39 Splashy Baby Water Shoes for the Beach, Pool and Park

Say goodbye to soaked and stubbed toes this summer thanks to these best water shoes for kids.
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profile picture of Martina Garvey
Associate Editor
May 23, 2021
Collage of baby and toddler water shoes on purple background.
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Summer is the perfect time for some family fun. But to get the most out of your seasonal schedule, make sure your child has the right gear. After all, warm-weather activities can be hard on little feet—that is, if they don’t have the right footwear. That’s where baby water shoes come in. Water shoes come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes (including toddler water shoes and big kid sizes) and work to protect your little ones’ tootsies from hot sand, slippery surfaces, rocky terrain and more. The best water shoes for kids are fast-drying and lightweight with non-slip soles to keep water-loving kiddos safe and comfortable while they play poolside.

Whether you’re hitting the pool, the beach, the park or another wet locale this year, you’ll want to bring a pair of kids’ water shoes along. Can’t tell a baby swim shoe from a water sandal? Don’t sweat it! Here, we break down the different types of water shoes and offer up our favorite picks for babies, toddlers and big kids.

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Types of Kids’ Water Shoes

To determine the best water shoes for your kid, think about what you’ve got planned. Will you be going on a beach vacation or visiting a waterpark? There are three main types of footwear to choose from based on your needs:

Kids’ water shoes: These look like regular shoes, but they’re made from durable fabric that can get wet but won’t stay wet once your child is back on dry land. They’re also super-sturdy thanks to special soles and toe protectors, so your munchkin won’t fall on slippery surfaces, scald their toes on hot sand or concrete, or stub their toes in rocky or shell-filled water. These kicks are ideal for outdoor excursions and a whole range of terrains.

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Kids’ water sandals: This style is still safe in the splash zone but it isn’t as protective as full-blown water shoes are, given that your little one’s toes are typically exposed. Baby and toddler water sandals are great for dancing under the sprinkler. They’re also ideal for situations in which your child’s feet may or may not get wet but you want to play it safe.

Kids’ swim shoes: Want water shoes your child can actually swim in? This special, sock-like footwear is your best bet, as it won’t weigh them down when they’re practicing their doggy paddle. And when they’re out of the water, swim shoes will protect their feet from the hot pavement.

Best Baby Water Shoes

Shopping for an infant? Baby water shoes are the perfect footwear for water-loving little ones, whether you’re bringing them on their first trip to the beach or taking them to swim lessons. From sweet baby swim socks to sporty water sandals and retro jelly shoes, here you’ll find the best water shoes for babies.

Image: Courtesy Green Sprouts

Green Sprouts water socks

Protect little feet in and out of the water with these multi-functional baby water shoes. Made from a fast-drying, UPF 50+ Neoprene, these shoes are super-lightweight with a flexible non-slip sole, making them the perfect footwear, whether baby is swimming, crawling or pottering about poolside. And at only $10, these baby swim shoes are a real steal!

Buy it: $10,

Image: Courtesy Stride Rite

Stride Rite soft motion splash water shoe

The fun, colorful soles are what caught our eye, but the practical features are what earned these baby water shoes a spot on our list. Not only are they H20-friendly, but they’re walker-friendly too. The memory foam sole alongside the shoe shape is specifically designed to support your child’s first steps. Plus, the soles change color in UV light—how fun! Bonus: This style comes in pink too.

Buy it: $44,

Image: Courtesy Salt Water Sandal by Hoy Shoes

Salt Water sandal by Hoy Shoes sun-san sea wees sandals

Can you believe these stylish shoes are actually baby water sandals? Here’s another awesome brand blurring the line between fashion and function. Yes, that leather really is waterproof, and so is the brass buckle (meaning it won’t rust). And can we talk about that floral pattern? Swoon.

Buy it: $35,

Image: Courtesy Old Navy

Old Navy unisex tie-dye swim shoes for baby

Loving the tie dye trend? Take a look at these utterly adorable unisex baby swim shoes. This pair is made from waterproof Neoprene and boasts a soft cushioned sole. They’re available in sizes starting from 0-3 months, making them the perfect water shoe for even the tiniest toes.

