Are Waterproof Sandals Really Waterproof?

When hiking or walking through town, a puddle or rain shower can turn an enjoyable venture into a slushy mess. When it comes to footwear, the type of shoe determines the comfort and dryness of your foot.

With this in mind, can sandals ever be waterproof? The sandal should provide features allowing use and durability in water versus keeping a foot dry.

Waterproof sandals are not waterproof – they are designed for water use and provide best traction on wet surfaces like rocks and rivers edges. So, your foot will get wet; however the benefit of a waterproof sandal is that the materials of some water sandals will dry faster then others.

Aside from sport-specific water shoes, like TYR or Speedo slides created for competitive swimmers, navigating brands can feel like wading through mud. Check out our recommendations below.

Waterproof hiking sandals

Although it sounds counter-intuitive, a hiking sandal frees your foot to explore all terrains, including creeks and other waterways. A quality hiking sandal drains the water quickly, allowing it to dry and withstand smelling like mildew.

Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe

Although recommended by numerous sources, the All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe is no longer available on Merrell’s website and only sold through their Amazon store. That said, the shoe received over 3000 reviews and rates at 4.7/5 stars. Resembling a sneaker, the sandal has open drainage holes throughout the shoe and sports a closed toe, protecting your foot. Merrell designed the shoe to allow for quick drying and dependable traction. The uppers feature waterproof leather and a neoprene stretch collar. Bungee-laces provide comfort and ease in tightening.

Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro II Adventure Sandals

The Bedrock Cairn 3D Pro II Adventure Sandals look the part of a sandal. Sporting a minimalist open top, one questions the quality of these as hikers. Yet, Bedrock’s Vibram® Megagrip outsole morphs these sandals from a lounge at the beach shoe to a hiking sandal, withstanding wet, slippery conditions while providing traction. Some reviewers state the sandals dig into loose terrain, allowing trust in the grip. The hook system allows for heel and side adjustments. As an additional bonus, 1% of all profits are donated to earth-supporting non-profits.

Keen Men’s Rialto II H2

The Men’s Rialto II H2 utilizes PFC-FREE water repellent to keep water from soaking their sandal. They combine this with CLEANSPORT NXT to control odor from soaked, sweaty shoes. The shoe is marketed as quick-drying and washable. Bungee cords prevent laces from slipping, avoiding unnecessary accidents. Closed toes protect feet from cuts and bumps but allow rocks to get stuck at the end of the shoe. The sandal includes a removable PU footbed that conforms to your foot, decreasing slippage.

Women’s waterproof sandals

Birkenstock Arizona Essentials Eva Collection

The Arizona Essentials are made from lightweight ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), both waterproof and washable. The footbed draws up on the ends, protecting the foot, while raised areas near the toes allow for better grip. There is a deep heel cup enabling support of the foot tissue and providing hold to the heel bones. The details of Birkenstocks allow wearers to feel comfortable, even after hours on their feet.  If this style is not for you, Birkenstock has various Eva lines, including slides and typical sandals.

Teva Hurricane Drift

Teva’s Hurricane Drift sandal is marketed for “safer activities, festival wear, getting around town, relaxing at the campground.” Made with EVA, the sandal is lightweight and comfortable. The shoes run wide, so wearers recommend sizing down if you have a narrow foot. Made with only synthetic and natural materials, Teva markets the sandals as vegan footwear.

Women’s Crocs Serena Sandal

Reviewers rave about the Crocs Serena Sandal. A last-minute buy for some, after an all-day music festival excursion, they had no aching feet. With a variety of terrains tested, still, their feet felt comfortable. Others professed how easy they were to clean. Made with Croslite foam foundation, the sandals are lightweight and comfortable. Unlike many waterproof sandals, these will not break your bank.

