Let’s face it, kids are hard on their clothes, especially their shoes. This gets magnified when water and mud are in the equation. All kids love jumping in puddles, running to splash in the waves, following dogs through streams and off roading into the bush. You can’t leave their feet unprotected as the hot sand and sharp rocks can quickly turn a good day bad. That is where the best kids water shoes come into play.

There are many options on the market, that is why we have found and compiled a list of the best toddler water shoes. These shoes are made tough so they can withstand all the dirt, sand and mud your kid throws at them. Choosing the best water shoes for your toddler doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task any longer.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

How To Choose The Best Water Shoes For Toddlers and Kids – Buying Guide


Playing at the beach can be hazardous for children. The hot sand can burn their feet while they can be unstable or slip on wet rocks. Water shoes can protect their feet while giving them the stability they need in uneven terrain. Summertime often calls for different gear than any other time of the year. As you are going to buy specific summer clothes, your child will need shoes that will withstand the harsh sun and wet environment.

Related Post: Water Shoes Buying Guide

Regular Shoes Vs. Water Shoes

You may be thinking “Why don’t I just put regular shoes on my toddler?”. But once regular shoes get even a little wet they get heavy and uncomfortable. Water shoes are designed to not retain water or get heavy when they’re wet. Most have drain holes and specially designed material which makes them able to be used in wet conditions.

Types Of Water Shoes

There are many types of water shoes. Choosing the right one will depend on a few things like the terrain and comfort of your kid. If they are most comfortable with running shoes, for example, they will want water shoes in that style. If they are more of a no shoes type, a water sock may be best.

Related Review: Water Shoes For Men

Water Socks

Much like adult water socks, there are also kids water socks. These are a type of water shoe that mimics socks. Instead of having the traditional shoe layout water socks are made out of a more flexible material. They are easy to put on and will stay on your kid’s feet until you take them off. These are great for fussy kids or those who have sensitive skin as there are no places where fabric bunches. Having a quality pair of water socks are the best for snorkeling. This is because they will provide a non-bulky layer of protection against your child’s feet. This type of water shoe works well with their snorkel fins as it makes it so their feet will not chafe.  These socks are ideal for new walkers as they do not add any weight to your child’s feet allowing them to focus fully on their walking technique.

Water Shoes

Water shoes are just like adult water shoes, your basic shoe with added water friendly technology. They have the same look and style but are usually made of plastic or mesh. These shoes usually have a quick dry system meaning they don’t take all day to air out. They also usually have a comfortable sole that allows water to drain as well. The bottom of these shoes has excellent traction as they are made to be worn in sandy or rocky conditions. Water shoes are excellent for their ability to go from beach to hiking. These shoes provide enough support to be worn day to day while still featuring all of the top technology that water shoes often feature.

Water Sandals

The construction of these are similar to those of water shoes but are more open. They feature similar materials and features like the comfortable sole and waterproofing. If your toddler isn’t as active but still wants to have fun at the beach these are the type of water shoes you should look into. If opting for these shoes it is important to apply lots of sunscreen to their feet to avoid a strap burn. These shoes also allow hot sand to touch your child’s feet and are best as river shoes with bigger rocks.

Features To Look For

When you buy a pair of the best water shoes for toddlers and kids you ensure they have the highest technology. Kids shoes are no different. There are many features to look for when deciding on the perfect pair of water shoes for your toddler. All of these can make or break your day at the beach.


To make these shoes waterproof special material needs to be used. There are few common ones that companies go to. One of these is a mesh material. It obviously has tiny holes that allow water to drain easily but the mesh also has waterproof properties that make it ideal for playing in the water. Mesh also makes the shoes feel light weight and reduce discomfort. Instead of rubbing the skin mesh stays in one position while creating a comfortable environment.

Some companies use a rubber or plastic for the soft part of the shoes. These are not ideal as they can rub and cause blisters on your toddler’s feet. A better material is a neoprene or synthetic fabric. These are ultralightweight and have been specially designed to be used at the beach or pool.

Sole Thickness

The sole thickness of your water shoe will depend on the environment you are planning to use them in. If you vacation in a place that has a rocky shore you may want to look for a thicker sole. On the other hand, if you are in a place that has sand you may only need a thin piece of rubber on the sole.

It is important to note that the thicker a sole is the heavier the shoe will become. Finding a balance of protection and weight is a critical part of finding the best water shoe for you kid. If the shoe becomes too heavy they could lose their balance making the added protection not worth the trade off.

Ease Of Use

These shoes should be easy to put on and take off. The ideal would be a pair that your child can use themselves. This will give them a sense of independence and make them feel like a big kid. If this sounds like your kid look for shoes that have a pull tab on the heel. You can show them how to use it and they will be running around by themself in no time.


