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Best Barefoot Shoes for Watersports

When your feet are 100% guaranteed to get wet, this list of barefoot shoes designed for the water is for you! We've created a list of the best barefoot shoes for watersports that a comfortable, natural movement experience while keeping you grounded and connected to the watery playground below. ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Picture this: you're out on the water, enjoying your favorite watersport, and all you can think about is how uncomfortable your feet feel. ๐ŸŒŠ That's where the magic of barefoot shoes for watersports comes in! With the perfect blend of comfort, grip, and natural movement, you'll feel more in tune with the aquatic world beneath you. We've carefully curated a list of the best barefoot shoes for watersports enthusiasts like you, keeping in mind the importance of durability, flexibility, and that all-important barefoot feel.

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Aqua X Sport - Women
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Aqua X Sport - Women
A water-friendly shoe thatโ€™s just as comfy on roads and trails.
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Natural movement in and out of water
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Natural movement in and out of water
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In the meantime, our Buyers Guide below has some barefoot shoe brands that you can look at.
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The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Best Barefoot Shoes for Watersports


Barefoot shoes have gained popularity over the years as an excellent alternative to conventional footwear for those seeking a more natural, minimalist experience. A specific category within the realm of barefoot shoes is designed for watersports enthusiasts, providing them with the grip, flexibility, and lightweight features they need to perform at their best. In this guide, we will dive into the world of barefoot shoes for watersports, discussing what to look for, the top brands, and addressing some common questions. Ready to make a splash? Let's dive in! ๐ŸŒŠ

Make sure you check out our comprehensive guide to barefoot shoes to understand the benefits and principles behind this footwear category.

Assessing Your Needs

Before diving headfirst into the world of barefoot shoes for watersports, consider the following factors:

  1. Activities: What watersports do you plan on participating in? Different activities may require specific shoe features.
  2. Materials: Look for water-resistant, quick-drying materials that won't weigh you down or cause discomfort.
  3. Grip: Excellent grip and traction are crucial for slippery surfaces and wet environments.
  4. Durability: Opt for shoes that can withstand extended exposure to water, sand, and other elements.
  5. Comfort: Choose shoes that fit comfortably and securely, with adequate room for toe splay while avoiding chafing and blisters.

Be wary of shoes with too many bells and whistles or excessively low prices, as they may not provide the quality and performance you need. Read our article on the essential features of barefoot shoes to help guide your search.

Best Barefoot Shoe Brands Making Best Barefoot Shoes for Watersports

Here are some of the top brands offering high-quality barefoot shoes specifically designed for watersports:

  1. VivoBarefoot: Known for their versatile and lightweight shoes, VivoBarefoot offers a range of options for water enthusiasts, including their popular Ultra and Primus Swimrun models.
  2. Xero Shoes: Xero Shoes focuses on minimalist designs with excellent traction and durability. Their Z-Trek and Genesis sandals are popular choices for watersports.
  3. Vibram: Vibram is famous for its innovative FiveFingers shoes, which provide a glove-like fit with individual toe pockets. Their V-Aqua and Signa models are designed for water activities.

Learn more about how to choose the best barefoot shoe brand that suits your needs and preferences.

Sizing and Fit Tips

  • Measure your feet: Use a tape measure or ruler to measure your foot's length and width. Follow the brand's sizing guide and consider any specific fit recommendations.
  • Avoid common mistakes: Don't assume your conventional shoe size will translate directly to your barefoot shoe size. Sizing can vary between brands and models.
  • Prioritize comfort: A proper fit is crucial for performance and comfort. Look for shoes that fit securely without causing discomfort, pressure points, or chafing.

For more detailed guidance, check out our complete guide to barefoot shoe sizing.

Free Shipping & Returns Tips & Tricks

Barefoot Shoe Care and Maintenance

  • Cleaning: Rinse your shoes with fresh water immediately after use, especially after exposure to saltwater, to prevent buildup and damage.
  • Drying: Dry your shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat, such as sunlight or radiators, which can cause material damage.
  • Storage: Store your shoes in a dry, cool place when not in use, and avoid storing them while still wet or damp.

For more general care tips, read our guide on barefoot shoe care.

Common Questions

  1. Can I swim in barefoot shoes? Yes, most barefoot shoes designed for watersports are suitable for swimming, offering protection, grip, and flexibility without hindering your movement.
  2. Do I need socks with my barefoot water shoes? Generally, no. Barefoot water shoes are designed to be worn without socks for optimal comfort and performance.
  3. Are all barefoot shoes suitable for watersports? Not necessarily. It's essential to choose shoes specifically designed for water activities, as they have unique features such as water-resistant materials and enhanced grip.
  4. Can I use regular sneakers for watersports? While possible, it's not recommended, as regular sneakers may not provide the necessary grip, drainage, or quick-drying features of this type of barefoot water shoes.
  5. How do I know if my barefoot water shoes fit correctly? Your shoes should fit securely, allowing for natural toe splay and movement without causing blisters, chafing, or pressure points.


Barefoot shoes for watersports offer a unique combination of minimalist design, grip, and water-resistant features, enabling you to enjoy your favorite water activities with confidence and comfort. Assess your needs, consider the top brands, and ensure the perfect fit to make the most of your barefoot watersports experience.

Join our community on Discord, sign up for sales alerts here, and share your experiences in the comments below. And don't forget to check out our list of the best barefoot minimalist shoes to see more top picks in various categories. Happy splashing! ๐Ÿ’ฆ


Barefoot shoes can be a healthy choice for your feet as they allow natural movement, encourage proper foot posture, and provide sensory feedback. However, it's important to transition gradually and choose shoes that fit your foot shape and activity level to prevent injury. Consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Yes, there is science behind barefoot shoes. A study has shown that walking in minimalist shoes can be effective for strengthening foot muscles, which may help reduce the risk of loading-related injuries. By providing increased stimulus to the foot muscles, barefoot shoes can help promote foot health and overall strength.

Minimalist shoes and barefoot shoes are similar but not exactly the same. Both are designed to allow for natural foot movement and promote foot strength and health. However, barefoot shoes are generally more flexible and have a wider toe box, while minimalist shoes may have some level of cushioning or support.

Yes, barefoot shoes work by promoting natural foot motion, allowing the feet to move and function as they would barefoot. Studies have shown that wearing barefoot shoes can help improve foot strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as reduce the risk of injury. By enabling natural foot movement and providing adequate support, barefoot shoes can help promote overall foot health and comfort.

Yes, it can be good to wear barefoot shoes. By allowing the feet to move and function naturally, barefoot shoes can help improve foot strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as reduce the risk of certain injuries. However, it is important to transition gradually into barefoot shoes to avoid overuse injuries and allow the feet time to adjust to the new way of moving.

Wearing barefoot shoes can help promote healthy foot mechanics and muscle development, which may lead to changes in foot shape and appearance over time. However, these changes are often positive and result in stronger, more functional feet. It is important to gradually transition into barefoot shoes and choose a style that provides adequate support and protection for your individual needs.
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