Buy it: $15,

Image: Courtesy OshKosh

OshKosh shark water shoes

The cute patterns really don’t stop. These baby beach shoes come in various styles, including this cool-kid shark print. They’re breathable, flexible and—wait for it—machine-washable, so you can get rid of that strong low-tide smell when you get home from the shore.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Adidas

Adidas preschool girl’s Minnie Mouse water sandals from finish line

How about these sporty baby girl water sandals by Adidas? This fast-drying pair with non-slip soles has cutouts that’ll keep feet ventilated and allow water to drain away fast. And the Minnie Mouse-inspired polka dot print? Simply too-cute.

Buy it: $35,

Image: Courtesy Footmates

Footmates tide waterproof sandal

The chic baby water sandals don’t stop there. This pair has adjustable straps, slip-resistant soles (like all the best baby water shoes) and corrosion-resistant buckles. Oh, and they come in seven cute colors.

Buy it: $38,

Image: Courtesy Carter's

Carter’s glitter jellies

Take a trip down memory lane with these retro jelly sandals from Carter’s. The classic style is super-cute and, as luck would have it, waterproof! Even better, these baby water sandals are machine-washable.

Buy it: $24,

Image: Courtesy GAP

GAP baby flip flops

Check out these cheap and cheerful flip flops. Made from smooth rubber with a grip sole, these simple infant water shoes are easy to slip on and off. Plus, the neon orange looks cool on little boys and girls.

Buy it: $10,

Image: Courtesy Native Shoes

Native Shoes jefferson water friendly slip-on vegan sneaker

What makes these baby (and toddler and big kids’) water shoes so talked about? The stylish patterns for one, but also the fact that they’re totally vegan. Plus, the holes guarantee your child’s feet won’t overheat or stay wet.

Buy it: Starting from $35,

Image: Courtesy Old Navy

Old Navy cross-strap jelly sandals for baby

Here’s a fresh take on a classic jelly sandal from Old Navy. The translucent sandals feature a sparkly starfish front and center. And they have wide cross-front straps and textured treads for added stability, even when the ground is wet.

Buy it: $13,

Image: Courtesy JIASUQI

JIASUQI baby boys and girls barefoot swim water skin shoes

Still searching for the perfect pair of sock-like baby swim shoes? These slip-ons come in tons of fresh designs, wick water well, stretch just enough and are Amazon best-sellers to boot.

Buy it: Starting from $7,

Best Toddler Water Shoes

One thing’s for sure—little kids love to splash about in water, wherever they may be. Luckily, the best water shoes for toddlers are lightweight, protective and fast-drying, meaning tots can jump in puddles and paddle in the shallows to their heart’s content. Here, shop our favorite toddler water shoes, swim shoes and sandals. (FYI, many of them are also available in either kids’ or infant sizes.)

Image: Courtesy Speedo

Speedo toddler tidal cruiser

Speedo is a brand renowned for its high-quality swimwear. But did you know they make toddler water shoes too? This slip-on design is super-sleek and the mesh construction aids ventilation for a supremely fast-drying shoe. So you can say goodbye to soggy feet after a long day of outdoor adventure.

Buy it: $22,

Image: Courtesy Newtz

Newtz beach little girls and big girls tie-dye water shoes UPF 50+

Looking for something a little bit different? You’re going to love these quirky toddler girl water shoes by Newtz. This playful tie dye pair, which are molded to look like bare feet, have built-in toe bumpers to prevent painful stubbed toes—genius! As if that wasn’t good enough, these shoes are water-resistant and provide UPF 50+ sun protection.

Buy it: $10,

Image: Courtesy Keen

Keen moxie water friendly sandal

Want the best of both worlds? These toddler water shoes by Keen combine the best elements of sandals and regular water shoes with terrific results. Features include: a covered toe, cushioned sole, secure laces and a breathable jersey lining. Plus, the built-in Cleansport NXT technology naturally controls odor. Because yes—sometimes little feet get smelly too.

