Do you find your feet get cold or your feet do not provide enough grip to properly support you when you are kayaking? If that proves to be the case then you can really benefit from wearing the best kayak shoes when you partake in this fun watersport.
In this article, we will discuss the key factors to look at when buying shoes made for kayaking and also review several of the top kayaking shoes that are made.
Summary: Top 5 Kayak Shoes
Editor’s Rating (out of 5.0)
Kayaking Shoe Buying Guide
Here are the key considerations to look for when shopping for shoes to wear while kayaking:
Kayaking is not something you will do for 15 minutes and then quit or done in a place where you will have access to different shoes so you can change them if the current pair you are wearing is not comfortable. That is why you better get the fit right on any pair of kayak shoes you buy because you will be wearing them for a while.
We always recommend that you follow any sizing charts that the manufacturer makes available either on the packaging or their online website. They know how their footwear fits better than anybody else.
- Tough/High traction sole material
Here are some important sole features to consider when buying any kayaking shoe:
- Puncture resistance
Kayaks are used on all different types of bodies of water so you never quite know what type of terrain you will have to cross to launch and then get into your kayak. So you want to be protected by a tough sole for sure.
Sole material that is made of rubber or a rubber blend is best because it will enable you to go across coral, gravel, pointy rocks and other somewhat sharp bottom material without it penetrating your shoe.
Kayaks can be a slippery type boat to get in and out of especially if there is a little bit of water in the bottom of them. They are not really made for standing up in them but it’s hard to avoid when you are getting in and out of them. So a kayak shoe with a good griping sole material will help here.
You may also be going across mossy covered rocks, wet wooden docks or other moist surfaces that will tend to be slippery. Once again a rubber or rubber blended sole with a good tread design will work best under these conditions.
- Upper shoe material
This has more to do with the main use you have for your kayaking shoes. For instance, if you want to kayak in cooler weather you will want to keep your feet as dry as possible so they won’t get cold. A neoprene material with zipper entry will help keep water from going through the shoe to accomplish this.
Mesh materials and synthetic blends such as polyester will let water through to your foot easier but will also help keep your feet cool when kayaking in warm or hot weather.
Kayak Shoes Reviews
NRS Paddle Wetshoe – Men’s
Here is a well-designed pair of water shoes that will work extremely well for anyone who likes kayaking. They are made of neoprene so they will fit snug and will also conform to the shape of your upper foot and ankle. NRS has also included a wide toe in these for increased comfort and a reinforced more protective ankle area.
These are a zippered type kayaking shoe that will keep your feet warm even after the boot itself has become saturated with water. That makes them a great shoe to wear when kayaking in cooler or colder weather.
They offer superior traction too thanks to the 3 mm thick all rubber sole that they have. This will also give you some nice puncture protection when going across coral, rocks and other sharp objects.
- Tough 3 mm, soft neoprene fabric upper
- thick high traction rubber sole
- Gusset backed zipper for easy entry
- Reinforced ankle area
- Wide comfort shaped toe
- Superior fit
- May be too warm for hot weather kayaking
- Hard to take off once wet
Mares Equator 2mm Dive Boots
These are a pair of kayaking boots that are very versatile and well-built. They can be used for a variety of other water sports too such as diving, snorkeling, paddle boarding and more. It is a boot that is even good just to wear around the pool.
One of the best things about them is the amount of traction their gridded rubber soles give you. Whether entering your kayak or simply walking around a pool deck, you will have more resistance to slipping when wearing these kayaking shoes. They are thick enough to keep sharp objects from penetrating through the bottom too.
They are a mid-high cut shoe that will slip on easily as you prepare for your time on the water kayaking. The stitching in them is nicely hidden and there is added protection in the heal area also.
- High traction rubber soles
- 2 mm thick neoprene upper
- mid-high cut
- protective heal
- glued w/hidden stitching
- easy slip-on style
- No ankle reinforcement
- Lack of color choices
Promate Beach Dog Water Sports Shoes
Here is a really comfortable and affordable pair of water shoes to wear while kayaking or doing many other activities around water. They are well-designed and have a subtle style about them that will appeal to both men and women.
There 3 mm thick synthetic upper helps them fit snug yet remain flexible and comfortable. The padded ankle collar only adds to their comfort even more. It’s a shoe whose low cut style is perfect for those only looking for light foot protection while kayaking or enjoying any other activity around or in water.
These kayaking shoes also feature a true rubber sole with a pattern that helps to give them excellent traction on slippery surfaces. That is never a bad thing to have and you can enjoy any water related activity with more confidence as you go across slippery surfaces.
- High traction rubber sole
- 3mm synthetic upper
- Low cut styling
- Versatile water shoe
- Padded ankle collar
- Unisex styling
- Low height is not supportive enough for some users
- Will not work with closed heel swim fins
NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Hi Top Zipper Boot
NeoSport has designed a really nice shoe here for all different types of water activities including kayaking. It has the perfect combination of slippery surface traction, lightweight feel and subtle styling that will make anyone glad they bought a pair.
This kayaking shoe uses a heavy dose of soft and durable neoprene in its construction. When combined with its rugged zipper it forms a water barrier that will help keep your fett warmer when kayaking in cooler weather.
It’s kayaking footwear that also has a well-designed rubber sole. Built into it is a puncture resistant insert that will help protect you when crossing over coral, sharp stones or other pointed objects as you launch your kayak. This sole also provides very good traction even on wet surfaces.
- High top style
- Superior Foot Warmth
- Heavy duty zipper
- 3 mm neoprene material forms water barrier
- Puncture resistant/high traction sole
- 1-year warranty
- May be too warm on hot/sunny days
- Somewhat tight on some users
Adidas Outdoor Men’s Climacool Jawpaw Slip on Shoes
Adidas is a trusted name in footwear and innovative shoe designs like this one are the reason why. This is a versatile pair of easy to slip on water shoes that will work well for kayaking or a variety of other water related activities.
These are just about the most comfortable water shoes you can buy. They have a breathable mesh upper that helps keep your feet cool even on the hottest of days and their low-cut design gives your feet the total movement of freedom they love when kayaking.
The nylon mesh upper is abrasion resistant and very durable. These nice kayaking shoes also have a true rubber sole that helps protect sharp objects from contacting your feet and will give you some added traction when walking on wet surfaces.
- Easy to slip on
- Innovative mid-sole drainage
- Strong nylon mesh upper material
- True rubber sole
- Comfortable low-top design
- Great air flow through them
- No foot support
- Will not keep your feet warm when kayaking in cooler weather
These are all fairly well-designed water shoes that will work very well for any kayaker so it’s hard to choose which one we like best. Some work better in different scenarios than others too. If we had to pick what we thought was the best all-around kayaking shoe among the ones we reviewed it would have to be the NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Hi Top Zipper Boot.
We just like the overall combination of attributes they give you when you wear them when kayaking. They have a tough, puncture resistant rubber sole that will also provide you with some decent traction on wet surfaces. Their neoprene construction makes them comfortable and will also help keep your feet warm when kayaking in cooler weather too.
When you factor in they are a unisex type shoe that has a very reasonable price point, then we definitely feel you should strongly consider them when shopping for your next pair of kayaking shoes.
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