Best Kids Water Shoes

Best Kids Water Shoes for Water Adventures

by jacky chou
Updated on

Having fun in water gives a relaxing experience as you splash without the care of getting wet. Feeling the sun drying the droplets of water on your skin with the cool breeze from the water bodies. If you are going to get wet b the pool, beach, or just a water park, it will be a good idea to carry around a pair of amphibious shoes for your kid. This little one would not care about splashing around, even with bare feet, and they might get hurt in the process.

The shoe you carry along depends mostly on the type of water play your kid will be doing. The below discussed are the best kids' water shoes that fit different water plays for your kids. It depends on whether you take your kid for a hike or just the beach. The right shoe has been discussed here.

There are a couple of considerations to make before choosing the best water shoes for kids. First, ask yourself why your child needs water shoes and which type will suit them best.

Sandal V.S. Sneaker V.S. Slip-On

Water shoes exist in three main types: slip-ons, amphibious sneakers, and water sandals. If you are in for a classic shoe, a slip-on is a good option because it has a quick-drying mesh upper and a rubber sole. Apart from its classy look, it is an affordable option for the pool, beach, and waterpark, where surfaces are not too rocky.

Amphibious sneakers are similar to classic sneakers but are made of entire rubber with perforations all over to enable water drainage from the shoe. The unique thing about them from the slip-ons is that they can hold up a rockier terrain such as hiking, river beds, and creeks.

We all know the popularity of a water sandal or amphibious sandal because it looks like a classic sandal. It has a Velcro closure with a quick-drying upper material; the outsole provides solid traction on slippery surfaces to prevent you from falling. Apart from being a good all-day wear option, it is strong enough to hold a rocky terrain.

Let us look into the best kids' water shoes.

Below are the top 5 kids' water shoes keeping in mind the activities your child will be engaged in during water activities. Some of the shoes are not only built for water adventures but can be worn on vacations too. Others are lightweight and can be carried everywhere during your trip.

The shoes come in adult versions, too, so you can match a pair with your child's.

1. Kids’ Surf Knit Athletic Water Shoe

Speedo Kid's & Toddler's Water Shoes - Surf Knit
  • S-TRAC designed outsole disperses water and provides improved performance
  • Speedo Surf Knit technology is engineered to offer the ultimate support, breathability and comfort where you need it most
  • Hydrophobic material offers superior drainage and quick drying properties

The Speedo Surf Knit athletic water shoe is pretty traditional looking with a mesh upper and rubber outsole. However, this particular shoe is durable so that kids can wear it on multiple adventures apart from in the water. A bonus is that you can purchase it at an affordable price.

The upper part of this shoe is made with Speedo's Surf Knit technology using hydrophobic material with a unique design that is breathable, comfortable, quick-drying, offering support to your kid's foot.

The rubber outsole offers great traction on wet surfaces to prevent your child from falling or sliding on wet surfaces. It also has a slip-on design and heel tab, making it easier for kids to slip this shoe on.

  • Pros
  • The upper part is comfortable, breathable, and supportive.
  • The rubber outsole promotes good traction on wet surfaces.
  • Easy to slip on.
  • Comes in both kids and adult sizes.
  • Cons
  • Runs big.

2. Best for hiker - Hydro H2o Hiker Sandal

Merrell Hydro Sport Sandal, Navy/Green, 2 US Unisex Little Kid
  • Performance hiking sandal featuring protective wrap-up toe guard, vented upper, and decorative bungee lacing
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Heel pull loop

If you are looking for something versatile, a water shoe that your child can wear all day long regardless of if they are in the water or not, then this is it. Merrel Hydro H2O Hiker Sandal can handle any terrain, from sandy beaches to rockier surfaces. Whether in and out of the water, the water shoe has plenty of cushions underfoot to keep your kid's feet comfy and happy.

This sandal's outsole has been made with Merrel's M-Select GRIP technology that provides good traction on wet surfaces and can also handle hiking. The upper material is made of lightweight leather with a synthetic lining that is quick drying. Since it is quick-drying, the footbed of the sandal has an anti-odor treatment.

It also has a hook and loop closure that makes it easy to get the shoes on and off and make sure you have a secure fit. The sizes range from 4-12 years old, making a fit for some adult shoe sizes.

  • Pros
  • Durable and comfortable. Perfect for all-day wear.
  • M-Select GRIP outsole provides great traction.
  • Synthetic and leather upper dries quickly.
  • Rubber toe guard protects from accidental bumps.
  • Sizes for both kids and adults.
  • Affordable prices.
  • Cons
  • It has an anti-odor treatment but is not strong enough to keep the smell away

3. Best for baby Girl -Girls Aquatic Water Shoe

OshKosh B'Gosh Girls Aquatic Water Shoe
  • Girl's and boy's water shoe with breathable cut-outs
  • Adjustable strap closure for an easy on-off
  • Soft material keeps feet comfy and water-ready
  • Flexible outsole
  • Machine Washable

The shoe easily fits various colors and designs, working perfectly for any kid who loves to play in the water. The outside of the shoe is well perforated with a cutout that allows for a free flow of air to dry your little one's feet.

Furthermore, the outside material is flexible enough to allow your kid's foot to move naturally. Finally, the material is soft and won't irritate your child's skin, making them comfortable.

The shoes offer a fit for both small kids and big ones. It comes in 1-4 years for small kids and 4-8 years for big kids. A bonus is that the shoes can be cleaned using a washing machine.

  • Pros
  • The shoes are Velcro strapped, enabling them to be removed and put on with ease.
  • Your kid can move their fit naturally due to the flexible outer sole.
  • Available in both adults’ and child’s fit.
  • You can wash the shoe In the machine.
  • Cons
  • Cannot handle rocky terrain.

