Best Water Shoes for Kids: Expert Buyer Guide and Reviews

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
February 10, 2024
TWo Kid Girls Legs Beach

Back in my days as a nanny, the kids universally loved the beach, and it’s no different now that I have my own children to chase after next to the water. Safety first, though, so kids should always have on their water shoes!

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This article will be your guide to water shoes. I want to help you pick out the best water shoes for kids so that your children’s tootsies can be safe all summer long.

Comparison Table

Water Shoes for Kids FAQs

What are water shoes for kids?

Water shoes for kids are a form of specialty footwear worn to prevent the feet from getting wet. Their most basic use is for swimming, but they can also be worn while boating, hiking, or kayaking. Some water shoes are flexible enough to be used in yoga and other pursuits where grip is paramount.

Where can I find / buy water shoes for kids?

You can find water shoes for boys and girls online: Amazon is a popular outlet. You can also find them at shops like Walmart or Target. Water shoes can also be purchased at specialty sports stores. Sometimes you can even find them at tourist shops in beach towns.

What are other names for water shoes?

Water shoes may also be called “water slippers” or “water socks,” depending on the brand and the design of the shoe. Sometimes you will also see them called “sport sandals,” though sport sandals tend to be more like reinforced regular sandals that happen to be secure and waterproof enough to wear while swimming.

How to clean water shoes?

Water shoes are very easy to clean. Most of the time, if you just run them under a hose, they’ll be clean since neither mesh nor rubber hold dirt. They will dry quickly in the sun. Many of them are machine-washable!

What are aqua socks?

Aqua socks are a kind of water shoe with an extra-thin and flexible sole. Sometimes, “aqua socks” may refer to a special sort of sock that is designed to be worn with a water shoe, though this is less common.

Different types of water shoes for kids

Mabove Kids Swim Water Shoes

Common features:

A rubber sole with a mesh or textile upper that covers the whole foot; isually slip-on or velcro


  • Protect feet well; commonly available


  • May chafe if fit is incorrect; can be very expensive

Teva Tidepool Sport Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

Common features:

Similar to water shoes, but with a sandal-like top rather than one that covers the whole foot


  • Appear more like “normal” summer street wear


  • May not protect against stubbed feet; can be very

L-RUN Kids Swim Water Shoes Barefoot Aqua Socks Shoes for Beach Pool...

Common features:

Usually made out of textile, but with a flexible fabric sole (or very thin rubber one) rather than a thick one


  • Easier to put on due to lack of rubber sole; provide grip


  • Will not protect against sharp objects

NORTY Little Kids and Toddler Water Shoes for Boys and Girls...

Common features:

Similar to water shoes, just with toe inserts


  • Increased grip and balance; some kids may like the unique look


  • May be very difficult to put on and off; toe inserts may be too big/small

When to use water shoes for kids

There are many reasons why water shoes for girls or boys should be worn. The most basic reason is to protect the feet from the ground while at the pool or beach. The pavement poolside can become very hot or dangerously slippery, and beaches can hide sharp objects beneath the waves and sands. Water shoes for boys and girls help protect your little ones from these hidden dangers!

What age range are water shoes recommended for?

Everybody should be wearing water shoes, but they are especially important for young kids and toddlers. Water shoes will improve grip and protect a little one’s feet when they are not looking carefully at where they are running (even though you may tell your children over and over again not to run).

Benefits of using water shoes for kids

They protect the soles of the feet.

There’s no telling what’s hiding under the surface of the sand at the beach, or how hot the poolside cement will get. Kids aqua shoes protect feet from accidental injury. Nobody likes burnt or cut feet. It’s a good way to end a fun day prematurely!

They protect the toes

Water shoes will protect toes from accidental stubbings, and may even prevent toenails from being pulled off in the event of tripping. Remember, kids will run even if you tell them not to!

They dry quickly.

Unlike regular toddler shoes, water shoes won’t turn into sopping wet and uncomfortable weights on your child’s feet. This can help prevent abrasions or blisters. The best water shoes for kids will protect your child’s feet and also dry quickly for maximum comfort.

How to choose the best water shoes for kids

Here are some details you may want to keep in mind when searching for water shoes:

  • Material: The biggest difference in water shoes is the upper: some of them are mesh, and others are quick-dry textile.
  • Durability: Are you looking for something that will last a season, or are you looking for something that will last years?
  • Type: Some water shoes are styled like shoes/sneakers and others are more like socks or sandals.
  • Style: Some water shoes are open soled; some are closed. Some have velcro to adhere them to the child’s foot, and others are slip-on.
  • Design: Are you looking for something unisex? Or does your princess like pink? Do you prefer specific colors for different children? What about patterns?
  • Sole thickness: Depending on your use, you may prefer a water shoe with a thin sole (if you swim mainly at the pool), or one with a thicker sole (if you are hiking or at a beach).

