15 BEST Water Shoes for Kayaking in 2024 [Protect Your Feet]

Reviewed by Jodelle Marx
Last updated:

*This article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you.

Short on time? Our pick for the best shoes for kayaking is the Level Six River Boots 2.0

From paddling to wading to swimming, protect your feet no matter where you are with a pair of the best water shoes for kayaking!

When you’re spending a day paddling in a kayak or a canoe, choosing the proper footwear is essential. 

Your feet will inevitably get wet, so regular hiking or walking shoes are sure to turn yucky. 

But on the other hand, going barefoot leaves your feet exposed to the elements and could lead to injury.

That’s why water shoes are the best kayaking shoes. And they come in several varieties; some use a neoprene upper to manage wetness, while others use mesh fabric, sandal designs, or drainage holes to add breathability. 

Another advantage of water shoes is their versatility. A good pair of water shoes will protect your feet on the trail or while wading in rocky rivers. 

Because paddling trips aren’t just about what happens in the boat; they’re about the whole experience.

I’ve found all the best water shoes for kayaking in every variety in this article. Read on to find a pair that’s right for you!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Keep Your Feet Protected Aqua Shoes

#1 Aleader Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

Aleader Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

Our rating: 4.5/5
Materials: Mesh and rubber
Best for: Warm weather water sports.

Some kayak shoes feature a design similar to athletic shoes but use mesh for the upper material to make them compatible with getting wet. 

The Aleader Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes fall into this category.

These shoes, available in men’s and women’s sizes, have an engineered mesh upper and drainage holes in the outsole. 

The result is a shoe that offers full coverage for your feet but that won’t trap water inside. Just beware: sand and small pebbles can still fit in through the holes. 

Adjustable elastic laces and a stretchy fit mean these water shoes slip on and off easily. 

They’ll provide a good grip when walking over wet and slippery surfaces and a sturdy base for planting your feet in a kayak or a canoe with a thick and textured bottom.

The men’s version has different color options than the women’s version, with some crossover. More blacks and greys are available in men’s sizes, and pinks and whites are available for women. 

Overall, this breathable water shoe is perfect for warm weather and will protect your feet from sharp rocks without drowning them in moisture.


  • Breathable mesh
  • Inexpensive
  • Drainage holes


  • The holes let in sand and small pebbles
  • Not great for hiking

#2 Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

Our rating: 4.3/5
Materials: Mesh and rubber
Best for: Transitioning from hiking to kayaking.

The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Shoe uses an innovative design to deliver a lightweight and breathable shoe suitable for hiking, walking, and kayaking.

The Vivebarefoot has a solid foam sole, so there are no drainage holes for rocks to enter the shoe. 

Their primary function is for working out. However, because the upper uses an airy mesh, they have excellent airflow that allows them to work as water shoes for kayak fishing and other water sports.

The Vivebarefoot Primus Lite is also a good shoe for the environment. 

The mesh upper uses recycled materials, and the foam sole uses a material called EVA, which derives from algae bloom rather than petroleum. Manufacturing this foam cleans the environment because it removes toxic algae bloom. 

If you’re an avid kayaker, you probably love your waterways. So a pair of shoes that clean waterways are a definite plus!

Overall, the Vivebarefoots are quick-drying, lightweight shoes that keep your feet feeling protected and comfortable in various settings.


  • Lightweight
  • Environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes
  • Comfortable fit


  • Pricey
  • Some people find the toe box uncomfortable

#3 Mishansha Water Shoes

Mishansha Water Shoes

Our rating: 4.6/5
Materials: Spandex, lycra, and rubber
Best for: Frequent kayakers looking for a go-to shoe.

The Mishansha Water Shoes are a classic water shoe. They have a stretchy spandex upper and a rubber sole with carefully-placed drainage holes. 

They’ll get wet, but the venting means they’re quick to dry and they won’t get musty.

Mishansha shoes have a relatively thin sole, so they’re not great for other applications, such as hiking over rough terrain. 

These shoes’ primary focus is protecting feet in or near the water, but that’s perfect if you’re looking for shoes to wear solely while kayaking or canoeing.

The durable rubber soles provide excellent toe protection while remaining flexible enough to move like bare feet. And the soles have a generous cushion to provide some arch support.

Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, these shoes offer a vast array of colors – a whopping 45, to be exact!

These shoes also have elastic laces to slip them on and off. The drainage hole is also relatively small, so they won’t allow sand and rocks to enter. 

One thing to note is that you’ll want to order Mishansha kayak shoes a half size down for a secure fit, as they loosen up when they get wet. 


