A Guide to Picking the Best Shoes for the Beach

When taking a trip to the beach, footwear might be one of the last things you think about while packing, but it should also be one of the more important things that you don’t want to leave behind. The type of footwear you choose to bring and wear on the sand could make or break how your feet feel by the end of your vacation!

Not only do you want to stay comfortable while relaxing in the sun and sand, but there are very practical reasons to choose the right footwear, too. You’ll want to make sure you look at the activities you’ll be doing, the overall comfort of the pair you pick, and how much security they give your feet. 

In this guide, we’re going to fill you in on why the classic pair of flimsy flip flops aren’t really the best for keeping your feet safe and comfortable.

Why You Shouldn’t Wear Flip Flops

Sure, flip flops have been around for as long as we can remember and they’re easy to throw in your suitcase or beach bag, but they aren’t the most comfortable long-term, and they won’t give you the support you need while walking in the sand.

It’s also very important to make sure you have foot security, meaning your feet are covered as they should be to prevent things like splinters and stepping on sharp shells. Nobody wants their fun time to be ruined by an injury.

It’s also recommended to stay away from flip flops because they have the potential to cause blisters and even plantar fasciitis. Steer clear of any injury and issue by choosing a pair of shoes that will be perfect for all the activities on your agenda.

Since we’ve told you why you shouldn’t wear flip-flops, we want to also fill you in on what you should keep your eye out for while shopping.

What Qualities Should I Look For?

You’re in luck if you’re on board with ditching the flip flops and want the full scoop on what to look for instead. We’ve compiled some qualities that we think are important for the perfect pair of beach shoes.

The kinds of shoes we’re thinking of can pretty much be described as water shoes. You’ll want to look for a pair of shoes that offers you security as you walk along the sand, shells, and boardwalks. Why? Simply because foot injuries can lead to bigger issues such as sprains, inflammation, or heel spurs.

Don’t be alarmed, we’ve done the research for you and have a great checklist for the qualities you can search for on your next shoe shopping trip. Let’s jump in.


Understanding the purpose of what you need beach shoes for will really help you get a feel for which shoes to buy. Are you simply looking for a slight upgrade from your flip flops, or do you need shoes that will stand up to rough sands and a good amount of walking?

Keep the activities you’ll be doing in mind while shopping to be sure you find a pair of beach shoes that will stand firm against wear and tear.


On the same note as above, your beach shoes should be durable, no matter what activities you’ll be doing! No one wants to invest in a pair that aren’t flip-flops if they’re just going to give in a short amount of time.

It’s a good idea to think about how often you’ll be wearing your beach shoes before shelling out a bit of money on them. If you’re someone who vacations to the beach often, or you’re a local, then we recommend investing a little more in a pair of shoes that will hold up for a while.


Our favorite quality to look for is the style of shoe. The options for beach shoes are pretty vast, but don’t let that be overwhelming. Instead, think about your own personal style and what you think will match with that the best!

We aren’t the biggest fans of how flip flops look, so we think it’s fun to find a pair of beach shoes that get us excited to wear with all of our favorite swimsuits and cover-ups. Choosing a pair of beach shoes that look stylish will only cause you to wear them more, which will keep your feet safe and healthy.


This is a huge quality that is so important to look for, especially if you love beach or boardwalk strolls. Look for beach shoes that have the right amount of padding, arch support, etcetera for your personal preference. Comfortable shoes will allow you to do the activities you love for longer, and could also prevent you from experiencing blisters or chafing.

This quality may seem completely obvious, but it is so important to try on the shoes you’ll be bringing home before buying them. Don’t overlook comfort as you pick out a pair of beach shoes.

Foot Security

What we mean by foot security is how thick the soles of your shoes are. Sole thickness will keep your feet supported, and will also keep you away from getting poked by splinters, shards of shells, or beach glass. After all, the reason we wear shoes, in general, is to protect our feet.

Look for a pair of beach shoes that have a great protective sole and an outer layer that will secure your feet but also stay intact in the water or on the sand.

Will Your Beach Shoes Float?

This may sound silly, but you will be near a great body of water! Not only is it a good idea for your beach shoes to float in case they get swept up by a wave, but those who spend a lot of time on boats should look for shoes that float, too. Having a pair of shoes that won’t sink as soon as they hit the water will allow you to grab them quickly.

There are a lot of beach shoe options that are made to be lightweight, waterproof, and buoyant enough for all of your beach or boat days. Don’t let the shoes you’ve gone so far to buy get washed away!

Styles of Beach Shoes That We Love

Whether you choose a pair of beach shoes that’s unisex in style or in the women’s section, we’re sure you’re going to be able to find a pair that’s super fashionable and fits your unique style and shoe needs. 

Nowadays, beach shoes are more than your typical pair of water shoes. You know the ones. While there are still some great water shoe options, you won’t be limited to just those while shopping for your next pair.

We’ve found styles from water shoes, buoyant boat shoes, to crocs and more so that you can pick out a pair that goes with your swimsuits and more. Need a super lightweight shoe or a thicker, more durable pair? We’ve found some cute styles just for you to make your shopping a little easier.

Take a look at this short list of beach shoe styles that we love and why.

  • Water shoes: Water shoes are a highly recommended style when shopping specifically for a beach shoe. These will be flexible enough to keep you comfortable, while also being able to dry quickly. Today, water shoes are easy to put on and take off and are the best option for the sand and ocean.
  • Floating boat shoes: As we said earlier, shoes that float will be your best friend while you’re spending time by the water. Finding a comfortable pair of beach shoes that float is perfect if you’re going to be spending less time walking around, but more time near the water. If you like to take your shoes on and off while at the beach or on a boat, these are a great choice for you.
  • Slip-on water clogs: Great for any activity or occasion, you can find these in a wide selection of styles and colors. This type of shoe is known for having breathability and different options for wear. You can usually find these with a strap at the heel, too, so you’ll feel ultra-secure.

How We Like To Style Beach Shoes

After all that, you might be wondering how to make any of these look as great as they’ll feel. If you’re like us and love to feel chic and confident no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, then read a little further about how we like to style beach shoes to make them more fashionable.

Whether or not you’re going to be lounging around in the sun (our favorite), taking long walks, playing beach volleyball, or taking a stroll to the closest shop or restaurant, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be stylish and appropriate with these styling tips.

  • Wear a pair of cute water shoes with one of our beautiful skirtinis and a cover-up. This outfit will give you a good amount of coverage and will allow you to feel like you’re making a statement.
  • Try wearing a pair of neutral water clogs with a comfy swim top and a versatile pair of swim shorts. This outfit is perfect for someone who’s on the go and ready for anything.
  • We love the look of boat shoes, but boat shoes that float are even better for beach days. Wear them with any of our swimsuits, and add a pair of board shorts if you’re hopping from the beach to the restaurant or store.

Suit Up and Grab Those Shoes

Think you’re ready for some beach shoe shopping now? We hope this guide serves you well for your next shopping spree, and that you’re able to find a pair of beach shoes that fit all your needs. The best part is, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort or wearability.

Head to the shops to pick out your next pair of beach shoes and complete the look with any of our incredible swimsuits and accessories. See you in the sand!


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