Play Better: What to Look for in Water Shoes for Kids

Watch your little ones run around with confidence.

little kid walking on the beach
Take water shoes from the beach to the boardwalk.Max Goncharov

For curious, rambunctious kids, playing in water is the perfect way to keep them active. From fishing, hiking, pool or beach play, there’s lots for busy feet to do and explore. The key is avoiding slips and protecting feet from harsh elements such as hot sand, jagged rocks, pointy sea life and more. Here’s what to look for in kid-friendly water shoes that are comfy and durable.

Native Shoes - Jefferson, Kids Shoe
These shoes dry fast and mold to your child’s feet.Native Shoes

For kids that are into wading through streams or frequently find themselves wandering off the hiking trail, you want a water shoe that looks like a sneaker and functions like one too. That sturdy design provides traction yet features lots of holes which not only allow for easy drainage—but also prevent odor and mold buildup.

Crocs Kids Classic Clog | Slip On Boys and Girls | Water Shoes, Bright Cobalt, J3
These lightweight classics start at infant sizes and fit up to 12-year-old kids.Crocs

If you’re a family that likes wading in the water, be it to collect seashells by the beach or fish in a shallow river, your little ones need shoes that allow them to freely move about. A sandal-like water shoe features thicker soles for underfoot protection from rocks or sea life. Water still flows through easily, so your kids won’t feel weighed down.

Bigib Toddler Kids Swim Water Shoes Quick Dry Non-Slip Water Skin Barefoot Sports Shoes Aqua Socks for Boys Girls Toddler
Comes in 12 design options featuring cute crabs, unicorns, dinosaurs and whales.Bigib

Aqua socks are best for little swimmers who love going from the ocean to the sand or the pool to the deck and back again. They’re skin-tight, slip-resistant and cover the entire foot so kids can swim and splash without feeling like they’re wearing anything. Out of the water, they can run around without fear of slipping or hurting their feet on any other outdoor elements that await.

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