Can You Wear Shoes on Sand? Why Yes! And Here are Best Shoes for Walking on the Beach

Salt in your hair and sand on your toes- feels invigorating, right? Yes, walking barefoot on the beach has its advantages. But sometimes you need shoes for several reasons. One, not all beaches have powdery sand, some may have sharp rocks and broken pieces of shells. Two, people with foot problems may not be able to walk comfortably on sand.

Best Shoes for Walking on the Beach

But not all shoes or sandals can be used to walk on sand. The wrong choice can drag your feet down and cause further foot issues. 

So we have curated a list of the best shoes for sand. And you can even wear most of them in the water!

Our Top 10 Picks of The Best Shoes for Walking on the Beach


Beach shoes brandMaterialWeightMain featuresShops
VIBRAM Five Fingers AquaSynthetic and textile material6 ozVibram® Megagrip outsole, vegan materials, 2 mm EVA insole with Silicon TreatmentCheck Latest Price
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DreamCity Men’s Water Shoes90 % fabric and mesh material9.12 ozair mesh upper, Solyte midsole ,Water Grip outsole, ComforDry sockliner, Open mesh on the upper and hole on the sole Check Latest Price
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SPEEDO Men’s HybridTextile upper, Rubber outsole 3 oz360° Drainage Check Latest Price
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SPEEDO Surfer Women’s100 % neoprene upper5.8 ozPull-on entry and secure fit, S-trac outsole ,Quick-drying materials Check Latest Price
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Crocs’ Men’s Swiftwater-Textile material and synthetic sole7 ozSlip-resistant outsole,Massage pods on the foot-beds Check Latest Price
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Merrell Sieve water shoesWeather, textile and synthetic material12 ozHollowed lugs for lightness, and synthetic sole, UniFly responsive cushioning system technology, Molded TPU external heel ,Cushioned and shock absorbing Midsole Check Latest Price
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SUOKENI Women’s90 % fabric and rubber outsole8 ozAnti slip outsole with strong track adhesion, full covered design Check Latest Price
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JBU by Jambu Women’s Textile and vegan materials7.7 ozMemory Foam Footbed, All Terra Traction, Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch   Check Latest Price
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Aleader’s MensFabric and mesh upper and rubber sole11.29 ozComforDry sockliner, WaterGrip outsole, Solyte midsole Check Latest Price
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Ryka Women’s Hydro SupportMeh and synthetic upper, rubbe rsole8.3Compression molded EVA foam with drainage ports, flexible outsole design, Removable, perforated Nitracel footbed, Webbing midfoot cage   Check Latest Price
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Once you tried these pairs of sandshoes, you might never walk barefoot on the beach anymore!

01. VIBRAM Five Fingers- Best Overall

This versatile all-surface footwear is suitable for an array of activities. It looks rather chic and stylish too.

From the beach to the boardwalk. you don’t even need to change shoes if you’re going to grab ice cream at the store or buy souvenirs from the shop across the beach.

These shoes are also quite popular. Mention the word VIBRAM Five Fingers and everybody knows how cool these shoes are. These are unique, chic, and snug-fitting shoes. It’s also very versatile and can be used in the gym for some HIIT training or freestyle movement. 

The inside of the shoe has a silicone implant that makes for a snug fit. And all the materials are vegan, so that’s brown points for the environment.

The sole provides a decent grip. And at the same time, it can shield your feet if you accidentally step on something shaped. But we love how breathable it is, you can move your toes freely too.


  • It has superior grip, so it can prevent slipping accidents should you step on a wet and slimy rock
  • Your feet will be protected from sharp rocks, crushed shells, and whatnots, but at the same time you do not feel suffocated
  • It’s very versatile and can be used almost anywhere, it’s also a great choice for freestyle movement training at the gym


  • The sizes run a bit large, so get one size smaller
  • Might not be suitable for those with skinny feet, the dimensions are a bit wide and those with wider feet can get a better fit

02. Dreamcity Men’s Water shoes- Best for Sand Sports

These lightweight, breathable and stylish kickers are sure to make a statement on the beach.

We love these shoes because they’re so stylish. But at the same time, your feet feel like they’re floating in the air because it is rather light. These are lightweight sandshoes and quite breathable too. 

Since it’s made of 90 % fabric and mesh material, they are soft and breathable. But at the same time, you still get enough protection from sharp objects.

The sole is flexible but provides enough traction, so you can also wear these for playing sand sports such as frisbee or beach volleyball. 

