Warm-weather adventures go hand in hand with shoes that can handle getting splashed or all-out soaked—while you keep on going. From casual SUPing to hardcore sailing, here’s what to look for in water sandals and shoes that are up for all sorts of H2O action.


CASUAL PADDLERS often opt to go shoe-free on the water, but, hey, you still need to get your SUP or boat to that lake, river, or ocean. And going barefoot doesn’t feel too awesome on gravel, rocky coastline, or hot pavement. For footwear, think light, and easy to stash, rinse off, and get on and off, which is the Newport for both men and women. 

FOR MORE EXTREME PADDLING, SUCH AS WHITEWATER KAYAKING AND RAFTING, features that offer foot support and protection become more important. Think about how much you’ll push against foot braces or wedge your foot into the side of the raft for leverage. A snug-fitting sandal, like the new Astoria West sandal for women, is a good rafting choice that will stay on your feet in wild waters and technical manoeuvring. If you capsize, the last thing you want to look for is a lost shoe. And, with rafting or portaging while kayaking, you also need to consider the underwater terrain. The Clearwater and Whisper sandals are good overall choices, with good ground feel for finding your footing.


What to wear depends on whether you’ll be in a boat or wading in a creek or river. On a boat, the KEEN Aqua-grip outsole on the Whisper sandal can help prevent slipping when bracing your feet to haul in that biggest catch. Meanwhile, siping and lugs will help you make your way around river beds. Some fly fishers prefer the comfort of the Newport sandal to wading boots.


Non-marking outsoles (all KEEN sandals are non-marking) and razor siping are the features to look for in boat shoes. Razor siping in outsoles works just like your tires—it helps expel water from beneath, preventing slipping on wet surfaces, such as a boat deck or dock.


Lugs for traction, razor siping, quick-dry materials, and toe protection—these are the must-haves for adventuring in and around water. Rubber outsoles with lugs and razor siping keep you steady on slippery terrain, while quick-dry uppers help prevent blisters and discomfort due to hiking with wet feet. The sandal that check off all the boxes: Newport H2. The Arroyo II sandal also brings together the best of the hiking and sandal worlds.


Barefoot in the sand is definitely the way to go. But days at the beach often involve walking to boardwalks and lunch spots. Giving yourself a little extra cushioning will keep your feet peachy. KEEN's ultimate water-hybrid sandal, the Newport is the option to consider, and the Rose sandal is happy to go dressier for dinner, too.