BEST Water Shoes in the UK 2018
With the summer season fast approaching, it won’t be long until you’re packing up and heading down to your nearest lake, reservoir or seaside destination to engage in some water sports. Whether it’s sailing, snorkelling, bodyboarding or anything else, a pair of aqua shoes will be a crucial part of your kitbag in order to keep your feet comfortable and protected.
Pulling on a pair of aqua shoes will allow you to walk freely over rocks, pebbles, sand and seaweed without worrying about what other little bits of plastic or glass may lie beneath. If you’re out on a boat, they provide extra grip to help stop you slipping and sliding around on deck. An added bonus is that they’re also great for keeping your feet that little bit warmer, meaning that you can spend even more time in the water.
In general, the shoes are made of a wetsuit-type material that allows water to flow through the shoes while filtering out sand and sediment. They’re fast-drying, easy to slip on and off and the rubber outsole delivers traction and protection.
Thanks to their popularity, there is a huge range of styles, makes and prices on offer. But with so many different options available on the market right now, how do you choose? Below we’ve pulled together and reviewed a selection of men’s and women’s aqua shoes for you to choose from. But before you start, ask yourself the below questions to figure out what you’re looking for from the product?
How much are you willing to spend?
Luckily, most aqua shoes come with a pretty small price tag depending on their intended purpose. However, you should note that the price will generally go hand in hand with the quality and durability of the product, so answer the next two questions and then see where your priorities lie.
What sport or activity will these primarily be used for?
If you just need a pair for swimming or bodyboarding then most aqua shoes will do the trick. If you’re going coasteering or cliff jumping, then a thick and sturdy sole will be necessary. If you’re a sailor then you’ll need fast-drying shoes with a good grip to help you navigate the deck with ease. Looking to cover multiple activities? Don’t worry – there are plenty of hybrid or mixed-use shoes.
How long do you need them to last?
If you only need the shoes for a single season or holiday, then a cheaper pair might serve the purpose, but if you need something a bit more durable, it’s certainly worth investing.
Aqua Shoes Reviewed
Thunder Water Skin Shoes / Aqua Socks
These ultra lightweight shoes are, as their name suggests, closer to being socks.
Closely fitting the form of your feet, they offer a ‘barely there’ feel, which makes them easy to swim in as well as using them on the beach for activities such as yoga.
A thin, anti-slip sole makes them the perfect shoe for sandy beaches, aqua classes, yoga or swimming.
- Material: 85% polyester + 15% polyurethane, outsole: 100% neoprene.
- Closure: Slip On
- Smooth designed neck prevents chafing
- Weight: 33g~43g per pair only
- Come in a handy transparent zipper bag.
- Range of sizes available. Well suited for narrow feet.
SAGUARO® Barefoot Aqua Water Shoes
These shoes are well-suited to light outdoor activities, swimming and sailing. The shoes are made from durable and high-stretch fabrics meaning that they are fairly comfortable and will last multiple holidays.
Thanks to their strong wicking performance, they’re also fast-drying so are less likely to rub when back out on the beach and can be sun-dried then thrown back in your beach bag.
Similar to the Thunder aqua shoes, they’re thin enough to be rolled up or stuffed into bag but are slightly thicker, meaning the wearer can walk over pebbles or bumpy surfaces without issues.
- Outer Material: Neoprene + Rubber.
- Inner Material: Polyester + elastane.
- Sole: Gum Rubber.
- Closure: Slip-On
- Heel Height: 5 millimetres
- Designed with premium flexible materials
- Shoe Width: Normal
Lakeland Active Derwent Men’s Hybrid Water Shoe
The Derwent water shoe is a hybrid and actually looks more like a trainer than an aqua shoe, offering a great alternative to those who don’t like the look of Crocs, jelly shoes or flip-flops.
They can be worn normally with socks or in the water without. Despite being quite a sturdy shoe, they are lightweight and easily washed.
The easy slip-on design makes them perfect for the beach and wearers could easily go shopping or for a meal afterwards without getting any sideways glances.
Thanks to a thicker sole than its counterparts, these shoes are great for coasteering, cliff jumping and rocky beaches. The mesh design means they are quick-draining and the rubber sole has a decent grip.
- Hybrid men’s fashion/water shoe
- Quick-drying laminated mesh upper
- Slip-on design with reinforced heel and midfoot tabs
- Fastening: slip on
- Weight: 113g per shoe
- Water drainable midsole
- Removable EVA cushioned sole with rubber grip inserts
- Lightweight EVA web providing high level cushioning and allowing natural movement
- Available in 3 colours
Lakeland Active Eden Aqua Shoes
These shoes are exactly what you might expect aqua shoes to look like – a neoprene upper half, rubber sole with spine grips and a toggle to keep them tight on your feet whilst swimming.
Addressing your basic beach and water-activity needs, they’re a perfect budget option, coming in at the bottom end of the price range.
