Best Water Shoes for Men and Women

Best Water Shoes for Men and Women: Going for a hike, kayaking, fishing or boating? Are you a fan of hiking and find yourself walking on some wet terrain making the entire process stressful? You don’t want to mess up your regular shoes on water or hurt your feet by walking barefoot. The water shoes are the perfect shoes for you. Not only do they make you craftier in your activities but they are also protective to your feet.  A while back people accessed the wet areas when fishing or kayaking barefoot and it was highly likely to step on something that could be harmful to your feet.  Gone are the days when the water shoes were expected to be some unsightly and impractical beasts that just helped you maneuver through the water. They are now beautiful, evolved into some utilitarian footwear that works as a combination of sneakers and that of sandals. The next time you are going for your adventure and you are sure that there is a high possibility that you will access some soaked terrains; then make sure you have packed a good pair of water shoes.

The Merrell Company is a powerhouse when it comes to providing footwear that is both attractive and highly functional. They have this All Out Blaze, Capra Rapid and Chameleon prime stretch line of water shoes, for both men and women.


Water shoe Shoe design Editor rating Top features
Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport 


Lace-up closed with secure laces 4.5  Vibram sole with 5mm lug depth

Omni-fit lacing system

Molded tpu heel counter

M Select FRESH odor prevention

Cushioned Unifly midsole

Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve



Sieve slip-on sandal style with bungee cord lace 4.6 Vibram sole with a 3mm lug depth

Water shedding sieve with a waxy leather upper

Merrell Men’s Chameleon Prime Stretch Waterproof


Lace-up closed with bungee cord lace 3.9 M Select GRIP outsole

Bellows tongue

Nylon webbing heel tab with an air cushioned heel

Waterproof with M Select DRY membrane and durable leather with synthetic mesh


Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve


Sieve slip-on sandal style with bungee cord lace 4.5 Antimicrobial M-Select Fresh lining

Water shedding

protective midsoles and toe caps

Flexible collar for easy slip in and out

Spaces on the side for breathability

Merrell Women’s Capra Rapid Water-Friendly 


Lace-up closed with secure laces 4.2 ESS arch shank

Synthetic mesh upper

Perforated EVA removable footbed

Cord and lock lacing system for quick fit


Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport


Lace-up closed with secure laces 4.5 Vibram TC5+ outsole with 5mm lug depth

Molded TPU heel counter

Omni-fit lacing system for glove like fit

Bellows tongue

Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve 


Sieve slip-on sandal style with bungee cord lace 4.5 Water shedding

Heel measurement of 1’’

Wide toe in toe box

M Select FRESH odor prevention

Breathable synthetic textile and synthetic sole


Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sports Hiking Shoe

I particularly love this shoe which comes in black and red because you are not limited to just water sports but can also be used for outdoor activities such as hiking a forest trail. If you are looking for a lightweight, breathable and a shoe that can work on different surfaces, then this is the shoe for you. This is an attractive shoe with beautiful branding details.

It has a lot of breathable mesh lining that lets your feet breath in the scorching summer sun. However, the mesh side panels are very thin and if looking for strong hiking shoes then you need to be aware of this. They will help you to easily traverse the rough terrains with the tenacious Vibram rubber outsoles fitted with 5mm lugs.

These are very comfortable with normal to slightly narrow fitting. It will fit perfectly according to your foot structure. A Merrell Omni-fit lacing system giving you a glove-like fitting.


  • These have a wide toe box so you don’t need to order a size up if you have a wide foot
  • Good traction on the trail and especially when getting in and out of water surfaces
  • The protective Unifly midsole bring about efficiency by absorbing terrain
  • Easy to keep debris out due to their Bellows tongue under the laces
  • Added stability by the molded TPU heel counter, a piece of leather forming the back, used to stiffen the material around the heel increasing foot support.
  • Uses the M select DRY fresh technology to make sure the shoe remains dry. It uses the moisture-wicking technology to ensure the shoe remains odor free


  • The breathable mesh panels on the sides are very thin if you are looking for a tough shoe.

Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe

This beautiful sieve water shoe which is made of a synthetic sole and a durable leather upper is made with a slip-on sandal style. This makes it easy to slip on and off. This water shedding water shoe is just perfect as it performs equally well on the ground and on water. The waterproof upper fabric helps to dry quickly and is light if you encounter a soaker.