  • Inexpensive
  • Flexible
  • Small drainage holes


  • A little too thin for hiking
  • Not a ton of traction on the soles

#4 KEEN Sandals

KEEN Sandals

Our rating: 4.6/5
Materials: Rubber, EVA foam, recycled PET
Best for: Summertime paddling trips.

Another way to deal with wet feet is to wear sandals for canoeing and kayaking. 

KEEN is a trusted brand that makes quality footwear, including sandals that work well in various water settings.

Although KEEN doesn’t have a shoe model with both men’s and women’s sizes, the Astoria West Sandals for Women and the Newport H2 Sandals for Men are relatively comparable.

Both sandals use a heavy-duty rubber sole with sturdy grips and a cushy EVA foam midsole. 

They don’t have drainage holes, but they’re not as necessary when the upper part of the sandal is all straps. Water can easily run out the sides before it can pool in the bottom. 

These thick rubber bases do a good job of protecting your feet from sharp rocks and provide a solid grip for slippery conditions.

The Astoria Women’s Sandals use recycled PET and plastic from recycled bottles to make a quick-drying upper. 

The Newport Men’s sandals use polyester webbing in their uppers, which is also quick-drying, and they both employ a bungee-lace-lock system, so the sandals fit firmly on your feet.

Both sandals also have odor-controlling materials – that’s a big plus for footwear expected to get wet repeatedly!


  • Recycled materials
  • The soles have lots of grip
  • Anti-odor


  • Expensive
  • No drainage holes

#5 Speedo Water Shoe Surfwalker Rush

Speedo Water Shoe Surfwalker Rush

Our rating: 4.5/5
Materials: Surf knit, EVA, rubber
Best for: Kayaking adventures on oceans and rivers.

When you think about water sports, one brand that might come to mind immediately is Speedo. 

But Speedo offers more than just swimsuits, goggles, and swim caps. The Speedo Surfwalker Rush is an exceedingly comfortable water shoe.

The Surfwalker is a slip-on shoe with a rubber outsole that provides excellent traction, a cushy EVA midsole, and a breathable and stretchy knit upper that has a sock-like fit. 

The EVA midsole is entirely water repellent, and the outsole’s design effectively disperses water without the need for drainage holes in the sole.

These shoes are very comfortable because of their soft, stretchy fit and medium-weight cushioned sole. 

One downside is that they don’t come in half sizes and they run small. Be sure to size down for a more comfortable fit, or else they may fall off in the water, or your feet might slide around in them while paddling.


  • Comfortable, stretchy fit
  • EVA midsole
  • Reasonably-priced


  • The men’s sizes and colors are limited
  • The sizing is tricky, you’ll probably want to size down

#6 Level Six River Boots 2.0

Level Six River Boots 2.0

Our rating: 4.8/5
Materials: Neoprene and rubber
Best for: Camping trips that feature a variety of outdoor adventures.

The Level Six River Boots 2.0 are a very versatile pair of shoes. First of all, these are unisex shoes. The sizes listed are men’s sizes, but they should work for women if you size down by one.

Apart from that, these water booties can serve you well in various outdoor activities. 

Yes, their Neoprene upper makes them ideal for wet environments. And yes, drainage holes in the soles help with excess water. However, the vulcanized rubber anti-slip soles will have you covered in both wet and dry settings. 

Wear these shoes while kayaking and wading and then transition straight to rock climbing. Their flexible fit will serve you well in both environments.

Neoprene is the material they use to make wet suits, which work to seal in body heat and keep you warm even in cold water. 

So, these neoprene water shoes should also keep your feet warm even on a cold-weather paddle trip.

Lastly, the Level Six River Boots have an adjustable fit thanks to a bungee cord around the ankle opening, so you won’t have to worry about them slipping off if you go for a dip.


  • Drainage holes
  • Neoprene upper for a warm fit
  • Suitable for wet and dry terrain


  • Black is the only color option
  • The unisex sizing doesn’t tailor toward women’s sizes

#7 NRS ATB Neoprene Kayak Shoes

NRS ATB Neoprene Kayak Shoes

Our rating: 4.8/5
Materials: Neoprene and rubber
Best for: Dedicated kayakers.

Many of the shoes on this list fall under the classification of general water shoes, meaning they work in various wet settings. Their primary application is for swimming or wading in rivers and rocky environments. 

However, the NRS ATB Neoprene Kayak Shoes are shoes specifically made for kayaking.

