Top 7 Best Water Shoes for Kayaking | 2020 Reviews (Kokatat)

Whether you are cruising on a lake or practicing your skills in ocean water, a nice and comfortable kayak shoe suited for your feet makes activities more fun! Kayaking shoes are made from flexible, synthetic rubber. They provide comfort and grip when going in and out of your kayak or by simply walking over wet, sharp rocks. As you read out the best water shoes for kayaking, you have to consider the factors why you are getting one (comfort, breathability, fit, design, etc.).

Overwhelmed by the choices in the market? Strap on your gear; here is a hassle-free list of fair reviews for the best water shoes for kayaking:

Top 7 Best Water Shoes for Kayaking Reviewed

  1. Kokatat Men's Scout Boot Charcoal – Best Overall
  2. Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots by Neosport – Best Value
  3. Signa Athletic Boating Shoes by Vibram – Editor’s Choice
  4. Hydroslide Razorback Kneeboard
  5. Z2 Classic Sport Sandal by Chaco
  6. Kicker Remix Wetshoe by NRS
  7. Outdoor Jawpaw 2 Water Shoes by Adidas

#1. Kokatat Men's Scout Boot Charcoal – Best Overall

 

Kokatat Men's Scout Boot Charcoal

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Specifications:

  • Length:13 inches
  • Width: 8 inches
  • Height: 8 inches 
  • Weight: 1.54 Pounds
  • Hook and loop adjustment straps
  • Vulcanized rubber outsole

Its cool design and excellent function won the top pick section. Scout Boot by Kokatat’s lightweight, zipper-less boot with glued blind stitch construction would take years before it breaks. 

Feet is secured and protected with a hook and loop adjustment strap. One of the amazing features of this water shoe is that you can easily put them on and off. 

Scout Boot by Kokatat offers double-lined, 3-millimeter neoprene construction to keep your feet warm. This feature helps protect you from your feet getting cold. In the worst case, catching hypothermia. The sole is medium thick and will withstand sharp rocks and provide stability on uneven surfaces. 

Going in and out of the vessel is easy when you have a vulcanized rubber outsole, toe cap, and heel counter. These amazing features provide grip from surfaces with limited traction for any position of your feet. 

The slim and lightweight design offers you convenience during emergencies when you need to swim. Although not recommended for water shoes, being able to do so comes in handy.

We recommend buying the best water shoes for kayaking by ordering one size up for half-sizers or if you put aqua socks on your feet. If your feet run wide, order the usual size. For women, please order one size up.

ProsCons
Lightweight water shoes. Good for a wide footNo room for aqua socks if you buy with your size
Keeps your feet warm, easy to put on and offLimited design; only one color available
Grips well on wet surfacesNo size for half-sizers
Comfortable, snug fit
Protects your feet well

#2. Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots by Neosport – Best Value

Neosport Premium Neoprene

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Specifications:

  • Length:11.65 inches
  • Width: 9.84 inches
  • Height: 3.78 inches 
  • Weight: 1.45 Pounds
  • Glued and sewn sole
  • 3mm, 5mm, 7mm thickness

Premium by Neosport’s versatility and durability deserves to be placed as the best value for money. The latest product has improved, and its improved materials and the draining system is better than the previous water shoes Neosport offers.

Featured with glued and sewn puncture-resistant sole walking over sharp terrains will not be a problem. You may use this shoe for short-distance hiking as it provides a good grip for both wet and dry surfaces.

This water shoe is equipped with Water Entry Barrier (WEB) technology, which prevents water from flowing easily through the zipper, making it durable. It uses Velcro to ensure that your feet will always be dry and to secure your feet properly.

It offers neoprene material with different thermal protection for changing seasons. You may choose from 3 millimeters, 5 millimeters, and 7 millimeters thickness to keep your feet warm. Choosing the less thick one is good for warm climates and the thickest for cold temperatures.

The positive reviews of this shoe say a lot from the product. When choosing the right pair, buyers should get their usual sizes. 

ProsCons
3mm, 5mm, 7mm insulation thickness optionsThe inside sole of the shoe is slippery once wet.
Great fit for people with big feetWater holds onto shoes, poor draining system
Good for dry and wet surfacesThin sole, can feel sharp rocks
Priced well for its build qualityDoes not dry out quick
True to its size

#3. Signa Athletic Boating Shoes by Vibram – Editor’s Choice

Vibram Men's Signa Athletic Boating Shoe

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Specifications:

  • Length: 12 inches
  • Width: 10 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: .25 pounds
  • Wave grip outsole, Zero Drop
  • Insole spec: polyester mesh and rubber, upper material: stretchable polyester mesh

If standing out and being unique among others is what you do best, Signa Athletic Boating Shoes by Vibram fits you well.