Buy it: Starting from $50,

Image: Courtesy Tombik

Tombik toddler boys & girls beach/pool slides sandals

Shark-obsessed little ones will go wild for these toddler water shoes. The slip-on sliders are the perfect footwear for trips to the pool. Made from a waterproof PU material, these shoes have a curved footbed for added arch support, cushioned straps for comfort and a thick rubber sole that provides excellent traction on wet, slippery surfaces.

Buy it: Starting from $17,

Image: Courtesy Reef

Reef little ahi water resistant sandal

These toddler water sandals (from a favorite adult sandal brand) have a stretchy heel strap that’ll keep them securely in place. Better yet, the contoured footbed, wide base and grippy treads promote balance for tots who may still be a little unsteady on their feet. Bonus: This style comes in five funky patterns for little boys and girls.

Buy it: $25,

Image: Courtesy Camper

Camper ous kids’ sandals

We’re obsessed with these chunky toddler water sandals from Camper. Why? The Ous sandals have a sturdy, flexible fit with Velcro straps that make them easy to take on and off in a hurry. Plus, the high-tech, lightweight material makes these stylish sandals suitable for both land- and water-based activities. Bonus: They’re also available in pink and trendy neon yellow.

Buy it: $75,

Image: Courtesy Apolter

Apolter baby boys and girls swim water shoes

These toddler swim shoes have thousands of five-star reviews, and we can see why. Standout features include fast-drying material, built-in toe protectors and non-slip rubber soles. And with more than 20 summer-ready styles to choose from, you’re sure to find a print to match your tot’s unique personality.

Buy it: $13,

Image: Courtesy Geox

Geox respira first steps tapuz baby boy

Your little explorer will be ready to tackle any terrain in these toddler boy water shoes. Made from waxed-suede leather, these shoes have a closed back for ankle support and cushioning to protect delicate feet from jolts and impacts. And they also deliver when it comes to water-readiness. The perforated fabric dries speedily and the breathable waterproof sole will keep him dry and comfortable.

Buy it: $55,

Image: Courtesy Bigib

Bigib toddler kids swim water shoes

If you turn to other moms for product recommendations, you’ll appreciate these toddler swim shoes. The sock-like footwear is a best-seller on Amazon with excellent ratings. The water shoes come in the sweetest designs and promise to never feel gross and soggy.

Buy it: $12,

Image: Courtesy GAP

GAP toddler jelly sandals

Who knew super-cute jelly shoes could also be super-functional? These toddler water sandals are cheerful, protective and ready for the beach or waterpark.

Buy it: $25,

Image: Courtesy Tucker + Tate

Tucker + Tate eden water friendly sandal

Whether you’re hitting up the park or the beach this summer, these water-friendly toddler sandals will serve you well. An easy-to-fasten hook-and-loop strap takes the stress out of getting shoes on a wriggling tot, while the perforated material is super-breathable. The minimalist style is so chic we wish they came in adult sizes too!

Buy it: $20,

Image: Courtesy OshKosh

OshKosh pool-to-play sneakers

The best water shoes for toddlers are versatile styles that can be worn poolside as well as on trips to the park or beach. Introducing the Pool-To-Play Sneaker by OshKosh. Crafted from fast-drying fabric, these slip-on shoes can be worn from park to pool and home again. Additional features include stretchy elastic laces and padded insoles for added comfort. Available in pink and blue.

Buy it: $38,

Image: Courtesy Igor

Igor unisex-child star sandal

Next up is a pair of sturdy toddler water sandals that would look equally cute on boys and girls. The PVC shoes are totally waterproof and the thick rubber soles will protect little feet from hot sand and pavements. Plus, they come in 10 bright, summery shades and are available in big kid sizes too.

Buy it: Starting from $54,

Best Kids’ Water Shoes

Older kids love playing in the water just as much as babies and toddlers, which is why kids’ water shoes are always a must-have item for summer. Here, we’ve rounded up the best water shoes for kids, for preschool and beyond. And yep, we’ve included kids’ swim shoes, water shoes and sandals.

Image: Courtesy Keen Kids

Keen kids Newport H2 shoes

These high-tech kids’ water shoes boast a quick-drying fabric and a hydrophobic (read: water-repellant) liner. The grippy soles also prevent slips. No wonder they have hundreds of five-star reviews! Get them in a range of solid shades or this super-cool tie dye design.

