Top 8 Water Shoes for Kids (Buying Guide)

Make visits to the waterpark, pool, or beach safer by protecting your kids with water shoes. Water shoes have drain holes that allow water to pass through, while regular shoes absorb water. There are several styles and materials used to make water shoes, and they are available in infant to teen sizes.

You can buy water shoes designed like athletic shoes or water socks for a (mostly) barefoot feel. The tops of most water shoes have a neoprene design for comfort and versatility. Neoprene keeps feet dry and stretches easily.

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Why Use Water Shoes?

Kids should wear water shoes because they may step on rocks or other sharp objects at the beach. Water shoes for kids offer protection for small feet. These shoes provide comfort and traction on sand, dirt, or tile. Water shoes also protect against seaweed and any seal life that may hurt your child’s feet.

Your child could wear regular sandals, flip-flops, or shoes to the beach, but there are several drawbacks. Regular shoes won’t drain water or allow air to circulate like water shoes do. Organic matter and bacteria will grow and cause shoes to smell and fall apart. Wearing regular shoes can cause children to slip when climbing on a rock.

Your child may develop blisters or cracks on their skin from wearing wet shoes. These conditions can be painful and impair mobility.

Types of Water-Shoes and Sandals

There are three types of water shoes, and several materials used to manufacture these shoes. Here’s a look at the water shoe types to help you determine the best one for your child.

Aqua Socks
Aqua socks are thicker than a regular sock and protect your child’s feet warm and dry. These socks are made of neoprene and stretch to fit your child’s feet. Aqua socks won’t protect your child’s feet from rocks or sharp objects.

Water Sandals
Water sandals have the open design of regular sandals on the top, which makes them excellent for warmer weather. The soles consist of tough waterproof material to protect your child’s feet.

Water Shoes
Water shoes look like sneakers or other regular shoes, but they’re made from lightweight, waterproof material. These shoes usually have a thick sole to protect your child’s feet from rocks or debris.

Choose water socks if your child will be strolling along a safe beachfront. Opt for water shoes or sandals if the beach or other terrain is rugged and may have rocks.

Plastic shoes are waterproof but may rub against the skin and cause blisters after your child has worn them for a while. Mesh shoes are cool, and lets feet breathe. Tough leather water shoes last a long time but may get waterlogged.

Buy a thick-soled shoe or sandal if your family is visiting an area filled with sharp objects or rocks.

Water Shoes Recommendations

Here are 8 of the best water sandals, socks, and water shoes for kids. We’ve included a variety of styles, including neoprene socks, sandals, sneakers, and unisex designs.

</p> <h3>1. Stride-Rite Sneaker and Water Shoe for Boys</h3> <p><span class="su-label su-label-type-success">ChildFun Favorite</span>

Stride Rite Made 2 Play Phibian Water Shoe (Toddler/Little Kid), Blue, 10 M US Toddler

Your son can wear the Stride-Rite Water Shoe/Sneaker near the beach or pool, but it can also be worn as a traditional sneaker. These shoes have a closed toe to protect your child’s feet. These sneakers are available in toddlers, little kids, and big kids sizes.


  • Synthetic sole
  • 100 percent EVA upper
  • Rubber pod on the outsole
  • All-vegan; no animal products used
Pros Cons
Versatile -your child can wear in or near water or on dry land. The shoes may rub if sand gets in them.
These shoes don’t smell when wet. They may not provide traction on the beach.
Hose them off to clean
These sneakers come in 20 different colors/designs
Arch and ankle support

Why We Like It
These shoes stop bacterial growth and won’t smell when they get wet due to anti-microbial lining. These combination wet/dry sneakers are as durable as a water shoe but can be worn on dry land as an athletic shoe.

You can buy these shoes at any retail store that sells Stride-Rite shoes.

</p> <h3>2. Unisex Infant Water Shoes from Suiek</h3> <p>

SUIEK Baby Boys Girls Swim Water Shoes Infant Pool Beach Sand Barefoot Aqua Socks (Rose Red, Small)

Suiek’s water shoes for infants keep tiny feet warm and dry without bulk. The thin soles protect your baby’s feet from hot sand and other uncomfortable obstacles. They are lightweight and come in several fun colors.


  • Waterproof Neoprene
  • Slip-resistant silicone soles
Pros Cons
Excellent for children learning to walk Thin soles
Protect feet from hot sand Closures don’t adjust to foot size
100 percent waterproof These shoes are best for babies, who will outgrow them quickly.
These shoes will float in the water if you child removes them
Starfish and dolphin design

Why We Like It

These socks are made of neoprene, which stretches to accommodate the foot, but then stays in place. These socks come in three sizes, for babies six to 12 months, 12 to 24 months, or 24 to 36 months.

</p> <h3>3. iPlay Kids Water Shoes </h3> <p>

i play. Baby Unisex Swim Shoes,Royal Blue,6M

These flexible, soft water shoes for toddlers are elastic enough to fit your toddler without friction. iPlay water shoes look like socks but have the sole traction of shoes. These shoes have no odor due to their quick-drying technology.


