Women's Water Sandals:  Our Amazing Top Picks!

A Practical Guide to Finding the Best Water Sandals

When it’s time to stow away the winter boots and bring out the spring and summer sandals, you want to be prepared. Imagine your closet. You look at your shoe collection and see you’ve got your flip flops, wedges, strappy sandals, and even those complicated lace-up gladiator sandals that you splurged on last year.

But you’re not sure any of those options will cut it for those future days at the beach and that lake trip with your girlfriends toward the end of the summer—and you don’t want any of those beloved shoes to get wet as they could get damaged or ruined. Even more important is that they could become slippery and cause you to lose balance or fall.

What you need, then, is a great new pair of water sandals. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about water sandals, including necessary components and some of the best models out there today!

Keep reading to find out which sandals are perfect for you this year!

What Makes a Great Water Sandal for Women?

Let’s start by asking ourselves a simple question: what exactly makes a great water sandal? As you’ll find out, the best water sandals come with a great number of features, including traction, arch support, comfort, durability, style. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn:

Women's Water Sandals with Traction for Wet Terrain

The first and most important consideration is great traction. As the name implies, water shoes are meant to be worn in wet and slippery areas. This means you’ll want an option with deep lugs on the outsoles to give you that extra safeguard from falling.

As an extra tip, to ensure there are no trips or falls, it’s recommended to never wear water shoes with slippery or worn-down soles, smooth leather or plastic soles, or synthetic soles.

Supportive Women's Water Sandals with Arch Support

The best water sandals for women also come with arch support. This provides extra cushion and weight-bearing support for the arches of the feet for a safer and more comfortable walking experience. This experience typically comes in the form of EVA or PU midsoles that absorb shocks and support the foot’s natural arches.

Finding the Best Water Sandals

Comfortable Women's Water Sandals

The best water sandals allow for the ability to adjust for foot security and comfort. Simply put, you want a shoe that can accommodate your foot size and your weight, so going for an adjustable option is always best. This is especially true when considering that adjustability also correlates with safety (as a shoe that fits better, walks better).

Part of comfort also comes in the form of quick removal and quick-drying capabilities. You’ll want both of these if you are planning on hiking or trekking anywhere that’s substantially wet. Sandal straps are also really important as this can keep the shoe firmly attached to the foot whereas a non-secure shoe (like a more traditional looking thong flip flop) could have painful effects and lead to injuries whether they’re non-slip or not.

A good strap system can sometimes pale in comparison for buyers when debating the value of other technical options such as heel drop, depth, and material. However, having straps in place will ensure you have the proper fit at all times—including when your sandals get wet.

Stylish Women's Water Sandals

Of course, the best water sandals for women will also come in a style you won’t be ashamed of. Let’s face it: many of the traditional items on the market just don’t cut it when it comes to fashion. Fortunately, there are a variety of options out there that won’t just make you feel better—they’ll make you look better, too. Keep reading to see the top stylish water sandals out there today!

Benefits of Water Sandals for Women

Everyone knows that annoying squeaky and squishy feeling you get when water gets trapped under a regular footbed and just won’t dry. It can be a huge pet peeve and one of those small annoyances that can ruin your day.

If you like a low maintenance look, appreciate functionality over style, and like to pack light, then you’re probably on the lookout for an all-around functional sandal that can get wet, won’t slip, and will still look stylish for any events you have after the activity is over.

Other important characteristics when selecting a water sandal include the following features: adjustable, stable, roomy enough, max 1-inch heel, and motion control.

One of the most amazing things about water sandals is their versatility. They are the perfect footwear solution for a wide variety of situations and activities.

Water Sandals Make Perfect Beach Day Footwear

Water sandals are the perfect footwear choice for a day at the beach. You’re probably looking for a sandal that is easy to put on and take off so you can go barefoot in the sand. You also know that the sandal might get wet and want it to dry quickly so you’re not stuck with a sandy foot for the rest of the day.

But you know that your normal flip-flops are flimsy and won’t give you enough support for comfort throughout the day. In fact, it’s not even worth trying because you already know where it’s going to end up.

