The 13 Best Shoes For Kayaking In 2024 With Buying Guide: Expert-Reviewed

Fasten yourself for an adventurous ride and a thrilling experience with protective accessories.

Medically reviewed by Jeremy Kring, MS, CSCS
Written by Priyam Gupta, MA (English)
Edited by Srijani Roy Chowdhury, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant
Fact-checked by Asmita De, MA (English)  • 

Attention water sports enthusiasts! We are here to share a list of the best shoes for kayaking to make your experience safer and more comfortable. Kayaking is a water sport preferred by many. While nature is beautiful, it can be at times surprising, and not in a good way. Therefore, it is always wise to remain alert while enjoying its beauty. Jeremy King, a fitness expert, says, “It is important for the sake of fun and safety to be completely focused on the activity when kayaking. The easiest way to do this is to be prepared. This includes a waterproofed communication device, the right footwear, life floatation devices, and waterproof containers.” A good pair of footwear can keep your feet protected during kayaking sessions and allow you to indulge in this thrilling activity without any worries.

These specifically designed shoes for kayakers offer excellent resistance during water sports. They are not just practical and functional but also fashionable, allowing you to enjoy your adventures in style. So, if you have planned a trip to the seas and are about to turn your thrill-seeker mode on, we suggest you add a kayaking shoe to your collection. In addition to kayaking, these shoes can also serve you well for activities like swimming, heavy lifting, and even portaging. Swipe up to explore our list.

Top Picks
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Best Overall:Mishansha Water Shoes
Price on Amazon
Best Ergonomic:SIMARI Water Shoes
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Best Traction:L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes
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Best Comfort:WateLves Water Shoes
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Best For Avoid Blisters:PENGCHENG Water Sports Shoes
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Best Second-Skin Feeling:YALOX Water Shoes
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Best Breathable:SEEKWAY Water Shoes
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Best Anti-Chafing:ANLUKE Water Shoes
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Best Non-Slip Sole:SOBASO Water Shoes
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Best Foldable:Spesoul Water Sports Shoes
Price on Amazon

13 Best Shoes For Kayaking For All-Round Protection And Comfort

1. Best Overall:Mishansha Water Shoes

4.4

Mishansha’s kayaking shoes are made with spandex and feature a rubber sole. The upper layer is built with salt-resistant and lightweight Lycra that helps with cross-ventilation and fast draining. With the anti-slip camo rubber sole, drainage holes ensure water flow to keep feet cool and breathable. A pull tab at the heel helps with easy wearing and removal while the elastic straps eliminate the irritation of laces. Mishansha’s kayaking footwear is resistant to abrasion and will ensure you have an enjoyable time paddle boarding to make your aquatic activity more fun.

Pros

  • Flexible and soft
  • Available in 45 colors
  • Fast draining
  • Anti-slip rubber sole
  • Breathable
  • Easy wearing and adjustment

Cons

  • The rubber sole might not provide a strong grip

2. Best Ergonomic:SIMARI Water Shoes

4.4

SIMARI’s kayak water shoes are made with 92% polyester and the outer material is mesh, ensuring breathability and quick-drying ability. Its ergonomic design gives you a soft cushion and 8 holes in the sole for better drainage. The bumpy texture on the rubber soles has received much appreciation from several reviewers on Amazon as it helps provide a good grip when you’re walking on wet or slippery surfaces and helps maintain your balance. SIMARI’s kayak footwear can be worn and removed easily with the help of elastic shoelaces, so you can focus more on the fun.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Quick-dry
  • Fast drainage
  • Soft cushion
  • Elastic shoelaces
  • Available in 44 colors

Cons

  • Some may find that the insoles aren’t secure

3. Best Traction:L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes

4.4

L-Run’s kayaking booties are flexible and lightweight, giving you the feeling of wearing socks as they hug your feet. According to reviews, the outsole is thick and gives you stronger traction for security as it is made of a honeycomb structure. Without having to deal with shoelaces, the elastic bands can be adjusted to fit your feet’s width and stay put. As the outer material of these kayak shoes stretches, it also allows for ventilation to keep your feet cool and breathable.

Pros

  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Thick rubber outsole
  • Available in 34 colors
  • Elastic adjustable laces
  • Fast draining

Cons

  • Some may find the inner seams to be scratchy

protip_icon Pro Tip
Avoid clothing and shoes with zippers or metal parts as they rust easily when exposed to salt water. Opt for specific water shoes that give all the ease and flexibility to perform water sports comfortably.

4. Best Comfort:WateLves Water Shoes

4.5
WateLves Water Shoes Image: Watelves

WateLves Water Shoes for kayaking feature a thick arch-support to give you the utmost comfort with cushioning that is also shock-absorbing, a protective toe guard that keeps your toes separated. Many reviewers have testified that the anti-slip rubber sole features 7 holes on the bottom that help drain all the water out and provide a healthier environment for your feet. With these kayaking shoes, women can prevent their feet from getting chafed as the design is molded and ergonomic.

