The Best Water Shoes for Snorkeling (FAQs and Recommendations)

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Before you head off on a snorkeling trip, you might be wondering weather you need a pair of water shoes for snorkeling. To give you the quick answer: you probably won’t need a pair of shoes for snorkeling unless you plan on entering the water from rocks.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at when and why you might want to wear a pair of water shoes for snorkeling, and then offer some recommendations.

Do I Need Water Shoes for Snorkeling?

You probably won’t need shoes when you’re snorkeling. If you will be entering the water from sand then you certainly won’t need shoes.

The only time you might want to consider wearing shoes if you will be entering the water where it is rocky. Even then you won’t necessarily need shoes, but you may feel more comfortable wearing them.

If you’re considering wearing shoes so you can stand up in the water, this isn’t a good idea. If you stand on coral, you’re going to harm it. There are creatures in the sea that can harm you if you’re not careful too. Standing on or near them will make them feel threatened.

What If I Want to Wear Fins and Shoes?

Wearing fins when you snorkel is a good idea. They make it much more pleasurable and effortless to glide around in the water. If you get caught in a current, they have a safety element too giving you that extra propulsion power.

If you want to wear shoes as you enter the water and then fins when you’re in the water, you have a couple of options.

Read more: Do I Need Fins for Snorkeling?

1. Open Foot Fins & Booties

Open foot fins are designed to be worn with booties. So one option is to buy a pair of open foot fins and a pair of booties. Then wear the booties as you enter the water and put your fins on over the booties when you’re in the water.

The problem with this is that open foot fins are more suitable for diving in cold water. Full-foot fins (which don’t require booties) are more compact and travel friendly. And if you already own a pair of travel snorkeling fins, they are probably full-foot fins.

2. Take Your Shoes in With You

If you don’t want to wear open foot fins and booties, your other option is to swap your fins and shoes when you’re in the water and attach the shoes to your body.

There are a few ways you can do this:

  • If you take a dry bag with you when you’re snorkeling, you can keep you shoes in there if it’s big enough.
  • If you wear a floatation belt when you’re snorkeling, you can tie your shoes to the belt.

Best Water Shoes for Snorkeling

Whether you want to wear shoes for your snorkeling session, or swap them out for your fins in the water, there are a few things to look for in a good pair of water shoes.

You want to be able to quickly and easlily put them on and take them off (especially if you’re going to be swapping them for a pair of fins in the water). You also want them to be made from good quality materials so they’re durable and won’t fall apart, and they should also have good grip on the soles so you don’t slip over.

The Simari unisex water shoes (link to Amazon) are a great option to check out that ticks all the boxes.

They fit securely but are also easy to put on and take off. They have a grippy sole, good durability, and they have a loop at the back so you can easily secure them to your dry bag or belt. There are many different style to choose from too so you should have no problem finding a look you like.

Wrapping it Up

If you’re snorkeling off the beach, you probably won’t need to wear any shoes. However, when entering the water from rocks, a good pair of water shoes will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable. If you want to wear shoes as you enter the water but fins when you’re in the water, you can either wear open foot fins with booties, or you can swap a pair of water shoes for your fins when you’re in the water and attach the shoes to a bag or belt.

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