The unique Vibram FiveFingers offers a flexible deconstructed sole that lets you flex your feet. Its rubber sole provides a better grip, making it stable and solid when stepping on difficult terrains. The flexible toe-pockets ensure secure and blister-free feet from all-day activities.

Breathable feature with an excellent drainage system is what it does best, making it a perfect gear for kayaking or fishing. However, the drainage system is also a disadvantage as it brings foreign elements inside your shoe.

Vibram shoes are comfortable enough for light water activities. The arch support provides great comfort to your feet during long activities. However, you should try it first because it is a concern for individuals with high arches.

Before ordering, please try fitting it in person, making sure that you are comfortable with its arch support. Consider getting one size up if you feel uncomfortable with the arch.

An ideal shoe for light activities, it holds a nice grip and comfort for your watersports activities. It can be packed easily into a bag when it is time to go.

ProsCons
Protects your feet well on sharp rocks and other surfaces on waterThe sole and materials used are thin. Does not float on water
Outside sole grips well. Fits like a glove but not very tightNot durable enough for extreme water sports activities
Dries Fast. Good drainage systemEasily gets dirt inside due to many drainage holes
Sleek and modern designNot good for people with big toes
True to its sizeOnly for water activities

#4. Hydroslide Razorback Kneeboard

Hydroslide Razorback Kneeboard

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Specifications:

  • Length: 12.1 inches
  • Width: 6.5 inches
  • Height: 4.5 inches
  • Weight: .56 pounds
  • Lightweight synthetic lining
  • Slip-on water shoes, durable four-way stretch upper, air-mesh interior panel, and s-trac rubber outsole

Surf Walker Pro 3.0 by Speedo takes its beatings seriously, committed to being versatile, whether light or hard activities. It features a stretchy pull-on upper with mesh inserts plus cushioned insole. Stylish and functional fits the description too.

Good for warm weather, the breathable mesh on top and specialized rubber at the bottom provide faster drying times. It also provides great comfort and impact protection.  This water shoe offers quick-dry breathability and a secure fit. Speedo’s s-trac™ outsole draining technology pulls water away from the shoe. It repels water faster than any other water shoes on the list.

Surf Walker Pro 3.0 maintains a lot of grip for its sole, making better traction and surface contact for the hardest adventure. It will give you more than enough traction when going in and out of the vessel. Making better traction and surface contact for the hardest adventure. 

This comfortable water shoe can also be used simply for shoreline walks and shower rooms.

When choosing the right size, you will be fine getting your usual size since it has a snug fit.

ProsCons
Comfortable to wear on the waterThe sole is not thick enough for sharp stones.
Fits snug on feet. Fits like a gloveNo size for half-sizers. Size runs small too.
Runs true to its sizeFits good on long and narrow feet only.
Breathable shoesDiscontinued. Limited design
Runs true to its sizeWears out fast

#5.  Z2 Classic Sport Sandal by Chaco

Chaco Men's Z2 Classic Sport Sandal

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Specifications:

  • Length: .39 inches
  • Width: .39 inches
  • Height: .39 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Antimicrobial application for odor control
  • Non-marking ChacoGrip rubber outsole with 3.5mm deep lug

Since 1989, this durable and dependable classic sandal has been built for a long-lasting fun adventure. 

Z2 Classic Sport Sandal by Chaco is good for warm weather. Its open-toe sandal looks tough inside and out while providing comfort for your feet. The LUVSEAT platform has contoured arch support for better feet comfort. It might feel uneasy with its high arch, but it provides comfort and support during long hours of adventure. 

A heavyweight one, but with good reasons. One of the reasons it has a thick sole is that it wants you to use it for more than a decade. Yes, consumers are using it for more than a decade; it just would not simply give up. Its midsoles are made of polyurethane compounds. It does not break or compress over the years of daily use. Talk about being reliable.

The brand also has its outsole called ChacoGrip. It provides a unique rubber compound made for a better grip on extreme conditions. Feet is secured properly with its adjustable straps and a toe-loop for additional foot control.

When choosing the right size, it is better to choose your usual size as having it too tight or loose will bruise your feet during long walks.