The Eden Aqua shoes are designed to keep your feet safe from cuts and stings on the beach and in the sea, with a thick enough sole to offer protection from rocks, pebbles and coral.
The elasticated ankle collar can be tightened to ensure they don’t fall off when swimming or exiting the water, although the design is a bit bulkier than some of their counterparts.
The non-slip synthetic sole is good for boat decks, windsurf and paddle boards but would struggle on mossy stones or wet surfaces with an incline.
- Elasticated ankle collar with adjustable toggle
- Outer Material: synthetic mix, neoprene upper
- Sole: rubber
- Closure: slip on
- Elasticated textile upper with breathable mesh inserts
- Size range: 4 UK infant to 12 UK adult
- Available in nine colours
Vibram 5 Fingers Mens Signa Water Shoes
These shoes sit at the higher end of the range, but as a result they offer additional quality in terms of design and material and are truly multi-purpose in nature.
Vibram is an established world leader in performance rubber soles for sport, outdoor, and recreational activities.
This water-specific version has a thinner sole, and softer rubber underneath to give a good grip on wet decks but is still plenty thick enough to protect from stones on shore or in the water.
Although multi-purpose, they are best suited for sailing and wind or kite-surfing.
- Rough pu print on mesch midsole for protection
- Machine washable
- Outer Material: Synthetic
- Inner Material: Mesh
- Sole: Gum Rubber
- Closure: Hook & Loop
- Available in three colours
- Weight: 113g
- Shoe Width: Regular
Solway Barefoot Aqua Sock – Women’s
These lightweight shoes are perfect for those who are limited on space and weight in their luggage.
Thanks to their thin, flexible sole and lightweight polyester material they’re fast drying, meaning that the wearer can transition straight from swimming to beach activities or can get in and out of the water onto a surfboard without feeling weighed down.
Their ultra-sleek design also means that they can be worn underneath flippers for increased comfort.
- Outer Material: Synthetic/ Neoprene
- Closure: zip
- Lightweight and quick-drying stretchy fabric upper
- Come in a zip-lock travel bag for easy packing
- Tough outsole for extra protection
- Can be worn with diving fins
Kenswalk Aqua Trainer – Women’s
Kenswalk is renowned for its athletic aqua gear with a fashionable slant. These shoes still look and feel a little bit like trainers, so if you get caught on the way to or from the beach, you won’t be embarrassed!
These shoes feature a lightweight sole, fast-draining mesh design and provide far more comfort and support than their counterparts.
Primarily a slip on, elasticated shoe, they also come with shoelaces so ensure the shoe doesn’t move around or fall off whilst mid-activity.
- Unique drainage holes on the sole ensure the water flow out
- Breathable and durable air mesh upper make your feet in a breathable condition
- Closure: slip on
- Heel Height: 2 centimetres
- EVA insole with punching creating a cooler and healthier shoe environment.
- Specific lightweight midsole provide for excellent bounce-back and durability
- Water Grain outsole provides exceptional traction in wet and slippery conditions
- Air mesh on the upper and drainage holes on the sole provides for excellent breathability and quick drying
Aleader Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes – Women’s
Aleader’s water shoes offer a lightweight mesh and webbing system that provide lightweight breathability and a supportive fit. The slip-on design makes them quick to put on and the soft sole allows the wearer to experience natural range of motion.
The spongy rubber sole also allows the wearer to undertake impact workouts, such as running and jumping, on solid surfaces which is not possible in the more lightweight shoes.
The open mesh and hole on the sole mean they are quick-drying and won’t leave you feeling weighed down as you get in and out of the water, however they are slightly chunkier than other shoes on the market.
- Breathable and durable air mesh upper allow the foot to breathe
- Solyte Midsole Provides an exceptionally lightweight midsole with excellent bounce-back and durability
- Outer Material: Mesh
- Inner Material: Mesh
- Sole: EVA
- Closure: Slip-On
- Heel Height: 3 centimetres
- Material Composition: Mesh
- Shoe Width: Regular
- Water grain outsole provides exceptional traction in wet and slippery conditions
- Template ComforDry provides the optimum cushioning performance that creates a cooler, drier and healthier shoe
Mountain Warehouse Bermuda Aqua Shoes – Women’s
This aqua shoe comes from outdoor activity experts Mountain Warehouse and is designed to give a low to mid-level protection in outdoor waters from sharp objects and sea creatures.
The shoes are constructed from soft neoprene with a rubber sole. The breathable mesh panels allow water to flow through them and drain out with ease and the thin material means that they are ultra-fast drying.
With no toggles or strings to faff about with, these shoes slip on and off, and have tiny spines on the sole to provide a good level of grip on wet surfaces.
- Outer Material: synthetic neoprene and mesh mix
- Inner Material: synthetic and fabric mix
- Closure: slip on
- Heel Height: 1 millimetres
- Easy to slip on and off, great for a quick change on the beach
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