Best Water Shoes for White Water Rafting

Whitewater rafting offers more than a handful of intriguing challenges, amazing sceneries and can be a heck of a fun for outdoors sports lovers cruising through cold turbulent waters. Being a trickily fascinating sport, going out with the right gear can make a whole world of difference. You obviously will include a whitewater rafing shoe in your backpack. And your ideal water shoe is one that will keep you firmly positioned for a comfortable and truly amazing rafting adventure. Before deciding on which footwear to buy, it’s equally essential to know what brands are doing the magic for cold water paddlers. And that’s exactly what we’ll be serving you in this article. Here are some of the best whitewater rafting shoes to consider for a thrilling outdoor trip today!

Product Price Range Our Rating Buy

Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0

 $$ 4.7/5

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

$$$  4.9/5

Merrell Men’s Waterpro Maipo

 $$$ 4.8/5

The Wave Easy USA

 $ 4.5/5

Northside Unisex Brille II

 $  4.6/5

Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe

Features

  • Rubber sole
  • S-trac outsole
  • Stretch upper
  • Textile material

Pros

  • Easy pull-on entry
  • Grips well on slippery surfaces
  • Good breathability
  • Material is quick drying

Cons

  • Considered pricey
  • Not the most durable

Product Overview

The lightweight four-way stretch design of Speedo’s Men’s Surfwalker water shoe gives superior grip and good traction on wet surfaces. It is also designed with a textile material and has mesh panels that aid faster drying and enhance internal ventilation. The shoe snugs well according to buyers and is further enhanced for white water rafting use with an S-trac outsole to keep you in firm position when rafting fast-moving waters.  While shoe size and price comparison are important factors to consider to consider before making a purchase, the Speedo Men’s Surfwalker water shoe remains first choice for many users, thanks to its extended features. Consider a size chart before buying since size mismatch is a common hassle for many buyers. That said, take away any issues with the drain feature and you have this water shoe ready to transition you from land to water perfectly while dealing with whitewater turbulence and rock pieces efficiently.

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KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

Features

  • Non-marking rubber outsole
  • Washable polyester webbing
  • Metatomical EVA footbed
  • Multi-directional lug pattern for increased traction
  • PFC Free materials
  • TPU stability shank
  • Secure fit lace capture system

Pros

  • Good traction
  • Durable

Cons

  • Poor stitching

Product Overview

Another whitewater rafting shoe to check out is the KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal. This footwear expectedly provides traction and grip with its sturdy outsole design. The secure lace capture system is sure to keep the shoes intact if you go jogging or take a walk onshore and the fluid design ensures it comes very light on the legs. When it comes to choosing the right size, ordering a ½ longer pair than your normal shoe size should work fine. The watershoe has a secure arch design, but as with many other brands, you may not find it the most convenient if you have flat feet. The threading may also deteriorate after a decent period of time according to users. However, with an odour repellent feature provided by the Aegis Microbe Shield and an exquisite design for overall comfort and ease on the waters, the KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal has understandably been a mainstay in the whitewater rafting gear of water enthusiasts.

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Merrell Men’s Waterpro Maipo Water Shoe

Features

  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Synthetic sole
  • Hydro drainage/ventilated footbed
  • Anti-Friction Lining
  • Lycra® and neoprene stretch collar
  • Injection molded TPU rear foot stabilizer
  • Synthetic leather toe bumper protection

Pros

  • Very light
  • Decent arch support

Cons

  • May be narrow for individuals with wide feet

Product Overview

Merrell Men’s Waterpro Maipo Water Shoe has an M Select Wet GRIP siped sole for improved convenience and safety. It also comes with a very decent arch support that is suitable for most paddlers. Another upside is that the design doesn’t seem to cause problems for buyers with wide feet too. So, great buy if you have arch worries. Users also rave about its excellent handling of sand and dirt when taking a walk on shore. The size works well right off the bat and the microfiber footbed provides all the flexibility and safety for your feet when taking on rough surfaces. The lace design is reportedly not the most durable but you have the shoe come super lightweight. Perfect for paddling and white water rafting all day long.

