When you start paddleboarding, footwear might not be on your list of considerations. But a good pair of paddleboarding shoes is an essential part of the paddler’s kit ( you kind find more paddleboarding accessories here ) and shouldn’t be overlooked. Your feet will have to deal with cold water (especially if paddling in the UK), slippery river banks, and beaches littered with jagged rocks and shells. A good pair of paddleboarding shoes will keep your feet dry and warm, guard against cuts and scrapes, and protect sensitive skin from sunburn. Plus, they improve your grip and stability on the board.
So to help you pick the right shoes, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 paddleboarding shoes for you:
These shoes are excellent for paddleboarding in cold water. Thanks to their exceptional thermal qualities, they keep your feet toasty warm without weighing you down. The seams are glued and stitched to double down on waterproofing, the velcro strap keeps them firmly in place, and a reinforced sole gives you durability and stability.
- Excellent thermal qualities
- The durable sole offers stability and grip.
- Lightweight and flexible design protects without weighing you down.
- Not the easiest boots to get on and off
Want paddleboarding shoes that look like trainers? These full-coverage shoes protect from the elements while looking cool. Because of their quick-drying, lightweight material, soft EVA heel, water-draining outsole, and ventilated interior, your feet will dry quickly, feel unrestricted, and remain comfortable for your whole paddle session.
- A great blend of functionality and style and comes in two colours
- Robust rubber outsole provides excellent grip
- Super lightweight, fast-drying materials keep your feet comfortable.
- Don’t provide any ankle support.
If you want to avoid wearing a full boot or feeling restricted by a thick sole, these might be for you. Made from 2mm thick 100% Neoprene, they are soft to the touch, don’t restrict your movement, and are easy to take on and off. They have stitched and glued seams to ensure waterproofing and will keep your toes warm and comfortable for the duration of your paddle.
- Soft and non-restricting
- Cheaper than other shoes on our list
- Insulated to protect against chafing and blistering
- Because they lack a rubber sole or outer shell, they offer less protection than the other shoes on our list.
If you’re looking for quality boots packed with high-end technology, look no further. These boots are made from 5mm thick Channel Flex Neoprene, a new, lightweight material that is waterproof, elastic, and incredibly soft. These boots use a variety of methods to keep the water out, including hydrophobic materials, double-taped seams, and a drylock ankle seal to keep your feet dry and warm.
- The premium materials used retain warmth while repelling water
- The rubber sole is durable and sturdy enough to protect you while offering a good connection with the board.
- The contoured shape and ergonomic strap design ensure the perfect fit
- These are the most expensive boots on our list
If you’re looking for some of the same features as the Xcel Drylock boots but at a more affordable price tag, these are a strong contender. These boots are made of 5mm thick Free Flex Neoprene for soft touch comfort and are thoughtfully designed to provide a snug, contoured fit that supports your foot while preventing water from getting in or puddling under your arch.
- High-tech construction at an affordable price.
- Laser-cut soles provide extra traction where you need it most
- Hidden split-toe design gives you extra stability and control on your board.
- Heel loop helps you pull these boots on easily, but removing them is a little tricky.
Once you’ve picked the perfect paddleboarding shoes for you, you want to look after them properly. One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your paddleboarding gear (and to avoid nasty damp smells) is to keep it clean and dry between sessions. Ensure you thoroughly rinse your wetsuit, gloves, and boots after each use, then hang them up to dry. Consider grabbing a handy drying tool like the C-Monsta Wetsuit Dryer to help you out. This space-saving tool has a slot for each piece of kit and will keep your gear safe and dry until you’re ready to paddleboard again.
So grab your board and get out on the water, safe in the knowledge that your toes will be warm, dry, and protected from harm.
But did we miss your favourite pair of paddle shoes? Get in touch and let us know which ones you swear by or if you’ve got any questions about the best paddleboarding shoes for you!