he beauty of being able to explore the great outdoors is that there are so many different types of terrain across lots of locations. But the shoes that you might wear for hiking along a planned trail would be vastly different to those that you’d wear when walking on sand.
Sand doesn’t provide the smoothest or most stable surface underfoot and without the correct footwear, you’ll find that your leg muscles quickly become fatigued. But don’t worry, there are plenty of sand shoes just waiting to be discovered, and we’ve curated a list of some of the very best.
If your next adventure is by the sea, don’t leave yourself stranded without a pair of the best sand shoes. You’ll be comfortable, easily and to walk and will have an enjoyable adventure that doesn’t involve pain.
In a hurry? If you don’t have much time using the links below to quickly find our favourite san shoes for you on Amazon and beyond. You can be assured we only choose the best products…
Sand Shoes - Our Top Picks
There are lots of choices when it comes to sand shoes but deciding on the right pair does mean a lot of research; if you want something that fits your every need. To save you the time and effort of hours scouring the internet, we’ve brought you a list of some of the most elite sand shoes out there.
OUR TOP PICK
If you are looking for comfort, durability and style all from one pair of sand shoes then look no further than the Lakeland Active Derwent water shoes. They come in men’s and women’s styles and with a sleek black design, they won’t offend your outfit.
What’s great about these shoes is that they’re ideal for walking over wet sand since the material will dry out super quickly. Moreover, they feature drainage holes so you won’t have any moisture left inside the shoes. The breathable material also helps to keep feet dry, even on a hot day.
The sole of these shoes is perfect for traversing dry sand that doesn’t have much traction. The thick rubber sole provides you with excellent grip on the ground while the reinforced heel gives you support and durability.
Anti slip sole
Not suitable for wide feet
Drainage holes for quick drying
There are a lot of sand shoes and water shoes out there that give a barefoot feel but don’t offer a decent amount of support. We’ll admit, that is difficult to achieve when making such a lightweight piece of footwear but SIMARA has achieved it perfect with their unisex water shoes.
For starters, notice how stylish the shoes are. Just because you’re out having an adventure, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise how you look and feel. What’s more, the shoes are super comfortable thanks to an easily adjustable lace system that doesn’t require a lot of messing around; simply slip on your shoes and get going!
We also love that these sand shoes are suitable for all types of sand thanks to their superior cushioning and deeply lugged rubber sole. They’re great for all kinds of sand-based activities and with their drainage holes, it doesn’t matter if you go in the water with them on.
Ergonomically designed for comfort
Sizing isn’t reliable
Easy lacing system
If you’re not looking to spend a fortune on your sand shoes, then we can’t blame you; we also love a bargain. But you must be careful that you don’t end up buying shoes that are cheap and poor quality. But that isn’t a concern with these ones from NALU Water Sports that are made from the same neoprene material as a wetsuit offering extreme comfort and warmth on the sand.
They’ll dry out quickly and give a barefoot feel so you can enjoy the sensation of walking across the sand without the danger of stepping on something or putting undue pressure on the feet.
These sand shoes are so easy to close with a velcro fastening so are ideal for people with limited dexterity or for those who are in a hurry to get onto the beach. They also feature a sturdy rubber sole with excellent grip making these shoes suitable for all types of sand-based activities.
Some users report durability issues
Choice of colours
The biggest standout point about the Mabove shoes is that they offer excellent protection for the feet from the ground up. Their super thick and durable outsole prevents you from stepping on anything and gives you great grip on the sand, whether it’s wet or dry.
But this isn’t the only feature that makes these one of the best pairs of sand shoes on the market today. The beautiful foam insole gives your comfort and a soft step while the lightweight and protective upper makes the shoes breathable with a barefoot feeling.
We also love that Mabove shoes feature those all-important drainage holes meaning they’ll dry out quickly and won’t leave you with wet, uncomfortable feet.
Sizes come up large
We really love these unisex sand shoes that offer versatility, style and comfort all in one. They have the appearance of a lightweight running shoe but all the features you would expect from a shoe designed to be worn on sand.
The shoes are super soft and flexible meaning that they feel a lot more natural on your feet. What’s more, this feature means they are much easier to pack in your bag before heading off on your adventure. The lightweight upper also benefits from being very breathable so is great for all types of weather.
If you are looking for sand shoes with good traction then these should be a consideration. The durable rubber soles are sturdy and stable while the lug depth is just right for gripping the ground and providing you with an anti-slip surface.