We’ve all had that experience when expecting to step into soft, squishy sand and instead encountering what feels like the heat of a thousand suns. You end up hobbling left and right, pretending that the sand is lava until you reach the water and finally get to dip your toes in and cool off.

We’ve all had that experience when expecting to step into soft, squishy sand and instead encountering what feels like the heat of a thousand suns. You end up hobbling left and right, pretending that the sand is lava until you reach the water and finally get to dip your toes in and cool off.

On a typical summer day, you can probably expect to see beach bums lathering up in sunscreen. But very few of us do this correctly—whether you’re using lotion or spray, we’ve been burned one too many times by both.

Your feet are one of the main body parts to get sunburnt. This is because they’re an ample flat surface area for the sun to hit and most people neglect to rub sunscreen in and around their toes or the sides of their feet. Wearing sandals, as well as being diligent about your sunscreen application, can help combat sunburn and protect your feet from hot surfaces.

Women's Water Sandals are Great for Hiking

Many of us are under the terrible misconception that the only footwear appropriate for hiking is a good pair of boots. But during the warm-weather season, it’s so much more pleasant to hike in a supportive, quick-drying sandal.

This is because a close-toed shoe is very hard to keep water out, even if they claim to be “waterproof.” During your hike, you might encounter wet grass, a body of water that you’ll have to cross, or possibly a spring or summer rainstorm.

That’s why it’s important to wear a water shoe with built-in ventilation—a sandal! While wading through situations like this, it’s easy for water to enter at the top where you insert your foot.

Women's Water Sandals

Many of us are under the terrible misconception that the only footwear appropriate for hiking is a good pair of boots. But during the warm-weather season, it’s so much more pleasant to hike in a supportive, quick-drying sandal.

This is because a close-toed shoe is very hard to keep water out, even if they claim to be “waterproof.” During your hike, you might encounter wet grass, a body of water that you’ll have to cross, or possibly a spring or summer rainstorm.

That’s why it’s important to wear a water shoe with built-in ventilation—a sandal! While wading through situations like this, it’s easy for water to enter at the top where you insert your foot.

The only real solution to keep water out is to wear long pants and tuck them in, but that tends to be an uncomfortable option for warmer temperatures.

You should also feel wary of hiking in a shoe that does not have quick-drying tendencies as it could lead to slipping, injuries, or trapped sweat or moisture. If you’ve ever stayed in the bath or pool too long, you know that your skin gets pruned and super soft. This could also lead to inflammation and general pain and discomfort throughout your trip.

Just think of how fragile and soft the skin is in that prune-like state. It can easily lead to the breaking of the skin and blisters. Wear a hiking sandal and incorporate these self-care tips into your hiking routine: 

  1. Apply a balm to your feet before and after hiking
  2. Wear shoes that easily drain out water
  3. Carry an extra pair of insoles and socks to make sure your feet are comfortable and recuperating after the hiking activity is finished

Water Sandals Are The Ideal Shower Shoe

This isn’t exactly a warm-weather activity, but if you belong to a gym or visit a campground, you’re probably familiar with a communal shower situation. And if you are familiar, you know that it’s not necessarily the smartest idea to go into it bare-footed.

But you certainly don’t want to wear your shoes. This is because warm and moist environments are a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria that could lead to athlete’s foot. To prevent this, wear shower sandals so the water can drain, make sure you’re drying well in between your toes, and don’t put socks on until your feet are completely dry.

Maybe you’ve even lived in a dorm during your college days and known the slimline you’ve toed wearing slippery flip flops. It’s much safer to have a sturdy and quick-drying pair that will stay clean and reliable to pack in your gym bag or your weekend bag for a trip.

Supportive Water Shoes Are Great for Canoeing or Kayaking

So you’re going out on the river! Canoeing or kayaking are sure to get your feet wet. It’s easy for your small boat to take on water, and you’ll most likely have to wade in a foot or two when entering or exiting the canoe at the dock.

