Best Paddle board Shoes

This article may contain affiliate links to which we are compensated if you buy. This comes at no extra cost to you.

Last Updated:

When looking for paddle board shoes you want something that will stay on your foot come hell or high water! I can tell you how annoying it is paddling with sandals or paddling with surf booties that are too tight. It honestly sucks! 

To save you some time I’ve been the Guinea Pig in this process, trying on different shoes and seeing what works and what doesn’t

If you’ve been scouring the internet for the perfect paddleboarding shoe, we can save you some time. I’ve been paddleboarding and participating in other watersports for more than 20 years and have had my fair share of experiences, good and bad, on the water. 

When it comes to the perfect pair of SUP shoes, the one that stands out among the rest is Keen Men’s Newport Closed Toe Water Shoe

I’ve found that this pair of water shoes protect your feet when you’re on your board and can mean the difference between a great or not-so-great day on the water. 

If you’ve tried the Keen Newport water shoes before and they’re not your cup of tea or are interested in your other options, look no further. I’ve found some of the best paddleboarding shoes for women, when you’re on a budget, winter paddling, and more. 

Best Paddle board Shoes Reviews

Below are some top water shoes that I’ve chosen specifically for paddle boarding. I have gone through and put over 28 hours of research into this article. All while trying a few on my SUP excursions as well. Ideal for the slightly colder spring winters here in British Columbia. 

1. Keen Men’s Newport Closed Toe Water Shoe (Top SUP Pick)

The Keen Men’s Newport Closed Toe Water Shoe is the top pick for SUP water shoes. This sturdy and reliable water shoe is designed to keep you comfortable on long paddles and help you stay on your board despite the water conditions. 


  • Six neutral color options 
  • It ranges in sizes from men’s 7 to 17
  • 100% leather 
  • Rubber sole
  • Machine washable
  • Toe bumper to keep your toes safe from injury 
  • Non-removable EVA footbed for comfort
  • Eco anti-odor technology to keep your shoes from smelling like sweat

Materials Explained

Even though the upper of the shoe is made with 100% leather, you don’t need to worry about water damage. The leather upper is water-resistant. This will help keep your water shoes in excellent condition for longer.

The rubber sole is what’s going to give you the best traction and protection when you’re on your paddleboard. Rubber shoes on the surface of your paddleboard can help you avoid falling over, slipping, or sliding around when you’re paddling. 

On the bottom of the rubber sole, Keen implemented a multi-directional lug pattern to help improve the traction of the water shoes. 

How It Compares

Compared to other similar water shoes within its price range, the Keen Newport shoes rise above. Now, when you compare them to water shoes designed for cold weather, the Keen Newports can’t compete due to openings where water can touch your feet. 

What Customers Think

There are over 2,000 reviews on this pair of Keen shoes. The majority of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive

Most people who’ve purchased these water shoes agree that they indeed run true to size and that you shouldn’t need to order a size larger or smaller. 

Plenty of people who own Keen water shoes state that they can get a solid amount of wear out of them for four to five years before they need to purchase a new pair. If you wear them less often, you can probably get away with one team for more than five years. 


  • 100% Leather
  • Reccomended by Many Paddlers
  • Breathability
  • Run true to size
  • Great traction


  • Not the best for cold weather paddler

2. Astral Hiyak Water Shoe (Premium Pick)

The Astral Hiyak Water Shoe is a premium water shoe for paddleboarders. Unlike most water shoes, this particular shoe mimics a bootie, not only covering your entire foot but a portion of your ankle while paddleboarding. 

This unisex paddleboarding shoe comes in men’s and women’s sizes. The one thing to note about this shoe is that the sizing is limited, and there are no half sizes. If you generally wear a half size, you’ll want to size up to ensure the most comfortable fit possible. 


  • Available in black
  • Men’s sizes 8-13
  • Women’s sizes 9-14
  • Hydrophobic canvas upper
  • Removable EVA midsole
  • Super sticky rubber outsole
  • Padded ankle protection 
  • Water-resistant laces are hidden by velcro 
  • Fast drying

Materials Explained

The central part of the shoe, the upper, is made with hydrophobic canvas material. Using this material is flexible enough to stay comfortable throughout your paddle but solid enough to protect your feet and ankle from getting soaked. 

The outsole of the shoe is made with what Astral calls super sticky rubber. The rubber material works wonders when paddleboarding to prevent slipping when you’re standing up. 

You’ll be able to lace your shoes up to get them as tight or loose as you like, but then hide the laces under a secure velcro strap. Being able to hide the laces prevents them from snagging on anything and potentially injuring yourself. 

How It Compares

The Astral Hiyak water shoes are different from your typical water shoe because they mimic a bootie. Most water shoes have gaps where water can flow or lack ankle protection, but not this shoe.