ProsCons
Durable and reliable lasts for yearsNeeds to be “break-in” to be a comfortable wear
A versatile, good all-rounderNot suitable for cold or chilly weather
Strong and reliable brandOpen-toe shoes = fewer feet protection
Secure and fitCan bruise your feet if worn tight
BreathableHeavyweight

#6. Kicker Remix Wetshoe by NRS

NRS Men's Kicker Remix Wetshoe

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Specifications:

  • Length: 52.25 inches
  • Width: 12 inches
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • High-traction rubber sole, non-marking
  • 3mm Terraprene Neoprene

Keeping it compact and tight is what Mens Kicker Remix Wetshoe by Northwest River Supplies (NRS) does best. Its lightweight and compact design make it easier for you to carry on a trip. This water shoe provides nice insulation and traction for your feet in a compact design. You would not expect it to be that flexible and durable since it has a stitchless design with a tight fight.

3-millimeter terraprene neoprene titanium material is used for the upper and insole part of the shoe. This amazing technology keeps your feet warm on both ends. You may also put aqua socks on, and it would still perfectly fit, thanks to its ultra-flexible neoprene material.

Flexible rubber bands and shoe-top drawcord improve stability and keep your feet secured from the water shoe. 

Equipped with a 2 mm plastic shim in the sole provides added protection from rough surfaces. Armor patches guard the upper against abrasion and add even more protection for your foot. 

When choosing a size, you have to order one size larger for half-sizes since it is available for whole sizes only.

ProsCons
Thick sole. Can walk on sharp rocks without complaintStinks quickly do not dry out quickly
The thread does not leave on track surfaces, nice gripPoor drainage system
Excellent for kayaking, all-around water shoeLimited design
Sole does not collect rocks or pebbles.Small sizing
Wide variety of sizes

#7. Outdoor Jawpaw 2 Water Shoes by Adidas

Adidas Outdoor Men's Terrex CC Jawpaw II Slip-On

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Specifications:

  • Length: 10 inches
  • Width: 5 inches
  • Height: 4 inches
  • Weight: .63 pounds
  • Fabric, manmade
  • Slip-on, rubber sole

Fun at its fullest when you explore using this shoe. Slip-on and lightweight, Outdoor Terrex CC Jawpaw II by Adidas provide hassle-free water adventures. Its cool design and amazing technology are well-received by consumers. This water shoe may also be used as an everyday shoe because it looks and feels like one. 

The famous Climacool technology provides excellent breathability and cooling for your feet. Thus, making it best suited for warm weather. The front and back pull loops provide a secure fit.  

Excellent draining system and in-house design for the rubber outsole provide the utmost grip and total comfort.

When choosing the size, please order one size smaller than your usual size as they run big.


Getting the Best Kayak Shoes – Buyers Guide

This watersport may be fun or chill, depending on your mood. It will test your balance and skill. However, if you do not invest in the right equipment, your safety is at risk. It will spoil the fun.

It is vital to have a water shoe that depends on what purpose you prioritize. You must follow your preference to avoid hassle and disappointment.

Here is an outlined factors to consider before you dive into getting the best water shoes for kayaking:

Fit

Having a snug fit for a water shoe, more snug than your daily shoes, is the best for kayaking. You would want a tight fit on the opening to avoid elements going inside your shoe.

Climate

Consider the season where you want to use the shoes. If the water is cold, you would want to have water shoes that keep your feet warm. Having a closed water shoe is best for this climate to avoid getting hypothermia. Water shoes that use neoprene material will keep your feet warm and cool in a warm climate. 

Dimensions 

Not all water shoes are made equally. Some are made for slim or wide feet. Considering the dimensions of your water shoe is one of the factors to consider when buying it. 

The drainage system for water shoes plays an important role in weight. Having water inside your shoe makes it heavy. If it does not drain well, it will be a small problem that might get annoying in the long run.

If you consider having protections from the cold other elements, you might opt for a higher water shoe. Make sure they fit you well since water will go inside and pool if they are loose.

Terrain  

Getting the best water shoes for kayaking does not mean shoes for kayaking purposes only. You have to consider the terrain you are walking to before you could go kayaking. Is it sandy, full of pebbles, or with sharp stones? Your shoes should keep up with whatever challenge you throw at it. Shoes with nice grip work well on smooth surfaces while shoes with a nice draining system are best when walking on muddy terrain.

Durability

Durability plays an important role if you plan to use your water shoes on dry surfaces and wet ones. You are going to wear them for longer periods. Water shoes good for kayaking are equipped with rubber soles, which gives you grip when needed. It should also provide stability over wet stones or dry sand to make your way back and forth. Whether in wet or dry conditions, materials used for the shoes must withstand harsh environments.