Like the Big River shoes, the NRS kayak shoes are Unisex and advise women to order one size down. They also use Neoprene to form the shoes’ upper. 

The NRS shoes, however, have a boot-like design that goes up to the lower shin, and they have ankle zippers up the sides to make them easier to get on and off.

These heavy-duty kayak shoes have a thick, anti-slip rubber sole. This makes them great for keeping your feet dry and warm over various terrains, but it also means that they’re pretty heavy shoes. For that reason, they wouldn’t be great for swimming.

Overall, with their full-coverage neoprene design, these are some of the best kayak shoes for colder weather.


  • Very warm
  • Perfect for kayaking
  • Excellent traction


  • Heavy

#8 Kararao Water Shoes 

Kararao Water Shoes

Our rating: 4.6/5
Materials: Lycra and rubber
Best for: Hot weather and sandy beaches.

The Kararao Water Shoes are an affordable and dependable pair of wet shoes for kayaking. 

Available in a range of both men’s and women’s sizes and 45 different colors, these shoes offer something for everyone.

This kayaking shoe has a quick-drying lycra upper that’s breathable and feels good against your skin, so you’ll have no worries about wearing them without socks. 

Elastic straps with a drawstring closure ensure a perfect fit and make them a breeze to pull on and off.

But most notably, the rubber sole equipped with drainage holes has a design that mimics the shape of your bare foot, giving your feet complete flexibility. 

The drainage holes are also small enough that they won’t let a ton of sand into the shoe. And a  cushioned midsole makes these shoes ultra-comfortable.

Some of the women’s pairs also feature a reflective strip at the heel, which is helpful at night. 

The Kararao kayak shoe also works in various other settings, including swimming, surfing, yoga, and even walking on rough terrain. 

Since they focus on breathability and moisture management, they’re best suited for warmer weather.


  • Affordable
  • Lots of color options
  • Flexible rubber sole


  • They don’t provide a ton of arch support
  • They don’t use eco-friendly materials

#9 Columbia Summertide Water Shoe

Columbia Summertide Water Shoe

Our rating: 4.7/5
Materials: Neoprene, mesh, bloom foam, and rubber
Best for: People who love an array of outdoor activities in addition to kayaking.

Many water shoes have a distinct look, and it’s easy to tell they’re for water sports at first glance. 

While that’s not necessarily a problem, it can be limiting if you want to get as much use out of your shoes as possible.

The Columbia Summertide Water Shoe, however, is different. This shoe looks just like an athletic shoe or even similar to a pair of hiking boots. But despite this, their design makes them ideally suited for wet surfaces.

The Summertide shoe utilizes several different materials frequently used in the best shoes for kayaking. 

Firstly, they have a neoprene collar with breathable mesh construction for the rest of the shoes’ upper. 

Secondly, the midsole uses eco-friendly bloom foam made from algae blooms. Not only does it provide lots of cushioning, but small vents in the midsole help increase airflow.

And finally, a recycled rubber sole provides excellent traction over slippery, wet surfaces while remaining thick enough that you won’t be able to feel sharp rocks poking through.

Because these shoes look like a pair of hiking or running shoes, they’re excellent to wear kayaking, hiking, or even just around town.


  • Attractive and versatile design
  • They use eco-friendly recycled rubber and bloom foam
  • Quick-drying materials


  • A bit pricey
  • There aren’t many color options

#10 NRS Paddle Wet Shoes

NRS Paddle Wet Shoes

Our rating: 4.3/5
Materials: Neoprene and rubber
Best for: Serious kayakers who paddle in all weather conditions.

Water shoes for kayaking in the cold are often made from neoprene because this material can seal in body heat to keep you warm even when wet. 

Thanks to a full-coverage neoprene upper, the NRS Paddle Wet Shoes are an excellent example of cold-weather wet shoes.

The NRS paddle shoes take warmth to another level with a heat-reflective titanium adhesive and a special lining called VaporLoft. 

VaporLoft is soft and fleece-like. But unlike genuine fleece, which would turn into a soggy mess when wet, VaporLoft is quick-drying and water-repellent, so it keeps your feet both warm and dry.

These high-top shoes have a super thick rubber sole with lots of texture for advanced traction, and the rubber extends over the toe for extra protection from stubs and smashes. 

Padding at the ankles further protects, while elastic rubber bands help add additional support.

These are heavy-duty kayak water shoes with advanced materials and protection from the elements, so they’re an excellent choice for people serious about kayaking, especially in cold weather conditions. 