Overall, the rubber material is comparable to other paddleboarding shoes because it’s the best material to avoid slipping or falling. 

What Customers Think

Generally, everyone who owns a pair of the Astral Hiyak water shoes is blown away by their performance. They hold up well when paddling on rivers, walking along slippery rocks, and doing other outdoor activities

Even though the shoe is unisex, some women have found that the fit isn’t as great as it could be for them. Overall, the fit of the shoe is ideal for most. For a women’s specific shoe read the next review. 

Verified customers have corroborated that the shoes are, in fact, quick-drying. How long specifically it takes them to dry is dependent on how wet they are, though. Some mention that if you get the velcro dirty, it can clog if you’re not careful. 


  • Unisex fit 
  • Ankle protection 
  • Lightweight insulation
  • Super sticky rubber sole
  • Canvas upper for flexibility 


  • Only one color option 
  • The velcro can clog if you don’t clean it when it gets dirty 
  • They’re pricier than other shoes
  • They don’t come in half sizes 

3. Astral Women’s Loyak Water Shoe (Women’s Pick)

If you don’t want to purchase a unisex or smaller-sized male shoe for women paddleboarders, the Astral Women’s Loyak water shoe is one of the best ones you can buy. 

These paddleboarding shoes come in sizes 6-11, without half sizes. The upper of these water shoes are made with canvas material and mesh, making them incredibly comfortable and flexible. 


  • Available colors include blue, red, grey, and black 
  • Sizes available from 6-11, not including half sizes 
  • Canvas and mesh upper 
  • EVA foam insole
  • Rubber outsole
  • It consists of two sets of laces 
  • Drainage in the sole, heel, and toe area

Materials Explained

A canvas and mesh upper is going to make these SUP shoes very comfortable for all-day wear. The material will move with your foot, making your experience much more enjoyable. 

In combination with the canvas material, the mesh allows your feet to breathe when you’re on the water or whatever activity you’re participating in when they’re worn. When your water shoes have zero breathability, they can make paddling uncomfortable. 

You shouldn’t look for a water shoe that doesn’t have a rubber outsole. Luckily, the Astral Women’s Loyak has just that. The rubber outsole will keep you firmly planted on your paddleboard as best as it can. 

How It Compares

Overall, the Astral Women’s Loyak water shoes are comparable to other water shoes. They have a solid rubber outsole for traction and a way to vent water out of the shoes. 

If you’re stuck between these and the unisex Astral shoes, there’s one major difference. The most significant difference is that these shoes don’t offer any ankle protection like the unisex water shoes. 

Something that you’ll get with this pair of lace-up water shoes that you don’t always get is the second pair of laces. This way, if something happens to your original pair, you don’t need to worry about purchasing a second pair; you’ll already have one. 

What Customers Think 

Based on what customers have to say about these water shoes, you won’t be disappointed. They hold up when you’re on slippery surfaces, ensuring you don’t fall and injure yourself.

Some customers say that the drainage system on the shoes made all the difference when it came to their comfort while paddling or during other watersports.  


  •  Additional pair of laces
  • Three-point drainage system 
  • Non-skid rubber sole
  • Canvas and mesh upper for breathability 


  • There don’t offer half sizes 
  • There’s no insulation for winter or cold water paddling

4. NRS ATB Wetshoe (Winter Paddling Pick)

When you’re paddleboarding in the Summer or at comfortable water temperatures, you probably don’t care if your feet get wet or not. If you live in a colder climate or regularly venture out onto cold water, keeping your feet warm will make paddleboarding a much better experience.

One of the best winter paddling water shoes you can choose is the NRS ATB Wetshoe. These shoes are designed for wearing in cold water. The shoe was designed with neoprene to ensure that your feet stay warm despite the water temperature.


  • One black/grey color option 
  • Men’s size 6-14
  • Neoprene upper
  • Ankle zippers for easy on and off
  • Similar sole like a hiking boot
  • Rubber outsole
  • Instep strap for security 
  • All-terrain traction 

Materials Explained

When you’re paddling in cold water, wearing a water shoe that will protect your feet from the elements is crucial. The neoprene upper provides the perfect amount of insulation to prevent dangerous conditions from happening. 

The rubber outsole is necessary to prevent you from slipping into the water. Usually, you may not care about falling into the water, but since these shoes are perfect for winter paddling, that water will be too cold, you’ll want to study rubber to hopefully prevent this. 

How It Compares

These shoes don’t compare to most of the other shoes on this list because they’re cold water paddling shoes. The closest shoe on this list to this pair is the Astral unisex water shoes because they cover a portion of the ankle. 

The biggest difference is that while both provide insulation, the NRS ATB Wetshoe is made with neoprene which is the industry standard for insulation.