Buy it: $55,

Image: Courtesy Nike

Nike aqua sock 360

Searching for kids’ water shoes that offer a barefoot feel? Look no further than these sporty sock-shoe hybrids. The water-ready slip-ons are made from lightweight, permeable mesh. But they still offer some bottom-of-the-foot protection courtesy of structured-yet-flexible soles.

Buy it: $45,

Image: Courtesy Teva

Teva kids hurricane drift sandals

Tevas are making a major comeback, so take full advantage of the throwback trend. These too-cute kids’ water sandals promise to dry fast. They’re also comfortable, supportive and safe—check out the cushioned footbeds and high-traction soles.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Columbia

Columbia moccaswim water shoe little kids’

Some of the best water shoes for kids are those that are just as good for playing on land as they are for playing in puddles—like this pair from Columbia. The cushioned soles provide supreme support and stability no matter where your child is walking (or jumping).

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Jack Wolfskin Kids

Jack Wolfskin kids seven seas 2 sandal

Seeking shoes that’ll stay super-secure? These kids’ water sandals’ straps can be adjusted for the perfect fit. Of course, they also feature quick-drying Neoprene fabric.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Sea Star Beachwear

Sea Star Beachwear beachcomber espadrille in light denim

We’re obsessed with Sea Star Beachwear, a brand that makes stylish kids’ beach shoes that don’t look like swim shoes. Take these fashion-forward espadrilles with breathable uppers and non-skid soles. They’re snug enough not to fall off in the waves and come in tons of cute colors. Even better, the brand promises that these shoes will dry off in under 15 minutes.

Buy it: $68,

Image: Courtesy L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean kids’ rafters hilo strap water shoes

Check out these affordable kids’ water shoes from L.L. Bean. Designed to keep little feet safe and comfortable in the backyard and at the seashore, these slip-on shoes have adjustable straps for a secure fit and a thick rubber sole that’s suitable for any terrain.

Buy it: $16,

Image: Courtesy Teva

Teva manatee water shoe

Outdoorsy kids’ will get plenty of wear out of these hardy waterproof shoes. Bungee cord laces keep the shoe firmly in place, while the mesh material is breathable and quick-drying. These closed-toe sandals can be worn all day and for any water- or land-based activity imaginable.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Crocs

Crocs kids’ classic clog

Devoted Crocs fans know they are one of the comfiest shoes around. But did you know that Crocs have toddler and kids’ styles too? Made with the brand’s legendary Crosslite foam cushioning, these shoes offer all day comfort and support with ventilation holes to avoid clammy feet. Better yet, these easy-to-clean, customizable clogs also happen to be waterproof.

Buy it: $35,

Image: Courtesy TOMS

TOMS shoes tiny romper slip on

We’re big fans of brands that support good causes, and TOMS delivers on that front. The company donates new kicks to a child in need for every pair it sells. This pair is made from a perforated water-resistant material that dries speedily and has grooved soles that are shock-resistant, which is a major plus for kids whose favorite activity is puddle-jumping.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy The North Face

The North Face youth base camp flip-flops

The North Face is a go-to brand for high-quality outdoor apparel. And these kids’ beach shoes definitely live up to the hype. The water-resistant flip flops are ultra-durable with a cushioned footbed and wide comfortable straps. Available in blush pink and taupe green.

Buy it: $25,

Image: Courtesy Sketchers

Skechers foamies guzman steps aqua surge kids’ water shoes

How cute are these kids’ water shoes from Sketchers? We adore the classic design and are just as excited about the cool features, which include holes for drainage and ventilation and a shock-absorbing rubber sole. The best part? These slip-on shoes are machine-washable.

Buy it: Starting from $29,

Image: Courtesy L-RUN

L-RUN kids swim water shoes

These ultra-flexible kids’ swim shoes come in dozens of fun, unique prints, so there’s truly a style for every child. Better yet, the fabric is adhesive to keep your munchkin from taking a tumble. And while the outsole is thick enough that your kid won’t feel any sharp shells they step on, the shoes are still extremely lightweight.

Buy it: $13,

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