Rafting Sandals For Men & Women: A Short Guide

Rafting Sandals sometimes referred to as water sandals are an important type of footwear and for good reason. These are the types of sandals you can use not only for rafting but for other water activities too. But don’t be mistaken because rafting sandals are not just your ordinary flip flops. They are not the sandals you wear to the shower at the gym or those leather types you wear when you’re running errands during a hot summer day.

Sandals used for rafting are specially designed to provide traction on wet or slippery surfaces usually found on lakes and rivers. They are sturdier and more secure compared to flip flops found in department stores.

In this article we will compare and review rafting sandals for men and women. This will give you an idea of what type is most suitable for you.

Product Name

Price Range

Our Rating

Buy

Chaco Women’s ZX3 Classic Sport Sandal

$$

4.5/5 

KEEN Men’s Clearwater CNX Sandal

$$$

4/5 

Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal

$$

4.5/5 

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

$$$

4.5/5 

Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Mesh Sanda

$$

4.5/5 

 

Chaco Women’s ZX3 Classic Sport Sandal

Features

  • 100% Polyester jacquard webbing.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Toe loop and adjustable buckle strap at ankle.
  • Women’s specific LUVSEAT PU midsole with anti-microbial application.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable.
  • Adjustable straps for better control and stability
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Might be too narrow if your feet have wider width. However, wider variations are available.
  • Toe loop might be uncomfortable at first.
  • Sizes might be too big so it’s better to measure your feet properly first before ordering.

Overview

Chaco has been a trusted outdoor and recreation brand since 1989 and they are living up to their reputation. The ZX3 Classic was designed for Class 5 whitewater and is great for everyday adventure. The Luvseat Footbed provides contoured arch support for all-day comfort. The midsole is made from polyurethane compounds for a durable and long-lasting product while the Chacogrip outsole is designed to for better stability on wet and slippery surfaces.

The toe loop can be uncomfortable at first especially if you have a big toe and the fit can be a little small if you have wide feet. Thankfully, Chaco has sizes for women with wide feet. Overall, this sandal is a good buy if you’re looking for a simple design, affordable price and durability.


KEEN Men’s Clearwater CNX Sandal

Features

  • Features bungee lacing system, patented toe guard, and rear pull-on loop.
  • Aegis microbe shield treated lining.
  • Machine-washable.
  • Contoured arch for added midfoot support.

Pros:

  • Bungee lacing system allows for customized fit.
  • Lightweight and very stable.
  • Multi-sport sandal can be used for hiking, biking, walking to boating and rafting.
  • Rubber toe rand gives excellent protection.

Cons:

  • A bit pricey.
  • Lacking in support for all-day walking.
  • Sizes can run small and narrow.

Overview

The Keen Clearwater CNX Sandals weigh just 10 ounces each. But despite its lightweight feature, the sandal has great flexibility, good protection and has amazing stability. It features a bungee lacing system for customized fit and contoured arch-cradles to support your feet.

Keen makes footwear for everyday life so this sandal is not only for rafting purposes but for hiking, biking and water sports use too. They are a bit on the pricey side but they are easy to maintain because they are machine washable and durable too.


Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal

Features

  • Multiple adjustable straps with hook-and-loop closures.
  • Nylon stability shank with Shock Pad heel.
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole for comfort.
  • Traction outsole with water-channeling lugs.

Pros:

  • Treated with microban to help eliminate stink.
  • Designed specifically for women’s feet.
  • Cute design with lots of color combinations to choose from.

Cons:

  • Narrow fit for wide feet.
  • Ankle strap width and positioning can be uncomfortable.
  • Great as a water sandal but not so great for long distance walking.

Overview

The Teva Tirra Sandal is specifically designed for women’s feet for better comfort and performance in water sports. The strap configuration is unmistakably feminine with multiple adjustment options for a better and customized fit. It can tackle many different obstacles and provides good stability on wet surfaces. The arched support is designed for comfort and durability.