There are a few aspects that contribute to an ideal waterproof shoe. There should be some way for the water to drain from the shoe. This is usually done through the sole by small drain holes. When this is combined with the sole insert, water can exit while debris doesn’t enter. Your kids feet will feel much better when there is no water in their shoes making them uncomfortable.

The base of the shoe should also feature a material that is waterproof. This is usually done by companies utilizing a rubber material. Not only does this allow water to not be retained but also increases the comfort of the shoe. A rubber sole gives more cushion for your toddler when they are walking and running.



Q: What Are Water Shoes?


Water shoes are basically shoes which can be worn in and around the water. They usually feature waterproof materials which can stand up to the water, but the shoes themselves are not ‘waterproof’. They allow water to get into the shoe and have holes for the water to drain out. They also provide a barrier between your feet and any hard surfaces.

Related Post: What Are Water Shoes

Q: Why Does My Child Need Water Shoes?


If your child is playing at the beach, then there is a good chance that they are going to step on something sharp. This is especially likely when they are playing in the ocean or on rocks on the coast. A good water shoe will protect the bottom of their feet from anything piercing their soles.

They also provide a comfortable shoe which will protect and support their entire foot. As adults, we can get shivers when we step into and through seaweed. A great pair of shoes will provide a barrier against the seaweed as well as any other sea life which may damage their feet.

Q: Can’t I Just Use Regular Shoes or Sandals?


You could use regular shoes, but there are some problems with doing this. Water shoes are socially designed to allow the water to drain and the air to circulate. If you use a regular pair of shoes in the water, then the organic matter can build up, and bacteria can begin to grow. This can make shoes smell and damage them.

Water shoes are also designed to be less slippery in wet conditions. Wearing regular shoes can pose a health risk to children. They have more chance to slip on a wet rock when they are wearing a regular pair of sneakers.

Related Post: What Are Slip Resistant Shoes

Q: What Types of Water Shoes Are There?


Aqua socks are basically a neoprene foot covering. They look like a sock, but are thicker and offer more protection in the water. They are great for keeping your child’s feet warm, but they do not provide physical protection.

Water shoes look like regular shoes but are made from waterproof materials. They have a thick sole to provide protection against any impacts and abrasions. They look and feel like regular shoes but hold up better in the water.

Water sandals are crafted from are same materials as water shoes but are shaped like sandals. They provide protection to the bottom of your child’s feet while providing a more open fit which is better for warmer months.

Q: What Do I Need to Look for When Buying Water Shoes?


Think about where your child will be wearing their shoes. If you only need protection for walk-in down the beach, then a child may prefer a water sock for the feeling of freedom. If there are rocks or sharp objects involved, then water shoes or sandals will be beneficial.

You should also look at the type of material used to create the water shoes. Materials such as plastic are completely waterproof, and they will dry almost immediately, but they will rub against your feet. Mesh is a great material for creating breathable and cool shoes. Leather may be appealing, but it does not do well in salt water.

You should look at the thickness of the sole if your child is going to be playing on sharp rocks. The more sharp objects they will come into contact with, the thicker the material of the sole should be.

Globo Surf Overview

When looking for a quality pair of toddler summer shoes, it is important that you look at the best water shoes for toddlers and kids. These shoes are different from sneakers in that they are meant to withstand the wet dirty environment of summertime. These shoes are typically lightweight in design and feature a rubber sole that provides traction in wet conditions. The best shoes will easily go from the beach to a hike without struggle. It is important to look for shoes with some flexibility and elasticity. This will help to keep the foot snug to your child’s feet. This feature will protect your child from chafing once the shoes are wet.

Just like your water shoes, kids water shoes are designed to be comfortable. This is why most often the tops of the shoes feature a neoprene design. This allows them to be quick drying while allowing to water move without weighing your child’s feet down. It is important to opt for shoes that are easy for your little one to get on and off. This will make it so that your child can practice their independence when wearing their new summertime shoe.

As there is a lot of competition in the kid’s shoe market, there are a lot of options to choose from. This added competition drives manufacturers to continue to make the best water shoe. This is to your advantage as there is more technology in kid’s shoes now than ever before. All of the shoes on our list are amongst the best on the market. The top shoes for 2023 these shoes are sure to make your summer much more enjoyable. Now, all that is left to do is book your dream vacation and splash in some warm summer waves.

More Water Gear Reviews:

More Shoes Reviews:

Do you use one of the best water shoes for toddlers and kids that made our list for your summertime adventures? Talk to us about how you like it in the comment section below.