Can You Swim With Shoes?

Swimming is an activity which needs to be taken seriously. If you swim with anything but a swimsuit or the right equipment you may expose yourself to certain dangers.

Swimming with shoes is one of these things which can cause difficulties during swimming if you are not using the right water shoes for this purpose.

If you swim with clothes you will make yourself much heavier in the water. Most clothing items and shoes absorb and retain a lot of water, making your body heavier and slowing you down.

Even if you have only a swimsuit, but you wear shoes, you will swim in a chaotic manner and much slower than when you are barefooted. The shoes you are wearing will not just make your feet feel heavier, but will also reduce the connection between your feet and the water, making you kick in an inappropriate manner.

If you want to do such an experiment, you will notice that your propulsion through water will not be great at all, as you will advance slowly and will feel more tired swimming the same distance that you would cover without the shoes.

How about rocky sea or river bottoms?

You probably wonder what to do if you swim in a sea or river where the bottom is not that friendly to walking barefoot.

You can easily cut yourself and injure your feet on sharp rocks or shells.

What are the benefits of water shoes?

One of the solutions is to use not any random shoes but a pair of water shoes which are designed for use in water.

Water shoes are specially designed to be used underwater because they are thin and light, just like having another layer of skin.


These types of shoes do not restrict your contact with the water. The materials they are made of have tens and hundreds of wholes which offer drainage – allowing water to flow in and out of your shoes without causing inconvenience.


These very same wholes are also beneficial outside the water. This material allows your shoes and feet to dry up much faster than regular shoes.

This is an important feature when it comes to drying and cleaning your water shoes. To find out more about this topic please read our article: How to clean your water shoes?

What water activities can you use your water shoes for?

Why were water shoes invented? Most certainly they came up as a convenient solution to protect beach goers from cutting their feet on sharp rocks and sea shells.

Convenience and safety are not the only reason why water shoes were invented. These types of shoes are extremely versatile and can be used for a range of different activities.

Water aerobics

Water aerobics is one of these activities which would benefit from a great pair of water shoes. It is an intense exercise performed in water which requires good grip.

A good grip is important but not only. Your water shoes need to be light and offer a snug fit. You would not wish for your water shoes to get filled with water and wobble. This would make your feet heavier and it would be difficult to perform these water movements.

Another big part of your aqua aerobics is the swimming. In these cases, swimming with an appropriate pair of shoes is possible and even recommended.

Read our article on: The Best Water Aerobics Shoes

Hiking and trekking

Hiking and trekking are much more strenuous activities. They require water shoes which offer greater support and durability.

These types of shoes can be used in water conditions such as when crossing a river. However, you would not want to swim with these shoes. They are heavy and would make swimming difficult.

To find more: Best Budget Hiking Boots

Rafting and kayaking

Rafting, kayaking or even canoeing would require water shoes which are lighter. The fact that you are on a floating device requires lighter equipment altogether.

These types of shoes are similar to the ones which you may use for water aerobics. They need to offer snug fit and breathability. However, these shoes are better for swimming than the hiking ones for example.

One important consideration is that your rafting water shoes need to offer a more solid sole to protect your feet from the rocky river beds in case you fall in the water.


Running is another activity which may require water shoes. Enthusiastic runners would run in dry or rainy conditions.

This is the reason why, a great pair of water shoes which are light and offer good grip are essential to a good running session.

Shoe Quality Considerations

If you want to keep your feet safe during your underwater explorations, then you need to make sure that the water shoes you are looking to get are made of a quality material, which is resilient and sturdy enough without adding any extra weight to your feet.

You should also make sure that the water shoes fit your feet like a glove because if they are too small they will be uncomfortable and if they too large, they will not be able of providing the level of protection you’re looking to get.

Pay sufficient attention to this aspect, especially if you want to make the purchase online, without having the chance to try the shoes on.

Check the length and width of your soles and then look at the dimension of the water shoes. It is important to note that adjustable water shoes are much more practical, as they allow you to fit the shoes according to your feet easier.

If you love water sports, then this is the best type of shoes you can use for enjoying a great grip and safety for your feet.

Final Thoughts

Now that you learned about swimming with shoes, you can make better decisions based on your needs.

By doing your research you will make sure that you are choosing the most appropriate pair of shoes for your water activities.

Look at water shoe reviews as they will provide you with essential details which you may wish to keep in mind when selecting the right pair of shoes for you.

If you are looking to swim with shoes make sure that the shoes are suitable. They need to be light, snug and offer great drainage.

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Q: Can you swim with water shoes?

A: Yes, you can swim with water shoes but you need to consider the type of water shoe you are choosing. These shoes need to be very light, offer snug fit and have great drainage. They need to look more like water socks than water shoes.

Q: What are the benefits of wearing a pair of water shoes?

A: Water shoes offer comfort and safety for your feet. They protect from shar objects and also offer good grip to help you exercise properly.

Q: What types of activities can you use water shoes for?

A: Water aerobics, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, running, rafting and kayaking

Q: How to ensure the quality of your swim shoes?

A: You should always research your shoes properly. See if they are suitable for swimming and check other customers’ reviews.