2/2024

Best hiking water shoes for men

best water shoes for hiking men

It’s no doubt that it is necessary for you to use a water shoe when hiking a trail that is wet.

But the problem is that you probably can’t seem to find the right one.

Well, It’s not your fault.

Because there are tons of water shoes out there for a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, and as a result, it becomes difficult to just choose one.

It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

Don’t worry because, in this post, I will be showing you exactly 8 water shoes (for men that are quick to dry, breathable, light with mesh lining) that are specifically tailored for hiking.

And also, you will have a list of quality criteria to look out for when you want to buy any other Water shoe for hiking.

Who Needs Water Hiking Shoes?

Water shoes as I said earlier are of different variations tailored for different purposes.

You will only need to continue reading this post if and only if you need water shoes for hiking.

Plus if you intend hiking on wet terrain with no idea of the best water shoes built and designed for it.

This article is purposed to help you find the best water hiking shoes for men there is in the market right now. Some of these water shoes can be multi-purpose for swimming, scuba diving, and a few other outdoor activities involving water.

So if you’re scouting for the best hiking wet shoes, keep reading to know all about hiking and water shoes.

Why are Outdoor Hiking Water Shoes Important?

No dilly-dallying. I will get straight to the point.

  • First and foremost, hiking water shoes protects your feet from cuts when you are hiking a trail that’s on a hilly region
  • This is the same for abrasions. It will be a disaster if you decide to hike with your feet without using hiking water shoes.
  • Wearing hiking water shoes when hiking in some wet places also protects you from shell-like fishes like mussels that are harmful. (I bet, you didn’t anticipate this)
  • Hiking water shoes provide comfort. How is this possible? You might ask.

Your normal hiking shoe when used in wet areas gets waterlogged. This isn’t the same with water shoes. This is because they are drainable.

And because of this, your shoe dry’s quickly, and your movement underwater progresses in a normal way (as though you are on the ground).

This makes you feel much more comfortable hiking on wet terrains.

  • Unlike how regular hiking shoes would do when in water, hiking water shoes and hiking water boots force your feet to grip whatever wet surface you are on as you are moving.

           It basically functions the same way a tire does on a wet road track.

  • Lastly, you can easily convert your hiking water shoe to your normal hiking shoe. Whether during wet climate or otherwise.

What I should Look Out for in an Outdoor Hiking Water Shoe

Knowing what to look out for when deciding to buy a hiking water shoe is so important.

Not just for this purpose only but in other cases (shopping for groceries).

This will help you make informed decisions on what to buy and this will eventually lead you to get what you really want.

For hiking water shoes, here they are.

Note: When using it as a guideline, you can choose to follow it in no particular order.

  • Is it built for hiking?

This is the first question you must answer.

Because it is the whole reason why you want to use a water shoe.

Don’t forget that there are many water shoes for different water activities

  • Size

What’s the use of buying something you can’t use?

Make sure before buying the shoe, you have the accurate size selected. Because in many instances there have been cases of wrong sizes ordered.

Even at times, the accurate size might be ordered but what gets delivered is different.

Therefore, be extremely careful when choosing your shoe size.

  • Material

This should also be placed into consideration. The type of material used for a shoe make or break it.

The five most common materials used for shoe making according to Kicksguide, are leather, textiles (cotton, polyester, wool, nylon), synthetic fiber, natural rubber and foam.

  • Toe and Ankle protection

This is another very important checklist. In this case, going for shoes instead of sandals will be more beneficial since shoes always provide better foot protection.

Your toe and ankle needs to be protected from bruises, scrapes, pebbles etc.

The shoe you intend buying should offer this.

  • Quick drying

You really don’t want a shoe that gets all soaked, that rarely dries up thereby causing odor.

Therefore you need a hiking water shoe made of fabrics that breathe well, takes moisture away from your skin.

Shoes made of Nylon, tencel and polynosic rayons, plated fabrics, silk and polyester are good choices.

  • Cost

Lastly cost. This really shouldn’t be a problem if you know you seen what you really want.

But at times i know well enough that our pockets are not full. So, to make a good buying decision at less cost price, just look for a shoe with almost all these qualities listed and go for it.

It’s that simple.

You Might Also LIke: What is the best hiking shirts for women? [2020 UPDATE]

Some Great Tips to Consider before Buying your Next Water Hiking Shoes

Before buying or ordering for that hiking water shoes or wet boots for hiking you want to ensure all the features below click in.