Tirra buyers should take note that the W on the box stands for “women” not “wide”. This can cause problems for women with wider feet so the product might feel a bit narrow. The ankle straps are also positioned awkwardly and can cause rubbing on the skin. Users complain of the strap causing chaffing on their skin.


KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

Features

  • Metatomical EVA footbed, Multi directional lug pattern for increased traction.
  • Secure fit lace capture system, TPU stability shank.
  • Breathable mesh lining.
  • Non-marking rubber outsole with razor siping sole.

Pros:

  • Adjustable straps for customized fit.
  • Multi-directional lug pattern for better control on wet surfaces.
  • Has Cleansport NTX for odor control.

Cons:

  • Stitching falling apart only after months of use.
  • Uncomfortable for all-day walking.

Overview

The Keen H2 Sandal is a classic and basic rafting sandal that features adjustable straps for a more comfortable and customized fit. It’s a good water sandal that’s designed to provide stability and traction in the water. The outsole has multi-directional lugs to provide extra traction so you feel secure while rafting or doing water sports. It also has the KEEN patented toe protection to keep your big piggy safe.

This rafting sandal is a bit on the pricey side so many are disappointed that they start to disintegrate after a few months in use. The stitching are usually the first to go but the other parts of the shoe seem alright. Overall, it’s still a good water shoe that’s designed for stability in slippery surfaces.


Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Mesh Sandal

Features

  • Breathable, fast-drying mesh uppers.
  • Adjustable closure for a secure fit.
  • Pull tab at heel for easier on and off.
  • Outsole with flex grooves for easier range of motion.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable and fast drying.
  • Fully amphibious.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t look very cute.
  • No arch support.
  • Sole feels thin.

Overview

The Swiftwater is Croc’s most water-friendly sandals with a mesh cover. The mesh covering offers maximum breathability so you can wear the sandals out of the water and into the streets. The hook and loop adjustable straps make it easy for you to take them off and put on while the adjustable closure provides a secure fit.

Crocs have been getting a bad rep for being unattractive shoes. The same is true for the Swiftwater. There is also no visible arch support plus the thin feeling soles can make them uncomfortable to walk on for extended periods. However, it’s still a true water shoe and is known to be durable with a good price range.


Final Thoughts

Flip flops are made from flimsy material and does not offer good traction. Most of all, you can lose them in the water because they don’t have straps. Rafting sandals or water sandals are perhaps the best type of footwear when you’re playing in water. They are also ideal for other situations like swimming, boating, kayaking and even hiking.

When looking for a sandal for rafting or water sports, always look at the features of each product. They should be something you need in your lifestyle. For example, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your feet in the water you want a pair that offers comfort as well as stability so you feel safe. It’s also a good idea to find a rafting sandal that’s durable because some of the products can be expensive so you want a reasonable amount of mileage.

Make sure you’re within budget too. First time buyers might not want to buy an expensive pair right away so look for more affordable alternatives. Check if you need toe protection too. Rocky surfaces can cause toe injuries so consider this option when choosing a rafting sandal.

Buyers should not confuse rafting sandals with hiking or walking sandals even though the former can be used for walking. Sandals for rafting are specifically designed with the watery and slippery surfaces in mind while hiking and walking sandals are designed for all-day comfort and wearability. Expecting to walk all day on rafting sandals can result in discomfort, so always have purpose in mind when considering this type of product.

Lastly, reviews are a goldmine of information. Always check reviews before purchasing a product. Reviews can give you a bird’s eye view of a product from actual users so their experiences are authentic. However, always take them with a grain of salt because people experience products differently. If you’re still unsure about a product, check for the manufacturer’s guarantee on returns so that you can have peace of mind.

Product Name

Price Range

Our Rating

Buy

Chaco Women’s ZX3 Classic Sport Sandal

$$

4.5/5 

KEEN Men’s Clearwater CNX Sandal

$$$

4/5 

Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal

$$

4.5/5 

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Sandal

$$$

4.5/5 

Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Mesh Sanda

$$

4.5/5