I’ve found that choosing the best paddle boarding shoes is crucial for safety, comfort, and can enhance your performance.
The ideal shoes should feature slip-resistant soles, effective drainage, and a strong grip to safeguard from potential injuries and enhance performance.
While I prefer to paddle barefoot when I can, I’ll make sure that I wear shoes if the water is cold or if I know that I’ll be walking across rocks or stones. It’s easy to take shoes off if you change your mind when you’re paddling.
Round-up of the Best SUP Footwear
Top 6 Best Paddle Boarding Shoes and Boots
Let’s dive into the top 6 SUP shoes and boots for all preferences and needs.
Best All Round SUP Shoe
These shoes feature a hydrodynamic sole, inspired by sharkskin, ensuring efficient water flow through and past the treads.
The Red Paddle Co. is embracing sustainable practices by incorporating Bio EVA, recycled rubber, and recycled polyester in the shoes.
The shoe has a supportive inner sock which is designed for barefoot wearing and keeps the shoe secure, even when wet.
With quick-drying, self-draining open mesh and a perforated footbed, these shoes ensure breathability and comfort.
They have a lightweight, flexible construction with minimal seams and a TPU welded skeleton.
These hybrid active outdoor shoes deliver superior comfort and lightweight breathability, also serving as a versatile summer cross-over trainer.
Best For Cold Weather
– Thickness of the boots provides excellent warmth.
– Zippered design simplifies the process of putting on and taking off the boots.
– Flexible design and great sole grip.
– Good value for money.
– I couldn’t find any problems with this boot!
These boots are made from 5mm thick neoprene, with a multi-layer rubber reinforcement sole for excellent durability.
They feature a unique flex system in the arch and toe areas, improving comfort.
These boots are constructed from Free Flex neoprene material, with glued and blind stitched seams, ensuring a comfortable fit and longevity.
The zippered design makes them easy to put on and take off. These are the ideal boots for paddle boarders looking for warmth, comfort, and a tailored fit.
Best For Grip
Experience comfort, protection, and insulation in every paddle boarding adventure with the Astral Hiyak shoe, a top-tier choice for river enthusiasts.
Rather than using neoprene, Astral Hiyak incorporates an alternative material that not only keeps your feet warm but also offers a significantly lighter boot with superior durability. Facing the challenge of traversing slippery, uneven riverbanks? This shoe assures excellent grip and foot sole protection, keeping you confident and safe while navigating your route.
The Astral Hiyak prioritizes user-friendly design with an effortless lace fastening system. To enhance safety, the design includes a clever velcro strap that conceals the laces, lowering the risk of foot entrapment during your river and kayaking journeys.
This shoe has tons of Features:
- Material: Constructed from 1000D Cordura® Nylon with added 1060D ballistic nylon reinforcement rand for increased durability.
- Ankle Support: Offers high-top padded ankle protection with a semi-rigid heel cup.
- Lining: Features 3mm quilted spacer mesh lining for comfort.
- Fastening: Concealed laces with a protective Velcro Over-Flap.
- Logos: Reflective detailing at the heel and tongue for added visibility.
- Logos: Reflective detailing at the heel and tongue for added visibility.
- Laces: Water-resistant laces for long-lasting durability.
- Midsole: Comprises a removable, 7mm thick 45C closed cell EVA foam.
- Outsole: Furnished with G.ss highest friction rubber including siping and drainage holes at the toe and heel. It’s non-marking and 3.5mm thick.
- Foot to Ground Distance: 12 mm at the heel, 11 mm at the ball for an almost barefoot feeling.
- Flexibility: Maximises foot flexibility for comfort and agility.
- Weight per shoe: Light as a feather at 250g (8.82 oz.).
Best For Valve
They have a simple design, of good quality for the price. The neoprene will provide a bit of warmth in summer months, but they aren’t suitable for winter.
The soles have a good soft rubber grip and the uppers are protected by extra rubber padding.
I would recommend a pair of these for every member of the family as they are a great deal and will help you to get started for a lower price.