And more importantly, it has an outsole design. Sand will not get stuck in between your toes.


  • It’s made of light and breathable materials, the combination of fabric and mesh is heaven for your feet. And even if it gets wet, it will not weigh down on you
  • These are quite stylish sandshoes that you can rock on the beach
  • It has enough traction for beach sports yet the sole is pretty flexible
  • It offers enough protection from sharp objects


  • Pebbles can get stuck in the sole

03. SPEEDO Men’s Hybrid- Best for Swimmingerall

If you want to go old school, these SPEEDO beach shoes are your best bet.

The design is old-fashioned. And it’s easy to put them on as well as take them off.

It’s called hybrid because it can be used both for land and water. We were amazed at how nicely it held up in the water. The shoes have 360 drainage, so you never have to worry about cold and wet feet, the shoes drain fast.

So you can also use these for swimming! It will not also retain pebbles and sand. That’s why athletes also use these.

And it’s quite lightweight too, you will not feel the weight even in water.


  • Can be used in land and water, it can also be used for swimming
  • It drains fast and feels very comfortable even in water
  • It’s lightweight and quite flexible
  • These shoes do not retain sand or pebbles


  • Some may find the design too old fashioned

04. SPEEDO Surfer for Women’s- Best Women’s Beach Shoes

These are snug-fitting, breathable, sandshoes that you can wear on the beach and in water.

It has an anti-slip sole so you’re sure to be safe from slippery rocks. They are also snug fitting and will not come off even if you’re treading the waters. You can also do short hikes to water sports in these shoes.

You can also use this for snorkeling and it can protect your feet from cold water and scrapes.

These shoes are very easy to wear, they have a pull-on and slip-on design.


  • Offers a snug and comfortable fit, it fits true to size
  • Can be used in land and water, it’s also great for beach sports and snorkeling
  • Has an anti-slip sole


  • Those with high arches might not find it as easy to slip on

05. Crocs Men’s Swiftwater- Best for Rocky Beaches

Coming from an iconic brand, you can expect outstanding performance. And these sandshoes can provide protection and comfort even on rocky beaches.

It has a massage function, the same iconic ones you can find in other Croc footwear, on the footbeds. So you can use these shoes for long walks and your feet will still thank you for it.  

The soles have extra traction and are quite grippy. So these can provide enough shield from sharp rock, pebbles, and even pieces of broken glasses.

And of cure, it has that iconic Crocs design that is very hip, these are well made too. And even if it has a seemingly thicker sole, these are quite light and very flexible.


  • The flex groove on the outsole provide additional traction, thus it can prevent slipping
  • The thick sole can give protection from sharp objects, but these are quite lightweight shoes compared to how chunky they look
  • The footbeds have massage pods ods so this will be comfortable for longer walking or even hiking
  • These can channel water away, so you can dip your footsies in the sea and it’ll drain fast
  • These are heavily stitched and well made
  • These shoes are quite buoyant in water


  • Sand may collect at the bottom of the sole

06. Merrell Sieve Water Shoes- Best Ventilated Beach Shoes

The design of these shoes offers excellent ventilation. 

Go straight from the water to your cabana, your feet would have dried up by the time you get there.

The base is thick and has this supportive rubber material, but it is very flexible. And it has cutouts along the sole that can help drain water easily. 

These Merrel beach shoes also have excellent traction, so you can use this for an array of activities. It’s also great for hiking and trekking.


  • The sole is flexible and offers great traction, no need to worry about accidentally stepping on a wet slimy rock
  • These shoes are easy to slip into and easy to remove
  • These beach shoes are well ventilated and breathable, it also has cutouts to drain water faster
  • It has a super unique quick lace system


  • Not for those who need more support around the arch area

07. SUOKENI Women’s – Best Comfort Fit

These shoes have very stretchy uppers that make up for a comfortable fit.

And the full foot covered design is still quite comfortable, it’s not dragging and feels very lightweight. 

And we did find the shoes very pleasing on the eyes. It also comes in an array of perky colors that‘ll keep the sun shining even if it’s dawn already.

One advantage too is that it has an enclosed toe cap for additional protection. So these are also excellent choices for beach and water sports.


  • Has excellent traction and protect from slipping
  • The enhanced toe coverage and full foot design makes it ideal for watersports and beach activities
  • These are very flexible, lightweight, and has a very comfortable fit


  • Size runs a little large

08. JBU by Jambu Women’s – Best for those with High Arches

This pair of sand shoes look like something you could wear for strolling! But it can provide more support for those with high arches.

