15 Best Shoes For Paddle Boarding: Your Guide

standing-on-paddle-board

When it comes to paddle boarding you might ask, should I wear shoes when paddle boarding? 

Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer to deciding whether to wear shoes for paddle boarding.

It all comes down to your personal preference, of course, what you consider are important factors for wearing shoes for paddle boarding. 

When I paddle boarded for the first time I actually wore my workout shoes.

My reasoning: Since it’s summertime and the bay has no strong winds I should be okay! 

End result: Fell in the water and slipped twice while paddle boarding.

Let’s just say it wasn’t my great first experience. 🙁

We put together this list for you:

female wearing shoes for paddle boarding
Photo by Cade Prior

Best Paddle Board Shoes for Ladies

Women's X Sport Paddle Boarding Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Wide toed design provides stability and comfort fit
  • Designed with 5.5mm FeelTrue latest technology for durability and flexibility
  • Adjustable midfoot and instep straps giving secure stepping

Product Description

The Xero Shoes Women’s Aqua X Sport Water Shoes is a lightweight, zero drop shoe that is made from FeelTrue rubber.

The shoe is made from nylon and the lining, tongue and toe guard drain holes are quick-dry.

Keeping your feet secure and dry during your next adventure.

It has a non-absorbent tongue and a toe guard drain hole that quickly sheds water so it’s barely any heavier wet.

Lightweight to suit your outdoor lifestyle.


Vibram Paddle Boarding Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Textile Material
  • 3.7 mm Megagrip Outsole with drainage perforations
  • 2 mm EVA insole with Silicon Treatment for flexibility and comfort
  • Machine Wash Cold

The Vibram Women’s V-Aqua Grey/Blue Water Shoes is a perfect water shoe for paddle boarding.

The Vibram V-Aqua features 3.7 mm Megagrip Outsole to sustain wet and dry conditions.

Thus protecting against slippage as well as the snug fit design allows your feet to move freely giving you leeway for balance.

Made from 100% textile material with drainage perforations that allows for quick drying.


body-glove-shoes-for-paddle-boarding

Features

  • 3-Toe Design
  • Ultra-Grip Sole
  • Easy Slip-On Entry
  • Adjustable Straps
  • Ultra-grip outsole
  • Integrated Drainage System (IDS)

If you’re looking for style and class then look no further than with 3T Barefoot Women’s Cinch Water Shoes.

Unlike, other shoe brands that offer 5-toe system this shoe is designed with a 3-toe pocket system.

Offering maximum movement of first and second toes while protecting the smaller ones.

Features a zero heel lift and ultra-grip sole that provides protection while giving your feet movement in the most natural way possible with this minimalist design.

The built-in Integrated Drainage System (IDS) technology allows for breathability and circulation of water flow between the shoes.

Adjustable straps allow for unique fitting providing a comfortable experience.

These make our list of perfect shoes for paddle boarding.


body-glove-black-shoes-for-paddle-boarding

Features

  • 4-Way stretch hydro-knit upper
  • Easy Slip-On Entry
  • Integrated Drainage System (IDS)
  • Ultra-Grip Rubber Outsole
  • Breathable

These Women’s Hydro-Knit Siphon Water Shoes are made with a high-frequency seamless construction for durability and comfort.

The 4-way stretch hydro knit upper provides the perfect combination of support and flexibility, also, Ultra grip rubber outsole allows protection against sharp objects – take these water shoes anywhere.

These women’s water shoes feature an amphibious design that combines the styling of athletic shoes with the performance of a water shoe.

These recommended shoes for paddle boarding offer Integrated Drainage System (IDS), moreover, allows dispersing water for quick drying performance and encourages airflow for cool, breathable feel.


nrs-shoes-for-paddle-boarding-high-boots

Features

  • VaporLoft lining repels water and dries instantly for superior warmth and comfort
  • Wide opening with gusset-backed YKK zip entry
  • 3mm Terraprene neoprene with heat-reflecting titanium adhesive
  • 3mm thick high-traction soles and 5mm-thick neoprene insoles
  • Stretchy rubber support bands

If you’re planning on paddle boarding during colder temperatures or even in the winter then warm attire should be your number one priority.

These NRS Women’s Paddle Wet Shoes are built to keep you warm when navigating through colder weather.