Sizes come large
Easy to lace up
Flexible and breathable fabric
BEST FOR KIDS
It’s not just us adults who love to spend time on the sand, the kids have a whale of a time too but it’s just as important to protect their little feet. What we love about these shoes from Lakeland Active is that they come in a huge choice of designs because as many of us know, kids are pretty picky when it comes to their attire!
The shoes have a very stable outsole with excellent grip that is designed to work on uneven or slippery terrain. What’s more, the shoes feature drainage holes to keep your little adventurers' feet nice and dry.
The flexible sand shoes offer extreme comfort so your child is free to explore and play without any fuss. The material is lightweight and breathable, preventing chafing and the easy-on design means your little ones can put their own shoes on without help.
Choice of designs
Some problems with durability
Easy to take on and off
Why Do I Need Sand Shoes?
You might think that walking along the beach barefoot is the simplest way to get around near the coast. But this isn’t the case. For starters, wearing nothing on your feet doesn’t give you the support that your tootsies need, especially when you’re going over long distances.
Moreover, wearing nothing on your feet comes with a risk of injury. As much as we’d all like to believe that the beaches of the world are pristine, the sad truth is that they aren’t. There may be pieces of glass or debris and even natural materials like seashells that could cause injuries when stepped on.
Depending where you are in the world, there may also be creatures hiding in the sand that could bite or sting you. In some parts of the world there are incredibly toxic animals living on the beach such as box jellyfish and the stonefish, to name a few. When stepped on, without medical assistance, a sting from these animals could be fatal; it simply isn’t worth the risk.
So, why not just pop on a pair of your favourite trainers or running shoes? Well, these shoes aren’t always designed for this type of terrain. Yes, some might be, but not all. Unless you have shoes that support the feet and your weight as you move through the sand, you’ll find that your calves become tired and sore very quickly. This will almost certainly spoil your adventure and have you heading back to camp feeling sorry for yourself.
Things To Look For When Buying Sand Shoes
When choosing a pair of good sand shoes, there are certain qualities that you must look out for. If you can source a pair that have all of these qualities then great; you’ve got everything you need to start exploring the beach in comfort and safety. Let’s take a look at what you should keep an eye out for.
While sand isn’t the most rugged material, long hours walking across it can put a lot of stress on your footwear. Without durable materials, you will quickly find that the shoes become worn and far less comfortable.
Of course, you’ll need to think about comfort as well, there’s very little point in buying a pair of incredibly robust sand shoes that feel like you are wearing two breeze blocks on your feet. It’s important to find soft yet strong materials to get the best of both worlds.
Are They Waterproof?
The beach isn’t a dry place; it’s right along the sea, after all. Even if you intend on staying out of the water, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself stepping over a rock pool or walking through wet sand. If your shoes are not waterproof, your feet will become wet and then the shoes may begin to chafe and cause blisters. For this reason, we would always suggest selecting a pair of shoes that are, at the very least, water resistant. If you plan on going near the ocean, go for something waterproof.
As well as being waterproof, you want a pair of sand shoes that are easy to clean. It is possible to wash shoes in the washing machine, provided they are made from synthetic materials. However, this should be done with extreme caution and the shoes should always be washed with other items like towels to protect your machine. Otherwise, you will want sand shoes that are easy to wipe and that don’t mark.
Walking over sand is difficult at the best of times without the added stress of having to lift a weight every time you take a step. The best sand shoes are lightweight and yet this does not come at the cost of durability.
Regardless of the weather, your feet will sweat when you are more active. Hiking over the sand is going to raise your heart rate and make you heat up. Without breathable shoes, moisture will build up inside and cause a whole host of problems.
Primarily, this moisture will cause great discomfort and you’ll find that your shoes begin to rub your feet. Not to mention that we all know how badly a pair of sweaty shoes can smell, and that’s the last thing that anyone wants. So, look for breathable materials like GoreTex that allow for excellent airflow around the shoe.
Your shoes must have good grip on the outsole; this allows them to grip the ground below and provides you with better stability. This is something that is important on any type of shoe but when you’re looking at shoes designed to be used on less stable or even terrain, like sand, it becomes even more important.
The outsole should be made from a high quality rubber with a lug pattern suitable for walking on sand. However, you don’t want it to be so deep that sand gets stuck in the grooves leaving you with a mammoth cleaning task after your walk.
A good pair of sand shoes will provide support, comfort and protection for your feet when walking over this type of uneven terrain. If you’ve ever tried to walk over sand barefoot or in something like flip flops, you’ll know how much it makes your legs ache. So, for your next adventure, why not choose one of our best sand shoes top picks and enjoy the beach like never before!