Pros

  • Elastic drawstring laces
  • Thick-arch support
  • Shock-absorbing cushion
  • Protective toe guard
  • Anti-slip rubber sole with 7 drainage holes
  • Available in 31 colors

Cons

  • Might not have a thick outsole

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 7,907 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

5. Best For Avoid Blisters:PENGCHENG Water Sports Shoes

4.4

PENGCHENG has the best water shoes for kayaking as they offer good traction and safeguard your feet from blisters. The surface is made of quick-drying Lycra which is also soft, comfortable, and breathable. You will find these kayaking boots easy to slip into with the heel tab and they also feature an anti-collision toe front. With the drainage holes, you can keep your feet free of water and sand while also allowing them to stay cool throughout your activities. The non-slip rubber outsole features a honeycomb design that prevents your shoes from absorbing any sweat or odor.

Pros

  • Available in 44 colors
  • Anti-slip rubber sole
  • Quick-dry fabric
  • Easy velcro closure
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Anti-collision toe front
  • Easy to slip on

Cons

  • The laces might not stay put securely

6. Best Second-Skin Feeling:YALOX Water Shoes

4.4

YALOX’s kayaking Water Shoes are constructed with 92% polyester and 8% spandex. This blend of fabrics keeps the shoe smooth on the outside with a slight bit of stretch to fit your foot correctly. To keep your feet protected when stepping on rocks, a thick foam arch support is also present. With a non-slip rubber sole and drainage holes, you can stay cool and safe while enjoying your time out in the water. These shoes are our top pick as they are super lightweight and flexible, giving you a second-skin feeling.

Pros

  • Available in 45 colors
  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Non-slip rubber outsole
  • Quick-draining
  • Breathable
  • Thick arch support

Cons

  • Some may find the cushioning to be insufficient

7. Best Breathable:SEEKWAY Water Shoes

4.4
SEEKWAY Water Shoes Image: Seekwayer

SEEKWAY brings to you the best kayak shoes for all-round protection during water sports as they are ultra-breathable. Thick rubber soles with optimum cushioning and non-slip threads give you a great grip in wet conditions on any surface. With elastic vamps, the shoe fits snugly and is easy to wear and take off, as attested by reviewers. The lightweight outer spandex features small air holes for ventilation while some on the bottom help with drainage. With these kayak boots, you can have a truly enjoyable experience.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Available in 30 colors
  • 3D non-slip threads
  • Snug fit with elastic vamos
  • Air holes for ventilation and drainage

Cons

  • The lace tab might be flimsy

protip_icon Pro Tip
Opt for wearing water shoes with built-in dry socks. This can help you keep your feet in the water without getting them wet.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 6,507 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

8. Best Anti-Chafing:ANLUKE Water Shoes

4.2

ANLUKE’s kayak booties allow your feet to move freely owing to the stretchable fabric, which also helps with breathability. The rubber sole is resistant to abrasion and also allows air permeability, so no water or sand stagnates— features that have fetched this pair numerous positive remarks from reviewers on Amazon. With a smooth neck design, your feet remain safe from chafing and the shoe compresses easily, so you can pack them up without any hassle. In addition there are 36 colors from which to choose.

Product Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 10 Ounces.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Stretchable
  • Anti-chafing design
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Compress easily
  • Available in 36 colors

Cons

  • The insole might not be firmly attached

9. Best Non-Slip Sole:SOBASO Water Shoes

4.2

SOBASO’s shoes for kayaking and hiking have mesh on the outer layer to keep your feet breathable and comfortable with the quick-drying fabric. Reliable traction is provided with the non-slip outsole while the shoe stays put with the help of the elastic lace. According to reviews, the rubber sole is lightweight and offers both stability and protection to your feet and it comes in 6 colors.

Pros

  • Breathable mesh
  • Lightweight
  • Non-slip sole
  • Elastic adjustable lace
  • Available in 6 colors
  • Easy slip-on

Cons

  • Some may find it to lack support

10. Best Foldable:Spesoul Water Sports Shoes

4.4

Spesoul offers 11 colors of the most comfortable shoes for kayaking that stay put on your fit with the help of elastic laces and tabs. Not only are the shoes lightweight, they can be folded easily, making them great for packing. Fast-drying and breathable material is used in the make of Spesoul’s shoes, which also gives your feet comfort when worn. Thick rubber soles that are anti-slip feature at the bottom of these athletic shoes with some heel cushioning so your feet remain protected on rough terrain.

Pros

  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable
  • Breathable
  • Quick-dry
  • Available in 11 colors

Cons

  • The sole might come apart after a few uses

11. Best Foam Insole:SAGUARO Water Shoes

SAGUARO offers good water shoes for kayaking that are made with Lycra for the right amount of stretch. Elastic drawstrings and the buckle help with easy adjustment, so that the shoe remains secure through your fun activities. The insole in this pair of water shoes is made of foam and reduces friction to keep the feet safe. Made with a fishbone pattern, the rubber outsole has 7 drainage holes to keep your shoe breathable and cool while remaining anti-slip.

