The 7 Best Shoes for Rafting and Hiking

best water shoes

So you’ve secured your river permit or just happen to be going on an island getaway, what types of shoes or sandals are you planning to bring along? Are you going to be on the whitewater rafting? Will you be on the beach, walking alongside tide pools or perhaps climbing over rocks? We put together a list of the best water shoes for you next outdoor adventure.

Best Water Shoes 2020

Astral Brewer 2.0 River Water Shoe

Astral Brewer 2.0 Shoe – ($110)

Editors Pick: New for 2018 is the Brewer 2.0 shoe from Astral that combines 5 years’ worth of feedback from their original water shoe into a new updated version that’s well suited for just about every sort of water adventure you can imagine, especially for being on the river.  These shoes like most Astral shoes dry quickly, have a ton of grip for walking on wet rocks and plenty of protection for your feet.  If you find yourself on a guided river tour, most likely your guide will be wearing these shoes along with Astral’s Green Jacket PFD.  Trust the best and go buy a pair of Astral footwear, these are the best water shoes for rocky beaches.

[Purchase: $110]

Mens River Shoes Salomon Water Shoe

Salomon Techamphibian 3 – (94.95)

The name says it all amphibian and tech, giving you the best of both worlds on land or in water. The Salomon Techamphibian 3 is great for grip on slippery rocks, as well as walking through dirt and mud. This is the pair to go with if you need water shoes that will go everywhere with you on and off the water making them one of the best pairs of water shoes for hiking on this list.

[Purchase: $94.95]

Keen Clearwater CNX Sandal

Keen Clearwater CNX – ($99.95)

Keen makes great sandals and shoes, the unique thing about Keen is their sandals have a Toe Cap, which is a great feature for protecting your toes from rocks, cactus, and various hazards. Keen also has contoured arches in their sandals which offers great support, which is not the norm in sandals. The Keen Clearwater CNX is available in both a Men’s and Women’s version blending a closed-toe shoe with a sandal making it one of the best shoes for river rafting, a perfect mix of both worlds.

[Purchase: $99.95]

Teva Knit Sandal

Teva Terra Float Knit – ($99)

Teva has been making great shoes and sandals for years the Teva Terra Float Knit is a great blend of the 2 shoes mentioned before. Covering more of the foot than the Chaco will allow the users to go beyond just river trips, but then again it isn’t as rugged as the Salomon. The Teva Terra-Float Travel Knot Sandal is comfortable, lightweight and durable.

[Purchase: $99]

Astral Hiyak High-Top Water Shoes Mens

Astral Hiyak High Top Water Shoes – ($125)

Astral has the shoe you want if you are kayaking before summer and need something to wear while scrambling up and down the trailhead while getting to and from your favorite rapids. Also good for boating if you are hopping on and off the boat and want to avoid urchins, rocks and especially live coral. The Astral Hiyak High Top Water Shoes are like a wet suit to put on your feet.  The Hiyak is fast drying, lightweight and grippy river, and ocean water shoe.

[Purchase: $125]

Open Toe Sandals

Or do you just need a really good pair of flip flops to rock to the pool and cabana?

NRS Chacos Sandals

NRS Strap Chacos – ($130)

This is the sandal you want if you are going on a rafting trip and want grip, comfort but don’t want to wear a closed shoe. Having an open toe is great for beaches and for time on the river, but be careful around cactus and thorns.  Chaco makes one of the most comfortable sandals out there and is the go-to for river rats everywhere.  These Chaco Sandals are the best camp sandals for rafting, hands down. Be sure to put sunscreen on your feet if you wear these for more than a few hours in the sun.

[Purchase: $130]

Reef Mic Fanning Sandals

Reef Mick Fanning Flip Flops – ($64.95)

If you’re looking for a great pair of sandals to wear through airport security or to the ice machine at your hotel. Reef has what you need, the signature model named for professional surfer Mick Fanning has been a favorite of the Mountain Weekly for years. The Reef Mick Fanning Flip Flops are perhaps the most comfortable sandals in the world and they double as a bottle opener for after surf siestas.

[Purchase: $64.99]

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About the Author

Soren McCarty
Has worked as a professional photographer for the last 25 years, he was the staff photographer at Red Rocks for over a decade. He grew up in Colorado and has always enjoyed the Mountains, he was worked in the Ski and Bike Industry, throughout the state from Denver to the Vail Valley.

1 Comment on "The 7 Best Shoes for Rafting and Hiking"

  1. Great article, Soren! I’m a Keen fan for sure!

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