Blondo Selma Waterproof Sandals

The Blondo Selma Waterproof sandals sport leather and are sealed with waterproof Aqua protect right down to the seams. Blondo states the sandals can easily be cleaned with a wet cloth. Due to the material’s waterproof nature, reviewers warn the sandals can squeak if not wearing shoes. Others see it as worth it, knowing they can wear the shoes to the beach or poolside. Reviewers warn the shoe is narrow, so to consider ordering up.

Men’s waterproof sandals

Teva Hurricane XLT

Teva’s Hurricane XLT includes a heel strap with upgraded traction. The sandal is designed for day or light hikes, utilizing EVA foam for lightweight comfort. From an environmental impact point of view, the sandal saves five plastic bottles from ending up in the ocean by using REPREVE polyester yarn. Teva turns the yarn into a quick-dry webbing. By mixing the synthetic with natural materials, the Hurricane XLT is marketed as vegan footwear. Some reviewers say the shoe fits a little large, while others said they were perfect.

KEEN SOLR Sandals  

When it comes to wet, this sandal dives right in – even as far as the name. SOLR stands for Sea, Ocean, Lake, River. The SOLR sandal features closed toes for protected wear. Made with EVA, the lightweight sandal has been designed for stability on the ground. Keen included Aquagrip rubber with Aqua Stop zonal siping for additional non-marking traction on wet surfaces. The lining is quick-drying, and the sandal is machine washable. The sandals run small, so order ½ to a whole size up.


OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandals

The OOaah Sport Slide Sandals are OOFOS response to a need for after-workout comfort. Whether hiking all day or going for a long trail run, the sandals deliver necessary cushioning by incorporating OOfoam™ recovery technology. This absorbs 37% more impact than other footwear. Closed-cell foam allows the sandal to maintain its waterproof nature and allows for machine washing and odor control. Wearers boast about the sandal’s durability, with some claiming to wear the sandal 340 days a year!

Reef Fanning Sandal

The Reef Fanning Sandal takes your chill to another level. The sandal features a built-in bottle opener in the sandal’s footbed, allowing your beach or pool trip to be one less tool necessary. The upper is made of synthetic nubuck, allowing splash resistance wear. The heel has a 360-degree airbag for added comfort. Like many other sandals, these utilize EVA to keep the sandals lightweight. Reviewers living in beach environments say this sandal is a must and the added bottle opener is incredibly useful.

Crocs Men’s Swiftwater Mesh Wave

The Swiftwater Mesh Wave is made for the water. This sandal aims to be where water is: a river, the ocean, or a waterpark. The outsole functions as a channel, allowing water to drain while still providing traction in wet areas. Crocs works its Croslite foam into the shoe preventing water and utilizes the Iconic Crocs Comfort to create a lightweight shoe. Wearers warn the shoe may be big, so prepare to order a little smaller than normal.

Toddler waterproof sandals

When working with toddlers and potential sensory sensitivities, it is crucial to consider the feel of wet shoes all day and meltdowns from discomfort. Spending a few extra dollars on a pair of quick drying, waterproof sandals can save a day of tears.

Kids’ Crocs Littles™ Clog

Picture the adult version of the clog. This is precisely what the Kids’ Crocs Littles Clog is, except smaller. For toddlers, these are the perfect shoes: they can be thrown about, sprayed off, and toddlers can put them on themselves! The shoes take a beating without damaging the structure or scuffing up. The shoes can be worn with or without socks. The sandals use Croslite foam for a light feel. Check for sizing, as the shoes can vary due to the additional width.

Merrell Little Kid’s Hydro Jr. Sandal

Merrell markets their Little Kid’s Hydro Jr. Sandal as the ultimate summer camp shoe. The upper is made from leather and is quick to dry thanks to its liner. The outsole utilizes M Select GRIP to help little feet not slip and slide on wet grounds. With velcro closures, no strings need navigating or tears in waiting for shoes to be tied. This shoe is made from EVA, so no frets about weighing down little feet. Reviewers brag about how the shoes are excellent for narrow kids’ feet.