Most popular water shoes for kids brands

  • EQUICK: This company has four different designs of water shoes. They have solid, thick, lightweight soles and mesh uppers. The children’s shoes also come with velcro straps for extra security.
  • OshKosh B’gosh: A very famous children’s clothing company, OshKosh B’gosh offers water shoes that have a lightweight sole with water-wicking plush fabric uppers. They offer seven different designs.
  • Speedo: Well-known for their bathing suit designs, Speedo also offers a variety of water shoes for kids. They have six-different slip-on designs.
  • CIOR: Offering a quick-dry textile upper with a rubber sole, these slip-ons come in seven colors for kids.
  • Teva: The Teva take on the kid’s water shoe is similar to their sandal, with a velcro strap around the ankle. Two colors are offered.
  • Northside: Offered in two colors, the Northside kids’ water shoe has an upper that combines both mesh and textile with a secure rubber sole.

These water shoes come in a variety of colors and offer a sole that is made from both textile and mesh. It also has a handy “pull” lace, which means that the shoes can easily be tightened for wearing and loosened for taking off. These also have a ton of color varieties: there is certainly something for everybody.

  • Mesh and lace upper
  • Has a shoe “tongue” like a more traditional shoe
  • 21 color varieties

SAGUARO Boys Closed Toe Sports Water Sandals Outdoor Beach Walking

These are water socks: easy on, and easy off! They are also good for other activities where increased grip and foot flexibility are paramount, like yoga. They are not recommended for protecting the feet from sharp objects due to the soft sole.

  • Seven different colors
  • Very flexible and easy to put on
  • Adds grip, but lack of hard sole will not protect foot

Crova Kids Water Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Socks Non-Slip Barefoot Sports Shoes for Boys Girls Toddler

These are outdoor sandals that are impervious to water. These would be great for the pool, the beach, and the mountains! If you are looking for water shoes to double as regular shoes, these are a great choice.

  • Six color choices
  • Six color choices
  • Heavier than other options

Teva Tidepool Sport Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)

Modeled after the famous Teva sandal, these are made of light, fast-drying textile material on top with a velcro strap around the ankle. These are secure and will do double duty as “normal” sandals. However, they are unlikely to be as heavy-duty as the traditional Tevas made out of stronger strap material.

  • 17 colors to choose from
  • Can be purchased for many different ages
  • May not hold up as well as traditional Tevas if used on a daily basis

Nike Sunray Protect (PS) Little Kid's Shoes Black/White/Dark Grey 903631-001

Offering a lycra upper with a synthetic sole and Phylon cushioning, these water sandals can keep both boys and girls comfy on their feet and splashing away all summer long. The color selections make them a great choice for both boys and girls.

  • Offer more padding than most water shoes
  • Come in five different colors
  • Is more expensive than other options

What’s the best water shoe for kids?

How the best water shoes for kids were picked

I chose the Northside Brille II Water Shoe to showcase here because they work so well for my own family! Since I am so confident in this purchase, I am happy to recommend them to your family as well. We averaged overall ratings with price, quality, and variety.

Relevant products to buy

Thermos Funtainer 12 Ounce Bottle, Paw Patrol

  • Thermos Funtainer 12 Ounce Bottle, Paw Patrol keeps your cold drinks cold with this Thermos “Funtainer.” This one comes with a convenient built-in straw for easy sipping. You’ll be grateful for this one after a long day of sitting in the sun.

Body Glove 13226BM-Mermaid Aquatic Mermaid Swim Life Jacket

  • Body Glove Paddle Pals Learn to Swim Life Jacket is a lifejacket that’s essential for younger toddler swimmers. It comes in a variety of fun colors and it is approved by the US Coast Guard.

O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest

  • O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest is a lifejacket essential for Mom and Dad too, especially if you’re going boating. This adult lifejacket is secure, comfortable, and US Coast Guard-approved. Plus, if Mom and Dad wear a lifejacket, the kids are more likely to as well.

Final review of the best water shoes for kids

As a mom, I fully believe in combining fun and safety this summer. As parents, we want to keep fun in the sun just that: fun. Water shoes for kids help make this possible. I love water shoes and my kids do too. I never let my kids at the pool or beach without the protection of water shoes. Have fun this summer, and happy shopping!

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