These water shoes have perforated EVA removable footbeds. This is very important to control the moisture in the shoe and also help with drainage. It is easy to remove these footbeds when cleaning the shoes too to ensure complete cleanliness. These padding also make it very comfortable. With its outfitted 3mm lug depth, the synthetic sole is rough enough to be able to transverse rough grounds and still have a good grip on the water surfaces.


  • It has anti-microbial agents in their inner sole to reduce amount of odor
  • The collars are made of Lycra neoprene stretch which is meant to secure the ankle area
  • Vibram outsoles that flex nicely and grip well both on dry and wet surfaces. This sole will also last for a long time
  • Offer secure footing and gives good amount of support as you go through your adventure
  • The elastic heel is supported with inelastic fabric that keeps it solid enough in rough terrains


  • With the open back that is elastic, they don’t offer an all-around support
  • The large holes on the side meant for breathability also allow sediments to enter which can be uncomfortable.

Merrell Men’s Chameleon Prime Stretch Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Are you looking for a tough water shoe that is able to withstand the hardships of a hike and still work well on the wet surfaces? This is the shoe for you. With a durable leather and a synthetic mesh upper, it processes the waterproof properties and still the leather will protect it from being easily torn.

The most outstanding feature of this shoe is its M-Select GRIP on the outsole. This provides a durable traction on the rugged ground and it makes the shoe very attractive. Featuring an M-Select DRY membrane, this shoe remains waterproof no matter the surface. This shoe is able remain odorless even in sweat due to the M Select FRESH technology in their mesh lining.

Their heel tab is fitted with nylon webbing and cord loops that make it easier to pull the shoe on and off.  The heel is air cushioned for more comfort and excellent shock absorption. However the inserts of the shoe tend to come out with your foot which can be quite annoying.


  • Toe guard which protects the toes from underwater obstructions such as falling and rolling objects
  • Its removable perforated EVA footbed is treated with antimicrobial to keep bacteria away
  • Comfortable with a 4mm sole lug depth
  • Cinching stretch closure ensures that it ties tightly for great arch support
  • The neoprene sleeve around the ankle helps keep dirt and pebbles from getting in the shoes


  • They are rigid and when worn for hiking over a long period of time they are a bit heavy
  • The leather and mesh act convenient for its durability but it makes it hard for some people to get it on and may have to use a shoe horn

Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe

These Sieve sandals that are specially designed for women are just the perfect shoes for those water activities


  • Sheds water fast when accessing wet surfaces
  • Easy to slip in and out
  • Antimicrobial M-Select Fresh lining to prevent harboring of bad feet smells
  • Have a Vibram outsole that is flexible enough and grips so doesn’t slip on any surface
  • Have protective midsoles and toe caps
  • Glove-like fitting which is good for any shoe structure


  • Easy for pebbles and dirt to get in the shoes through the spaces on the sides
  • The open elastic back does not offer enough support

Merrell Women’s Capra Rapid Water-Friendly Hiking Shoe

The main feature of this shoe is its ESS arch shark, this shark makes the middle portion of the shoe more resistant to torsion and flexion by stiffening the shoe under the arch. This makes the shoe perfect for running and hiking. With this feature incorporated with its waterproof properties makes this shoe a very good for both water activities and hiking.  Lightweight more like trail runners


  • Easy to control the moisture and the drainage of the shoes due to the removable footbed
  • A nice looking boot well designed specifically for the ladies
  • Has solid support enough for rocky hikes but still flexible enough to feel comfortable.
  • Quick secure fit due to its cord and lock lacing system
  • Quite breathable due to its mesh upper
  • Very comfortable due to its padding and the rubber foam and mesh


  • It might hurt your thumbs getting them on due to the lacing system that is already secure
  • Can be slippery when wet

 Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Sports Hiking Water Shoe

This speed hiker is well known for its ability to move through terrace seamlessly. With a Vibram TC5+ outsole, this shoe has a good traction control. As compared to the Aero sport for men; this shoe is a bit shorter in height but it still has a glove-like fitting. This makes the shoe very comfortable when taking the long treks.

If you want a shoe that you will not worry about sand getting in the shoes when walking through the wet beach then this is the shoe. With its Bellows’ tongue then you can control the debris from getting in. Looking for a multi-purpose shoe for both hiking and water sports this is the shoe for you. Its platform is well balanced and the heel doesn’t fall drastically.

