The Best Water Shoes of 2014

Protect your feet at the lake, river, or ocean.

—Joe Jackson

Adidas Climacool Boat Breeze

BEST FOR: Sailing 

Thanks to a largely mesh upper and a 100 percent EVA tongue and heel, the Breeze ($85) drained and dried out faster than any other shoe we tested. The sturdy midsole and breathable upper are as comfy on the boat as off, while finger holes in the heel make the Breeze a, well, breeze to put on and take off. 7.4 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Teva Original Universal

BEST FOR: Retro Steeze

To mark its 30th anniversary, Teva brought back the sandal that gave birth to this category. The clean lines and 13 throwback color options offer enduring style, but there’s a downside to the simplicity: like its forefather, the Original Universal ($40) isn’t quite as comfy as the modern feature-laden technical sandals it gave rise to. 7 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Sperry Ricochet Bungee

BEST FOR: Whitewater Kayaking

A flexible forefoot coupled with a reinforced sole under the rest of the Ricochet ($80) makes this minimalist shoe disappear (in a good way) on longer treks, while a rubberized toe cap safeguards your piggies. The siped (tiny slits cut into the rubber), angular lugs gripped mossy rocks better than any other shoe here. 8 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Keen Gallatin CNX

BEST FOR: Multi-Day Rafting Trips

The to-the-toe bungee lacing system on the Gallatin ($110) makes it the securest swim-ming shoe on our list. But what impressed us most was how much comfort and protection Keen packed into a sub-ten-ounce shoe. Our favorite touch: neoprene patches on the webbed upper, which mitigated rub on longer walks. 9.4 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Columbia Men's Bahama Vent PFG

BEST FOR: Lounging

The casual look of this slip-on ($70) obscures some smart engineering. Three drain ports span the outsole behind the midfoot, while the porous midsole is extremely breathable and further speeds draining. Just be sure to give the canvas and leather upper 12 hours to dry; if it stays moist for multiple days, funk invades. 8.3 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)


Ahnu Del Rey

BEST FOR: Wet, Tricky Terrain

While lots of water shoes embraced minimalism this year, the Del Rey ($100) delivers maximum protection with a reinforced-synthetic-leather and mesh upper, full toe coverage, and an aggressively lugged sole. A rigid TPU insert in the midfoot adds arch support—much appreciated on those long, wet hikes. 9.8 oz 

Buyer's Guide Summer Outside Magazine Outside Online Hike Travel Float Run Bike Women Tech
(Inga Hendrickson)

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