You might need to carry your kayak or canoe from your car to the water. Also, you never know what hazards are lurking on the bottom of the shallow water. Launching your boat in bare feet leaves you vulnerable to stepping on sharp litter or a painful twig. And you certainly don’t want to wade in your tennis shoes or hiking boots. For this reason, a pair of water shoes is the ideal solution that will keep your feet safe and dry.

Pack Water Sandals for The Perfect Travel Footwear

You’re headed on vacation! We know—even the thought of it makes you want to celebrate. If you’re going somewhere wet, you’re probably looking for a pair of shoes that can do it all. The ones you can throw in your backpack and go from activity to activity in comfort and style while still being able to sport them to dinner later at night.

You might think that no water shoe could fit the bill. You’d be wrong. There are plenty of options on this list with the perfect balance of function and style.

Are we out of the woods yet? If you’re headed on a camping trip, you’ll want a sandal that will keep your feet cool and protected from debris. It’s important to have a water-friendly sandal to wick your foot from sweat and keep your feet dry when crossing creeks or streams. You still want to wear them during a bonfire while roasting mallows or during an epic card game on the cabin porch with the family or friends.

Boating and Cruising Water Shoes

Headed on a simple three-hour boat tour? (We all know that turned out to be a little longer.) Boating can be fun but somewhat brutal—you need sandals that have grip so you can navigate around the boat while it’s out on the friendly seas.

Plus, you’re essentially out in the middle of a sea with little to no protection from the sun. If you’re fishing or doing a combination of swimming off the boat, there most likely will be encounters with water or a bit of water on board.

Maybe you’re planning on doing backflips off the end but still want your shoes to stay with you—your strap system is super important here. Okay, who are we kidding, you’re totally doing a cannonball! Our best advice besides water-friendly shoes? Don’t forget the sunscreen.

Our Methodology for Choosing the Best Hiking Sandals

This guide will review the universe of hiking sandals and narrow your choice down to the best-of-the-best. To come up with it, we’ve used a standard methodology, which entailed giving each pair of outdoor sandals an accurate rating, based upon 5 difference criteria:

Comfort
How well the sandals fit and feel. Do they have good arch support and padding?

Traction
How much traction to the athletic sandals provide. Does the sole give you traction in different kinds of environments?

Adjustability
Can the sandal adjust to accommodate feet of different shapes and sizes?

Versatility
Whether the sandal can be worn in many different locations and environments

Aesthetics
How stylish/attractive the sandals are

From these 5 factors, we obtained an overall score out of 100 for each pair of hiking sandals. We also associated each hiking sandal to a category, to help you understand how they are intended to be used. Categories include the most comfortable walking shoes, the best walking shoes for travel, the most stylish walking shoes and so on.

So, without further ado, let’s check out which hiking sandals reached the top of our list!

Our Top Women's Water Sandal Picks

Viakix Acadia Sandal for Versatility and Style

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

9

8

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10

8

82

The Acadia Sandal is all about flexibility. This stylish women’s hiking sandal from Viakix combines comfort with a high level of durability. It uses a super soft EVA insole that feels like the surface of a yoga mat.

The insole also has excellent arch support and a textured surface, which makes this sandal a real pleasure to walk in. These sandals also have 5 adjustable straps to ensure a highly customizable fit.  

The Acadia's thick midsole provides plenty of shock absorption and heel protection, and comes with Viakix's proprietary shank stabilizer. The skid-resistant rubber outsole is quite grippy and works well over a variety of surfaces.

These sandals use a clever hook-and-loop closure on the upper, which makes them simple to take on or off.  

The design is both practical and adorable. In a selection of neutral colors, you can make it your go-to sandal, no matter what outfit you’re wearing. Plus, it’s a super budget-friendly option, making style and functionality super affordable. What’s not to love?

Crocs Swiftwater Sandal: A Water-Friendly Option

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

6

6

4

8

68

The Crocs Swiftwater Sandal is a super lightweight and versatile multi-purpose sandle that’s easy to flip on and off without being a flimsy flip-flop. Its flexible and comfortable straps hug your feet and the flex outsole grooves increase traction for a no-slip experience.