To ensure that the foot is naturally positioned, the arch is slightly elevated this way the foot is able to get arch support. The entire body is well positioned which makes the body well postured and you can with a straight back. This is good for your back.  This shoe makes for a soft stride due to its Unify midsole and able to absorb terrain . Has a dye cut rubber and a breathable mesh lining treated with M-Select FRESH odor control to ensure they smell good at all times.


  • The heel counter which holds the heel securely is made of the Molded TPU. This ensures that the foot does not move independently but moves together to reduce blisters
  • Has a breathable mesh on its upper which ensures free circulation of air
  • With a slightly deeper lug of 5mm, it feels very stable on the rough ground
  • They are lightweight and it is easy to move around in without getting very tired
  • Multi-purpose; can also be used to run errands since its shaft is neither too nor too high. It has about 152 mm from the arch up to the ankle


  • Can be a problem if you have a high arch as the feet can get sore fast due to its high arch
  • The mesh panels on the side are quite thin and it can be discouraging if you are looking for a tough shoe

Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe

Perfect for a good water sport, this shoe is made in the way that it will drain water easily and able to pull the tab to be able to easily slip it on and off. Built with a hiking design; it is equally able to handle both the dry and wet environments. In a female fitting, it is well designed for walking or running. These sandals with a Vibram sole that is mostly found in walking boots are able to grip the ground well. The fit is able to remain snug due to the stretchy neoprene collar.


  • There is room for wide toe in the toe box
  • Perfect fit and don’t need to order a size bigger
  • Easy to slip in and out without having to untie the shoelaces
  • With the M Select Fresh technology, this shoe is able to remain odor free even when used for an extensive period of time.
  • Has a protective midsole and toe caps for comfort


  • The leather looks faded after using it for just a few times
  • Hard to go for kayaking in them as the spaces are too large. They let pebbles and other debris to get in the shoe
  • They are not as comfortable as the front toes may easily rub against the inside after some extensive use.

Why Should you Wear Water Shoes

Why would you need to wear water shoes? What makes these shoes any different from the other shoes and what advantage do they have? When you want to perform at your best at any sporty activity having the right attire is very vital. Especially the footwear can determine how well you are protected and how well you will perform.

Water sports are very risky and you cannot just wear any shoe in the water lest you can easily fall and hurt yourself. Traction is very important and walking barefoot is not an option. There are very many benefits of water shoes that you will not find in other footwear.

Water shoes are built to be lightweight and comfortable to be able to handle to be strenuous activities such as hiking. There are a number of reasons why you would invest in buying a good pair of water shoes as opposed to sticking to the traditional shoes which could be more affordable than a water shoe

  1. Front toe protection

When maneuvering through water it is very easy to stumble upon scrapes and so many other things that you cannot see under the water. As opposed to just walking barefoot or wearing a pair of flipflops, a good pair of water shoes will prevent ripped-off toenails, stubbed toes and prevent scrapes. Its closed-toe design is one of the top features that make a water shoe capable of optimum toe protection.

  1. Traction

Water shoes provide a great traction on both the dry and wet surfaces. When you get a good design pair of water shoes, it uses a nice technology such as the M select GRIP that ensures that the shoe grips the ground and it’s

  1. Lightweight

Any pair of shoes when submerged in water and mud or when walking on a soaked surface will become very heavy and hard to walk in. The water shoes are built using a material that is able to efficiently drain water when submerged allowing them to remain lightweight. Most of these shoes are designed with multiple drain holes which quickly disposes of water. When surfing or kayaking, having a soaked shoe can make the entire activity very strenuous.

  1. Ultimate feet protection

Most of the water activities will involve walking through unforeseen circumstances. Although not all water shoes have the same design they all have a thick sole that is able to protect the feet from the sharp rocks that may be found underwater. These shoes also offer a good top of the feet protection as compared to sandals. This feature comes in handy to prevent bruises that occur when items fall on the feet. When walking through a varied terrain, then you need a shoe that will protect your feet.

  1. Easy to walk well in and out water

 Most shoes may work well on dry surfaces and their traction is only good until when the surface becomes wet and it is hard to walk without sliding. Most water sports will involve constantly walking in and out of the water and a normal hiking shoe will not be able to work well on water. Their traction and design are what makes easy to work on these surfaces. These shoes will easily convert into a limited version of a hiking shoe but have to wear a well-padded hiking sock because it lacks enough cushioning inside,. Make sure the feet are also very dry to prevent blisters.