  • Quick-drying warm lining
  • Thick soles
  • Neoprene outer


  • They may be too warm for summer kayaking
  • They run small

#11 Merrell Hydro Moc Shoes

Merrell Hydro Moc Shoes

Our rating: 4.4/5
Materials: EVA Foam
Best for: Camping and spending a lot of time outdoors near water.

The Merrell Hydro Moc Shoes have a unique design. Rather than the flexible mesh, lycra, or neoprene materials that other shoes use for their uppers, the Merrell kayak shoes have a body entirely constructed from EVA foam. 

Aesthetically similar to crocs, these shoes have no absorbent material to hold onto wetness, and big holes allow water to flow out of them.

These shoes are perfectly contoured to provide advanced support, while the EVA foam offers just enough firm cushioning for a highly comfortable fit that will never feel soggy or damp. 

However, the lack of soft material may cause some people to get blisters after an extended time wearing them, so watch out for that. The slip-on design also features a heel strap to help them stay securely on your feet. 

The Hydro Moc is a highly eye-catching waterproof shoe with a look that you’ll either love or hate.

There are several marbled color options, some of which are understated like the grey-and-black women’s shoes. But there’s also a rainbow option for those who love to use bright colors to make a statement. 


  • All-EVA foam construction
  • Cushioned support
  • Slip-on design


  • Very distinct look that may not be to everyone’s tastes
  • May cause blisters for some people

#12 Chaco ZX/2 Classic Sandal

Chaco Zx2 Classic Sandal

Our rating: 4.5/5
Materials: Polyester jacquard and rubber
Best for: People who hate the feeling of closed-toed shoes.

Some people would gladly wear flip-flops all the time if it were possible, but flip-flops are flimsy and don’t provide any real support when you’re canoeing or kayaking.

If this sounds like you and full-coverage water shoes feel a little claustrophobic, then the Chaco ZX/2 Classic Sandal might be your ideal shoe.

The Chaco Sandals have a sturdy, molded rubber sole that fits the contours of your foot. The subtle texture along the footbed keeps your foot from slipping around in the sandal. 

On the underside, deep grooves provide a grip that goes beyond the average flip-flop’s capabilities. 

Polyester jacquard webbing forms the sandal’s straps, which crisscross over the foot, around the ankle, and wrap around the toe, ensuring that they’ll fit your feet correctly and stay secure.

There are slight design differences between men’s and women’s sandals, and both have multiple color options, although those options differ between the genders. 

The men’s Chaco has flat, wide straps, while the women’s has multiple thin straps for extra aesthetic appeal.

With their quality materials and fashionable design, the Chacos for women are some of the best women’s water shoes for kayaking.


  • Secure straps and comfortable fit
  • Multiple aesthetic options
  • Durable rubber soles with good grip


  • Expensive for sandals
  • Won’t work in colder weather

#13 Sea to Summit Ultra Flex Booties

Sea to Summit Ultra Flex Booties

Our rating: 4.3/5
Materials: Neoprene and rubber
Best for: People who love to swim as much as they love to kayak.

Sea to Summit is a great brand that makes lots of quality outdoor gear, particularly when it comes to kayaking and canoeing. 

So, it’s no surprise that the Sea to Summit Ultra Flex Booties are some of the best water shoes for canoeing and kayaking.

The Ultra Flex Booties are low-top neoprene shoes with a textured rubber sole that extends over the toe and around the foot, keeping the shoes dry unless you fully submerge them.

Snug neoprene is excellent for cold-weather water adventures, but a low profile means they won’t get too hot in the summer. 

A velcro strap goes over the bridge of the foot and helps ensure these booties for kayaking will stay securely on your feet, even if you decide to take a dip in the water.

Another positive aspect of these shoes is that they’re unisex. As a woman, you don’t need to size down and hope they’ll fit or feel envious of the colors available for men and not for women. 

The Ultra Flex Booties do have a drawback, however. They don’t drain well. SO, once you do submerge them, they may stay filled with water for some time.


  • Unisex sizing
  • Neoprene and rubber construction
  • Low-top


  • They don’t have excellent drainage
  • Limited sizes and colors available overall

#14 Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals – Kids’

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals - Kids'

Our rating: 4.7/5
Materials: Polyester, EVA Foam, and rubber
Best for: Kayaking kids who love to adventure in the great outdoors.

Kayaking is a sport that people of all ages can enjoy. 

And If you’re a parent and you’re hoping to get your little one on board with the outdoor activities that you already love, you’re going to want a quality pair of shoes that’ll fit your child and perform as well as your grown-up shoes.

The Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals are a perfect shoe for youngsters ready for adventure, especially those who would rather keep their feet free and unencumbered.

EVA foam footbeds provide a cushioned support for little feet, while rubber grips help prevent slips, falls, and skinned knees. 

The quick-drying polyester straps come in various fun patterns and colors, so there’s something to delight both girls and boys. 

These water sandals are also excellent for kids on kayaking trips because they’re versatile and work for walking, scrambling on rocks, and wading in rivers. 

For kids who have short attention spans and may lose interest in kayaking halfway through the day, these Teva Sandals will transition to whatever your little one decides to do to entertain themselves. 


  • Various fun designs
  • Unisex sizing
  • Good traction


  • No toe protection
  • The sizes run a little large

#15 Racqua Water Shoes

Racqua Water Shoes

Our rating: 4.5/5
Materials: Rubber and mesh
Best for: Kayakers who value freedom of movement as well as toe protection.

For people who love a barefoot feeling, sandals are not the only option. 

If you want the freedom and flexibility of your natural foot but also want to keep your toes protected, then the Racqua Water Shoes will be an excellent fit for you.

These water shoes for kayaking and hiking have a unique sole design that mimics the bottom of your foot. 

Although these shoes don’t have fully separated toes, the rubber material of the soles divides into individual toe prints to give you the pliability of bare feet with the protection of a fully-enclosed shoe.

Quick-dry mesh fabric pairs with drainage holes to ensure that wetness won’t stay trapped inside, keeping the shoes dry in various settings without letting in sand and rocks. 

From kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding and wading on a beach, Racqua water shoes will have you covered.

Racquas are unisex kayaking shoes, but the sizes tend to run large. They’re available in many different colors, and they have elastic laces for a secure, slip-on fit. 


  • Barefoot sole design
  • Quick-drying 
  • Inexpensive


  • The sizing runs large
  • Thin sole isn’t great for hiking and walking

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Kayaking Water Shoes

What to Look for in Water Shoes for Kayakers and Canoeists

There are several different categories of water shoes, each with diverse key components. Still, these are the things to look out for in the best paddling shoes, regardless of their type.

What to Look for in Water Shoes for Kayakers and Canoeists

Traction and grip

When kayaking and canoeing, you’re sure to run into many slippery surfaces. 

Whether you’re standing in water in a canoe or on slippery rocks, the best shoes for kayaking and canoeing will have an anti-slip rubber sole. Or, at the very least, some adequate traction to keep you firmly rooted on the ground. 

Water management

Water shoes for kayaking aren’t necessarily going to be waterproof shoes that entirely keep your feet dry. 

Water shoes are designed to be wholly submerged, so instead of repelling water, they use various strategies for managing wetness. 

Some water shoes have drainage holes in the soles or use quick-drying materials. Some cold weather wet shoes have a neoprene upper and act as wet suits for your feet.

Some of the best shoes for kayaking in warmer weather are water sandals, which aren’t enclosed and don’t trap moisture.

The exact mechanism for managing wetness will vary depending on the type of wet shoe but pay attention to how a water shoe deals with water to find a pair that will be right for you.


Shoes should be comfortable, full stop. And comfort is incredibly paramount for shoes that you’re planning to wear kayaking or in other active settings.

Nothing ruins your day like aching feet, so look for kayak shoes with a flexible fit, a cushioned midsole, and a supportive design. 

Customer reviews are a surefire way to determine how comfortable a shoe is, and it’s also essential to know your foot shape and what types of designs suit that shape the best.

Secure fit

Materials tend to expand when they’re wet, so kayaking shoes that fit securely are vital. 

Many kayak shoes use adjustable elastic laces or straps over the bridge of the foot to ensure a firm fit. 

A sturdy fit is especially crucial if you plan to swim in your kayaking shoes. The last thing you want is to kick your shoes off and lose them in the water!

Types of Water Shoes

There’s a lot of variety for water shoes; it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Before choosing a pair, determine what type of kayak shoe you’re looking for.

Types of Water Shoes

Neoprene Kayak Shoes

Kayak shoes with an all-neoprene upper are best for keeping your feet warm when paddling in cold water. 

Neoprene is excellent at sealing body heat when it’s wet, and it’s also highly flexible and cushy. 

Neoprene shoes are the best kayak shoes for dedicated paddlers – people who plan to head out on the water all year-round.

Water Booties

Water booties are lightweight shoes that have thin, flexible soles. Water booties are excellent for days that are jam-packed with water activities.

