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7 Best Water Shoes for Kids With Protection and Comfort You Really Need

When packing for a family trip to the beach, you should absolutely pack some water shoes! A good pair of water shoes can keep your kids’ feet safe in all kinds of settings — sandy beaches, rocky beaches, poolside, or concrete water play area. Keep reading below for our guide to the best water shoes for kids and find ones that will work well for your family.

What Are Water Shoes?

Water shoes are shoes used for activities where the feet are likely to get wet, like playing on the beach or by the pool, but you don’t want to run around in bare feet.

This type of shoe is typically made of material that allows water to flow through, or is constructed so that water passes through. While they are meant to be functional, these days you can also find quite stylish water shoes.

The big benefit of water shoes is that they protect feet from cuts and abrasions while wading close to the shoreline. Whether from rocks, shells, or spiky seaweed. They also protect feet from any hot pavement you may encounter around the pool or beach.

And, if you have kids that hate switching in and out of different shoes, hybrid water sandals can be a great option. Kids can wear them all day whether or not at the beach.  And, they can easily kick the sandals off to play around in the sand. They also come in handy if you must switch back and forth between pavement and sand. Or, when you’re lounging on the lido deck!

Best water shoes for kids | photo of small child wearing hybrid water sandals

Multi-purpose hybrid water sandals in action! (E. Warren)

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Water shoes also offer the following benefits:

  • The design of the water shoe helps in better traction on wet and slippery surfaces (like a boat deck or large rocks). 
  • Most water shoes have a toe box that provides good protection to the toes.
  • Water shoes are made of quick-dry material. Thus, unlike other shoes, water shoes dry very fast once it gets wet. 
  • Water shoes are available in different designs and styles. You can select a pair depending on your taste and preference. 

7 Best Water Shoes For Kids

Merrel Unisex-child Hydro H2O Hiker Sandal Sport

This durable water shoe for kids comes with a quick-dry lining that keeps your child’s feet dry all time. The shoe comes with flexible, non-marking traction that provides an extra grip while outdoor. The alternative closure of the shoe provides a secure fit. Thus, the shoe does not come off while on the water.

Merrel Unisex-child Hydro H2O Hiker Sandal Sport

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  • Made of good quality materials. 
  • Quick-dry lining material to help keep the feet dry. 
  • Non-marking traction for extra grip. 
  • Alternative closure. 


  • A nicely padded shoe that provides ample comfort to the child. 
  • The toe box is well covered and provides good protection to the toe. 
  • Offers a good grip while outdoors. 


  • Can have a tendency to hold in smells once wet. 
  • It takes longer to dry than some other brands. 

Cior Ultra-Lightweight Water Shoes

These shoes are made of stretchable material that offers fast draining and cross ventilation. The soles are breathable and are made of soft EVA material. Thus, they can absorb shock and reduce muscle pain and fatigue. They also provide traction to prevent slips and falls.

Cior Boys and Girls Water Shoes

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This water shoe can be used for a range of outdoor activities like boating, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, gardening, and car washing. It can also be used for cycling and jogging. 


  • Quick dry and ultra-lightweight shoes. 
  • Made of stretchable material. 
  • Soles are made of soft EVA material. 
  • Ideal for boating, sailing, fishing, and a range of outdoor activities. 


  • Available in a wide range of colors. 
  • Quick-dry with drainage hole.
  • An anti-slip outsole that prevents fall. 
  • Made of breathable material. 
  • Soft and lightweight. 


  • Some customers have complained about blisters developing on the back of the feet after wearing the shoe. 
  • Traction is not as strong as in some other brands.

Nautica Kettle Gulf 

This protective water shoe is made of soft material that keeps your kid’s leg comfortable and water-ready. While the open panel provides good air circulation, the protective bump toe guard protects the toes. The lightweight mesh material of the shoe makes it a great choice for summer.

Nautica kids kettle Gulf protective water shoe

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The rubber sole of the shoe is soft and offers slip resistance, sturdiness, and durability. The shoes are available in fourteen different sizes, from toddler to youth. 


  • Made of soft, lightweight mesh material. 
  • Rubber sole that is soft and offers slip resistance. 
  • Toe guard for good toe protection. 
  • Available in a range of colors. 


  • Easy to wear and take off. 
  • Quick dry. 
  • Soft, comfortable material. 
  • Good air circulation due to the open panel. 
  • The toe guard protects the toe from getting hurt. 


  • Very slippery when worn indoors. 
  • Can retain smells after a few uses. 

Cior Quick-Dry Water Shoes

This is a non-slip and lightweight water shoe with a quick-dry feature. The shoe has a good quality sole with drain holes that help the water to flow out. This helps the shoe to dry fast and keep feet comfortable. The shoe sole is a thicker and durable EVA material that protects from slip and fall.

Cior Quick Dry Water Shoes

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The shoe comes with air mesh that offers good air circulation. The insoles are made of soft EVA material that absorbs shock and reduces muscle fatigue. 


  • A quick-dry shoes with a non-slip feature. 
  • Sole and insole made of EVA material and comes with drain holes. 
  • Air mesh that offers air circulation. 