  1. Doesn’t get squishy when wet

Most shoes when wet they get squishy and it becomes very uncomfortable to walk in them. These shoes are able to drain water just as well as sandals do but their construction is able to prevent the fabric from absorbing water. They are able to dry very fast.

  1. Easy to wear and take off the shoes

Most shoes are made with a collar that can be hard to wear and remove especially when wet. Most water shoes are constructed in a way that it is very easy to slip them on. They are also built to fit like a glove which makes them easy to work with

  1. Do not harbor bad odor when worn for a long time

Unlike the gum boots which are mostly used to access dump places, water shoes can be worn for a long period without getting bad feet smells. There are designs of water shoes which are not designed to shed water but instead they remain waterproof when they get into a soaked place. There is no need to be confined to bad smelling boots which are also quite heavy and you can get a lightweight waterproof water shoe.

What to Look for in Water Shoes

 Look for a shoe with good traction

This is the main feature of a good water shoe to ensure that it is safe to work with these shoes in water. Make sure you test the outsole on a wet surface to see how good the grip is.

A good water shoe will remain lightweight when wet

Ensure you check the material that has made the upper of the shoe. It should be made of synthetic mesh material which you can be sure that it drains fast. In the case of waterproof water shoes, get one with a special kind of leather that does not allow water to get in alongside with the mesh.

A quality material that can withstand the harsh water conditions

foot, that covers the entire foot. It should be able to balance the temperature of the wearer by drying quickly for the feet to remain warm

Check for a Thick sole

Invest in a shoe that you will be assured that your feet will remain protected no matter where it lands. There is a possibility of encountering sharp objects and it should be thick enough. A thicker sole is more durable and will protect you from hot surfaces when out of the water. If you don’t intend to completely submerge your feet in the water, like in the case of boating and sailing, find a shoe with good heel cushioning as you have to be on your feet most of the time.

Get a shoe with a toe guard

This comes out as a standard feature for a water shoe. This is what differentiates it from any other sandal. The toe guard will make the feet more protected and more comfortable

Know the shoe size and how if it matches your normal shoe size

Some water shoe brands do not come with an allowance for a wide toe. Make sure you look to see if you need to order for a size larger in case you have a wide toe. Some shoes also come with quite a narrow fitting and can be uncomfortable for some people.

The shoe style of your preference

Are you looking for a shoe for ocean swimming and kayaking or do you need a tough water shoe that can also be used as a hiking shoe? Then the style of the shoe will also determine the functionality. These shoes come in a variety of styles. There are the lace-up styles which are perfect for more intense outdoor activities such as hiking while the slip-on water shoes will be good for intense water activities and a perfect walk in the ocean. There is also a variation in lace designs with the bungee-cord lace for the easing slip-on and a lace-up style which is more secure.

Are water shoes good for hiking?

Water shoes inhibit the properties of most hiking shoes with the exception of the quick drying and better traction. However, these shoes only possess limited properties of a hiking shoe. They are a great choice when going for short hikes because of the comfortable and breathable fitting and the quick drying properties. This is a good feature especially when you have a possibility of hiking through some wet surfaces. Some water shoes, however, utilize elastic in the heel which stretches too loosely and this means that it will not keep the foot in position when walking through steep hills. in a good pair of hiking socks that will save you lots of pain from the blistering.

Best times to wear water shoes

  • Kayaking and Paddlesports

With good traction, a good water shoe is able to grip on the wet surfaces without slipping. These shoes also are lightweight when wet and are water shedding to ensure that they dry very fast.

  • Fishing and boating

Fishing in a boat will involve a lot of splashing of water and there is need to have a shoe that will dry quickly as well as make sure your feet remain dry. A water shoe with good heel cushioning is also good for fishing as it involves standing for long periods of time

  • When hiking on a wet terrain

Make sure you get a good lace-up water shoe when taking a hike in a wet area to ensure that your feet remain dry and the shoes do not get heavy and squishy after some time. Water shoes possess the qualities of a hiking shoe due to its comfortability, breathability and the good traction on the sole.

  • Aquatic fitness

The aquatic fitness involves working out in water. A regular shoe will not be good on the wet surfaces and as it involves a lot of movements, a good water shedding shoe with good grip will be very good.

  • Swimming in Rivers, oceans and out-of-pool protection

When taking a swim in an area where you are not sure of the things that you might step on, the water shoes can be very good. This is due to their thick soles and the toe guards to protect your toes. Their water-shedding property will also make it easy to walk on the beach without having squishy shoes.

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