They’re water-friendly in nature and will serve you at the beach or at the lakeside restaurant. Currently priced around $49, they’re a super affordable option for your go-to summer sandal.

Crocs is a newer company that started in 2002 with their stylistically controversial original (and now iconic) Croc design. Even if you don’t like the look of their design, once you slip your foot in a Croc, you can’t argue with the comfort.

That’s probably because they believe comfort is the key to happiness and that their shoes make the world a happier place.

The Chaco Tegu: A Stylish Sandal for the Boat or the Beach

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

8

9

6

9

77

The Chaco Tegu is both rugged and sophisticated, a unique combination. It features a structured sole for the ultimate support. Plus, it’s adjustable straps will keep your sandals secure on your aquatic adventures.

Using innovative and sustainable dying practices, the straps are colored in a variety of stunning hues. The stylish design allows for a customizable fit and versatile style. Easy to slip on and off, these are the perfect go-to footwear for the beach or the boat.

The sandal’s LUVSEAT PU midsole provides excellent shock absorption, which can help to prevent fatigue on long walks. The outsole is made from the “ChacoGrip” rubber compound and features a 3 mm tread depth. The entire sandal is coated with an antimicrobial coating to reduce unpleasant odors

Get Outdoorsy with Merrell’s Hydrotrekker Water Sandal

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

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6

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7

72

An outdoor saltwater sandal option is Merrell’s Hydrotrekker sandal. The Women’s Hydrotekker Strap sandal is trail-capable and built to dry out fast while protecting your feet from the outside world.

The light-weight shoe features water-friendly upper webbing, EVA anchors, and three-point straps for a secure fit. It also boasts easy traction in and out of water.

Priced at $90, these are somewhat of an investment but affordably priced for the quality. But your feet and mind will be put at ease when you learn that their ¼-inch thick heel counter was designed to last a decade. Put that to the test, won’t you?

ATIKA Outdoor Water Sports Sandal For Support and Traction

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

6

7

5

8

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69

The ATIKA Outdoor Water Sports Sandals has adjustable shock padding along the straps and sides with padded inner lining. It’s 3D molded with a contoured footbed that fits closely to the foot bottom.

Its good grip ensures traction on all surfaces—even a slick shower bottom. Priced at around $37, these are a great option to throw in your bag or just keep in your gym locker.

Napali Hiking Sandal: A Comfortable Fit For Your Aquatic Adventures

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

8

8

8

8

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80

One of Viakix’s most popular pair of shoes for women is the Napali Hiking sandal. The sandal is super cute and comes with four adjustable straps to get the perfect, comfortable fit every time.

These athletic hiking sandals have an upper made from a water-resistant webbing that can be adjusted by three straps to precisely fit your feet. Having multiple closures on the sandal means they hug the feet and are suitable for people with any foot shape (narrow, wide, average).

The insole has excellent arch support and a shank stabilizer, which adds stability to the sandal. The midsole is EVA foam-injected, which provides plenty of impact absorption, making it easier to walk for long distances.

The outsole is made from natural rubber, which is extremely durable and provides plenty of traction. Best of all, Viakix has developed these hiking sandals to provide maximum arch support, by engineering an innovative arch stabilizer right into the sandal outsole.  

The versatility of these sandals makes them an excellent choice for many kinds of activities, including hiking, water sports, travel and camping. To top it all off, Napali hiking sandals come with a 30-day guarantee. If you decide you don’t like the way they fit or how they look, you can return the unused pair within 30 days and get a refund.

Currently priced at $49.99, the Napali sandals are one of the most affordable hiking sandal options for a fun trip. These stylish sandals are available in a variety of colors to match just about any athleisure outfit.  

Keen Uneek Water Shoe: A Truly Unique Choice

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

6

6

6

5

67

The Keen Uneek Water Shoe is definitely one of the most unique shoes we’ve laid our eyes on (probably the inspiration behind the name). Its new-school style is almost like a shoe from the future. Keen calls it a “sandal in the front, sneaker in the back.”