Teva Hurricane XLT 2

Teva’s Hurricane XLT 2 is the perfect sandal for water activities, the playground, or just wearing around the day. Like the adult version, the shoe’s webbing is made from REPREVE polyester yarn, saving two plastic bottles from landfills with each purchase. The shoe is made with EVA, keeping it light on the kiddo’s feet. Using synthetic and plant-based materials, the shoe is considered vegan footwear. No shoe strings make this sandal excellent for kids quick on and off, while its rubber outsole helps keep little feet from slip and sliding in the wet conditions. Wearers rave about their kids loving this shoe and grabbing it to wear before any others.

Toddler Kade Apparel Water Shoes – Cat & Jack™ Blue

Cat & Jack shoes are typically sold through Target. These shoes are marketed as water shoes, so they can definitely be worn in wet conditions. There is an adjustable strap, saving shoe strings and time. Cat & Jack shoes are generally very affordable, helping to keep the costs down with a quick-growing foot and often lost shoes.

Reef Little Ahi

The Reef Little Ahi is the perfect flip flop for little kids and toddlers. With toddlers, splash pads, beaches, pools, and creeks create the best memories, but you have to protect their tiny little piggies. Reef has a variety of shoes just for that, separating them into toddlers and kids’ shoes. Made with EVA, they remain lightweight and durable. The brand has shoes both donning back straps and sandals, so depending on what you are looking for, Reef has a shoe for you.

Kids waterproof sandals

Just like with toddlers, sensory sensitivities are common with kids, as well as just being busy little humans. Slippery sandals are the last thing you want on your mind. With kids living in sandals, investing in a good pair of waterproof sandals is worth the time.

Keen Little Kids’ Seacamp II CNX

The Little Kids’ Seacamp II CNX is a perfect hybrid between slide and shoe. This sandal allows kiddos to run around and drains the water from their shoes. The sole is non-marking rubber, so they can run with ease inside a gym, as well as through the rain. No laces allow for an easy pull on and off. For parents’ ease, the shoes are made of washable polyester material. EVA materials keep this sandal lightweight for little feet.

Keen Little Kids’ Newport Neo H2

Keen’s Little Kid’s Newport Neo H2 is an all-terrain shoe for your youngster. Made for active kids, it can be a go-to sandal thanks to the PFC-free water repellent. Keen’s materials are machine washable polyester webbing. EVA keeps the shoe lightweight for activities, and rubber soles help grip and not marking up gym floors. Keen added details like a bungee lace-capture system so the kids do not appear as if they are wearing velcro. With active kids, the Cleansport NXT odor control is appreciated!

Vivobarefoot Ultra Bloom Kids

The Ultra Bloom Kids sandal is marketed as the only kid’s shoe you will ever need. The shoe is made for land or water, with drainage holes throughout. As an environmental nod, the sandal is constructed with 10% Bloom Foam made from harvested algae and is considered a vegan shoe. The Bloom Foam is an alternative to synthetic and EVA. Wearers state you can wear with or without socks, although some say it is best to order a size smaller than you would typically order for your child.

Crocs Kids’ Classic Clog

Crocs has something for everyone, so why would kids not be included? Their Kids’ Classic Clog is the answer to every daycare’s planned (or unplanned) water day. Muddy playground? No problem; spray them off. Water park? Consider it done with drainage holes. An unexpected trip to the creek? No worries. These sandals do it all. By eliminating the need for shoestrings, the Classic Clog lets the kids be in control of putting on their own shoes, freeing up your hands. Made with Croslite material, these shoes sport both comfort and lightness. Bonus: customize using Jibbitz charms! One reviewer stated, “I have bought Crocs for my son before and they are very durable…we pass them on to his younger brother and then to our friends’ younger kids when they no longer fit!”

Let the sunshine water in

With so many options for sandals, why not let the water in? With innovative rubber soles and quick-dry upper materials, the worry about terrain is near non-existent. Get out there, enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about the moisture in between your toes. Leave that space for the sand and water.

Recent Posts