Pros

  • Anti-slip rubber outsole
  • Available in 37 colors
  • Easy adjustment
  • Foam insole
  • Fast drainage with 7 holes
  • Offers a comfortable stretch

Cons

  • Material might not be quick-dry

12. Best For Multipurpose Use:Racqua Water Shoes

4.2

You can easily slip into Racqua’s kayaking shoes as the breathable fabric keeps you cool. Elastic, quick-drying, and soft, this sports footwear is bound to give you maximum comfort and protection while out in the water. Along with their secure fit, these shoes are so flexible and lightweight that you can compress them to squeeze into your bag for convenient carrying. The non-slip outsole keeps hot sand, debris, and rocks from irritating your feet.

Pros

  • Available in 36 colors
  • Breathable
  • Quick-drying
  • Soft
  • Compresses easily
  • Non-slip outsole

Cons

  • Might not have sufficient cushioning

13. Best For Various Physical Activities:XIDISO Water Shoes

4.4

With 24 color options to choose from, XIDISO’s Water Shoes are flexible and allow for ventilation with the outer stretchable fabric. You won’t have to worry about slippery terrain as the rubber outsole gives excellent traction and keeps you stable in all situations. The anti-slip camo sole has holes for water flow and as it keeps your feet cool, you can use it for various physical activities.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Available in 24 colors
  • Non-slip rubber outsole
  • Fast drainage
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible

Cons

  • Might not be quick-dry

Now that we’ve looked at some of the best shoes for kayaking out there, it’s time to learn how you can bag the right pair for yourself.

What To Look For When Buying Kayaking Shoes

  • Comfort

Discomfort can take the fun out of activities making proper footwear important. Choose shoes that feature an ergonomic design and are roomy enough for your feet but not so much that rubbing and slippage occur. If your shoes happen to be too big, they can cause rocks and debris to get inside and give you cuts and blisters. Cushioned toe protection in the front is a good feature to look out for as it keeps them cushioned.

  • Durability

Sole durability is of optimum importance as your shoes need to be able to withstand the test of time. This is because kayaking locations can often be unpredictable. You need to be prepared with shoes that are stitched well and offer protection. Opt for shoes from trusted brands that are renowned for rigorously testing their products to ensure quality, performance, and durability.

  • Waterproof

Waterproof kayak shoes or those that dry quickly are essential when you’re engaged in any kind of water sport. Your shoes must be designed with fabric that repels water while keeping your feet dry.

  • Breathability

Mesh fabric is ideal for this as it allows good airflow to keep your feet cool. This way, you won’t have to deal with any odors or your feet heating up from being packed for too long.

  • Fit

Look for kayaking shoes that offer a snug fit, almost like a sock. This keeps the shoe secure so you won’t have to constantly worry about them falling off. Adjustable elastic straps with tabs are often the lace of choice for water shoes as you simply have to tighten or loosen them without tying or untying. Go through the user reviews that particularly deal with the aspect of sizing to understand which shoe will fit you the best.

  • Traction

To prevent easy slipping or friction, check for shoes with a thick rubber outsole. This not only protects your feet from slipping and helps maintain stability but keeps the base cushioned. This rubber often has holes to help water and sand flow out and keep you cool.

The Bottom Line

If you are a water sports enthusiast, it would be wise to get your hands on the best shoes for kayaking. The Mishansha Water Shoes are a trusted option for those looking for quick-drying shoes, while the SIMARI Water Shoes are perfect for those who want unparalleled foot protection. But if you are looking for shoes, especially for individuals with wide feet, then go for the L-Run Athletic Hiking Water Shoes. These shoes offer a safe and comfortable kayaking experience. These are exclusively designed for kayakers, providing excellent resistance during the activity. They are functional and, at the same time, fashionable and allow you to enjoy your adventure in style. These shoes are flexible, soft, designed with anti-slip rubber soles, and come in multiple color variants. Look for shoes that are comfortable, breathable, durable, waterproof, and fit right while you are picking the best shoes for kayaking.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Priyam Gupta, is a fashion enthusiast.She has curated this list of the best shoes for kayaking after carefully checking the most popular options available on the market. She checked the online user reviews and feedback to shortlist the products. The products listed here are lightweight, breathable, and easy to wear and take off, therefore, allowing you to focus solely on the activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I replace my water shoes?

While this depends on how often you use your water shoes and for how long each time, 6 months is a good time to be replacing them.

Can I wash my water shoes?

Yes, water shoes can be washed and put in the dryer. However, you must dry the rubber outsole separately and not put it in the dryer.

Can I wear running shoes for kayaking?

Running shoes can be worn while kayaking but they might absorb water and damage easily.

Can you kayak without shoes?

No, do not kayak without wearing shoes. Going barefoot is dangerous and constant contact with water may damage your skin.

How do I keep my feet dry while kayaking?

Wear a moisture-wicking kayaking shoe with built-in dry socks. The shoes you choose should also have good drainage features to remove water.


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