feature drainage holes to enhance its inherent quick drying ability and a protective toe cover, which we think is extra important in a barefoot-style shoe.
These water shoes are lightweight and can easily be wrung out and thrown in beach or yoga bags. They come in a medium-sized width and are available in 37 different colour and style editions so it’s highly likely you’ll find a pair to suit your specific style.
Cons for the IceUnicorn Sport water shoes include them not being available in half sizes and having lower durability overall due to their thinner outsoles. Also, if you decide to order these shoes, they tend to have larger than normal sizing so you may want to size down.
IceUnicorn’s Basic Slip-On Unisex water shoes make a great choice if you are looking for a slim minimalist style shoe that comes in a wide array of colours and patterns. These shoes also have decent versatility and work very well on sand, in the pool, or even in the garden.
IceUnicorn Basic Slip-On Unisex shoes have a wide opening with an elasticized top that easily hugs to the top of your feet. These slip ons are quick-dry thanks to their synthetic polyester and spandex blended material upper.
The Basic Slip-On water shoes by IceUnicorn feature a thick gum rubber sole in a style referred to as transparent. A transparent sole blends the sole with the upper material to create a seamless appearance, almost as if the sole isn’t there at all. Even if you can’t readily see the sole, they still provide good traction and elevated sensitivity to the ground beneath your feet.
Impressively, IceUnicorn makes their Basic Slip-On water shoe in 28 fun solid and patterned colour options to suit your individual style, whatever it happens to be. While they may not need it, Basic Slip-On water shoes also include a tab in the back to help you slide them on with ease.
Unfortunately, these water shoes have limited sizing options and they do not have a closure system so it is possible you will get a less form-fitting shoe. The rubber soles also lack the addition of a toe protector on the front.
Blivener Women’s are our top choice for a woven material water shoe and the best water shoes for women, designed specifically for women, on our list. Blivener water shoes are more like real shoes that can also go in the water so you can easily switch between water and land activities on the beach or at the pool.
Blivener Women’s water shoes feature a slip-on classic Mary Jane style made from a dense woven elasticised material upper. They are handwoven, resulting in a stylish appearance that is also durable, lightweight, and breathable.
The woven upper material on these water shoes is complemented by extra thick rubber outsoles and memory foam cushioning insoles in medium width. They provide you with a slight heel that helps improve posture and provide you with good traction as well as superior comfort.
Blivener makes their women’s water shoes in seven bright and dark colour options, some with a checkered style appearance caused by multi-coloured woven pieces of material.
Keep in mind, while these water shoes are exceptionally stylish the insole may dry a bit slower due to the extra padding and they are not the most comfortable for wider feet. Also, due to the woven design, sand may find its way into the footbed of the shoe during vigorous activity.
Comparing Water Shoes: A Buyer’s Guide
You have come to the end of our top 10 reviews and recommendations. The following sections serve as a buyer’s guide and aim to shed some light on how and why we chose the products we did in order to help you find the best water shoe for you, and your intended uses.
What to Look for in Water Shoes
What are the most important traits to prioritise in your ideal water shoe? Let’s find out.
Above all else, we believe a pair of water shoes should be comfortable and chances are, you’ll agree. While some water shoes do more than others in the way of padding, most water shoes go out of their way to be as comfortable as possible.
Of course, this can become tricky when it comes to padding and other normal shoe tactics that increase comfort. This is because it is important that a water shoe doesn’t stay wet for a long time and most padding works against this idea.
When it comes to water shoes, comfort can often be found in superior traction on slippery surfaces and sensitivity to the ground beneath your feet. For this reason, we made sure to highlight traction in our product reviews. Pay close attention to the outsole to learn about a water shoe’s ability to grip and the level of ground sensitivity it provides.
Quick-Drying Ability and Breathability
We highly recommend looking for water shoes that are also breathable and quick-drying. Quick-dry shoes will allow you to wear them for longer periods of time and will also help prevent the growth of mould on your shoes which could happen if they stay wet for days at a time.
Breathability is an important trait that helps to keep your feet comfortable outside of the water at the beach or pool. Breathability also allows water to pass freely through a water shoe’s upper material so as not to weigh you down when they are submerged. Most water shoes accomplish this elevated breathability by incorporating large amounts of mesh material into their design.
Closure Style Pertaining to Fit
How a pair of water shoes fasten or tighten around your feet can also be an important trait to factor into your purchasing decision. Most water shoes are inherently stretchy by design but to ensure the best fit possible, they often include other closures as well. Some of the most common types of closures on water shoes include hook and loop, speed laces, or drawstring foot openings.
Some people prefer a more sleek appearance with their water shoes so some options are available without additional fasteners for a customised fit but if you choose to go that route make sure you pay close attention to sizing.
Are you looking for a water shoe that you can wear on trails, for minimalist running, or simply put, is more of a substantial shoe that can go in the water? If so, make sure to choose a water shoe that has a thicker, more durable rubber sole so you won’t feel every single rock or stick beneath your feet on rougher terrain. Also, look for a water shoe with added toe protection because it can not only protect your feet but can also help keep them in place, something that isn’t easily accomplished by a shoe designed to be stretchy.
What Are Water Shoes?
Water shoes are not to be confused with flip flops. Flip flops can, of course, get wet but they are not designed to stay on while in the water which can be a problem for some types of aqua activities.
A water shoe is specifically designed to protect your feet while being worn in the water. They are also designed to be quick-drying, breathable, and lightweight. The right water shoe will allow you to seamlessly transition between land and water activities thereby eliminating the need for a second pair of shoes while you are out adventuring.
Water Shoe Benefits
Water shoes provide your feet with a superior level of protection against unseen or rough objects either in the water or even on land.
Many people prefer to wear water shoes when swimming in the ocean or walking on hot sand at the beach. Others prefer to wear water shoes in the pool to avoid scraping their feet on the coarse pool bottom and sides.
The right kind of water shoes can even protect you while climbing on rocks, hiking, playing water sports, or even minimalist running.
However you choose to use your water shoes, your feet will thank you.
How Should Water Shoes Fit?
Most people know that when it comes to buying a pair of typical shoes or boots, you want them to be big enough that your toes don’t touch or rub on the front of the shoe which can lead to discomfort and even pain down the line. However, when it comes to finding the best water shoes, you will want them to fit quite differently.
Water shoes should be form-fitting and somewhat snug on your feet. Unlike regular shoes, you actually want your toes to touch the front of the material so the shoes fit more like a second skin. With the right fit, you will be able to move freely in the water without being weighed down or slowed down by shoes that capture or allow a lot of water, or debris, to continuously pass through the material.
Just make sure they aren’t so tight that they leave deep indentations in your skin, becoming uncomfortable after wearing them for a while. After all, above all else, your water shoes should be comfortable.
Choosing the Right Water Shoes for You
With everything we have learned, choosing the best water shoes in the UK should be easier than ever. Could our Editor’s Choice, the Saguaro Unisex water shoes for men and women be the best option for you? They are stretchy and comfortable, quick-drying, breathable, and have excellent traction. Saguaro water shoes are also highly versatile thanks to their barefoot-style design featuring speed laces and they even come in 11 different colours to choose from.
If these aren’t the shoes for you, maybe one of the other best sellers for men and women on our list would be better suited to your preferences. Either way, we are sure there is something here for everyone.