6 Best Kayak Shoes in 2023

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If you are looking for the best kayak shoes for your next kayaking adventures, then you have come to the right place!

With the right pair of kayaking shoes, you’ll stay comfortable during your trip.

This article lists the top 6 best kayak shoes that can be your choice for your next vacation. They are listed based on product reviews, key features, and price worth. Read this article and find the best kayaking shoes for you!

Our Top Picks

6 Best Kayak Shoes

1. NRS Men’s Kicker Remix Wet Shoes

Best Lightweight Shoes for Paddling 

Key Features:

  • Made with neoprene upper and titanium laminate
  • Drawcord cuff and hook-and-loop closure
  • Thick sole material made of rubber 
  • Recommended for paddleboarding

NRS Men’s Kicker Remix Wet shoes are compact and lightweight kayaking shoes recommended for paddling. This pair of shoes offer the right insulation, traction, and protection, perfect for any boater.

2. Mishansha Water Shoes 

Best Shoes for Any Activity 

Key Features:

  • Anti-slip rubber sole material with spandex fabric
  • Drainage holes on the sole for quick drying and draining of water
  • Easy on and off with pull tap at the heel
  • Elastic velcro strap for easy adjustment depending on foot width

Mishansa water shoes are perfect for all types of water activities such as kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, and boating. This pair of kayak shoes offer quick-drying drainage holes on the rubber soles to maintain a cooler feet environment. 

More so, the pull tap at the heel allows easy on and off while preventing your feet from dripping off. 

3. Neosport Premium Neoprene Wetsuit Boots

Best Boots for Thermal Protection 

Key Features:

  • Synthetic thick neoprene material
  • Puncture-resistant sole with glued and sewn construction
  • Heavy-duty zipper for easy on and off
  • Water entry barrier behind the zipper to prevent the entry of water

These neoprene water shoes are multipurpose kayak shoes that best provide thermal protection during colder weather. They have puncture-resistant thick soles to provide support for all types of water activities. Soles are glued and sewn to an excellent traction sole perfect for sandy beaches and wet or muddy surfaces.

Additionally, the heavy-duty zipper allows easy on and off, with a water entry barrier behind it to easily prevent water from entering the boots.

4. ALEADER Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

Best Shoes for Breathability and Quick Drying 

Key Features:

  • Slip-on kayak shoes with rubber outsole
  • Air mesh upper for breathability and durability
  • Water drain outsole for good grip on wet and slippery surfaces
  • ComforDry sock liner for added cushioning promoting healthier shoe environment

ALEADER quick drying aqua water shoes are perfect slip-on kayak shoes for water and on land. This pair of shoes has an upper open mesh for the foot’s breathability and quick-drying and a Solyte midsole for durability and easy bounce-back. 

More so, these shoes’ outsoles have a water drain to keep your feet dry while maintaining great traction on wet surfaces.

5. Xtratuf Men’s Riptide Water Shoes

Best Shoes for Water Sports

Key Features:

  • EVA cushioning support insole 
  • Anti-slip Chevron outsole
  • Bungee quick lacing system
  • Airmesh lining for shoe breathability

Xtratuf Men’s Riptide Water Shoes are slip-on kayak shoes for any water excursion activities. These shoes are made with air mesh upper material ideal for faster drying and breathability. They also have anti-slip soles, which are also used to make commercial-grade fishing boots. 

6. West Marine Women’s Aqua Socks 

Best Shoes for Stand-up Paddling 

Key Features:

  • Mesh fabric and neoprene upper for quick drying and breathability
  • Elastic drawstring lacing system for a proper fit
  • Made with rubber outsoles that are non-slip and non-marking

West Marine Women’s Aqua Socks are the kayak shoes you need for any water activity.

Aside from their lightweight design, their uppers are made with mesh and neoprene for quick drying and breathability. The elastic laces lock your feet like a bungee cord and maintain a secure fit.

More so, Its rubber outsoles are textured to give you the extra grip when you stand on water; they are also non-marking. 

best kayak shoes
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Types of Water Shoes for Paddling and Kayaking 

Water Booties

Water booties are the water shoes of choice for paddling in a compact kayak. They are made of neoprene, a wetsuit-like material that makes water booties lightweight and compact, perfect for outdoor adventures.

These types of water shoes are only good for paddling in smaller boats in cold water.

Nonetheless, water booties are not the best options when you plan to kayak in rocky areas and hike between boating trips. 

Read Also: The Best Women’s Wetsuits

Water Shoes 

If you plan to go on paddling and hiking in between your paddling trips, water shoes are the best option for you. They are waterproof, lightweight, and breathable material with enough support to protect you during rugged adventures. 

Water Sandals 

Water sandals are ideal for any type of paddle trip. They are perfect for warmer weather. More so, water sandals can provide your feet with the balance between comfortability, support, and breathability.

Things to Consider 


The type of materials used to make the kayak shoes is important based on where you plan to go kayaking and how much mobility you want when you paddle.

The common materials used are neoprene and spandex to provide you with thermal protection. Some kayak shoes are made with polyester, and this provides your feet with comfort. 


Flexibility is also important when you choose your kayak shoes. You have to move your feet freely, especially since you cannot control waves and moving waters.

Choose the pair of shoes that are durable but at the same time flexible to provide your feet maximum mobility on the water. 

Weather and Temperature 

Knowing the weather conditions and temperature of your next kayaking trip is important to know what kayak shoes will offer you the best protection. If you plan on kayaking somewhere in cold weather, you need a pair of kayak shoes that will keep your feet warm.

If you need to kayak in places with warm weather, kayak shoes with good breathability are more suitable for you. 


Durable water shoes are important, especially since you cannot control the movement of the water.

You should choose the pair that would provide optimum safety for your feet while also allowing you to maintain your balance on the water. It is best to look for a good pair of water shoes that fully supports your feet and ankle. 


Buying kayaking shoes means that you need to know your budget. You should be prepared to invest in more expensive kayak shoes that can last you longer than those cheaper options. 


Kayak shoes have various designs; the design you want is based on what you think will be the most suitable for your kayaking trip. Different designs all have their pros and cons. Choose the design that can give your feet maximum support and comfortability. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I need shoes for kayaking?

Yes, you do. Kayaking is a water sport that may cause injuries to your feet if you do not wear something to protect them from sharp rocks.

Aside from possible injuries, your feet need thermal protection, especially in cold water. It’s best to wear kayaking shoes that will give protection and support to your feet. 

What shoes do you wear if you don’t have water shoes for kayaking?

If you don’t have them, some alternatives to kayak shoes are flip-flops, athletic shoes, running shoes, and sports sandals.

Although they are not as quick-drying and heavy-duty as the right kayak shoes, these shoes can still protect your feet during your kayaking trip. 

Can you wear sneakers for kayaking?

Sneakers can be a good alternative to kayak shoes. Water may enter inside, but it can also drain quickly, just like your regular kayaking shoes.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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