TOP 9 Best Water Shoes for Rocky Beaches and Rivers with Shoe Reviews 2023

Imagine walking leisurely along the beach at night and you suddenly step on spiky rocks.

Ouch! That could be painful.

So, I think you would agree with me when I say that not all beaches and rivers are ideal for walking barefooted, right?

Well, it turns out that there are special types of footwear that are ideal for rocky beaches and rivers. “Water Shoes”, they are called.

Before I get into my reviews about the best water shoes for rocky beaches and rivers, let me tell you more about this type of footwear first.

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What Exactly are Water Shoes?

The answer to this question may appear a little too obvious. If not, then it’s worth reading on.

Water shoes are footwear considered as protective gears. It’s like a helmet, except that you don’t wear one on your head.

Water shoes are typically used and worn when you engage into activities that require your feet to be wet or when you have to walk on rough surfaces, like rocks usually found in rivers, beaches, and even mountains.

By nature, they are normally very flexible and made of mesh and hard sole.

couple in water shoe standing on rocky beach

When Can You Actually Use Them?

There are a number of instances when it is applicable to wear them.

But water shoes are designed for water-based activities like:

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba diving
  • Tubing
  • Walking on rock pools at the beach
  • Swimming in rivers

Are those all?

Well, the best part is that, although they are meant for active water sports, they are very flexible that they can be worn even on non-water activities like trekking on wet terrain and biking.

How cool is that?

croatia rocky beach

So Why Would You Really Want to Buy One?

True. There could be several reasons why you would not want to buy these special types of shoes, but there are definitely more reasons why you should.

Here are some of them:

Water shoes will keep you and your feet safe!

Better to be safe than sorry, as they say! And for me as a traveler, there is nothing I want more than to know that I can walk and swim on beaches securely.

Water shoes could be your best swimming pal for rocky beaches if you have them on.

They are meant to protect your feet from possible injuries and accident (which I wish would never happen) at beaches and rivers during your trip.

They are not just comfortable to wear, but they are also trendy.

For people like me who love taking good photos, making sure that the color of my shoes matches what am wearing is important. This may sound irrelevant to many.

But hey, if you ever decide to buy something that can protect you and could keep you trendy at the same time, why look for something else?

This type of footwear weighs like cotton.

Well, that seems like an exaggerated comparison, but I know you get my point. Water shoes are among the lightest, if not the lightest type of footwear ever made.

Non-water shoes could get heavy when soaked in water. Waterlogged shoes can make you feel uncomfortable and can potentially disrupt your movements. Water shoes, on the contrary, are so lightweight.

Excellent traction means better movement.

If you love trekking mountains and crossing rivers like me, I know you know that the trails could be wet and worse, slippery, even during summer.

It will be such a bummer if you aren’t wearing water shoes. Water shoes are special that they have excellent traction and grippy sole that will keep you balanced and stable.

Now, let’s check my reviews.

While planning for my trip to Croatia (which is very famous for its rocky beaches and sea urchins), I was very well aware that I would be needing a footwear that is not only comfortable, trendy, but can also protect my feet from rocks, sand, stones, and the above mentioned sea urchins while on the beach.

I was too lazy to research it at first, but then again, I found myself glued to the internet.

I told myself that I might not be able to own these 9 best water shoes for rocky rivers and best swimming shoes for rocky beaches, but I am glad to share my reviews based on the information I found on the internet. Sharing is caring, right?

I know you have waited for this. So, let’s get started and let’s get into my reviews of the top 9 best water shoes for rocky beaches and rivers.

Top 9 Best Water Shoes for Rocky Beaches and Rivers 2023

ALEADER Quick Drying Aqua Shoes

At this point, some of you might not be familiar with this brand, but then, the Aleader Quick Drying Water Shoes are one of the best women’s water shoes for rocky beaches.

Not only that they come in colors of blue, black, and pink making them trendy and cool, they are also very durable, comfortable, and breathable.

