Shoes For Paddle Boarding

7 Best Shoes For Paddle Boarding [2021 Guide]

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Are you looking for the best shoes for paddle boarding? 

Well, you have come to the right page!

Paddleboard water shoes are essential gears that every paddle boarder should have. 

In fact, this affordable gear can affect the overall experience of your paddle boarding session, especially if you paddle boarding all year long regardless of the season and location.  

Written by WWB Writer Sam Lee, check out these 7 best shoes for paddle boarding with detailed reviews and a useful buying guide that you can rely on before getting a pair for yourself!

The 7 Best Shoes To Wear Paddle Boarding 

  1. NRS Kinetic Water Shoes 
  2. Vibram Women’s Water Shoes
  3. UBFEN Unisex Water Shoes
  4. Simari Unisex Water Shoes
  5. SEEKWAY Unisex Water Shoes
  6. KEEN’s Women Sandal 
  7. Teva Women’s Omnium Sandal

Disclosure: Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thank you.

Shoes For Paddle Boarding

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Why You Need Shoes for Paddle Boarding

Some experienced paddle boarders might prefer to paddle board without any footwear as they deemed barefooted makes balancing and board movement easier on the water. 

Nevertheless, it is recommended to have a pair of reliable paddle boarding boots for the following reasons or when a certain circumstance arises: 

  • Provides cushioning and foot support while walking from the beach to the water spot
  • Protects your feet from getting cut by rocky stones and sharp objects
  • Protects your feet from getting sunburn in summer or freezing in winter
  • Reduces the risk of slipping and falling on the board 
  • Wearing paddle board booties make you feel confident and comfortable when paddle boarding as compared to barefoot 

7 Best Shoes To Wear Paddle Boarding 

Here are the 7 best paddle board shoes to consider:

  1. NRS Kinetic Water Shoes 

These neoprene water shoes are suitable to wear for stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in winter as it has titanium that helps in insulating your feet. 

The shoes featured a textured rubber sole too that aids in foot protection. 

These slip-on water shoes have stretchy bands—designed to fit nicely onto your feet. These features will further enhance your paddle boarding overall experience. 

Besides, these neoprene water shoes come with a wide toe box. Therefore, these shoes are comfy and ideal especially for those who have a wide forefoot. 

If you are looking for a pair of paddle board footwear that can let you walk on rocky ground and paddle in the water, these NRS Kinetic Water Shoes are definitely on our top list. 

However, these stand up paddle board shoes do not have drainage holes where water might retain in the shoes when your feet get wet.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Slip-on
  • Suitable for colder months
  • Thick rubber sole
  • Stretchy bands

What We Don’t Like

  • No drainage holes
  • Only 1 shoe design available  
  1. Vibram Women’s Water Shoes

If “What To Wear Paddle Boarding” pops out in your mind, you may consider getting Vibram Women’s Water Shoes as your paddle board footwear.  

Vibram Women’s Water Shoes features a light, thin, and snug fit design. 

Besides, additional silicone prints inside the shoes help in preventing the internal slippage; ensuring the water shoes do not fall off the feet regardless of the water spot condition. 

This uniquely designed water shoe boasts its durable sole that offers great grip, especially on wet terrains. This feature helps in improving the feet stability and overall body balance. 

There is also the presence of drainage perforations on the sole, allowing water to get out from the shoe interior and quicker drying process.

However, you might face a slight inconvenience if you are looking for these SUP shoes in UK size as the chart only consists of US shoe sizes. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Great grip
  • Drainage holes

What We Don’t Like

  • Not available in UK sizes
  • Only 2 shoe designs available  
  1. UBFEN Unisex Water Shoes

These UBFEN Water Shoes are lightweight and have stretchy upper and laces that snug on your feet perfectly. 

Their updated outer sole design consisting of convex dots offers additional resistance and increased traction. 

These wallet-friendly shoes are thick enough to offer both protection and great flexibility to your feet. 

These water shoes also have drainage holes that allow water from going in and out of them without obstruction and therefore better ventilation. 