You can wear them while you’re kayaking, paddle boarding, or hanging out by a body of water. You can also wear them while swimming to protect your feet from sharp rocks at the bottom of a lake or river.

Water Sneakers

Some water shoes look like any athletic sneakers, but they use quick-drying materials to ensure that your feet won’t stay soggy if they get wet. 

This type of water shoe generally has a more substantial rubber outsole, so they’re not the best for wearing while swimming. 

However, the thicker sole and versatile design mean that these kayak shoes will also do well on hikes and rough terrain. 

Water Sandals

In warm weather, the best water shoe might be a sandal. 

Water sandals differ from regular sandals in that they use quick-drying materials for the sandal straps, and they focus on a secure fit and adequate traction. 

They’re also versatile enough to work well for various summertime outdoor activities. 

FAQs About Water Shoes

FAQs About Water Shoes

Should I wear shoes for kayaking? Is it OK to kayak barefoot?

When you’re kayaking, you want to be able to plant your feet inside your kayak firmly. When you get in and out of your boat, you also might walk over pointy rocks at the shore. 

That’s why it isn’t a good idea to kayak barefoot. Investing in shoes for kayaking will improve your performance and protect your feet from injury.

Do your shoes get wet when you kayak?

Your shoes will inevitably get wet when you kayak. This is why the best kayaking shoes are quick-drying or have good drainage.

What is the best brand of water shoes?

While there are many choices for kayaking footwear, a few of the top brands include NRS, Keen, and Merell. 

Are water shoes worth it?

Water shoes are a smart purchase for kayakers and canoeists, and anyone who enjoys outdoor activities near lakes and rivers. 

Our feet are delicate and river rocks can be slippery. Water shoes ensure a comfortable time and help prevent injury.

Do I wear socks with water shoes?

Generally, you should not wear socks with water shoes, which would defeat their purpose. 

Socks will soak up water and hold onto it. However, there are water socks that you can wear specifically with water shoes, and they’re an excellent idea in chillier conditions.

Are water shoes unisex?

Some water shoes are unisex, while others are not. Unisex water shoes will usually indicate what size they are for men and women or advise that women simply go down one size.

Do water shoes float?

Some water shoes, especially those that use a lot of foam, will float in water. 

But you shouldn’t count on your water shoes to float if you accidentally lose one in the water, so it’s best to make sure you have a secure fit instead.

How do you clean water shoes?

Since water shoes have many variations in design and material, how you clean them will vary from shoe to shoe. 

Check the listing to see if they’re machine washable or spot-clean them with a wet sponge. 

Always make sure that your shoes air out to dry thoroughly between trips to avoid unpleasant odors and mildew.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Water Shoes for Kayakers and Canoeists

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Water Shoes for Kayakers and Canoeists

After careful consideration, my pick for the best shoes for kayaking is the Level Six River Boots 2.0

These water shoes have the right balance of versatility and specificity to make them a smart purchase for a paddle trip. 

While these aren’t the cheapest shoes on the list, they’re still moderately priced. Their mid-range price means they use quality materials and durable construction, but they won’t break the bank. It’s the best of both worlds.

Speaking of quality materials, the Level Six River Boots’ neoprene construction makes them warm if you’re kayaking or paddle-boarding in colder weather conditions. 

But their low-top design means they’re not just cold-weather shoes, so you can wear them year-round, making them a smart purchase in that sense as well.

The vulcanized rubber soles also provide a solid tread. And while these make an excellent kayaking shoe, they’re great in both wet and dry terrains and will even perform well for rock climbing, thanks to a flexible body.

The Level Six Boots’ versatility and reasonable price make them the best kayaking shoe to invest in for your next paddling trip, and they could easily become a go-to shoe for outdoor adventures.

But ultimately, anything from a water sandal to a heavy-duty neoprene paddling boot will greatly improve your performance and your comfort when you’re out on the water.


Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary is a visual artist, writer, teacher, and avid traveler who grew up in San Francisco, CA. Elina’s offbeat, colorful sense of style has been a mode of self-expression for as long as she can remember. Elina’s love for fashion extends down to her toes. She’s a constant walker, and has also suffered from foot pain most of her life due to a extra bone in her feet. Finding shoes that are both comfortable and stylish is both a passion and a necessity, and her shoe collection is extensive. When she isn’t writing and editing for The Atlas Heart, Elina is pursuing a Master’s degree in Visual Art at Cornell University and splits her time between Ithaca and Brooklyn.

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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