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The Wave Easy USA Women’s Water Shoes

Features

  • TPR injection outsole design
  • Mesh and neoprene upper

Pros

  • Available in many colours
  • Good design
  • Good traction
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Insoles can be uncomfortable
  • Not very durable

Product Overview

When looking for a water shoe with the right blend of quality and design for a decent fraction of the price of high-end alternatives, The Wave Easy USA Women’s Water Shoes fits the bill. Although not your go-to water shoe if you are looking to go for a rugged outdoor activity and need super comfort all through the day, it sure comes with enough support and varying colours to match your needs when going to the beach or yoga classes. The mesh and neoprene upper is well designed to give sufficient protection from water and the heel provides decent traction with its TPR design. However, it’s seemingly not the best buy for extremely slippery surfaces, according to buyers.  Blisters may also pop up if used for extended periods during a trip. Nonetheless, its superb pricing and ease of use makes it a decent option to consider if you are on a budget and won’t be spending much time white water rafting.

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Northside Unisex Brille II Womens Mens Athletic Water Shoe

Features

  • Synthetic sole
  • Rugged neoprene upper
  • lightweight webbing
  • abrasion resistant toe/arch overlays
  • Lightweight EVA insole
  • Bungee lacing system
  • Multi-directional rubber outsole

Pros

  • Drains quickly
  • Superb protection from water critters

Cons

  • Quality may not be long lasting

Product Overview

Our final pick is made for rough waters and everything in between. The Northside Unisex Brille II Athletic Water Shoe has a synthetic sole, a multi-directional rubber outsole and a lightweight design for superb grip when used on slippery terrains. The bungee lacing system is what you want if you are going for a full day outdoor activity, and thanks to the abrasion-resistant toe and arch overlays, turbulent waters and rock particles are not going to cause huge problems for your feet. It also drains quickly, ensuring water and heat build up is prevented. While some buyers complain of quality, others are simply satisfied with the wide range of features the water shoe provides when you decide to go white water rafting, rock climbing or finding your way through steep and rocky hills.

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Final Thoughts

The list of brands and water shoes is literally endless, but there you go on some of the best lots around for a thrilling white water rafting adventure. As seen in most of these shoes, arch design is a major concern, with the discomfort more noticeable by users with flat feet. It does seem Merrel are doing a good job in the arch department so you may consider the Men’s Waterpro Maipo Water Shoe since most buyers seem to have a good time thrusting waters in its arch design. Other buyers have problems with its seemingly narrow design, though, so look out for the best size before settling for a piece.

If you are in for just a few hours on the beach with little water action to look forward to, the budget-friendly Wave Easy USA Women’s Water Shoes shouldn’t be a bad choice. The footwear is also the most colour friendly as you are more likely to find an aesthetically inviting piece from its many colour variants.

For an overall quality footwear, the Unisex Northside Unisex Brille Athletic Water Shoe probably gets the nod. Size discrepancy is a cliché problem when buying footwear online, but notching up your normal shoe size by ½ longer will likely make your KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal an excellent buy. Its metatomical EVA footbed and multi-directional lug pattern are also what you want for enhanced traction if you’ll be spending most of your day white water rafting.

While you’ll be fine putting on these shoes for your rafting trip, for even more versatility, you should be set for all paddling, running, hiking and snorkelling terrains with the Northside Unisex Brille II Athletic Water Shoe.  Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe may not come at a bargain price, but it seems to do a great job when used on the waters too. Whichever option you decide to go with, taking the right step by buying from official brand stores or trusted sellers can save a lot of headache.

For example, some brands may not have the best return policy, requiring you to pay a return fee in the event that you have concerns with your footwear. That’s obviously a red flag to be aware of before cashing in on a pair. As whitewater rafting continues to grow in popularity and many more brands likely to enter the fray, keep your fingers crossed for more visually brilliant and exquisitely designed whitewater shoes.

Product Price Range Our Rating Buy

Speedo Men’s Surfwalker 3.0

 $$ 4.7/5

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

$$$  4.9/5

Merrell Men’s Waterpro Maipo

 $$$ 4.8/5

The Wave Easy USA

 $ 4.5/5

Northside Unisex Brille II

 $  4.6/5