The fact that it is made of mesh, the shoes are quick-drying and are perfect for a stroll at the beach. You wouldn’t have to worry about stepping on sharp objects.


  • Its rubber soles provide the best arch support and cushion.
  • It keeps you dry by using FluidFlow technology that helps water drain faster.
  • The shoes’ rubber soles have excellent traction in wet and slippery terrains giving you balance while on the move.


  • Though the open mesh on the upper and hole on the sole allow water to drain faster and provide excellent breathability, they don’t keep out sand or pebbles. You will have to clean them from time to time.


Overall, Aleader Quick Drying Water Shoes are highly recommended for active women.

AVADAR Water Shoes

Remember being trendy? Avadar water shoes are unisex and colorful! They are the best for men and women!

They are multi-purpose, too. I love how stylish they can be without sacrificing comfort and durability.

One can walk on the sand, go kayaking, step on rocks, and the shoes will keep you in great shape.

As they are made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex, they are made to last the sea and the rivers.


  • These shoes are budget-friendly and are definitely worth the money since these are multi-purpose. You can even use them for yoga.
  • Its pull tap at the heel allows you to easily wear them on.
  • These are ultra-lightweight shoes, which will make packing them a no-brainer.


  • They slip excellently when wet but could feel a little loose when dry.


Regardless of your gender, you can wear them on. These shoes are also ideal for outgoing travelers who love colors and fun!

MOERDENG Water Shoes

If you are planning to visit coral beaches, then, these shoes are ideal for you. What makes these shoes special is that they’re made to protect you.

These water shoes have excellent grip and could protect your feet from things that poke. Plus, they are very lightweight so you would feel comfortable when using it underwater.


  • It makes protection a priority. Its wearable rubber outsole is made to protect your feet from sharp objects like rocks and stones.
  • The shoes are very flexible and very lightweight.
  • They dry so much faster and are very simple to wear.
  • Draining water is as easy as 1,2,3 because its mesh insole with invisible drainage holes provides proper water flow.


  • These shoes are okay for a short hike, but not ideal for longer hikes.


All the positive features of these shoes outweigh the only negative I listed. This is something I would wear on the beach any day.

Dreamcity Water Shoes

These smart looking water shoes from Dreamcity are excellent travel buddy whenever you are on the beach or when you are planning to cross wet terrain.

If you want to look fashionable while having the best, then these are for you, too. They are exceptionally durable and very lightweight.

Additionally, its durable rubber soles provide exceptional traction in slippery conditions.


  • They are very flexible that they can be alternative running shoes just in case you missed to bring yours on your trip.
  • The shoes are made of fabric, so wearing them on will feel like you are wearing sneakers.
  • Comfortable and very trendy to wear.


  • Unlike most water shoes, Dreamcity Water Shoes do not dry quickly.
  • Since they are made of fabric, they are prone to waterlogging.


These shoes are typically less colorful than MOERDENG and AVADAR, but hey, they are still as functional as the others.

I’d prefer to use these if I packed all black and blue. Let’s check if you’d like the next shoes.

WHITIN Minimalist Barefoot Shoes

I have big feet and shoes with a wider toe box is very important to me. So, while searching online, I found WHITIN Unisex Minimalist Trail Running Shoes that are not only lightweight that you could wear them on short hikes to river tubing excursions, but they also have wider toe box compared to other shoes I have seen.

They make a better balance, which increases sensory experiences of the ground.


  • The shoes are very flexible that your feet can freely move without compromising comfort.
  • Despite the soles of the shoes being thin, they grip very well on the group and very sturdy.
  • The shoes have excellent arch support.


  • If you like being trendy like me, these shoes may not give you what you want in terms of color options.


Just like Dreamcity Men’s Water Shoes (link to, WHITIN Unisex Minimalist Trail Running Shoes are ideal for those who love less – less color and less weight.