Is it suited to protect you?

Even with the basic water shoes, you get some added coverage and protection for the bottom of your feet, which is a great way to safely navigate the rocks and roots that might lie below the water’s surface.

 It also includes protection from hot sand or chilly air.

 More robust water shoes improve cushioning considerably, employing soft and comfortable mid-soles as well as firmer outsoles suited for hiking or rafting. 

Meanwhile, sports sandals will provide firm protection under your foot but leave your upper feet exposed.

This, although, improves dry time and drainage. 

But sports scandals are best for activities with less associated risk. 

Some hybrid sport sandals split the difference, providing a protective toe cap and more synthetic fabric in the uppers, while still allowing the uppers to breathe more than a fully-enclosed model.

Check the time it takes to dry up

All water shoes are designed to function when dry or wet, which is vital to their versatility.

 But the time it takes for them to dry still matters. This is because fast-drying water hiking shoes have a longer shelf life.

In addition to that, they tend to have a better odor-retaining property than their counterpart.

Be on the lookout for breathable fabrics and materials, especially in the uppers, which will air-dry faster.

Note: If the shoe has an insole, be sure you can remove it so it can be dried separately, which reduces the overall dry time.

Look out for drainages

As explained by their definition, these shoes are meant to get wet. Whether you’re hiking a water-logged trail, stepping into the ocean (coastal hiking), or just trekking through a muddy trail, they will get wet.

The good news is that these types of shoes won’t become water-logged thanks to integrated drainage systems.

These systems help in draining the water out of the shoe interior, typically relieving liquid in ports that line the upper sections of the outsole of the shoes. 

Sport sandal-style water shoes typically expose the upper parts of your feet and toes to the open air, this makes drainage quicker. 

So ensure your water shoes include optimal drainage features before purchasing.

How much grip power will it provide?

Wet surfaces are naturally slipperier than dry ones, and most water shoes employ a variety of systems and layout features to deliver a great grip on wet rock, wood, and sand.

 Minimalist sock-style shoes work pretty well, but when considering slippery mountains go with shoes that come with brawnier outsoles and lubbers or grooves for better grip in such unpredictable terrain.

5 Top Rated Men's Water Shoes

Keen

Keen Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

Quality
3.5/5

This sandal has high tenacity and durability. It can withstand strong and repetitive movements because it’s made of polyester webbing.

What more?

The rubber outsole of this sandal doesn’t leave marks or damage floors assuming you intend using to enter dance floors or gymnasiums because its sole is non-marking and siping.

Also, it has metatomical footbed (Metatarsals + Anatomical design). This means that the inside part of the shoe is well designed to keep your feet supported and comfortable, to protect them against abrasion and rough impact.

PROS

  • More secure with it’s aggressive sole
  • Quick to dry
  • Very durable with little or no tearing problems

CONS

  • The threading/stitching is a problem

Columbia

Columbia Men’s Drainmaker III Trail Shoe

Quality
4.5/5

This shoe is dual-purpose. It can be used for wet or dry hiking because of its open interlaced structure which allows airflow for quick drying.

Just like every other shoe, its midsole serves as a shock absorber and at the same time water-drainable.

It’s made of polyurethane soles which are considered to be one of the best materials for making shoes.

Not only that but it’s also made of what is called Omni-Grip. According to Columbia Sportswear, Omni-Grip ensures stability due to its advanced traction solution made from specially formulated compounds.

PROS

  • Very comfortable and lightweight
  • It dries up very fast due to the drain ports found in it.
  • Good for wet or dry hiking (multipurpose)
  • Doesn’t break easily
  • Looks good for casual wear

CONS

  • The soles of this shoe are probably too soft
  • Like every other shoe, watchout for size misinformation

Merrell

Merrell Men’s Shoe

Quality
4.1/5

It features a breathable interlaced structure and textile. Like the Columbia men’s drainmaker, it’s made of polyurethane soles. This type of sole is constructed from man-made materials and they tend to be very durable.

Coupled with these is the odor-preventing technologies and Vibram outsole used for it.

Note: Vibram soles are designed to provide excellent traction on different surfaces, they have high resistance to abrasion and they are made of vulcanized rubber.