5. SUOKENI Quick Drying Water Shoe
These shoes boast a super lightweight, soft, and elastic sole that not only protects your feet but also boosts stability and comfort. They’re the ideal footwear for beach activities and water sports.
- Outer Material: A blend of fabric and synthetic materials for durability and comfort.
- Sole: Made of rubber, promising lasting use.
- Closure: Features a lace-up design for a snug fit.
- Heel Type: Crafted without a heel for a natural feel.
- Shoe Width: Designed with a medium width to suit an array of women’s foot sizes.
The professional-grade anti-slip outsole provides superior traction, offering reliable grip even in aquatic environments. You can also trust these shoes for your daily walks, owing to their versatile design.
With excellent toe protection, these shoes can easily handle various conditions. Their full covering design evenly wraps your feet, providing a fit and protection superior to most other water shoes.
Best Budget-Friendly SUP Shoes
Paddleboarding can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank when it comes to footwear.
To be honest, if you’re just looking for a light watersports shoe, then you can’t go far wrong by just searching Amazon. Here’s a link to the search results I found for SUP shoes:
Here’s an example of a great looking watersports shoe, ideal for SUP!
When I checked Amazon it was selling at less than £20.
It’s got nearly 5000 ratings, with an average of 4.5 stars.Check Price
Or, here’s a neat pair of wetsuit shoes.
These are great if you’re just looking for something to give your feet a bit of protection while you’re paddle boarding.
Currently on Amazon for less than £15!Check Price
SUP Shoes: Features to Consider
Selecting the perfect pair of SUP shoes involves more than just picking a style that suits your taste. It’s essential to consider factors like:
If you’ve stepped in a puddle while out walking you’ll know how uncomfortable it is to have cold water sloshing around your feet, that’s why drainage holes are important in shoes.
Neoprene is a great material for SUP shoes because it will insulate your feet and protect you from the cold.
Wetsuit boots and shoes don’t have drainage holes as they work by trapping water next to your skin so it warms up.
It’s a good idea to think about the type of closure system your Paddle Boarding Shoes have. Laces, Velcro straps, and elastic are all popular options for securing your shoes to your feet, but I think it’s more about personal preference.
If you’re buying wetsuit boots, I would recommend getting some with a zip to avoid struggling getting them on and off!
How to Properly Care for Your SUP Shoes
Here are some tips about SUP shoe care:
- After each use, rinse your SUP shoes with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris. Salty shoes (and clothing) will take a lot longer to dry.
- Make sure shoes are dried thoroughly, remove laces and insoles and pull out the tongues. It can also help to stuff them with news paper.
- If your shoes take a while to dry, they might start to smell. Vinegar and bicarb of soda can help to reduce the odour.
Frequently Asked Questions
What shoes to wear stand up paddle boarding?
For the cold months, a Neoprene shoe or bootie is recommended for stand up paddle boarding. In the summer months, going barefoot may be more suitable; however, if you are launching your board in an area with rocks or sharp debris, shoes are a good idea.
Do you need water shoes to paddleboard?
For added convenience and safety, it is recommended to wear water shoes or sandals while paddleboarding. You can wear them while you launch and then take them off when you’re on the water and tuck them under the board’s bungees.
What materials are recommended for the uppers of SUP shoes?
Mesh, canvas, or neoprene are all recommended materials for the uppers of SUP shoes, providing good breathability, flexibility, and durability.
These materials are ideal for SUP shoes because they are lightweight, comfortable, and provide good grip on the board. They also offer protection from the elements and are easy to clean and maintain.
How important is insulation in cold weather paddle boarding shoes?
Insulation is essential for cold weather paddle boarding, providing warmth and protection for your feet during your sessions. Neoprene boots are your best bet, the water gets trapped between the neoprene and your foot so that it warms up and protects your feet.
Are slip-on SUP shoes suitable for all paddleboarding conditions?
Slip-on SUP shoes provide a comfortable and convenient option, however they may not provide the same level of traction and support as other options, making them less suitable for rougher paddling conditions.