  • Good water drainage that keeps the shoe comfortable. 
  • Hook and loop closure that is easy for kids to wear. 
  • A smooth and elastic neck that provides comfort while wearing. 
  • Excellent cushioning that provides ample comfort. 


  • Several customers complained about the shoe getting torn off after a few uses. 
  • May disappoint in the “quick dry” department. 

Native Shoes

This super lightweight and easy slip-on water shoes are made of 100% Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. The sole is made of rubber that provides a good grip. The shoe is odor-resistant and waterproof and is a great choice for water sports.


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  • Made of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. 
  • The sole is made of rubber. 
  • Odor-resistant and waterproof shoes. 


  • Available in a range of colors. 
  • Light and breathable. 
  • Easy to wear as it is a slip-on. 
  • Very easy to clean. 


  • Sizes do not meet expectations. 

Merrell Kids’ Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe

If you have a small child with wide or chubby feet, this may be the perfect shoe for you. This beautiful water shoe is made of 100% leather and textile. It has a rubber sole that provides a good grip on the shoes. The toe box of the shoe is extra wide so it easily accommodates wide feet that are still growing. These are so lightweight and comfortable that they can easily be worn all day.

Merrell Kids' Bare Steps H20 Water Shoe

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  • Made of leather and textiles. 
  • Rubber sole that provides a good grip. 
  • An extra-wide toe box that provides ample comfort. 


  • The velcro closure of the shoe provides a snug fit. It also makes it easy for the child to take the shoe on and off. 
  • Multi-directional grooves that offer a barefoot feel. 
  • An extra-large toe box that accommodates wide feet.
  • Comfortable with or without socks. 
  • Hold up well to repeated washings.


  • Can take longer to dry than expected. 
  • Some consumers have complained of blisters. 

Nortiv 8 Kids Water shoes

This is a quick-dry, breathable, and ultra-lightweight water shoe with ten drainage holes for fast draining. The anti-slip design of the shoe protects your kid from falling and from hitting against stones and sharp rocks. The rubber outsole with multi-directional traction provides a better grip while using the shoes. The EVA material of the shoes and the rubber pods offer better comfort and shock absorption.


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The Nortiv water shoe comes with an elastic neck and adjustable bungee laces. They can be used for a wide range of water activities and water sports. 


  • Quick-dry and ultra-lightweight water shoes. 
  • Anti-slip design that prevents falling. 
  • Rubber outsole with multi-directional traction. 
  • Made of EVA material. 


  • Available in a range of colors. 
  • Slip-resistant sole that prevents fall. 
  • The cushioned footbed provides better support. 
  • Toe protection design. 
  • Ultra-lightweight. 


  • Sand and pebbles can quickly enter the shoes because of their design. 
  • Though the shoe has an elastic neck, several customers complained about blisters developing on the backside of the leg. 

Best Water Shoes for Kids | photo of black and orange hybrids

Buying Guide to Best Water Shoes For Kids

There are many choices for different types and styles of water shoes. So what factors should you consider when looking for water shoes for kids?

Ease of use

The ideal water shoes can be easily put on and taken off without assistance. So, slip-on styles or velcro closures are the best options. 

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Good drainage

The primary purpose of water shoes is to let the water drain off, thus leaving the shoe light and allowing feet to breathe. So you want shoes that will allow water to leave quickly. Look for mesh, drainage holes, or open designs. 


A good water shoe should provide proper protection to your child’s feet. That means protection for toes and the soles of feet.  This helps minimize discomfort from stubbing toes or walking on hot surfaces. 

Good traction

The water shoes should have good traction so that kids don’t slip and fall (much) when they run on a slippery surface. Surfaces like boat dock and deck will be wet and slippery. Water shoes with good traction can help minimize accidents. 

Best Water Shoes for Kids | big kid water sandals

Best Water Shoes for Kids: FAQ

  • Can water shoes be used for walking?

Many water shoes are just like any other shoes. But some are more like specially constructed socks. If you plan to do a lot of walking, make sure your water shoe has a good sole. 

  • Can you wear water shoes in the pool?

Yes, from the perspective of the shoe, you can wear water shoes in the pool. Water shoes are designed for water usage. Unlike regular shoes, they drain out water well and hence will be lightweight. But, while the water shoe won’t be damaged, there may be pool restrictions against any shoes in the water.

  • How do you clean water shoes?

Water shoes made of PU or PVC coating can be washed in the washing machine. You should always check the care instruction of the shoes before washing them in a washing machine. 

Otherwise, you can clean the water shoes with warm water.  Allow them to air dry.

  • Should I wear water shoes at the beach?

Yes, you can wear water shoes at the beach. Water shoes help protect your feet and keep them dry and comfortable. Thus, you can enjoy the sea and at the same time keep your feet well protected by using water shoes. 

  • Should you wear water shoes in the ocean?

Yes, water shoes are great for the ocean. In the ocean, you are likely to encounter many rough surfaces that can hurt your feet or make them uncomfortable. 

  • Should you bring water shoes on a cruise?

Absolutely! Even if you aren’t packing for a Caribbean cruise or your cruise does not otherwise include many ports with beaches, the water shoes will still be useful around the pool.

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Last update on 2024-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API