Gear Guide: The Best $15 Water Shoes You’ll Ever Buy

If you’re going tubing on a river, you’ll need a pair of shoes to float in that you either don’t care about in case they get lost, or water shoes that will actually stay on your feet. Since I only had one pair of flip flops and a killer sock tan, I went for the latter option.

Water shoes actually stay on your feet, dry quickly, and protect your feeties from any rocks (or glass since people don’t always drink responsibly). I wasn’t sure I’d ever use them again, so I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on them. I also didn’t to go full-on 90s and get Aquasocks.

So I obviously headed to Amazon. Eventually, I stumbled upon these Dotacoko water shoes. They’re under $20, look kind of like actual sneakers, and were LEGIT on the river.

I had to abandon ship several times on our float trip, and in shallow sections it was great to just stand up and traipse across all the rocks to reposition myself in the river. Despite being slip-ons, they were securely on my feet and didn’t budge even as I waded through mud and random river plants. It was also SUPER helpful to have such sturdy shoes for pushing myself off of rocks with my feet (steering a tube is not easy, FYI. Sorry again to the fly fisher I ran into).

I’m not too proud to admit that I also liked how sporty they looked. These water shoes come in a bunch of fun colors and look basically just like sneakers. I wore them on a bachelorette party tubing trip and got lots of compliments from strangers so I feel good about their looks.

They’re not quite as supportive and comfortable as actual sneakers, but they’re better than flip flops and were still comfortable after a few hours of household chores (obviously the best way to test out water shoe comfort).

The women’s sizes are also spot on. I ordered my regular 8.5 and they fit perfectly.  The entire shoe is mesh, and even the plastic sole has a bunch of holes in it so water comes right back out. I was fully submerged several times (not by choice) but never felt like my feet were soaking wet and just sitting in water. The mesh over your toes isn’t see through, which may be to protect your toes but is also super clutch if your pedicure situation is suboptimal.

Overall, these shoes would be great for any sort of wading, tubing, or rafting. They come in a variety of colors, so if for some reason you’re not into neon purple, don’t dispair.

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