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While a true water sandal might not always win the most style points (although some deliver there as well), the best water sandals keep your feet comfortably protected on hiking trails and sandy beaches when adventure calls. Combining the outdoor-worthy features of a hiking boot with a sandal’s open-air design, a reliable water sandal will offer enhanced traction and comfort on rough terrain, and you’ll be totally covered from the pool to the riverbed. You’ll find them in quick-drying materials that can withstand a dunk and won’t feel clammy or cause chafing when you come out of the water, and some are even made of solidly waterproof materials.
Since water sandals are such an active shoe, it pays to pay attention to the specs. Look for grippy lug soles for climbing rugged terrain, plenty of adjustable straps to keep your foot secure on uneven surfaces, and a molded footbed that won’t shift when you’re slogging through sand. If you have heavy-duty trails ahead, you’ll also want to seriously consider a hybrid shoe sandal with a toe guard to protect against bumps, as well as additional ankle stabilization so you can keep going when the going gets tough.
Ahead you’ll find six pairs of water sandals that are up for your next excursion. No matter what your budget is, there’s sure to be a pair below that’s water-ready.
1. These Strappy Teva Water Sandals That Fans Love
The iconic Teva water sandal gets a sporty upgrade with a crossover design that doesn’t compromise on its hard-wearing build. Boasting an impressive 4.6-star rating on Amazon after more than 6,500 reviews, this fan favorite comes with a lug sole, with special channels that help drain off water. A contoured footbed offers plenty of arch support, with built-in stabilization and a mineral-based antimicrobial treatment so they stay fresh no matter how miles you log. The synthetic straps are water-friendly (though not fully waterproof) and are adjustable across three points for a perfect fit, and there’s even a heel tab to help pull them on. "I wanted to be able to walk on the beach, splash in the water, walk a few miles and not feel that I looked like too much of an outdoorsy ‘hippie.’ And I’m totally an outdoorsy hippie," one shopper wrote. "I liked how I could easily adjust every strap and how they looked strappy but not messy. These still look clean and polished and I can wear them with hiking shorts, jeans or dresses, which make them great for travel. They are also incredibly comfortable and the thick foot bed protects and cushions my feet."
- Available colors: 22
- Available sizes: 5 – 11
2. A Pair Of Stylish Water-Friendly Sandals You Can Wear Anywhere
These fashionable water sandals feature quick-drying braided nylon straps (that can be slightly adjusted) over a water-resistant build for a functional sandal that’s stylish enough to wear on shore. The ultra-flexible sole is built from a combination of comfy waterproof foam with durable rubber, with lightly gridded traction, while a supportive EVA footbed offers targeted arch support with a soft ridge at the toe to keep your foot from accidentally sliding too far forward. "The first day I wore them I had to run across a parking lot in a downpour & standing water puddles," a reviewer prefaced, noting, "They did not slip on the wet asphalt and my foot did not slip around on the foot bed. The soles do not retain water and the straps were dry before I got home."
- Available colors: 25
- Available sizes: 5 – 12
3. A Hybrid Shoe-Sandal With Toe Protection For Hiking
A heavy-duty water sandal with toe protection was built to weather extreme outdoor adventures. "I wore them on a recent trip to Costa Rica and they were the perfect shoe for all of the wet/dry activities I did, like white-water river rafting, light hiking, swimming, rappelling, sailing, walking around town, etc," one fan raved, noting, "They dry quickly and don’t get stinky (but if they did you can throw them in the washing machine with your laundry)." The rubber lug sole features a unique grid that provides grip without bulk. A bungee-style lacing system is fast and easy to tighten on the closed-toe sandal, which provides 360-degree security. An anatomically designed EVA footbed delivers serious comfort whether you’re in the back yard or the back forty — and it comes with probiotic technology to keep stink away. Although these sandals aren’t strictly waterproof, they are made of quick-drying synthetic material and feature a hydrophobic mesh lining.
- Available colors: 40
- Available sizes: 5 – 12
4. A Pair Of Budget-Friendly Water Sandals That Are Easy To Adjust
This pick is an affordable alternative to the classic Teva sandal but doesn’t cut corners on comfort or protection. The quick-drying straps are lined and padded at the seams to prevent chafing, with easy-to-adjust Velcro at three points along your foot. A molded footbed supports every step, while the sneaker-style lug sole cushions impact, with plenty of grip for most terrain. "These sandals saved my life!" one reviewer gushed, "My boots were tearing me up, so I ended up doing over 60 miles in these babies, and they were awesome! The sole is grippy enough that I had no trouble with the various rocky and sandy terrains. The straps are sturdy, and there is a nice cushion/pad under each of the buckles to prevent blisters." Another fan weighed in, "Waterproof, study, and comfortable! I’ve used these for hiking around Acadia where I’m on my feet all day and these do not disappoint. They fit true to size."
- Available colors: 30
- Available sizes: 6 – 11
5. This Podiatrist-Approved Pair That’s Built To Last
As the only pick on this list that comes backed by the American Podiatric Medical Association (AMPA) Seal of Approval, this classic pair of Chaco sandals combines the brand’s iconic outdoorsy style with functional features in sustainable materials. A deeper footbed, with high side walls around the instep, provides extra stability where you need it, while quick-drying polyester jacquard straps cinch down securely through a durable buckle. The toe loop helps keep the biocentric footbed close, and their signature lug sole comes with traction made from heavy-duty polyurethane with proprietary rubber that’s designed to last — meaning they’ll stay in your closet and out of landfills for years to come. One shopper test-drove theirs in Hawaii and reported back, "I was nervous that hiking in sandals would be difficult and my feet would get wet and muddy and slip and slide in my sandal. But they didn’t! They were perfect. I really enjoyed having sandals versus a hiking shoe. We were constantly in and out of water, mud, and sand and they held up wonderfully. And to add, they were beyond comfortable." And, in regular and wide sizes, there’s a fit for almost everyone.
- Available colors: 25
- Available sizes: 5 – 12
6. A Slip-On Sandal With Serious Treads
These aren’t your neighbor’s Crocs. The brand known for its love-em-or-hate-em clogs comes through with a seriously comfortable water sandal in a minimalist design you’ll be equally happy to wear to brunch or the boardwalk. Their proprietary Croslite foam is not only waterproof but absurdly cushy and lightweight, for a literal spring in your step. "They’re weightless, never bind, are impervious to water and beach sand, and are endlessly comfortable," one shopper gushed, calling them "my go-to." With a molded footbed and two sturdy straps over a sole with impressively good traction for a slide, they have all the makings of your next ride or die pair. The only caveat: the straps aren’t adjustable.
- Available colors: 4
- Available sizes: 4 – 11
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