The quick-dry and breathable features make these shoes one of the best shoes for SUP.

However, these UBFEN Water Shoes’ dyes might stain your feet or the ground after prolonged use. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Traction
  • Have drainage holes
  • Multiple shoes design options available

What We Don’t Like

  • Dyes stain on feet
  1. Simari Unisex Water Shoes

You will be spoilt for options as these polyester Simari Water Shoes come in multiple designs and colours.

The rubber sole and its unique design further enhance the body balancing and cushion the feet against sharp items and debris. 

Besides being light, the sole is also designed to have drainage holes, allowing water to easily drain out of the water shoes. 

The combination of this helpful feature and the upper mesh material make these Simari Water shoes highly breathable and dry quickly.  

Simari Water Shoes also have stretchable upper and elastic lace that lead to wearing and taking out the shoes relatively effortlessly. 

In short, all these features make these water shoes one of the best shoes for paddle boarding in the market.

However, do take note that these Simari Water Shoes run a size small before getting a pair for yourself!

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Quick-dry material
  • Stretchable upper
  • Have drainage holes
  • Multiple shoe design options available

What We Don’t Like

  • Shoes run small so consider get one size up before buying

Eg: If your regular shoes size is 8, get a size 9 for Simari Water Shoes

  1. SEEKWAY Unisex Water Shoes

SEEKWAY Water Shoes are another great option that you can consider for paddle boarding. 

These lightweight paddle board shoes are compressible and elastic, making them easy to carry around wherever you go. 

The rubber shoe sole offers great anti-slip resistance against the slippery surface. 

The sole is also designed to protect your feet from sharp debris and hot ground such as beaches or cement. 

Besides, the upper material of these slip-on water shoes is made from breathable and quick-dry elements. 

With the right size, these polyester shoes comfortably snug on your feet without causing any chafe, and taking out the shoes is relatively a breeze. 

If you are a fan of minimalist shoe design, SEEKWAY Water Shoes are going to be your top pick. 

Nevertheless, it is crucial to take the lack of drainage holes on the sole into consideration before getting this paddle board footwear. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Quick-dry material
  • Slip-on
  • Anti-slip resistance
  • Multiple minimalist shoe designs available

What We Don’t Like

  • No drainage holes
  1. KEEN’s Women Sandal 

One of the best sandals for paddle boarding in the market that you can opt for, KEEN’s Women Sandal has a water-resistant polyester upper that helps in repelling water. 

The siping design of its outer leather sole increases the traction and grip of the shoes against slippery terrain. 

The sandal also comes with a patented toe bumper that offers additional protection to the forefoot. 

KEEN’s Women Sandal has a removable arch support insole and a compression-molded EVA midsole that promotes additional cushioning and comfort. 

Apart from that, the lace-lock bungee system fits the sandal to your feet securely, giving you peace of mind even when the water condition is harsh. 

Interestingly, this sandal is also equipped with probiotic-based technology that helps in reducing the feet odour. 

However, KEEN’s Women Sandal might not be suitable for women who have wider feet, and the shoe price is slightly higher than average paddle boarding boots.

What We Like

  • Quick-dry material
  • Traction
  • Complete toe protection 
  • Feet odour reducing technology
  • Multiple shoe design options available

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for wide feet women
  • Expensive
  1. Teva Women’s Omnium Sandal

Another one of the best stand up paddle board shoes, Teva Women’s Omnium Sandal features a non-marking rubber sole, quick-dry mesh lining, and closed-toe protection. 

Consists of molded EVA foam midsole too, this sandal is equipped with shock-absorbing heel technology which further enhances the user’s comfort and cushioning. 

Thanks to its bungee lacing system, it is relatively easy putting on and taking out the sandal aided by the presence of buckled strap and backstrap.

Besides, this sandal-shoe hybrid comes with drainage holes—keeping the feet dry and further enhances the overall comfort. 