What Customers Think

Customers are overall pleased with these water shoes. Many customers state that they’re the perfect shoe regardless of water activity. They’re great for wading into the water without worrying about your feet and ankles getting super wet. 

If you plan on wearing waders while kayaking or paddleboarding, these shoes can easily slip over waders. They’re still comfortable while over waders. The one complaint many customers had about this shoe is that they don’t come in wide sizes


  •  Neoprene insulation 
  • Ankle zippers 
  • Instep strap for extra security 
  • Sizing for almost everyone 
  • They fit well over waders


  • They may be too warm for warm water paddling 
  • The zipper may rust over time without proper care
  • No wide shoe sizes 
  • Only one color option 

5. Body Glove Dynamo Ribcage Water Shoe (Budget Pick)

A great pair of water shoes don’t need to break the bank. If you’re not ready to splurge the hundred dollars or so to buy a quality pair, you’re in luck. The Body Glove Dynamo Ribcage Water Shoe is a high-quality but budget-friendly shoe


  • Black or black and neon yellow color options 
  • Men’s sizes 7-13
  • Rubber sole
  • Quick-drying material 
  • Integrated draining system 
  • Stretch knit upper 

Materials Explained

As with other water shoes, a rubber sole is very important when you’re paddleboarding or walking across slippery surfaces. The Body Glove Dynamo Ribcage shoes have a thick and solid rubber sole to help prevent seasoned and beginner paddle boarders from falling off. 

A stretch knit upper provides you with a super comfortable fit that won’t irritate you throughout the day. It’s similar to a mesh material that allows your feet to breathe. This keeps your feet comfortable but secure during your adventure. 

Water shoes will inevitably get wet. These shoes have a quick-drying material that allows them to dry quicker than your standard shoe.

How It Compares

The main difference between the Body Glove Dynamo water shoes is the price point. These shoes are significantly more affordable than the others on this list. 

Other than that, they compare to other non-insulated paddleboarding shoes. They have a rubber sole to prevent slipping and breathable material on the top for comfort. The one thing that these shoes don’t have is any EVA padding like many other water shoes. 

What Customers Think

For the price, many customers are thrilled with these water shoes. They hold up well while paddleboarding as well as walking on slippery rocks, or wading into the water. 

Something to note based on customer experiences is that if you use them regularly, they may not hold up as well as some more expensive shoes. People love this product because it feels as comfortable as water socks but has much more support. 

While the sizing fits most people, it’s important to note that they may feel more uncomfortable if you have wider feet


  •  Incredibly affordable 
  • Rubber sole for traction 
  • Integrated drainage system
  • Quick-drying, stretch knit upper


  • Smaller size selection 
  • Only two color options
  • No ankle protection 
  • Not for cold water paddling

6. Vibram Women’s KSO EVO (Free Toe Pick)

The Vibram Women’s KSO EVO are some of the best water shoes if you prefer free toes. These shoes provide even more traction with rubber material along the heel, sole, and five toes.

Sizing is based on women’s shoe sizes, but men may be able to wear them too. Regardless, they tend to run small, so you’ll want to go up a size to ensure you have the best possible fit. 


  • Four colors: black, black/rose, grey, grey/purple
  • Women’s size 6-10.5
  • Rubber sole
  • Mesh upper
  • Lacing 
  • Machine washable
  • EVA sock liner

Materials Explained

The rubber sole that extends to all your toes will allow you to have better traction when paddleboarding. With each toe having its separate space in the shoe, you’ll have more flexibility while wearing the shoes. 

The mesh upper adds to the flexibility of the shoe. You won’t be constricted by a leather upper that doesn’t move with your feet until fully broken in. 

You’ll be able to easily slide the shoes on and then secure them with laces. The laces are relatively short, making them safe to use for any water activities. 

How It Compares

Unlike other paddleboarding shoes on this list, the Women’s KSO EVO Water shoes have free toes. The other shoes are booties or closed-toed shoes. 

It provides a similar amount of traction that other options do as well as a breathable upper. Something different about these shoes is the EVA sock liner. While others have EVA padding, this isn’t as thick and, while comfortable, offers less support.

What Customers Think

While these toe shoes have made it onto this list for the best paddleboarding shoes, happy customers state that you can wear these shoes for almost any activity. Many use them for water activities, but some say they wear them around the yard and while running errands.

The shoes dry very quickly, which is excellent if you plan on wearing them multiple days in a row. If you rinse them off at night, they should be good to go by the morning. 

One thing customers point out is that they can start to smell quickly. The best way to avoid this is to rinse them off after every use or use apple cider vinegar every so often. 