And it can be very cushy. It has a memory foam footbed so your feet will be thanking you after a long walk. It is extremely comfortable, cushy, yet has a decent amount of support.

These can absorb water without the shoes weighing in on you.


  • The insoles are removable
  • These can absorb water without adding on weight, so these still feels lightweight
  • The memory foam bed are super comfortable
  • It can provide support for those with high arches


  • Not for in water use
  • These are ½ size too big

09. Aleader’s Men’s- Best Quick Drying Shoes

These quick-drying shoes are well ventilated and dry the fastest.

We have a lot of breathable and well-ventilated sandshoes on our list, but the Aleader’s is the fastest drying. pair. It has a design that pushes the water out faster than any other.

The upper part is made of mesh. SO this is very comfy, airy, and light. 

These shoes also have great traction but also have a nice bounce. We find this cradling for those with flat feet.


  • The shoes are highly breathable and quick drying
  • The design also allows for water to easily escape
  • The shoes have great traction but also have a nice bouncy feel


  • Not that ideal for rocky beaches

10. Ryka Women’s Hydro Support- Best Foot Support

These are beach shoes perfect for those who need more foot support.

Walking on the beach can be tiring on your feet. While we have an array of supportive and comfortable sandshoes, these pairs are packed with more supportive features.

The webbing foot cage can provide more medial and lateral support. And it has an impact foam heel that can absorb impact.

These are also heavy-duty shoes that will not get ripped even if you wear them out for a triathlon. You can use it for kayaking, river rafting, and hiking. And since it has an EVA foam bed, it has a very comfortable sole, you will not get blisters. 

It also has excellent traction and an anti-slip feature. So you get ultimate support and protection for your feet while you’re on the beach.


  • These shoes have more medial and lateral support
  • These are heavy-duty and well-made beach shoes you can also use for sports, gym, and hiking
  • The EVA foam bed is very comfortable, you’ll not have any blisters


  • Sizes run too big

What You Should Consider When Buying the Best Shoes for Walking on the Beach 

best water shoes for walking on the beach

Walking barefoot on the sand is a relaxing activity. You can feel cool fine powdery sand gushing your toes. But sometimes, it’s not all peaches and cream. It can also put you at risk of stepping on something sharp. And if you’re on a rocky beach, you wish you had shoes on.

We have listed the best pair of sandshoes above. But these tips will help you more to find the perfect pair to rock on the beach.

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Comfort and Fit:

As with any shoes, your beach shoes should have a snug fit. It should not be too tight and it also should not be too loose. 

There must be ample room for movement, but it should not fly up in the air once you get in the water. 

Also, some shoes have bigger sizes or the dimensions are wider. So make sure to fit them and try walking on them before buying.

Lightweight and waterproof:

Beach shoes should be lightweight because walking on sand is tiring already. You don’t need heavy shoes that can drag you further into the sand. 

There are beach shoes that you can take from the shore to the sea. But there are also water-resistant ones that can take on a bit of splash but are not ideal for swimming. 

So make sure you have this clear before making a purchase.


Beach shoes should also be decently breathable. Most of the best sandshoes have a combination of other materials plus mesh. Mesh is a highly breathable material. It also helps dry the shoes faster should they get wet.

Flexible yet durable:

You need sandshoes that can give you ample protection. Should you step on sharp objects, you will not get scratches. But at the same time, the material should be flexible enough to be able to move with you. A too rigid pair of shoes is an invitation for injuries. 

Traction and anti-slip:

The best beach shoes must have ample traction, enough grippiness to prevent slipping accidents. You never know when you can step on a slimy slippery rock. And If you’re using these for watersports, this is a very important consideration too. 

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Can you machine wash sand shoes for the beach?

Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer, yes you can.

Can you use beach shoes in the pool?

It depends on the material of the shoes. Pools are chlorine treated. And these chemicals may cause damage to the shoes. 
You must also choose beach shoes with anti-slip features and great traction to prevent you from slipping.

Is walking barefoot on the beach bad?

There are several pros of walking barefoot on the beach. But it does not come with it. One, walk longer and it can take a toll on your feet. Two, you cannot if you’re on a rocky beach. And unless you’re sure the beach is powdery sand, then you’re safe from getting a cut on your foot.

Final Say

It’s still your option if you want to go barefoot or wear shoes to the beach. But the best shoes for walking on the beach are non-negotiable in some circumstances. Especially if you’re going to engage in activities, wearing shoes is highly advisable on the sand.

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