The Best Beach Shoes That Stand Up to Sun, Sand, and Saltwater

Walking in the hot sand to get to your perfect spot is difficult enough. So, ditch your chunky sneakers and forego going barefoot to slip on these picks instead.

Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to beach trips, shoes are probably one of the last items to check off your list. Just your usual beaten-up flip-flops will do, right? And there are so many other more important purchases to consider — beach towels, swimwear, and even a cooler to keep your food and drinks at the perfect temp. But you should really rethink those packing list priorities. Beach shoes can be easily forgotten about, but usually make a world of difference. Think about it: the hot sand, pebbly shorelines, water activities that require footwear — all the more reason(s) to put your feet first.

A few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best beach shoes for your particular trip: They should be waterproof, lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and most importantly, they should be comfortable. Walking through hot lava (see: sand) is difficult enough, so your footwear shouldn't make matters more complicated.

The below list of the best beach shoes for women includes options that are perfect for trekking from the car to the sand, playing in the waves on the shore, or even taking a deep dive into the blue ocean waters. Whether you're looking for easy-to-wear slides or even perforated sneakers that are breathable but still keep your toes protected, you'll find what you need.

The Best Beach Shoes, Sandals, and Flip Flops

01 of 08

Best Flip-Flop Beach Shoes for Women: Old Navy Flip Flops

Courtesy of Merchants

It's a no-brainer that Old Navy flip-flops are a go-to affordable, best beach shoes. They're lightweight and come in a ton of different colors. These best beach shoes for women are easy to slip on if you're moving across the scortching hot sand, and off again when you want to rinse off in the outdoor shower by the boardwalk. The best part is since they're inexpensive you can buy them in every color, but you won't cringe if they get damaged during your adventures. Old Navy flip-flops are your dependable summer shoe you can take anywhere. (Looking for something more substantial? Try one of these pairs of sandals instead.)

One reviewer wrote, "Old Navy flip flops are always my go-to. They are true to size and durable. I always buy two to three pair at time just to have a back-up. I wear them every day. They have always been my favorite and always will be."

02 of 08

Best Athletic Beach Shoes: Adidas Adilette Comfort Slide Sandals

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These oldie-but-goodie slides have withstood the test of time and are still a fan-favorite amoung Gen Z (so you know they're cool). These best beach shoes feel like a cloud under your feet even while walking on hard rocks or bumpy boardwalks thanks to the cushioned foot bed that never seems to get worn down. There are no buckles to fasten or laces to tie, simply slide in your feet you're good to go. Despite how easy it is to slide in your foot, there's a surprising amount of good traction on the sole, so you won't slip around a wet pool. And they can easily be wiped clean with a water and a towel, so mud and dirt are no problem. (They'd also make for super comfy house shoes, too — just saying.)

"After researching for which slides were the most comfortable, I decided on these and all I can say is thank God, I did," said on reviewer. "The foot bed is so comfy and squishy. I'm so glad I found these."

03 of 08

Best for Beach Shoes for Vacation: Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA

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If you don't want to sacrifice style, just to be comfortable, opt for this trendy pick for the best beach shoes. Birkenstock and the brand's classes two strap-style are far from new, but they seem to grow in popularity eith each annual season — and for good reason. They're an all-around, good beach shoe, but also to wear literally anywhere and everywhere. This particular EVA style is waterproof and has a contoured foot bed and deep heel cup to keep your feet well-aligned and feet good for the long haul. Plus, you can take them from the beach to the resort pool and to lunch on the town. The possibilities are endless with this pair. (Related: These Waterproof EVA Birkenstocks Are Honestly Better Than the Originals — and Half the Price)

"I got these to wear around the house and short trips to the beach but they are so comfortable I wear them everywhere," said one reviewer. "I wear these with jeans, chinos, sweatpants, shorts, bathing suits and like the way they look."

04 of 08

Best Sandal-Style Beach Shoes: Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals

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To have a sandal that is truly beach-appropriate, it needs to fit like a glove, be easy to wipe clean and be super lightweight. And that's exactly what this best beach shoe is — and then some. It has easy hook-and-loop closures so you can take them off or adjust the fit easily, and the sole is super comfortable, as it's not too squishy nor too firm. Plus, this pair of beach shoes stays put so you won't find a bucket-worth of sand in your car if you shake them off. (That's why they're also one of the best hiking sandals available.)