Made with 3mm Terraprene neoprene and heat-reflecting Titanium adhesive that serves as a barrier allowing you to move freely while maintaining your feet warm.

5mm-thick neoprene insoles and 3mm thick high-traction soles allow for protection amongst rocks or other sharp objects.

The wide opening with gusset-backed YKK zip entry makes the shoes easy to put on and take off.

A plus for when you finished a long day of paddle boarding and barely got energy left to take off your shoes.


male wearing shoes for paddle boarding
Photo by Hanif Mahmad

Best Paddle Board Shoes for Men

rei-mens-level-six-shoes-for-paddle-boarding

Features

  • Hook-and-Loop Straps
  • Outsole made from Vulcanized Rubber
  • 3 mm Neoprene for Warmth
  • Adjustable Bungee-Collared Cuffs for Easy-Fit

Men’s Level Six River Boots 2.0 are a great choice for paddling enthusiasts who want a versatile, comfortable boot that can be worn on and off the water.

These boots have bungee-corded cuffs that allow you to adjust the fit easily and make pulling them on and off a simple task, even when wet.

Drainage holes in the soles help prevent sloshing as you paddle, while reinforced soles with stiffening mid shank provide stability and support as you move about in the water.

Made with 3 mm neoprene to keep you warm in cold conditions.


Men's Xerox Paddle Boarding Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • 3.5 mm Dual Chevron Lugs
  • 5.5 mm FeelTrue Sole
  • Adjustable Lace Locks
  • Non-Absorbent Tongue

Xero Drop Aqua Men’s Water Shoes provides the ultimate water-ready experience.

They are so lightweight that a men’s 9 is about 7.2 ounces each.

5.5mm FeelTrue sole is low to the ground for proper balance and agility.

3.5mm dual chevron lugs offer all-terrain traction for natural movement, while a wide toe box lets your toes spread and relax for life-changing comfort.

This Xero Shoe is a perfect shoe for paddle boarding since it offers a quick-dry lining, non-absorbent tongue, and toe drain holes.

Perfect for water drainage.


body-glove-mens-black-shoes-for-paddle-boarding

Features

  • Lightweight and Breathable
  • Ultra-Grip Outsole
  • Easy Slip-On Entry
  • Phylon Midsole
  • Integrated Drainage System (IDS)

The Men’s Dynamo Rapid Water Shoes are the perfect water shoes for any active man who is looking to get out on the lake, river or ocean.

The amphibious design of these water shoes allow you to wear them comfortably both on land and in water.

Features a premium air-mesh upper that wraps your foot with comfort and support making it ideal when paddle boarding or enduring any water activity.

The Phylon midsole provides lightweight cushioning while being flexible enough for quick movement and ultra-grip rubber outsole offers excellent traction ideal for when using a paddle board or any other water sport.


Vibram Men's Five Fingers Paddle Board Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Vegan
  • Rubber sole
  • 3.7 mm Megagrip Outsole for drainage perforations
  • 2 mm EVA insole with Silicon Treatment

The Men’s Vibram Five Fingers V-Aqua Shoes are designed to allow for natural movement in and out of water.

The shoe features a 5-toe system.

Allowing flexibility between each individual fingers. 3.7 mm Megagrip outsole is built to help provide grip amongst wet prevents internal slippage.


rei-mens-kokatat-shoes-for-paddle-boarding

Features

  • Breathable Gaiter and Waterproof
  • Vulcanized Toe Caps
  • 3 mm Neoprene for Warmth
  • Single-Handed Lacing System

The Mens Kokatat Nomad Paddling Boots is the ideal choice for your next paddle boarding adventure.

This paddling boot features a three-layer construction that provides an excellent level of protection and durability, while keeping feet warm with 3mm neoprene uppers.

Making it an ideal shoe for paddle boarding in cold conditions.

The Vulcanized toe caps help protect your feet against sharp rocks and provide light traction.

It is made from breathable gaiter allowing air and water circulation in and out of shoe, equally, built to get you through the day.


insole-for-feet

Best paddle board Shoes with arch support

If you are looking for paddle boarding shoes that offer arch support we got you covered.

These are our top paddle boarding shoes that offer arch support.

Giving you the support you need for the day.

WHITIN Women Paddle Boarding Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • EVA midsole for arch support
  • Hook-and-Loop Strap 
  • Rubber Outsole Pods
  • Open holes for water drainage

If you are looking for a shoe that offers arch support will keep you going for long periods out in the water then look no further then with these WHITIN Women’s Water Shoes.