PROS

  • They ventilate nicely
  • They are super-light weight with plenty of support
  • Dries quickly

CONS

  • The arch support is sometimes too much

Adidas Outdoor

adidas outdoor Men’s Climacoal shoe

Quality
3.5/5

This shoe in particular is a true representative of its brand excellence. Just like the other shoes above, it’s made of mesh, rubber soles, and breathability technology. But in its case, everything is exceptionally made.

In addition to this, it’s made of Climacool cooling Construction technology. This means that it has the ability to provide heating, cooling, heat recovery, and heat pumping whilst you’re using it.

Its heels are made of elastic properties that stretch easily. This stretchable heel made with it makes it easy for your feet to fit into the shoe properly.

PROS

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • It can be use on land as well
  • Its stylish therefore it can be used for other purposes

CONS

  • It dries fairly quickly
  • It at times retain particles of what you’re walking on (sand, rocks etc).

Dreamcity

Dreamcity Men’s Water Shoe

Quality
3.8/5

This shoe features 90% fabric for better comfort and durability, rubber soles for it to be more stronger and durable, mesh (interlaced structure) for better ventilation, and Omni-Grip for better traction in wet and slippery conditions.

It has a sock liner that provides cushioning and acts as a moisture obstruction between the foot and the sole of the shoe.

Note: According to Podiatrytoday, sock liners can provide a wealth of information medically to podiatrists.

With this, I think having a sock liner in your hiking shoe whether wet or dry is definitely a plus since we hikers use our feet a lot.

PROS

  • Very lightweight with good arch support
  • Not expensive
  • Very comfortable

CONS

  • It doesn’t dry quickly
  • Mud and particles of whats its used on get stuck in the mesh holes
  • Sizing is not accurate enough

Conclusion

While all of these water shoes for hiking are high rating products, the safest bet would have to be the Keen Men’s Newport H2 Sandal.

It has all the qualities to look out for when buying a water hiking shoe. The only catch is that it’s a bit expensive plus the fact that it’s a sandal-shoe (if there’s any word like that).

The Columbia Men’s Drainmaker is another good choice to make but it’s also highly priced.

This leaves us with Dreamcity Men’s shoe and Adidas climacool hiking shoe that is moderately priced but also have good qualities to look out for.

Now, the ball is in you court. 

Make your choice.

FAQ

Are water shoes OK for hiking?

YES!

If you’re planning on going on a hiking trail during the wet season or crossing a lot of streams or a river on your hiking trail, water shoes for hiking are essential and very beneficial.

This is because they are designed and structured to protect your feet and, unlike regular hiking shoes, work very well and provide a better experience for you in water.

What do you wear hiking through water?

It is sometimes advised to use ankle-high hiking boots combined with a nice pair of wool socks when hiking through the water.

And though this combo helps to trap water near your feet and allow your body to warm it up, since wool retains its thermal properties and dries quickly, it is not your best bet.

We recommend you get a pair of hiking water shoes. Check our review column for options for awesome wet hiking shoes for men.

Are Adidas Terrex good for hiking?

Because of its heavy-duty Continental rubber outsole, the Adidas Terrex can be considered a men’s hiking shoe suitable for wet terrains.

Do you wear socks with water hiking shoes?

We agree that hiking water shoes are great, but sometimes when you have sand and mud constantly rubbing between your wet shoes and your feet you’re going to get blisters and irritation.

 So, yes. You should definitely invest in a pair of neoprene socks. 

How should water shoes fit?

Water shoes should fit easily, with minimal movement between your feet and the inside of your shoe to prevent any abrading or blistering.

 Although, you can always get a pair of sock liners, do ensure our water shoes aren’t too tightly fit.

Is it worth it to get waterproof hiking shoes?

If you can’t seem to be able to afford a good water hiking shoe and you don’t want to put your outdoor hiking activity off till you get one, you can opt for a good waterproof hiking shoe when hiking during the wet season. 

This of course is not very suitable as there are many disadvantages to it.

Are sock liners good for wet hiking shoes?

Indeed!

Sock liners do really work. Whether you choose to wear them alone or with a thicker pair of neoprene socks, sock liners are great for your wet hiking shoes. Especially for a pair of men’s water hiking shoes.

In hot weather, your feet sweat more. Wearing sock liners help keep your feet dry and cool, even if it seems counter-intuitive.

Can you hike in water shoes?

Off course.

Water shoes are a great alternative to waterproof hiking shoes or rubber hiking boots.

We have taken the time to give detailed benefits of men’s water hiking shoes.