Many people don’t consider SUP shoes essential for paddle boarding – and some paddlers don’t even own a single pair!
But, in some cases, having water shoes for paddle boarding is necessary. You may have to paddle rocky rivers or walk across rocky beaches. The shoes can protect your feet from a nasty cut or bruise.
If you don’t want to go through hundreds of options when searching for the best SUP shoes – this list is definitely for you. I’ve recommended my 11 best SUP shoes for men, women, and kids!
My top pick for the best paddle board shoes overall in 2023 are the Suokeni water shoes (men | women) and I’ll tell you why in a moment. So read on.
Best Paddle Board Shoes Compared
Best for Men
Soft, Quick-Drying Shoes with a Barefoot Feel
SUOKENI men’s shoes are comfortable and have an amazing drainage system–you can easily wear them all day long. They have great traction to keep you from slipping on wet rocks and your deck.
Best for Women
Super Comfortable Women’s Shoes with Efficient Drainage
These women’s SUP shoes are quick-drying and lightweight so you’ll be comfortable the entire trip even when the shoes get wet. It’s elastic and gives you good coverage while still giving you a barefoot feel.
Best Cheap Shoes
Affordable But High-Quality Breathable Water Shoes
BARERUN paddle board shoes are on the cheaper side but they’re well made. I love how comfortable and flexible they are–like a sock–but still thick enough to protect your feet from getting hurt.
Best for Kids
Lightweight Kids’ Water Shoes with Breathable Insoles
These shoes are light and breathable, designed to keep little feet comfortable all day long. The cushion insoles are really nice and your kid won’t be complaining about fatigue at the end of the trip.
Quick-Drying Unisex Shoes Available in 40+ Colors
Mishansha shoes are available in many colors so you can choose the one that best suits your style. It also has lots of drainage holes to ensure a dry and comfortable experience.
Easy to Wear SUP Shoes with Soft Fabric
SIMARI paddle boarding shoes have breathable fabric that feels so good against your skin. I love how easy they are to put on and adjust, thanks to the elastic shoelaces.
Great Paddle Boarding Shoes for Wider Feet
In addition to the material being stretchy, you can adjust the width of the shoes to perfectly fit your feet–it’s awesome if you have wider feet. They also have amazing ventilation for your comfort.
Comfortable SUP Shoes, Ideal for Cold Weather
These shoes feature neoprene material that will keep your feet warm in cold conditions, with a natural shaped toe box that ensures your toes aren’t cramped.
Lightweight and Stretchy Shoes with Stylish Designs
The material is soft, with a smooth neck so you don’t have to worry about chafing even after wearing the shoes all day. Plus, they’re available in many cool designs to choose from.
Performance Paddle Board Shoes with An Amazing Fit
These shoes have a three-toe design which enhances performance while reducing the risk of injury for your smaller toes. They’re really easy to put on, they fit well and they get the job done!
Quality SUP Shoes with a Natural Feel
These shoes have a reduced sole height and an ergonomic design to make them feel more natural and comfortable. They have an elastic shoelace design and will fit wide feet too.
The 11 Top Water Shoes for Paddle Boarding Reviewed
If you’re looking for a quality pair of water shoes to add to your paddle boarding gear collection, check out the following 11 options. I carefully selected them to make sure there’s something for everybody.
1. SUOKENI Men’s Quick Drying Slip-On Water Shoes – Best SUP Water Shoes for Men
SUOKENI men’s water shoes are fantastic for stand up paddleboarding.
The open mesh upper and holed sole provide an efficient drainage system for water. Getting your feet wet while paddling is inevitable and you can also expect to sweat while wearing shoes. The quick-drying fabric prevents your feet from getting all wet and uncomfortable.
The rubber sole is lightweight, elastic, and strong. It offers traction and will prevent you from slipping on smooth surfaces.
These SUOKENI shoes have a random bending feature which I love as it gives a barefoot feeling. They won’t interfere with any of your SUP activities.
The shoes are available in 20 beautiful colors for you to choose from.
I’d recommend SUOKENI men’s water shoes to anyone looking for comfortable and reliable water shoes that would also be great for walking.
Check Price of the Suokeni Men’s
2. SUOKENI Women’s Quick Drying Slip-On Water Shoes – Best SUP Water Shoes for Women
SUOKENI women’s water shoes, like the men’s version, offer amazing breathability and comfort, thanks to the quick-drying fabric.
They’re made with open mesh and have drainage holes in the soles to drain water fast.
The shoes have a nice anti-slip outsole with remarkable traction. Although paddle boards already have a grippy pad, these shoes provide added traction. They will also prevent slipping when you step on smooth, wet surfaces like rocks.
SUOKENI shoes are lightweight and wrap around your feet. So you get maximum protection but still enjoy day-long comfort. Plus, they’re available in 27 gorgeous colors.
These water shoes would be ideal for any female paddle boarder looking for a versatile, high-quality pair of SUP shoes.