One reviewer raved, "I used these sandals for my trip to Costa Rica. They are perfect for all conditions, climbing rocks to get to the waterfall, and for a day on the beach. Trip would not have been the same without the convenience and comfort of the sandals. I love my Teva's!"

05 of 08

Best Closed-Toe Beach Shoes: Native Shoes Women's Jefferson Sneakers

Courtesy of Merchants

These beach shoes don't look like your traditional sneakers, but they're a fan-favorite if you're looking for a closed-toe sand-free option. They're lightweight, flexible, and breathable thanks to tiny air vents that let your feet breathe. (P.S. the brand also makes slip-on sneakers that are perfect for working out or just walking the dog around the block.)

"They're like a cross between Chuck Taylor [shoes] and Crocs [clogs]," wrote one customer. "They're super lightweight, perforated, and I was shocked at how comfortable they were. I seriously love them! They're so comfortable to just throw on and they are killer water shoes. I wear them to the beach or kayaking or even just out on the town. I plan to buy more."

06 of 08

Best Water Shoes for Beach: VIFUUR Water Sports Unisex Shoes

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Whether you're surfing, boogie boarding, or just bouncing around in the waves, if you're going inthe water, you may want to wear a a specific kind of beach shoes that can protect your feet with impeeding your fun. These best water shoes for the beach feel and look like socks since they are so lightweight and low-profile. You won't even remember you're wearing them, which is basically the point. The smooth fabric and fit help to keep chaffing at bay and since the beach shoes flex and bend, they moves with your feet — no matter what you're asking of them. Oh and, NBD, but they're also the top-selling water shoe on Amazon. (Related: The Best Water Shoes to Keep You Dry That Are Also Acceptable to Wear IRL)

"I bought these water shoes for my trip to Cancun, Mexico," wrote one fan. "I have two kids that I have to chase around in their pools. It was very nice to wear these around the beach because I hate getting sand stuck on every part of my foot after being in the water and also in the water because I don't want to feel or expose my fit to any possible creatures underneath the sand. This worked just perfectly for that occasion."

07 of 08

Best Beach Shoes with Support: OOFOS oOahh Slide Sandals

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If foot pain or sore soles is something you struggle with, you want a beach shoe that is going to keep your foot in the best position so you can enjoy your day in the sun without aches. This recovery sandal has a wide foam strap that helps to support your foot as you walk and a foot bed that feels like you're walking on marshmallow fluff (without the stickiness, of course), all while offering arch support as well. The patented technology used to design this slide beach sandal absorbs 37 percent more impact than other shoes, helping to reduce stress on your feet, joints and back, according to the brand. It's a great option for anyone with arthritis or joint issues. (Related: The 10 Best Sneakers for Standing All Day, According to Podiatrists)

"All I have to say is wow, these are like walking on clouds," said one happy customer. "I'm a busy working mom of 4 with arthritis in my back. If you have an aching back and have been debating buying these, buy them! I was thinking about buying knock-offs to save money, but I'm so happy I didn't and bought the real things."

08 of 08

Best Beach Shoes for Walking: Dreamcity Women's Athletic Lightweight Walking Shoes

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For those lucky enough to live the coast or any body of water for that matter, taking walks along the shore is a great option for burning calories and taking in fresh air at the same time. These walking beach shoes are great for the sand and traditional trails, so they instantly become one of the most versatile pairs in your closet. They're designed with a breathable mesh that allows air to flow throughout the shoe, so sweating and odor aren't an issue. And they're designed with a Water Grip outsole that helps provide traction on wet or slippery surfaces. You can even wear them while in the water, if you please. (FTR, you'll want to slip into something a bit sturdier to tackle this killer beach workout.)

One reviewer wrote: "I got these for our vacation to Cancun. I knew we planned on booking an adventurous excursion and wanted something that would have traction and be great in the water! These were perfect! We rappelled, climbed ropes, zip lined and swam in cenotes- they never hurt my feet or felt uncomfortable. I was so glad to have had shoes on to swim in."

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