  • Great for everyday wear
  • Four color options 
  • Quick-drying 
  • Great traction when paddleboarding


  • They start to smell quickly 
  • The EVA lining isn’t as cushioned as other shoes
  •  Sizes run small 
  • The quality goes down quickly if not taken care of

7. Body Glove Men’s 3t Barefoot Hero Water Shoe (Hybrid Pick)

When you can’t decide between a closed toe or free toe shoe, the Body Glove Men’s 3t Barefoot Hero is the perfect combination of both. This hybrid shoe combines everything you love about closed-toe and free-toe shoes. 


  • Black and charcoal color options 
  • Sizes range from 7-13
  • Three toe design
  • TPU upper protection 
  • Rubber sole
  • Integrated drainage system 

Materials Explained

The three-toe design offers protection by minimizing the risk for injury that you may face with the five-toe design. The three-toe system is considerably easier to slide on and off than the five-toe system.

The rubber sole is necessary with any water shoe to prevent slipping. This sole reinforces natural stability while paddleboarding. The TPU upper is stretchy, making it incredibly comfortable for everyone to wear. 

The integrated drainage system lets water flow effortlessly from the upper through the outsole. This means less water lingers in your shoe, and the circulation is better.

How it Compares

There are no other three-toe water shoes on this list, but they’re not an uncommon water shoe in general. The three-toe design can provide you with more stability than other water shoes. 

It has a drainage system like other water shoes, making it comparable to most other water shoes on and off this list. While they’re comparable to other paddleboarding shoes, they’re the best of both worlds. 

What Customers Think

Many customers who own these shoes agree that they are easier to put on compared to the five-toe design. The one thing to note is that yes, it is easier, but initially, it may be difficult until you break the shoes in and are used to putting them on. 

While most people state that the shoes run true to size for them, there are some reviews that claim they ran a little small. You’ll want to use a sizing chart before purchasing to ensure you get the best fit for you. 


  • Three toe design 
  • Stretchy upper 
  • Integrate draining system 
  • Great middle of the road price 


  • Sizing can be tricky 
  • They may not slide on easily the first few times 
  • Size options are limited 

How to Choose the Best Paddleboarding Shoe for YOU

Thats a decent amount of options! But how do you decide which is right for YOU and YOUR NEEDS? We Got You!

Types of Water Shoes Based on Condition

You’ve probably noticed that there’s not just one type of water shoe. They’re all great for different things but knowing the difference can help you choose the best one for you. One thing you should avoid is something clumsy like wellies. As they can fill up with water which makes you worse off than before!

Barefoot/Free Toe

Barefoot or free-toe shoes have a space for all five toes separately. They typically are great for any type of paddling that isn’t in icy waters. They feel more like you’re not wearing any shoes compared to other water shoes.


Booties mimic a classic bootie, but they’re made for the water. They protect your feet in general but keep them warm in the winter or in cold water. These are ideal for those who will be paddling in cold waters because they can prevent hypothermia while providing stability. 

Closed Toe

Closed-toe water shoes have all your toes enclosed in one space. They’re the most common type of paddleboarding and water shoes. They typically come with laces or bungees to secure them to your feet. They’re great for any water activities if the water is warm enough. 


These water shoes act more like socks. They’re not ideal for watersports, but they’re great for keeping your feet slightly warmer at the beach. They’re typically made with neoprene and used as an accessory. 


When looking for a water shoe, comfort should be on your mind. Most water shoes come with some form of cushion on the inside. Some EVA padding is removable, and some aren’t. 

Importance of Straps and Laces

Straps and laces will help keep your shoes secure on your feet. If you’re not planning on doing any vigorous paddling, you can get away with bungee straps or slide-on shoes. Ideally, you’ll want shoes that have laces or straps to ensure they don’t fall off your feet. 

Material Used

You’ll want to look for shoes with a rubber sole to prevent you from slipping on your board. The best materials for uppers include the mesh, canvas, and leather


Breathable paddle shoes will make all the difference. Whether the shoe has gaps that naturally allow breathability or a canvas or mesh material, you won’t want to pass on these materials. Mesh and canvas uppers are traditionally used for breathability. This is important for both the insole and outersole.


No one wants to spend good money on something that will break or fall apart soon after purchasing. Reading reviews and the materials the shoes are made with can help you choose a durable shoe that can withstand all your paddling adventures. 

So, What Are The Best Shoes For Paddleboarding?

In my experience, the Keen Men’s Newport Closed Toe Water Shoes are the best shoes for paddleboarding. They offer breathability, stability and last for years. When choosing the best shoe for you, you’ll want to consider where you’ll be paddling, your personal preference with materials, customer reviews, and the extent to which you’ll be using the shoes. Once you consider what’s most important to you, you’ll be able to choose an excellent paddleboarding shoe.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author
Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.

Leave a Comment