Check Price of the Suokenis Women’s
3. BARERUN Barefoot Quick-Dry Water Sports Shoes – Best Cheap SUP Shoes
The best water shoes can be expensive, but you can still get a good pair at an affordable price.
BARERUN water shoes are low-priced but still high-quality and comfortable.
They have a thick durable sole made of rubber. It protects your feet from sharp objects and provides grip when you’re standing or walking on wet, smooth surfaces.
The upper is made using breathable fabric that feels nice against the skin. It’s also stretchy and lightweight. I like the smooth, flexible neckline because it makes it easy to put on and take off these paddle boarding shoes. It also prevents chafing which can be an issue with some water shoes.
BARERUN fast-drying shoes are available in over 40 patterns to give you plenty of options.
I would recommend these shoes to any paddler looking for a quality pair of water shoes at an affordable price.
Check Price of the Barerun Barefeet
4. CIOR Boys & Girls Water Shoes – Best SUP Water Shoes for Kids
Lastly, we have CIOR water shoes for boys and girls.
The shoes are available in many different fun colors, all appealing to kids.
The upper fabric is breathable, lightweight, and flexible. It will keep the little one’s feet dry, comfortable, and cool all day long. The insoles are made of EVA. They’re also breathable and are soft to reduce fatigue.
The soles provide traction and also protect kids’ feet from sharp rocks. They have small drainage holes to quickly drain water and also double as ventilation holes.
If you like to bring your kids with you while stand up paddle boarding, you may want to check out CIOR water shoes for boys and girls.
5. Mishansha Water Shoes Quick-Dry
Mishansha multi-functional water shoes are designed for all kinds of water activities including SUP yoga.
The lycra material is soft, stretchy, and lightweight. In addition to being breathable, it keeps you protected without interfering with your comfort. It is also quick-drying so you don’t have to worry about sweating or getting the shoes wet.
The rubber soles on these shoes have drainage holes to drain water and facilitate airflow. This keeps you cool and dry even when it is hot, for the health and comfort of your feet.
Mishansha unisex water shoes also look amazing and they come in over 40 colors.
You should check them out if you want an extremely comfortable pair of water shoes for all your SUP activities, including yoga.
6. SIMARI Quick-Dry Water Shoes
SIMARI water shoes ensure comfort during your paddle boarding sessions, even when you jump in the water for a swim.
The mesh material feels nice against your skin, you won’t want to take the shoes off. It is also breathable and fast-drying.
You’ll love the elastic feel which makes the shoes fit snugly like a sock.
The rubber sole has a bump texture design and provides grip when you’re walking or standing on slippery surfaces. Each sole is also designed with eight holes for water drainage and ventilation. The insole is soft and breathable for hours-long comfort.
SIMARI water shoes are lightweight and bendable, great characteristics for paddle board shoes. They give that barefoot feel that you want if you are to wear the shoes for long.
Consider SIMARI unisex water shoes if you’re in the market for a pair with an ultra-grip sole and one that offers day-long comfort.
7. L-RUN Athletic Hiking Water Shoes
With L-RUN water shoes, you don’t just get color options, you get design options too, which is cool.
The elastic band with shoelaces is such a nice feature because you can adjust the shoe depending on the width of your feet. This is fantastic, especially for people with wider feet.
The outer sole is thick for adequate foot protection, even when walking on a rocky shore. It is also grippy so you don’t have to worry about slipping and getting injured when on your paddling adventure.
These L-RUN water shoes have a lightweight and stretchy material that fits your feet like a glove. It is also breathable and fast-drying–your feet will be comfortable the entire time.
I would recommend these unisex water shoes to any paddler who wants a snug, secure fit, even with wide feet.
8. NRS Kinetic Water Shoes
NRS is not a new name in the outdoor recreation industry. It is one of the top brands and their products never disappoint.
NRS Kinetic water shoes will keep your feet warm and comfortable when you’re cold water paddling.
The upper and the insole are made using Terraprene neoprene with titanium. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about freezing feet when you’re supposed to be having fun.
The 1.5 mm rubber sole is light but it does a great job of protecting your feet from sharp objects. It also offers maximum traction so you don’t have to worry about slipping.
The naturally-shaped toe box is such an awesome feature and your toes won’t feel cramped. It ensures a perfect fit and keeps your feet comfortable for hours.
NRS Kinetic water shoes are ideal for you if you like stand up paddleboarding during the colder months. The neoprene water shoes will also work for warmer weather so you can wear them pretty much all year round.
Check Price of the NRS Kinetic
9. WateLves Water Shoes
Keep your feet protected and look good at the same time with WateLves water shoes.
The shoes have a sleek design and are available in a wide range of patterns. There’s something for everyone–whether you like bohemian patterns, muted colors, or unique bright designs that stand out.
In addition to looking good, WateLves shoes for paddle boarding have an anti-slip rubber sole. It is thick and tough enough to protect your feet from any sharp objects you may step on. It is also flexible to ensure comfort.