Unfortunately, other aspects of the Uneek-w are less exciting. The quality of the insole and outsole make it a fairly mediocre choice for trail hiking. It doesn’t provide the same level of stability as other sandals and is less comfortable on long hikes. That being said, it is still a great choice for short walks in urban environments.

It has gum-rubber accents on the sole and cords that can adapt to the foot shape and size. Its design philosophy hinges on the footbed technology that’s anatomically engineered to provide arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot.

Priced at around $100, these are a bit on the expensive side, but can be a perfect shoe to wear when paddling your canoe or kayak. They’re also for sure to receive looks on the river.

Merrell Breakwater Strap: Featuring Super Functional Design

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

6

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7

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69

Merrel is all about function. However, they created The Breakwater Strap sandal to be fun and adorable too! This simple shoe is stylish and comfy at the same time.

The lightweight EVA footbed has a comfortable microfiber cover that feels great against the foot. The footbed is firmly attached to a thick PU foam midsole that provides excellent cushioning. The 100% rubber outsole provides excellent traction, making this sandal an excellent choice.

With adjustable straps, you’ll always find the perfect fit. The Vibram sole prevents slipping and gives you the ultimate traction. Built with EVA foam, it gives you the support and cushion you need for your next great adventure.

Stay Comfy on the Water with Dr. Scholl’s Cancun Fishermen Sandal

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

6

7

7

7

73

Dr. Scholl’s knows feet. With the Cancun Fisherman Sandal, they use their expertise to keep you comfy on the water. This shoe is created with the ultimate in support and functional design.

With a bungee lacing system and closed-toe design, these shoes really protect your feet. They also feature a super cushy sole to reduce impact.

With great traction and an adjustable heel strap, they’ll allow you to stay safe and comfortable. Slip these on and you’ll be off on your way to enjoying the great outdoors.

Teva Original Universal Sandal for a Classic Stand-by Option

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

6

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7

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73

The Teva Original Universal sandal is the company’s first and some may say the greatest. According to the company, it stands as a testament to timeless comfort and utilitarian style.

The shoe’s “boomerang” style is part of a collection that celebrates the Grand Canyon’s 100th year as a National Park. And for good reason—the company started back in 1984 from the shores of the Grand Canyon.

It was born out of the idea to prevent sandals from floating downstream when a river guide strapped two Velcro watchbands to a pair of old flip-flops. You can purchase these sandals for around $50.

They feature water-ready polyester webbing that’s durable but dries super quickly. The EVA foam footbed makes for a comfortable day. Plus, the simple strap-in system to ensure the right and an easy on and off wear.

Get a Just-Right Fit with ABEO Dunes H2O Sandal

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

8

7

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6

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77

What’s better than a sandal made just for you? ABEO uses built-in orthotics in their Dunes H2O sandal to ensure a just-right fit. The footbed will be customized to the unique shape of your soles.


Plus, it’s a super lightweight and supportive shoe. This sandal provides great traction on both wet and dry terrain. Its adjustable hook and look strap allows you to tighten it to a secure fit.


Equipped with anti-microbial technology, you won’t have to worry about lingering odor. The neutral footbed will provide you with day-long support on all of your water adventures. You’ll reduce your impact and prevent slipping while keeping your toes cool.

Teva Women’s W Voya Infinity Flip-Flop: A Lightweight Water-Friendly Design

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

6

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75

The Teva Women's W Voya Infinity Flip-Flop boasts water-ready polyester webbing that dries out quickly after getting wet. Described as a flip flop, this sandal’s EVA-foam outsole supports the foot while its soft sole cushions forms to it.

Currently priced around $45, this is an affordable option for a lightweight, no-fuss or frills boating shoe.

The Chaco Banded Z: A Water Sandal With Support

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

7

8

9

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80

Looking for a sleek and simple look? The Chaco Banded Z is your answer. This standby sandal is perfect for the beach, the creek, and everywhere in between. Plus, it’s neutral look is great for a ton of different ensembles.

This vegan option is all about the cushion. With Chaco’s signature LUVSEAT Care+ EVA footbed, your soles will be comfy while still being supported. Deep treads give you traction in both wet and dry situations. Plus, the antimicrobial materials prevent odor build-up.