If you want to maximize your water shoes’ life expectancy, you must rinse and dry them after use. Allow them to dry first before you stow them away fully.

Waterproof

Water shoes should be waterproof, and you know that. But surprise, some water shoes are not that waterproof in the sense that your feet will stay dry during activities. Materials such as neoprene provide a waterproof layer, although it might still let water in the shoe. The best water shoes for kayaking must have a nice draining system technology to help keep the water away from inside your shoes. With that in mind, your water shoe will be flexible and not heavy if you submerge it in water.

Purpose

Water shoes serve different purposes when wearing sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak shoes. 

You might want to choose a slender design to fit comfortably on the footrests of the vessel. A slender water shoe is more helpful when you flip your kayak, having to swim, and go inside the kayak again. 


Top Pick – Best Water Shoes

Considering the cool and functional design it has, Scout Boot by Kokatat hits the sweet spot for people of all ages. The perfect grip for going in and out of the kayak is a very convenient function you never know you need. The comfort and stability it gives when walking over rough surfaces assure you avoidance of accidents.

This water shoe makes us our top pick for the best water shoes for kayaking because it is all-rounder, durable, flexible, and hits the right spot with value for money. Its insulation is well-received as being comfortable and warm enough for kayaking. Its high boot helps in part with making the feet warm.

The high reviews it garnered from retail sites made it one of the top consumer’s picks this year. It shows that it can satisfy the customers’ wants and expectations. Scout Boot by Kokatak aces the consumer ratings. This water shoe just proves that any beatings are well-received of the product.

Scout Boot by Kokatat ticks all the right boxes when getting the best water shoes for kayaking. This water shoe will last for a decade, providing comfort, warmth, and protection for your feet. Your money is well spent with this right gear.


Conclusion

People of all ages who love water adventures will seriously invest in having proper gears for their skill improvement and safety. Having a pair of water shoes provides convenience and protection over slippery and rough surfaces.

Having a personalized list of things you need to consider will lessen the burden when buying the best water shoes for kayaking. 

Even though you may always buy one, sticking on the best water shoes suited for you will not waste your time and effort in the long run, especially if safety is your concern.

Remember, water shoes may make or break your awesome kayaking experience. Pick something more functional, flexible, and breathable for your feet. Make sure to buy the best water shoes for kayaking suited for you.

Scout Boot by Kokatat ticks all the right boxes. Unlike other brands, this is a good long term investment for different water sports activities.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are water shoes and water socks different?

Water shoes are used for light swimming, kayaking, and hiking through rough and wet surfaces while water socks are used for diving/snorkeling. Water socks protect your feet from jellyfish stings and are supposed to be worn inside a shoe. In contrast, water shoes protect your feet from rough surfaces and can do without water socks. Water shoes provide the best grip over water socks.

How do you fully clean water shoes?

Loosen the straps, rubber fasteners, and shoelaces in the water shoes. Rinse it with clean and slightly hot water. Scrub the shoes with wetsuit soap. A normal shampoo, hand, or dish soap will work. Adding a bit of baking soda into the water will kill the bacteria or fungus in new warm water. Soak the shoes for 30 mins. Once done, dry the shoes under the sun or use a blow dryer to have zero moisture inside the shoes. Put deodorizer or baking soda if there is still a funny smell.

Should I fit my water shoes tight or loose?

Tight water shoes will damage your skin. A loose one will tend to slip off during activity. Comfortably tight is better. Water shoes will provide a better grip when going in and out of a kayak. Some people prefer to get one size up when they buy water shoes. It depends on the type of water shoes you are buying. Some water shoes have velcro straps or shoelaces where you can adjust the tightness. Some are slip ons which are snuggly fit that you cannot adjust the tightness. Before buying, consider these factors and on what you prioritize.

What kind of water shoes are best suited for kayaking?

The best water shoes for kayaking are the fit and grippy ones. Going safely in and out of the vessel will be less of a chore. Fit water shoes will make you forget you do not have shoes and, at the same time, will provide comfort when walking over rough surfaces. When it comes to the weather, you have to choose the type of material to keep your feet warm on a chilly afternoon (neoprene) or cool on a sunny day (mesh). 

Can you put your water shoes inside the machine drier?

Some water shoes may or may not do so. Some materials of the water shoes may not withstand the hot temperature. It is best to dry the shoes as a jumpstart on the drier and continue drying it under the sun. Please check the manufacturer’s instructions before putting it in a machine drier.

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