The fabric is stretchy, smooth, and breathable for lasting comfort. The neck is also smooth and doesn’t cause chafing.
You should check out WateLves if you want a stylish pair that is comfortable and breathable, but still tough enough to protect your feet.
10. Body Glove Men’s 3t Barefoot Hero Water Shoes
Body Glove 3t men’s water shoes are designed for the adventurous paddler. They offer comfort without interfering with your performance.
The shoes feature a three-toe pocket system which makes them easy to slip on and also maximizes performance while reducing the likelihood of injury to your small toes.
You’ll appreciate the integrated drainage system while out on your paddling adventure. It allows water to drain efficiently and also facilitates increased airflow.
The upper is made of stretchy comfortable fabric while the soles have a reduced height and zero heel lift to give them a more natural feel.
I like the elastic shoelaces because they make it easy for you to adjust the fit.
These men’s shoes would be great for anyone in the market for water shoes that offer comfort and protection without interfering with performance.
Check Price of the Body Glove Hero
11. Body Glove Men’s Dynamo Ribcage Water Shoes
Like the Men’s 3t water shoes, Body Glove Men’s Dynamo Ribcage won’t interfere with your performance.
The shoes have an integrated drainage system that will easily drain water from the upper through the sole.
Their reduced sole height gives a natural balance and barefoot feel. You can wear them even during yoga and intense SUP activities; they won’t hinder your movement at all.
The fabric used to make the upper is breathable and skin-friendly, exactly what you need if you plan on wearing the shoes for hours.
Dynamo Ribcage men’s water shoes also have an elastic lace design which allows you to adjust the width of the shoes. They will comfortably fit wide feet.
Consider these water shoes if you need a high-quality pair that is perfect for all kinds of water adventures and conditions.
Check Price of the Body Glove Dynamo
How to Choose The Best Shoes for Paddle Boarding
Getting the right pair of water shoes is important if you want to enjoy your adventures. So here’s a guide to help you pick the best water shoes for your needs.
Do You Need SUP Shoes?
The only one who can answer this question is you because you understand your lifestyle better.
There are times when being barefoot is best and there are other times when you’ll need to wear SUP shoes.
If you will be paddling a rocky river or walking across a rocky beach, paddle boarding shoes will protect you from getting hurt.
Neoprene water shoes are also necessary when paddling in cold temperatures.
Some people don’t like being barefoot and this is a reason to get water shoes for paddling too.
Paddling barefoot has its advantages as well. You feel more connected to the SUP board and its movements, making it easy to perform all kinds of tricks and turns.
It all depends on your preferences and where and when you will be paddling.
What to Look for in SUP Water Shoes
Here are the factors to consider when buying water shoes for stand up paddle boarding.
1. The Type of Material Used to Make the Shoe
A water shoe can’t be made of any material.
You need shoes that are breathable and fast-drying so you don’t walk around with heavy wet shoes all day long. It’s uncomfortable and will irritate your skin, not to mention it can lead to fungal infections.
Lycra, polyester, and neoprene are good materials for making water shoes because they are comfortable and quick-drying. Neoprene will also keep your feet warm, so it’s great for cold water paddling.
2. Features That Facilitate Breathability and Comfort
Breathable shoes have great ventilation and will keep your feet cool and comfortable. The breathability of a shoe depends on the material used to make it and the ones mentioned above are amazing. Having holes in the soles also allows for maximum air circulation.
3. Is the Shoe Size Right for You?
If your SUP shoes are too tight or too big, you won’t enjoy the paddling experience. Trying before you buy is the best way to determine the fit of a shoe. If you can’t, pay attention to the manufacturer’s guide and check other users’ feedback to see what they say about the sizing.
4. What Is the Sole Design Like?
The sole design should maximize traction so you don’t slip and fall when you step on a slimy rock or any other slippery surface.
The soles should be tough but flexible for that barefoot feel.
SUP Shoes FAQs
Should You Wear Shoes on a SUP?
You can choose to wear shoes on a SUP or not to. Shoes keep you warm when it’s cold and they protect your feet when you have to walk on rough terrain.
Do You Need Water Shoes for Paddle Boarding?
No, you don’t need water shoes for paddle boarding but they can come in handy in some situations.
Are Crocs Good for Paddle Boarding?
Crocs are not ideal for paddle boarding but they can work for relaxed SUP activities, especially when it’s hot.
Water shoes can be essential for paddle boarding. They protect your feet from sharp rocks, offer traction on slippery surfaces, and keep you warm when it’s cold.
SUOKENI water shoes are my top pick for 2023. I love that they have specific versions for men and women. They’re lightweight and stretchy–comfortable enough to wear even during long SUP trips.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, I would recommend BARERUN water shoes. as they’re cheaper but still high-quality. The upper fabric is soft and skin-friendly.
For kids, you can’t go wrong with CIOR water shoes for boys and girls. They come in many fun colors that your little ones will like. They’re also super comfortable.
So, which SUP water shoes are you choosing?