These shoes are all about simple beauty. With an adjustable strap system and neutral colors, they complement any look.

Coming in around $80, these Chaco sandals are on the rather pricey side.

Fully Adjustable Fit with The Keen Whisper Sandal

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

8

8

9

7

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79

The Keen Whisper sandal can also be that perfect Swiss army knife of travel sandals. While the upper material is water-resistant and the outsoles provide superior traction for water activities, the stylish look also allows you to wear the pair as your all-day travel sandals too.

The sandal has been designed with durability and safety in mind. The outsole provides excellent traction and stretch to the front of the sandal protecting your feet from rocks, tree roots, and other objects.

The Compression-molded EVA midsole makes the sandals extremely comfortable and provides additional stability in rugged environments and physical activities such as kayaking or canyoning.

Besides, the soles are thick enough that you won’t feel pebbles under your feet when walking. These great outdoor sandals are particularly touted for their ability to handle getting wet without stinking.

If you are doing a lot of walking, the top-quality midsole cushioning helps cut down on foot pain while increasing your comfort on long trips. Designed with foot support and comfort in mind, these sandals can get you through an entire day while giving you the impression that you’re walking on air.

CIOR Women’s Sport Sandal for a Budget-Friendly Choice

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

5

7

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65

One of the most budget-friendly options on the list, the CIOR Sport Sandal is an affordable choice. Coming in around $20, it’s definitely worth the price. Its lightweight design ensures fun in the water and on land.

Make with EVA yoga mat footbeds, these provide cushion and reduce impact. The molded arch support gives your foot the reinforcement it needs on your adventures. However, the shoe is designed not to restrict your natural stride, allowing you to walk along comfortably.

This fun sandal comes in a huge range of colors and patterns. Will you stick with the basic black or neutral navy? Or will you make a statement with a vibrant stripe or fun geometric pattern? Either way, this sandal will give you all the style and support you need on the water.

The Viakix Siena Sandal: Stylish and Water Friendly

Comfort Traction Aesthetics Adjustability Versatility Overall rating

8

8

9

7

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79

The Siena Sports Sandals are one of the latest additions to Viakix’s highly versatile and functional range of walking and hiking sandals. The Siena Sandal is a perfect choice when looking for a great water sandal.

This comfortable athletic sandal checks all the boxes in terms of style, comfort, and water-resistance.

Equipped with a shank stabilizer, these sandals will provide you with great traction so that you can hike and walk anywhere even on rough terrain. Dreaming of a mountain or jungle adventure? These shoes will keep you comfortable while allowing you to make the most of your adventures without having to worry about pain.

Designed to provide maximum comfort, these shoes also come with an EVA foam midsole which offers extra cushioning. The added support means higher shock absorption and less stress on your joints or bones.

If you have high arches or suffer foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, these shoes are the perfect fit!  

The Siena sandals come with an ergonomic outsole, fully equipped with a shank stabilizer to provide exceptional arch support. The front webbing is made out of elastic textiles to provide a soft, custom fit. The sandals have a buckle strap on the ankle to adjust and customize to your needs.

Summing It All Up - Finding the Best Women's Water Shoe for You

Best Women's Water Shoe

Choosing the right water-friendly sandal could make this the summer to remember! The right pair gives you the ability to tackle whatever outdoor adventure you have planned, whether it’s kayaking with your friends or trekking unknown terrain with your loved ones.

More importantly, a quality pair of water sandals will provide you with the necessary arch support, comfort, and durability to maintain your foot health and get the most out of your next vacation.

What does this mean for you? Simply put, it means that it’s time to use this guide as your ultimate reference for finding the right water sandals for you. In this piece, we went over some of the best insider tips and discussed the best models out there today.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to find your pair of water shoes and have that adventure you’ve been dreaming of!
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Reviews (1 comment)

  • Linda On

    I guess I’ve been living under a rock all of these years! I didn’t realize there were so many different, viable options for water sandals. When I’ve thought “water shoes” in the past, I pictured really unattractive sandals that had one use and one use only. These recommendations seem useful and stylish.

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