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The Best Shoes for Boating: Here are Your Options and Why

A boat shoes isolated on a white background.

Imagine you’re out on the water, enjoying a day of sailing with your friends. Suddenly, a gust of wind catches your boat and sends it spinning towards the shoreline. You scramble to grab the oars, but it’s too late – you’ve run aground.

If only you’d had the right shoes on, you could have easily hopped out and pushed the boat back into deeper water.

Knowing the best shoes for boating can be a real lifesaver in situations like this. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best options for boating shoes, as well as why they’re essential to have in the first place.

Why Do You Need Specific Boat Shoes Anyway?

The first question you might be asking is, can’t I just wear any old pair of sneakers? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Sneakers are not designed for the water, and they will quickly become soaked and heavy, making it challenging to move around.

Additionally, most sneakers are not equipped with the proper traction to prevent slipping on a wet deck. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re moving around a lot or trying to make sudden movements.

Wearing the wrong shoes on a boat can also damage the boat itself. For example, if you’re wearing spikes or anything with a hard bottom, you run the risk of scratching or denting the deck.

So what should you look for in a good pair of boating shoes?

The best boat shoes will have a few key features that make them ideal for wearing on a boat. First, they should be made from a quick-drying material like mesh or nylon. This will help to keep your feet from getting soaked and heavy.

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They should also have a rubber sole with good traction. This will help you to keep your footing on a wet deck and prevent slipping. Additionally, boat shoes should be comfortable and lightweight, so you can move around easily.

Now that we know what to look for let’s take a look at some of the best boat shoes on the market.

What are the best types of shoes to wear on a boat, and why

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best shoes for boating. First, you want something that will provide good traction and not slip on the wet deck. Second, you’ll want a shoe that is comfortable and won’t rub or pinch your feet while you’re walking around.

Third, it’s important to find a shoe that won’t get waterlogged and heavy if it gets wet.

Here are your top options:

1. Boat Shoes

A boat shoes on a wooden surface.

Boat shoes are a great option for all of these reasons. They usually have non-slip soles and are made from breathable materials so your feet won’t get too sweaty. You can also find boat shoes in a variety of styles, from casual to dressy, so you can wear them both on and off the boat.

Benefits

  • Non-slip
  • Breathable
  • Stylish

Drawbacks

  • Can be difficult to find a good fit
  • Some styles can be pricey

What are the best brands?

There are a few good brands to consider when looking for boat shoes. Sperry is a popular choice, as they make a variety of styles and have a good reputation for quality. Another option is Columbia, which makes breathable and comfortable shoes that won’t break the bank.

2. Canvas Sneakers

A canvas sneakers on isolated cream background.

Canvas sneakers are another good choice for boating shoes. They’re often light and airy, so they won’t weigh you down if they get wet. They also have good traction and can be slipped on and off easily.

However, they may not be as comfortable as boat shoes if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking around on the deck. They also have the tendency to take on water.

Benefits

  • Light and airy
  • Easy to slip on and off
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Drawbacks

  • May not be as comfortable
  • Can take on water

What are the best brands?

There are a few good brands of canvas sneakers to consider, including Keds and TOMS. Both of these brands make shoes that are stylish and comfortable.

However, you may want to avoid Converse sneakers, as they tend to be less comfortable and have less traction than other brands.

3. Water Shoes

A water shoes on shore.

Water shoes are specifically designed for activities like swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding. They usually have drainage holes to let water out, and some even have fins to help you swim faster.

While they’re not the best choice for walking around on a boat, they can be a good option if you’re planning on getting in the water.

Benefits

  • Good for swimming and other water activities
  • Drainage holes to let water out
  • Some have fins for swimming

Drawbacks

  • Not good for walking around on a boat
  • Can be difficult to find a good fit

What are the best brands?

There are a few good brands of water shoes to consider, including Speedo and Adidas. Both of these brands make shoes that are designed for comfort and performance in the water.

However, you may want to avoid Nike water shoes, as they tend to be less comfortable and have less traction than other brands.

4. Waterproof Hiking Boots

A pair of hiking boots on a white background.

If you’re planning on doing any hiking or walking on the beach, you’ll want a shoe that can handle both sand and water. Waterproof hiking boots are a good option for this. They have good traction and support, and they won’t let any sand or water in.

However, they can be heavy and uncomfortable if you’re just wearing them on a boat.

Benefits

  • Good for hiking and walking on the beach
  • Waterproof
  • Good traction and support

Drawbacks

  • Can be heavy and uncomfortable

What are the best brands?

There are a few good brands of waterproof hiking boots to consider, including Salomon and Merrell. Both of these brands make shoes that are designed for comfort and performance in both sand and water.

However, you may want to avoid Keen boots, as they tend to be less comfortable and have less traction than other brands.

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5. Sandals

A pair of sandal on a gray background.

Sandals are a good choice if you’re just looking for something to slip on and off quickly. They’re also usually very comfortable. However, they don’t provide much traction or support, so they’re not the best choice if you’ll be doing a lot of walking around.

And, of course, they’re not going to do much to keep your feet dry if you end up in the water.

Benefits

  • Quick and easy to slip on and off
  • Comfortable

Drawbacks

  • Little traction or support
  • Won’t keep your feet dry in the water

What are the best brands??

There are a few good brands of sandals to consider, including Teva and Chaco. Both of these brands make sandals that are comfortable and stylish. However, you may want to avoid Reef sandals, as they tend to be less comfortable and have less traction than other brands.

Can I Wear Flip-Flops on a Boat?

A black flip-flop on a sand.

Speaking of sandals, can you wear flip-flips on a boat?

In short, no. Flip-flops offer zero support or traction and can be easily lost overboard.

They’re also not very comfortable if you’ll be doing a lot of walking around. If you’re just looking for something to slip on quickly to go from the deck to the water, though, they’ll do in a pinch.

Conclusion

So, what are the best shoes for boating? It really depends on what you’ll be doing while you’re on the boat. If you’re just going to be sitting around or standing still, boat shoes or canvas sneakers will work fine.

However, if you’re planning on swimming or being active, water shoes might be a better choice. Whichever type of shoe you choose, make sure it has good traction and won’t rub or pinch your feet.

No matter which shoe style you choose, make sure you practice wearing them around the house first so you can get used to walking in them. Make sure your shoes has good traction and won’t slip on the wet deck.

And always remember to bring a spare pair of dry socks – just in case.