Do You Need Water Shoes In Hawaii for Snorkelling & Swimming

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Going to the beach is all fun and games until you step on a sharp object when swimming or snorkeling in Hawaii.

But do you need water shoes in Hawaii? The truth is, you may or may not, depending on your preference and the condition of the beach.

Most people consider water shoes part of the travel essentials if you visit Hawaii, especially for snorkeling and swimming.

Read on to discover if you must pack water shoes for your Hawaii trip.

What Are Water Shoes?

water shoes beach Hawaii

These are footwear primarily made of synthetic mesh material for wet areas.

Their sole is hard to withstand rocky surfaces and protect the wearer from injuries.

They also dry fast, making them ideal for walking through wet surfaces without the risk of blisters.

Do You Need Water Shoes In Hawaii?

While walking barefoot on the beautiful sandy beaches of Hawaii is therapeutic, you risk stepping on sharp stones.

In this case, water shoes may be necessary to protect your feet from cuts and abrasions.

It is particularly essential if you go snorkeling in Hawaii. If you walk from the shoreline into the water, the rocky floor may be uneven or slippery, requiring a shoe grip.

Also, swimming near the coral reef barefoot is not the best idea.

Accidents happen in the water, and you do not want to get an infection or risk serious injury. All these situations prove that wearing water shoes in Hawaii is important.

There are numerous rocky beach entrances in Hawaii and locations where you will swim on top of a coral reef.

Water Shoes For Swimming And Snorkeling In Hawaii

water shoes for swimming in Hawaii

Since you may not know which beach you will be in, pack a pair of water shoes for your travels.

When shopping, you will discover that some are primarily for wet use while you can wear others on land.

For those suitable on land, you can comfortably go hiking with them.

While the three main differences are material quality, durability, and purpose, a light sole is preferable for swimming.

You do not want to feel the weight of the shoes on your feet when in the ocean. Here’s a quick collection of the best water shoes to wear in Hawaii.

Read later

Water Shoes for Women

For women, the best water shoe is the ATHMILE Quick Dry.

It has a soft insole, perfect for indoor use, especially yoga, when not used in water. Another favorite is the VIFUUR Water Sports shoe, which comes in attractive colors and patterns.

They are also easy to fold, taking up little space in your luggage when traveling. You only need to slip them on when going to the beach.

Thanks to the tough anti-slip soles, you will protect yourself from sharp shells and rocks in Hawaii.

Water Shoes for Men

The DOUSSPRT Men’s water shoes have tiny holes on the rubber sole, making water drainage fast. The breathable mesh top is also excellent for quick drying after a dip in the ocean.

You only need to adjust the shoelaces and comfortably go snorkeling on any rocky Hawaiian beach.

The other option is the Men’s lightweight, affordable shoes that fit every foot size and shape.

You will not have to worry about getting into the car with wet feet as they dry off fast. We especially love them as they are comfortable to wear on the boat rides for in-water excursions. 

Water Shoes for Kids

If you go to Hawaii with the children, get your boys the Centipede Kids Water Shoes.

They are cute and soft with a hard sole and easy-to-close flap, meaning they can put them on themselves.

Your little one will love wearing them on the water and walking on the hot sand on the beach.

For girls, consider the CIOR Aqua Athletic Sneakers with toe caps for water and land activities.

Perfect for all ages, they will run around, play, and get into the water comfortably. Throw them into the washer as they are easy to clean and will dry in a few minutes.

When Not To Wear Water Shoes In Hawaii

While you may want to wear your beach shoes during your entire Hawaiian stay, there are instances when it isn’t necessary.

Most people wear them when walking near the water surface, either on the beach or in shallow water.

So, if you are snorkeling in deep water farther away from the shore, you may not need them. You will use a boat, which will likely stop somewhere you can easily drop directly into the water.

There is little to no coral reef in these ocean parts, reducing your chances of stepping or accidentally kicking it.

Besides, most boat snorkeling tours provide gear, especially fins that replace water shoes.

Although it’s not mandatory to snorkel using fins, they are excellent propellers and will protect your feet from the reef. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faqs about water shoes Hawaii

Can you walk around Hawaii in water shoes?

Yes, you can. If you have a pair that fits perfectly, you can wear water shoes everywhere in Hawaii.

Ideally, choose one that has a thick sole for versatility. They will be cozy enough for regular use on the beach, water sports, hiking trails, and mall trips.

What shoes do you wear on the beach in Hawaii?

If you do not get into the water, you can wear flip-flops or light sandals to the beach in Hawaii. You can easily slip them off to get your feet wet should you change your mind.

Moreover, they pair well with sun dresses for those casual dinners near the beach and will not hold a lot of sand. 

Do you need water shoes for snorkeling in Maui?

You can wear water shoes for snorkeling in Maui if you do not get fins. While they are not a must-have, especially if you are careful enough, they protect your feet from sharp rocks and hard surfaces.

Nevertheless, you want to enjoy your holiday, so have a pair ready for peace of mind. An extra advantage of this footwear is that it will keep your feet warm.


Knowing whether you need water shoes in Hawaii is a valid question for most visitors. Most times, it depends on the outdoor and water activities you plan to do.

Nevertheless, water shoes are the best for the ocean as they have traction against wet rocks. They are also light on the feet and will not remain wet, risking odor and foot blisters.

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