These shoes offer a hook-and-loop closure design that allows for a adjustable wear.

Easy slip on and out.

In addition, bottom rubber outsole pods gives traction to help you maintain stability on your paddle board.

Bottom of shoe is designed with holes to provide quick water drainage allowing for a quick dry and comfortable lightweight experience.

Made with breathable mesh materials to help enhanced airflow and cooling to your feet.


astral-shoe-for-paddle-boarding

Features

• Durable and 100% waterproof
• Soft textile uppers with a flexible, secure fit
• Toe and heel holes for water drainage
• Flex-Grip outsoles made with nonmarking G.15® rubber

The Men’s Astral Loyak Water Shoes offers the best of both worlds.

Offering midsole giving arch support while maintaining middle of both worlds.

Features a 1mm drop from heel to toe providing a secure fit while and better foot hold, in addition, wide forefoot allows natural movement of feet while providing comfort.

Flex-Grip outsoles are made from nomarking G.15® rubber for a secure grip amongst objects.

Holes at toe and heel provide easy drainage of water flow while reducing intake of particles inside the shoe.

paddle boarding in lake
Photo by Tomek Baginski

Best Paddle Board Shoes on Amazon Under $50

NRS Women's Paddle Board Shoes

Features

  • 2 mm Plastic Shim protection from sharp objects
  • 3 mm Terraprene Neoprene with Titanium for warmth
  • Patterned Rubber Sole
  • Shoe-top draw cords

The NRS Women’s Kicker Remix Wet Shoes deliver superior insulation, traction and protection.

The upper is constructed with 3 mm Terraprene neoprene with titanium to keep feet warm from heel to toe while the patterned rubber sole provides excellent traction and protection.

A 2 mm plastic shim in the sole gives added protection from sharp rocks and a stretchy rubber band helps hold the shoe to your foot for improved stability and lateral support.

Designed for comfort and performance on everything from paddle boarding to kayaking, these shoes will keep you comfortable all day long in the water.


Body Glove Men's 3T Barefoot Paddle Board Shoes

Features

  • 3-Toe Design
  • Easy Slip-On Design
  • Adjustable Cinch Toggle
  • Zero heel lift
  • Rubber outsole for traction
  • Integrated Drainage System

The Men’s 3T Barefoot Water Shoes are built to keep you going in the water.

Designed with a 3 toe feature for flexibility and movement amongst toes while adjustable shock lace to provide secure fit to ones preference.

Stretch fit upper allows for comfort fit.

Zero heel allows feet to sit in more natural position.

Integrated Drainage System (IDS) allows for easy flow of water out of shoe for quick drying as well as low collar allows for easy slip-on wear and rubber outsole for traction.


WateLves Water Paddle Boarding Shoes

Features

  • Lightweight
  • 7 holes for water drainage
  • Thick foam arch-support
  • Non-Mesh to help keep sand out
  • Anti-Slip Rubber Sole
  • Versatile Design

If you’re looking for a more a budget friendly water shoe then you can’t go wrong with the WateLves Unisex Sport S Water Shoes.

These shoes feature a anti-slip rubber outer sole. Helping you maintain your stability.

The bottom of shoe features 7 holes.

Allows water to flow quickly from out of shoe for a comfortable experience.

Non-mesh materials help keep sand from getting inside shoe.

Made with breathable and smooth fabrics for comfort and thick foam arch-support rubber sole.

Giving you arch support for strenuous water activities as well as protecting your feet from sharp objects such as rocks.

girl-smiling-on-paddle-board
Photo by Reed Naliboff

10 Paddle Boarding Tips You Need to Know

If you are going paddle boarding its important to be aware of a few things to help prepare you for this water sport activity.

We put together a list of our top important tips to help prepare you!

1. Beware of Weather

rip-current-waves
Photo by Stephane Hurbe

This often gets overlooked, but checking out the weather forecast the day before you plan on paddle boarding doesn’t hurt.

It will give you insights on how to prepare before for that day. For instance, planning on paddle boarding by the ocean?

Then knowing how the waves will be for that day along gives you a heads up on what to expect.

Preferably, you want to paddle in calm days with little or no wind present when starting out.