Same as KEEN’s, Teva Women’s Omnium Sandal might not be suitable for women with wider feet. 

What We Like

  • Quick-dry material
  • Traction
  • Closed-toe protection 
  • Shock-absorbing heel technology

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for wide feet women
  • Expensive

Types of Shoes for Paddle Boarding

Generally, paddle board footwear is made up of either:

  • Neoprene
  • Polyester
  • Lycra

Each material has its pros and cons. 

Neoprene boots are the most expensive buy among all as it provides the highest form of durability, breathability, and comfort. 

For those who paddle board during colder months—especially in the winter season—getting neoprene paddle board water shoes would be the better choice to keep your feet warm. 

If the water shoes’ quick-drying ability is your utmost priority when selecting a paddle board footwear, then lycra paddle boarding boots are your best bet.

The most affordable option among these 3 is polyester shoes. 

However, it is also the least durable where you might end up spending more money on replacing the footwear for paddle boarding frequently.

How to Choose the Best Footwear For Paddle Boarding

It might be slightly overwhelming—especially for first-time buyers—getting wetsuit boots for paddle boarding. 

Here are some of the essential features that you need to take into consideration when choosing the best shoes for paddle boarding that suit you:

Traction

One of the crucial features that make up a good pair of water shoes for paddle boarding is traction. 

Traction plays an essential role in preventing slipping or falling, especially on slippery surfaces such as paddle boards and slimy rocks. 

Good traction gives you a better grip and better control of the paddle board movement. 

Fit

If you do not wish your paddle boarding boots to float away and out of your reach during a harsh water condition when paddle boarding, it is recommended to find a pair of well-fitted shoes for yourself.

Having well-fitted paddle boarding booties enhances your overall experience of paddle boarding since you do not have to constantly clamp your feet onto the shoes if they are too loose or risk having blisters and discomfort when they are too tight. 

Slip-On

For convenience, you can opt for slip-on paddle board water shoes instead. It makes shoes wearing and removing a total breeze.

Some slip-on shoes come with a lacing system that secures the water shoes to the board even if they fall out of your feet. So feel free to paddle around as hard as you can!   

Breathability

It is crucial to choose breathable footwear for paddle boarding as your feet are most likely to be in contact with water when paddle boarding.

Breathable paddle boarding boots make drying easy and less likely to irritate your skin. 

Some features that contribute to the paddle board footwear breathability are shoes made from mesh material and having ventilation holes in the soles. 

Drainage

Drainage holes are crucial in ensuring your feet comfort. 

Proper footwear for paddle boarding is not waterproof; it allows water to get in and out freely without any difficulty. Hence, the water shoes will continue to stay light, with both feet feeling comfortable even after a long period. 

Some SUP board shoes come with an efficient drainage system where extra drainage holes are designed on the outer sole. 

Other Useful Tips Before Buying Shoes For Paddle Boarding

As a rule of thumb, a typical good pair of water shoes for paddle boarding should:

  • be lightweight and durable
  • have flexible sole so that you can control your feet and paddle board movement at ease
  • have antimicrobial and antifungal properties to prevent fungus growth and persistent unpleasant feet odour
  • nicely fitted and try out without wearing any socks to get the right size
  • be suitable to wear according to the water temperature changes (summer versus winter)
  • consist of padding and sole that offer extra comfort and protection to your feet
  • not have any cotton material as it absorbs water which hinders the feet movement  

Benefits Of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

If you need some valid reasons to convince yourself to spend some money to get a new pair of paddle board footwear, here are the 7 benefits of stand up paddle boarding:  

  • Great cardio exercise
  • Improves your balancing and posture
  • Improves mental health
  • Reduces stress level
  • Calories burner activity
  • Low-impact workout
  • Boosts Vitamin D level

Conclusion 

So there you go—the 7 best shoes for paddle boarding that you can choose for your new or next water activity adventure! 

We hope this buy-and-review guide of paddle board footwear shows you some great insights by streaming down to the key features that make up a good pair of shoes for paddling boarding. 

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