Do Water Shoes Keep Sand Out?

As the name suggests, water shoes are used during activities in and around water. They allow water to flow through the shoe, so it remains lightweight and dries easily. But, if they are designed to let water flow into the shoe, can water shoes keep sand out?

Whether water shoes keep sand out will depend on the material the shoes are made of, as well as the style of the shoes. Certain water shoes are designed to keep sand out completely, while others might allow sand to enter the shoe. If sand gets into the water shoe, it should be easy to wash out.

Water shoes are not one size fits all! You can choose from many different types, styles, and materials. If you want water shoes that will keep your feet comfortable and sand free, here is what you need to keep in mind.

Are Water Shoes Sand-Proof?

Certain water shoes are designed to be sand-proof, while other water shoes will allow some sand to enter. It is important to remember that water shoes are not waterproof.

Instead, they are designed to let water into the shoe so that the shoe does not become heavy and water-logged, and then let the water out again so that your feet and shoes dry quickly. Because of this, there is always the possibility of the water carrying some sand into your shoes.

Because water shoes are made to use in water activities, they are designed to drain and dry faster than regular shoes. They are made of materials, such as mesh and neoprene, that dry quickly and prevent water retention.

Certain water shoes have open drainage points that allow water to drain out of the shoe easily. These drainage points may allow sand to enter the shoe, but the sand should be fairly easy to get out again once you have gotten out of the water.

Most water shoes are designed to slip onto your feet easily, so removing them and rinsing out whatever sand may be inside should be a fast and easy process.

Other types of water shoes do not have open drainage points but depend on the mesh material to allow water to drain out of the shoe. These types of shoes are less likely to allow sand to get inside.

Different kinds of water shoes

There are three different kinds of water shoes, and each type has different qualities in terms of keeping sand out:  

  • Water socks (sometimes called aqua socks or water booties)
  • Water shoes (sometimes called aqua shoes)
  • Water sandals (sometimes called aqua sandals)

Water socks look similar to regular socks but are made of wetsuit material. Much like a wetsuit, water socks trap water against your skin which is warmed by your body heat, and this provides an insolation layer that helps keep your feet warm in cold water.

Water socks are mostly used for swimming, snorkeling, or diving, so they are unlikely to become full of sand. Any sand that does get inside the socks will be easy to wash away once you remove the socks.

Water shoes are made to use in activities where you might be walking on a slippery surface or where your feet will alternate between being in and outside the water. Water shoes can be worn when doing water sports and for trips to the beach or river.

Certain water shoes will be sand-proof, while others may allow some sand to enter. If sand does enter your water shoe, it should be able to fall out through the open drainage points. Removing your water shoes and rinsing them out will also remove any remaining sand.

Water sandals are different from flip-flops or ordinary sandals. They have been designed to give you good grip and traction to prevent slipping or losing your footing when walking on slippery or wet surfaces.

Like ordinary sandals, water sandals leave large parts of your feet open. Any water or sand that gets inside the sandal will easily fall out or wash out.

Although water sandals work well for activities like fishing, walking in and around a river, or on the beach, they are not made for swimming.

Each type of water shoe has its benefits and possible drawbacks, depending on your needs and what type of water activities you will be doing.

Why Do I Need Water Shoes?

Wearing the correct shoes for outdoor activities is essential to enjoying yourself and staying safe and comfortable. Wearing regular sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers when walking on wet or slippery surfaces, on potentially sharp rocks, or in shallow water can all lead to accidents or injury.

It is always better to wear shoes created to protect your feet while also providing good grip and traction to prevent slips or falls. 

Water shoes have durable rubber soles that provide a good grip when walking on wet surfaces. The soles are thick enough to prevent injury from stepping on sharp rocks or shells. The thick soles also protect your feet from the hot sand.

Suppose you walk into the water with regular sneakers or boots. In that case, your shoes will become soaked, making them very heavy and uncomfortable.

Because these shoes are not designed to let water out, they will stay wet for a long time, which could cause your feet to become irritated or sore and possibly cause the shoes to become moldy.

Water shoes are made with light material that allows water to come into the shoe and drain out of the shoe easily. The material allows air to flow through the shoe so that the shoe and your feet dry quickly.

If you spend long periods in and out of the water, investing in quality water shoes guarantees your feet stay protected and comfortable.

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Different Uses For Water Shoes

Modern water shoes have multiple purposes and can be used for many activities. You can wear water shoes during a visit to the beach, where they can protect your feet from hot sand, sharp rocks, or shells and offer sun protection.

Water shoes can also be used for grip and protection when fishing from a slippery pier or the shore at the beach, a lake, or a river. 

Water shoes can offer protection when participating in aquatic sports, like jet ski riding, white river rafting, kayaking, or going out on a boat.

While water shoes are not designed to be used as running or hiking shoes over long distances, you can use water shoes on short hiking trails around a river or the ocean or for short walks around town.


Water shoes have many uses and can play an important role in protecting your feet when participating in water-based activities. Certain water shoes will be able to keep sand out, while others will allow a small amount of sand inside the shoe which should be easy to get out again.

Choosing the right pair of water shoes will allow you to enjoy time in and out of the water without worrying about injury or discomfort.