2. Wear the Proper Attire

women-looking-at-clothing
Photo by Artem Beliaikin

If you are going paddle boarding make sure you are prepared by wearing the proper attire for the occasion.

Don’t ruin your paddle boarding experience by wearing the wrong type of clothes!

What to Wear During Summertime or Hot Days

Summertime’s are the best times for paddle boarding!

Why?

Because the environment for the most part will be sunny and warm.

And depending where you are paddle boarding the waters are for the most part cool.

In California the warmest ocean water times are in July while Florida has year round warm ocean times.

These are our top suggestions on what to wear while paddle boarding during the summer:

Sunscreen

Seems like a no-brainer, but often forgotten.

Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, especially, if you plan to go paddle boarding during the hottest sun ray times between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

There are many different types of sunscreens out there, but we recommend opting for sunscreens that are vegan and waterproof.

Vegan sunscreens contain less harsher chemicals both for your skin and the environment.

For instance, sunscreens with oxybenzone or octinoxate cause coral bleaching which affects marine species that are dependent of coral reefs.

Vegan sunscreens are often reef safe and less harsher on your skin.

It’s a win-win situation!

Interested in knowing which ones are good?

We complied our Top Summer Vegan Sunscreens for the Beach for those caring buyers.

But some well known safe vegan brands are: Badger, Alba, and Thrive to name a few.


Hat and Sunglasses

Besides protecting your skin for the sun, don’t neglect the head and eyes.

When the sun is directly over your head you’re getting the brute rays of the sun.

Sunburned scalp can happen when you’re scalp is being exposed for long periods of time with ultraviolet (UV) light.

Hair helps protect your scalp a little, but in the end it’s no match from the UV sunlight.

Protect your scalp by wearing a hat.

Go for one that is wide brimmed or includes UPF 50+ to help block UVA/UVB Rays if possible like Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Marina Sun Hat.

This will keep your head cool and protective.


The same goes for your eyes. UV light is reflected off the water.

Long exposure of UV rays can lead to Surfer’s Eye also known as Pterygium.

In which a yellowish patch of tissue develops from the corner of your eye towards your pupil.

Keep those eyes protective and wear sunglasses that offer polarized and UV blocking protection.


Sunny days offer more flexibility when it comes to clothing.

You can opt for a rash guard or even a paddle suit.

Depending what you’re preference is.

Rash Guards or Short-Sleeved Clothing

One of my favorite rash guards I take when paddle boarding is the Our Exhale Los Cabos Print Rash Guard.

This rash guard is made from UPF 50+ material guaranteeing protection amongst the sun.

It is lightweight and features flat-lock seams to allow you to move easily amongst your skin.

Often when paddle boarding in the mornings since it gets a bit chilly I often bring along a light hoodie rash guard.

You can’t go wrong with Smoothies Adeline Hoodie Rash Guard.

This rash guard offers a long sleeved design.

Lightweight, and breathable material allows easy flow amongst your skin while being outdoors.

In addition, UPF 50+ keeps you protective amongst the sun.

But, when it comes to my bottoms I often go for shorts.

I like having coverage around my backside. Carve Designs Lorenzo Shorts are my go-to for paddle boarding or swimming.

Made from UPF 50+ fabric material which gives me protection from the suns UV rays.

Wide elastic waistband allows me to move comfortably amongst the water and air.

But, the best of all feature for me is the option of having zippered back pockets.

To allow you to store either your keys or cards.

cold-water-in-mountains
Photo by Riciardus

What to Wear During Wintertime or Cold Days

Colder climates will require more protective layers of clothing to keep you warm.

Clothing materials made from neoprene material helps serve as a insulating barrier.

NRS Riptide Women's Splash Paddling Jacket

Features

  • Neoprene material punch-through wrists
  • 2 zippered-pockets
  • Lightweight HyproTex™ lightweight material
  • Adjustable neck with half-zip feature
  • Made from 40-Denier Nylon fabric

The NRS Riptide Splash Paddling Jacket provides lightweight, waterproof/breathable protection that’s flexible for paddling.

Stretchy urethane neck closure adjusts for added ventilation or extra protection from splash and spray coupled with 2 zippered pockets to help secure your keys or wallet.

Tall collar with half-zip neck adds protection against wind and spray as well as neoprene material for punch-through wrists to keep you warm and comfortable.