  • EVA upper
  • Polyester
  • Synthetic rubber soles
Pros Cons
Available in several colors May cause blisters
Can coordinate with other iPlay summer gear Runs big
Dries quickly Wears out easily
Easy to put on and take off

Why We Like It

These soft, fast-drying shoes have a pull-tab, so your toddler can take them off easily. These shoes are lightweight and breathable, and won’t pinch at your child’s feet.

</p> <h3>4. Aquakiks Seashell Water Shoes for Kids </h3> <p>

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These unisex water shoes look like regular sneakers. Aquakiks offer a fitted upper to keep sand and debris out of the sneaker, so they are great for the beach or hiking. These water shoes have a tough rubber sole for better traction.


  • Pull-tab in back
  • Velcro strap
  • Hook and loop closure
Pros Cons
Made of Neoprene Inside of shoe may fall apart
15 colors/designs May wear out quickly
Contrasting trim
Velcro strap
Runs true to size

Why We Like It

These neoprene water shoes fit snug to the foot and keep sand away from your child’s feet, and the rugged sole prevents slipping. The all-synthetic construction prevents odor and chafing.

No products found.

</p> <h3>5. Fresko Toddler and Kids Shark Water Shoes</h3> <p>

Fresko Toddler Water Shoes for Boys, Shark T1524, Navy, 6 M US Toddler

These fun-looking neoprene shoes come in 32 color combinations for toddlers and little kids. Fresko shark water shoes have a neoprene upper and dry quickly. The thick rubber sole protects against rocks and debris.


  • Neoprene upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Mesh side panel
Pros Cons
Machine washable Poor construction
Flexible and stretchy May cause scars or blisters
Dries quickly Too stiff
Heel pull tab
Rubber sole for excellent traction

Why We Like It

The rubber sole offers excellent traction and protects little feet from rocks and sharp objects. The shoes’ mesh panels allow feet to breathe and prevent bacteria from forming.

</p> <h3>6. Merrell Kids' Hydro H2O Hiker Sandal</h3> <p>

Merrell Kid's Hydro H2O Hiker Sandal Sport

Your child can wear these sandals in or near water, or on land. The rugged sole protects against debris and rocks. The shoe has a hook and loop closure to make it easy for kids to put on and take off the sandals.


  • Lightweight leather and synthetic upper
  • A footbed designed to prevent odor
  • GRIP technology for better traction
  • Rubber toe guard
Pros Cons
Sizes for toddlers to pre-teens Poor construction
Easy to put on and take off Inconsistent anti-odor treatment in the footbed
Excellent traction Elastic cords may break
Perfect for water and all-terrain wear

Why We Like It

Your child can wear these sandals with or without socks during all types of outdoor activities. These Merrell sandals are built to last, with sturdy soles for safety and traction regardless of the terrain. These water shoes are available in wide as well as regular sizes for little kids and big kids .

</p> <h3>7. Cior Kids and Toddlers Water Shoes </h3> <p>

CIOR Kids Toddler Water Shoes Quick-Dry Boys and Girls Slip-on Aqua Beach Sneakers (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid) VY03-3rose red-26

These water shoes for kids feature an easy slip-on design for the beach or pool. Your child can also wear these sneakers throughout the day while picnicking, walking, or playing games with friends.


  • Breathable fabric upper
  • Lightweight honeycomb insole
  • Toddler, little kid, and big kid sizes
  • Slip-on design
Pros Cons
Ten different colors Lining may come out
High-quality rubber sole Sizing may be inaccurate
Flexible May not drain water properly
Breathable material
Easy to put on

Why We Like It

This water shoe has a breathable upper and comes in plenty of bright colors for kids to enjoy. The no-frills slip-on design is perfect for all ages, and can be worn near water or while walking or playing on land.

</p> <h3>8. Speedo Surfwalker for Toddlers </h3> <p>

Speedo baby-girls Unisex-Child Water Shoe Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Toddler,Blue/Black,44052

These toddler water shoes from swimsuit maker Speedo offers a four-direction outside shell for an accurate fit. The shoe has a loop and tab at the back to get the shoes on and off quickly. These shoes are available in five toddler sizes.


  • 100% Neoprene upper
  • Synthetic sole
  • S-trac thermoplastic rubber outsole
  • Air mesh insert panel
Pros Cons
Quick-adjusting strap May be slippery
Mesh panels leys feet breathe Sizes run large
Four-way stretch Back of shoe may be rough
Tough synthetic sole
Four color combinations

Why We Like It

These toddler water shoes can be worn any terrain and protect your child’s feet. The thermoplastic rubber gives the shoes a stronger grip on uneven or rocky surfaces.


The best water shoe for your child should keep her feet warm, dry, and safe throughout the day’s activities, on land or in water. Kids involved in more robust activities may need closed-toe shoes or sneakers, while less athletic kids can wear sandals.

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