Best Shoes For Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the water. If you have never tried it, you should give it a shot!

Paddle boarders can face many challenges while out on the water. One of these challenges is finding the perfect pair of shoes for paddle boarding. There are many factors to consider when shopping for your next paddle board shoe. You will want to look at durability, comfort, size and how well your foot fits into the shoe.

When looking for the best pair of shoes for paddle boarding, you need to make sure that they are durable enough to handle any type of weather condition. You also want to make sure that they are comfortable enough so that your feet don’t hurt after a long period of time in them.

Best Shoes For Paddle Boarding

When it comes to SUP accessories, water shoes are an often-overlooked item that we highly recommend. In this buyers’ guide, we’ll tell you exactly why they’re so important and list our top picks for paddlers this season…

While certainly not essential for SUP, water shoes are an affordable piece of gear that are extremely beneficial. Aside from providing cushioning, support, and increasing overall paddling comfort, water shoes also have several valuable safety benefits:

  • They protect your feet from getting bruised and cut by rocky beaches, rivers, and sharp objects.
  • Water shoes prevent your toes from getting caught in the D-rings on the deck of your SUP.
  • Wearing paddling shoes protects the tops of your feet from sunburn.
  • The added traction helps to prevent slips and falls.

Women's Water Shoes

There are a wide variety of water shoe styles on the market today for both men and women, and in this guide we’re going to focus specifically on the best options for stand up paddleboarding.

Body Glove Dynamo Ribcage

A hybrid water shoe design that can be worn on and off the water, the durable Body Glove Dynamo Ribcage offers a ton of protection and is perfect for those times when you’re paddling around extremely rough surroundings. This is the water shoe on our list that’s most similar to a traditional sneaker and it also offers the most versatility. The Dynamo Ribcage features a stretchy knit upper that’s extremely comfortable and there’s a molded TPU lace cradle for added durability and protection.

Body Glove Men's Dynamo Ribcage Water Shoes

While these shoes are slip-ons, they do feature laces that you can use to dial in the perfect fit. Also, the bottom of the shoes have excellent traction as well as Body Glove’s IDS (integrated drainage system) that increases airflow for cooling, draining, and faster drying.

If you’re into whitewater or river surfing, the Dynamo Ribcage water shoes are ideal and they’re available in both men’s and women’s versions.

NRS Kinetic

Featuring a 3mm neoprene booty design, the NRS Kinetic will keep your feet comfortable and warm — making them an excellent choice for cold water paddling. These shoes have a convenient slip-on design with an ankle drawstring for a snug, secure fit.

NRS added plenty of toe reinforcement to these water shoes and there’s also durable rubber that runs along both sides for added durability and protection.

NRS Kinetic Water Shoes Black

We really like the soles that NRS used on these shoes and the traction is outstanding. Lastly, these are unisex water shoes so women simply need to go down one size.

Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua​

Vibram’s FiveFingers are well-known for their unique separated toe construction and the company’s V-Aqua water shoe is a lightweight, fast-drying version that barefoot enthusiasts are sure to love. If you’ve never worn FiveFingers shoes before, they can be a little tricky to get on at first, but the extra effort is worth it as they’re pretty tough to beat in terms of overall comfort.

We absolutely love the Vibram Megagrip rubber sole on these — it offers top-shelf durability and the best grip around.

Vibram FiveFingers V-Aqua Mesh Upper

The V-Aqua’s mesh upper offers outstanding breathability and dries quickly. Also, the perforations along the bottom of the shoes do a great job of allowing water to drain out. Last but not least, Vibram V-Aqua water shoes are available in both men’s and women’s versions.

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Hero​

If you like the barefoot-esque experience offered by Vibram’s FiveFinger V-Aqua but aren’t ready to jump up to a 5-toe shoe yet, Body Glove’s 3T Barefoot Hero is a nice compromise. Body Glove grouped the three smallest toes together with the 3T Barefoot Hero, making it easier to slip these water shoes on.

The zero heel lift design gives you a great “connected” feel with the ground and deck of your SUP, and the durable rubber sole features draining slots for water drainage and increased airflow.

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Hero Water Shoes Black

These versatile shoes are definitely tough enough for daily use and the convenient lacing system really gives you the ability to customize the fit.

Merrell Hydro Glove​

The most expensive water shoes on our list, the Merrell Hydro Glove is another outstanding option for stand up paddleboarding. These sock-like shoes slip on easily and the roomy toe box allows your feet to naturally flex and splay.

Merrell’s Hydro Glove features a premium Vibram Wavegrip sole which provides outstanding grip on wet surfaces.

Merrell Hydro Glove Water Shoes Blue

Lastly, the breathable mesh upper dries very quickly and the adjustable Velcro strap does a great job of fine-tuning the fit. The Hydro Glove is available in both men’s and women’s versions.

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