3. Always Wear a Personal Flotation Device (Inflatable Life Jacket)

If you are paddle boarding with a tour group or renting from a company you will be given an inflatable life jacket to wear.

However, if you are paddle boarding on your own be sure to pack and wear an inflatable life jacket.

We highly recommend the Onyx A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jacket.

This life jacket lightweight, comfortable and automatically inflates upon contact of water or you pull on the handle to inflate it.

standing-on-paddle-board
Photo by Jess Loiterton

4. Master Standing Correctly on the Paddle Board

One of my main mistakes paddle boarding for the first time was I never stood correctly on my paddle board.

I stood closer in the front of the paddle board.

Understand that paddle boarding will use many different muscles in the body and knowing how to stand correctly on your paddle board will help keep you from falling.

Not to mention, you want to be standing in the center of your paddle board at all times.

That allows your weight to be evenly distributed amongst the paddle board.

But, how do you find the center of your paddle board?

Overview of Paddle Board

The center of paddle board usually is located on the carry handle of the paddle board.

This region is where you want to stand at all times.

Your knees should not be together, but apart, ideally shoulder-width helping you main your best balance possible.

5. let your knees guide you first

Man on Paddle Board

For those first timers it’s important to remember that you got your knees to help guide you when paddle boarding.

When paddling offshore drop to your knees for more stability.

Not only will you have more control of the board, but chances of falling off your paddle board will be low as well.

Even those who do Stand Up Paddle Board most times use their knees first as a guide before standing on the paddle board.

6. Always Forward Not Downward

Woman on Paddle Board on Knees

As scary as it may feel your first time paddle boarding you might be tempted to keep looking down to make sure you’re not about to fall, but this is a big no-no!

You’re eyes should be looking forward at all times when paddle boarding.

Not only does this give you heads up of potential incoming objects you might be getting closer, but it also helps keep you stabile.

Looking downward can cause you to lose your balance since your eyes will start trailing looking from your board to the surrounding water.

Keep your eyes forward not downward.

7. Use that Leash

Paddle Boarding Leash

The leash is your best friend when it comes to paddle boarding.

You may wonder, why use a leash when paddle boarding?

Well, using a leash when paddle boarding allows you to keep your paddle board close within distance in case you ever were to fall over.

After falling over the last thing you want to do is chase your paddle board.

8. Hold That Paddle Correctly

When it comes to paddle boarding expect most of your arms to be doing most of the work to move you around the water.

If you’re not using the paddle correctly then you’ll have a hard time navigating let alone tire easily if you’re not used to paddling.

How do you hold the paddle correctly on a paddle board then?

The correct way to hold the paddle when paddle boarding is to have the blade facing outward.

One hand should be grasping the T-grip and the other hand should be on the shaft.

The shaft is the middle part of the paddle.

9. Understand Paddle Boarding Strokes

When paddle boarding understand that there are 4 main different type of Stand Up (SUP) Paddle Boarding strokes.

Each stroke plays a key role in the movement of the paddle board.

Become familiar with the different type of paddle boarding strokes to better your paddle boarding experience.

10. FALL the Right Way

falling-down-man
Photo by Kampus Production

Let’s hope this never ever happens to you when you paddle board, but in some cases you will fall.

I know I did the first few times I ever tried paddle boarding.

No one ever told me there’s a right way to fall when paddle boarding until I took a class one day.

When it comes to falling the recommended way to fall is away from your board.

paddle boarding person on lake
Photo by Tiago Muraro

Conclusion

When looking to find the best shoes for paddle boarding everyone will have different answers.

For the most part, you should look for shoes that are comfortable and fit your top preferences.

For me, shoes that are comfortable and eco-friendly are two of top preferences.

The Astral Brewess 2.0 Water Shoes are the shoes I use for paddle boarding.

They are vegan and comfortable to wear.

They offer mid-padding insole support which still allow my feet to move freely.

For those wanting a more barefoot feel these insoles are removable.

My preferences will be different from yours when searching for your best shoes for paddle boarding.

We hope this guide helped you in finding your best shoes for paddle boarding.

For those paddle board lovers we put this guide together in helping you find your best inflatable paddle boards.

Let us know in the comments below what are some of your favorite paddle boarding shoes.

Until next time,

Safe beach travels!

unseenbeaches about us pic

Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️

 

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