Neo-Sport Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots

Yes. You read it right! I got boots on this list. Sometimes when I’m planning to go to the beach where I could possibly meet Mr. and Mrs. Jellyfish, I want to come prepared when that happens.

Unlike the majority of the water shoes where the outsole only goes up to the ankle, these ones go a little higher.

I understand that many people prefer regular water shoes over water boots, but the quality of this footwear is so excellent that you can essentially wear them on all day.

They also come with puncture resistant sole, which will keep your feet protected.


  • The shoes keep you away from blisters.
  • They are super-comfortable to wear.
  • The shoes have a well-designed footbed that will effectively contour to the shape of your feet.
  • They come in different sizes and thickness.
  • Totally a great value for the price.


  • The shoes are obviously not lightweight like the other shoes on this list.


These boots may not be so easy on the luggage, but they will for sure keep you safe while walking on rocky beaches.

Since they are designed to protect, they will for sure live up to their promise.

Now, in terms of looks, the next shoe is my favorite on this list!

RAX Quick Drying Slip-Resistant Water Hiking Shoes

On top of having a quick dry material and hole on the sole that keep your foot dry, what I love about this pair is its looks.

I get it. Looks can be deceiving, but RAX Men’s Water Hiking Shoes are so gorgeous.

The shoes are so eye-catching you wouldn’t even think they are water shoes. Apart from that, the shoes are very functional.


  • The shoes look like sneakers.
  • They are very lightweight.
  • The sole is made of rubber hence very durable.
  • The shoes have exceptional traction in wet and slippery conditions.


  • They are ideal for the beach and rivers, but drying them may take time.


These shoes are definitely Instragramable. Overall, they’re functional and durable, so it should be worth your money.

On to our next items. We started with brands that not so many people know, but this time, I’d share my reviews on the more famous clothing brands in the market.

Let’s start with Columbia.

Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

Who doesn’t love water shoes that don’t look like water shoes at all? Columbia Men’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes are worth every penny.

Though they are a bit expensive than the regular water shoes, they are definitely high-quality footwear that will keep you outside longer.

It comes with a rubber sole and a combination of open mesh and synthetic upper. You wouldn’t mind walking on rocks with these shoes on.


  • These shoes are stylish and heavy duty at the same time.
  • They can be worn with or without socks.
  • They are ideal for active sports like canyoneering.
  • They are multi-purpose in nature, so they can be worn even on land.


  • The shoes cost more than regular water shoes.
  • They don’t keep sand or rock debris out easily.


If Aleader Quick Drying Water Shoes are for women, these Columbia shoes are one of the best men’s water shoes for rocky beaches.

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Climacool Voyager Water Shoe

While I was searching the internet for high-quality water shoes, one of the most convenient brands that came to my mind, along with Columbia is Adidas.

Initially, I thought that Adidas does not have any water shoes as they are more known for their sneakers like the Yeezy, NMD, Superstar, and Stan Smith series.

But to my surprise, they do have water shoes. That is why its Terrex Climacool Voyager Water Shoes landed on this list.


  • The shoes are quick drying and its open mesh facilitates breathability.
  • They are lightweight shoes hence are ideal for both wet and dry conditions.
  • Its midsoles are flexible that provides the right level of support and stability.


  • The shoes have very limited color options.
  • Availability could be limited to online stores only.


It looks like we are at the end of the list, but overall, aside from the few cons, these shoes are among the best water shoes, either women or men, that you can buy considering the function and style.


There you have it on the best water shoes for rocky beaches and rivers. There are a lot of factors that can affect your decision on which shoes to buy.

But depending on your taste, budget, and style choosing any of these shoes will be good. They will keep you protected while you are on the river or at the beach.

Just like me, you might have several options in mind, but I hope I have made things a little easier for you by sorting the list out.

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Karlis Kikuts

Karlis Kikuts

Coffee addict. Digital nomad. Solo traveler and blogger. Camping and hammocking enthusiast. Tiny book worm. In other words, the guy behind