4. Best toddlers shows - Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Toddlers

Speedo Kids Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Water Shoes (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  • Durable four-way stretch upper for easy on and off
  • Air mesh insert panel promotes quick dry and maximum comfort
  • S-trac thermoplastic rubber outsole offers water management and flow dispersion characteristics
  • Features quick adjusting strap closure for easy on and off
  • Safety Note: Always use caution on wet, hard, or slippery surfaces

There's another good choice from Speedo, the best for your toddler. It has Speedo's S-Trac rubber outsole for good traction and stability. In addition, a durable upper mesh allows air to help the shoe dry quickly.

The shoe has Velcro adjustable straps to ensure it fits perfectly. It fits toddlers one year-4 year old and comes in four color choices: black & green, blue & black, black & pink, and all pink.

  • Pros
  • Durable upper
  • Dries quickly
  • Adjustable strap keeps the shoe on securely
  • Great for toddlers
  • The rubber outsole provides good traction
  • Cons
  • Runs large.
  • Not comfortable enough for all-day wear.

5. Best child sneaker- Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker

Native Shoes, Jefferson Child, Kids Lightweight Sneaker, Regatta Blue/Shell White, 12 M US Little...
  • Ultralight & durable: This slip-on style is super lightweight, ultra-comfortable and made for play; The EVA upper is flexible and features all-over perforations so their feet can breathe
  • Easy to clean: The Jefferson is super easy to clean; Simply hand wash when needed to keep them looking fresh
  • Fits narrow: If their foot is wide, we recommend going up a size; If their foot is narrow to average width, they can wear their true size
  • Made for all: Happy, colorful, carefree and fun; The Jefferson Kids comes in an infinite assortment of colors and treatments so they can find a shade that suits them
  • Live lightly: Through innovation, sustainability, originality and lightness, we strive to simplify our day, beautify our environment and lighten our carbon footprint on the world

 The Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker is a unique water shoe that resembles a sneaker designed for water play. It comes in different stylish designs that complete your kid's look even while in the water.

The water shoe has perforations all over to allow water to flow out the shoe during water play. Moreover, it has a rubber outsole that gets good traction on wet surfaces. The footbed is made of EVA to conform to your child's foot shape. Thus, making it a secure fit for your child's foot. They are odor-resistant but require extra cleaning; they can also be hand washed.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight rubber isn't heavy on kids' feet.
  • Odor-resistant footwear.
  • The footbed is fitted with EVA to mold your kids/ foo
  • Stylish design with tons of color options
  • Has perforations all over that allow air and water to flow out of the shoe easily.
  • Available in both kids sizes and adults.
  • Cons
  • It might be too tight on some feet.
  • May need to order the next size up for a better fit.

Factors to consider when getting kid water shoes

1. Does my child need water shoes?

Water shoes are the best option for your kid when you know you will interact with water a lot. Water shoes are the better option because they offer protection against sand, rocks, and blisters.

2. Protection

The  main reason we put on shoes is for protection, which is why you will benefit from wearing water shoes. For example, stepping on rocks and sand in water might bruise your feet, and that is why you need water shoes; to protect your feet from such.

3. Traction

It is risky to run around water areas with a shoe that will not grip and hold on to your feet and the ground. The risk is to skid, slide or fall. Water shoes with good traction have a rubber sole with treads that can help prevent slips and falls.

Getting the right shoes for water can save you a great deal because regular shoes are not made for water. Wearing regular shoes on water occasions can lead to blisters and irritations. In addition, since most of them are enclosed, they will not allow water to drain thus won't dry quickly, giving your child discomfort.

Moreover, ocean water is salty, and having your kid wearing their everyday shoes there will have them damaged.

Frequently asked questions on kids' water shoes.

1. What are water shoes?

These are types of footwear that you can wear when involved in activities that will drench your feet. The activities might be swimming in any water body, kayaking, fishing, hiking, or other water-related activities. The shoes act as a protective layer for your feet from sharp, slippery rocks or creatures that lurk in the water.

2. How can I clean my kid's shoes?

To clean your kid's water shoes, be sure to check with the manufacturer's instructions. Confirm whether it is ok to hand wash them or machine wash. If you are unsure, you can go with handwashing and leave them in an open area to air dry.

According to the manufacturer's instructions, some water shoes can go in the drier in the low mode for a little while to help jump-start the drying process. After that, you can put them in an open-air or a sunny spot to complete the drying process.

3. Where should my kid wear water shoes?

There are plenty of places your kid can put on the water shoes apart from water bodies. For example, your kid can put on the shoes at the blizzard beach; a lifeguard will inform you when not to put on the shoes. However, it is still advisable to wear water shoes in the water park since the ground might get hot while walking, and your feet might have burns and blisters.

The only place your kid is not allowed to wear shoes is at volcano bay. Due to safety reasons, your kid can wear water shoes in the pools and rivers but not on the tube attractions. The reason being, some tube attractions have cubbies or nets where you can put your shoes while you are on them. You can as well put on the water shoes at these places:

  • Beach
  • Swimming in the pool or ocean
  • Boating
  • Waterpark
  • Creeks and rivers
  • Tubing, kayaking, and other water sports
  • Hiking in wet conditions
  • Puddle jumping
  • Fishing


There's a water shoe for every kid on this list. Regardless of each activity, you are going to take on, be sure this shoe will take care of your child's feet. If you are involved with water activities such as spending the day at the beach, fishing in a boat, or taking a walk in the mist, you can opt for the lightweight ones that will give you a barefoot feel. It would be best if you easily chose from this list of the best water shoes for kids. 

The Speedo Surf Knit Water Shoe is quick-drying, affordable, and durable enough to last all summer long if you are in for a classic look. For a shoe that can handle any terrain and adventure, go for the Merrell H2O Hydro Hike.

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jacky chou


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