Best Water Shoes for Toddlers and Kids


Heading out for some fun at the beach? Or maybe your child has an affinity for jumping in puddles.

Are you tired of smelly, stinky, and ruined shoes after they’ve been soaked through by your little explorer?

Water shoes are designed to protect your kid’s feet while being quick drying and easy to swim in.

We’ve rounded up the best kids’ water shoes that are versatile, and keep little feet safe.

What to Look for with Water Shoes for Kids
There are generally three types of different water shoes for toddlers.

Water shoes are light but have a semi-rigid structure. Typically, the top of the shoe is made with polyester, mesh, and/or neoprene. When it comes to water shoes for kids, look for tabs on the heel to help your kiddo slide into the shoe. They are ideal for both beach and pool.

Water socks look nearly identical to shoes, but don’t have the same structural support that water shoes do. Water socks don’t last as long with heavy use, particularly if your child will be doing lots of exploring along rocks (barnacles). Water socks are best suited for pools.

Water sandals are basically open-air water shoes. Although they don’t completely protect your child’s feet from the sun, sandals are often super adjustable, with two straps, one along the top of the foot and another around the back of the heel. Water sandals have rather inflexible soles, which make them more suited to walking than swimming.

Within each there are a couple things you should definitely be on the look-out for:

Soles that are nice and grippy. Your child will be walking along slick surfaces, whether it’s a wet pool deck or rocks that have been washed over by water. A rubberized sole that has good tread is key.

Waterproof. Duh, right? Unlike your toddler’s regular shoes, these bad boys are gonna get wet. Whether it’s chlorinated pool water or salt water from the beach, having water shoes that are—wait for it—water-proof is critical.

Those are the basics. Some obvious, some maybe not so much.

Now, let’s get into the best shoes, socks and sandals for protecting your child’s feet while at the pool, in the water, or at the beach!


The Made 2 Plays are 100% Vegan (please don’t eat them), employing synthetic materials and rubber pods on the outsole for improved grip on wet surfaces.

A secure hook and loop closure prevent the laces from coming undone during even the most strenuous play, and the shoes dry quickly after a bout of swimming. Best of all, these shoes are machine washable, so you never have to worry about odors or stains.

The wide variety of colors available make these shoes attractive to kids of all ages and tastes. Parents love the quick drying times and easy washability, while the patterns stay resilient with heavy use. Meanwhile, children love the ability to play on both land and in the water without getting yelled at.

Be careful to test the shoes out at home before sending your children out to play, as improper sizing could result in irritation or even blisters.


What to Look for When Buying Water Shoes for Toddlers


Not all water shoes dry quickly, so if you’re looking for something your kids can wear for an entire day, opt for a pair made from a foam-like or mesh material. One thing to keep in mind for the plastic and foam-like shoes is that their feet can slip around on them, so make sure the insole of the shoe is made from a material with some traction. 


The best design for your child depends a lot on the activities they like to do. For instance, a sneaker is best for kids who are running around the neighborhood on sidewalks whereas something with a more durable sole is good for kids who like to play in the woods or by a lake. You’ll also want to pay attention to the traction on the sole to minimize the risk of your child slipping and falling as well as the construction of the shoe’s straps to avoid the shoe slipping off during play. 

Size & Comfort

No matter what, if the shoe doesn’t fit your child well or is not comfortable then they will not be worn. Be sure to pay attention to sizing guides for water shoes because they can sometimes differ from standard sizes, and think about how the shoe will fit when it’s wet (will it become tighter, loser, significantly heavier, etc.). 

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