ALOHA!

 

So if you’re getting ready for your first snorkeling trip… maybe snorkeling in Hawaii (like on Oahu, on Maui, or on the Big Island)… you may be getting started on figuring out what some of the essentials for snorkeling are.

And if you haven’t already, soon enough you may hear about a suggestion of wearing water shoes when you go snorkeling.

 

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best water shoes for women, men, kids, girls, boys. best snorkeling shoes. best swimming shoes. reef shoes. beach shoes. what shoes to wear snorkeling. beach travel blog

best water shoes for women, men, kids, girls, boys. best snorkeling shoes. best swimming shoes. reef shoes. beach shoes. what shoes to wear snorkeling. beach travel blog

 

 

 

So…

What are water shoes?

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Water shoes are just as it sounds! They are shoes that you wear in the water! In a sense, you could call them shoes made for swimming.

 

 

Do you NEED water shoes for snorkeling?!

WHY would you want to wear water shoes when snorkeling?

In short, the biggest reason you may want water shoes is if you’re thinking about snorkeling barefoot from shore.

If you’re walking barefoot, you could end up walking across rough rocks or sharp rocky areas of beaches to get into the water.

And if you’re swimming barefoot, there’s also the thing about coral reef.

 

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If your feet are exposed in the water as you’re swimming and snorkeling, you may accidentally kick coral reef while you are swimming on top of it or near it.

Coral reef is SHARP and it can cause cuts.

It’s also possible to get an infection from coral reef.

 

According to a WebMD affiliated website:

The small, harmless-appearing cut may quickly develop into an infected wound.

 

And according to an urgent care center in Newport, California:

Even tiny pieces of coral can result in pain and infection.

Some types of coral are actually toxic.

 

And so, this is another reason you’ll want to do what you can to prevent yourself from getting cut when you’re out snorkeling in the ocean.

You may also hear water shoes being referred to as reef shoes. Water shoes can protect against coral reef.

 

 

Before we get to situations that you should REALLY consider wearing water shoes…

When you most likely WON’T need water shoes for snorkeling

The concern about snorkeling entry is about the surface you’ll be walking across to get into the water. That means that if you’re doing something like snorkeling from a boat, then you don’t have to worry about any sort of surface to get into the water. You’ll probably just jump into the water directly from the boat! (Or climb down the ladder.)

 

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And the other thing about snorkeling from a boat is that you likely will be in deeper water. This means that you likely won’t be swimming in such close proximity to coral reef or rocks near shore, or at least it may be less likely that you would be within range to kick it.

Aside from that, if you’re doing a boat tour, all of your snorkeling gear is probably provided for you, and that would typically include snorkeling fins. And if you’re snorkeling with fins on, well, you won’t need to snorkel with water shoes on. (ALTHOUGH in the age of covid, there may be some snorkeling tours that have you bring your own snorkeling gear or buy snorkeling gear on the boat… check for this if you are booking a snorkeling tour!)

Now this brings us to…

Fins or no fins when snorkeling?!

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This is really largely a personal preference. When you buy or rent snorkeling gear, you’ll find snorkeling sets that come with fins. (You can also choose to get it without fins.)

 

Water shoes for snorkeling: snorkeling shoes or fins. beach travel blog

 

If you will be snorkeling with fins, then this is another situation where you will most likely not care to have water shoes.

 

Water shoes for snorkeling: snorkeling shoes or fins. beach travel blog

 

Fins do serve to propel you in the water more quickly with less energy, which means that you can cover more ground… er… cover more water… without as much work.

So, you don’t NEED fins, but you can think of it as helping you see more underwater life in less time!

It’s in the case that you’ll be snorkeling without fins that water shoes can be a good idea… depending on the beach you’ll be snorkeling from!

 

 

When it can be a good idea to wear water shoes

This will largely depend on your beach of choice for snorkeling.

There are many beaches that have a sandy beach entrance.

With these kinds of beaches, you can go no problem barefoot into the water.

 

When do you need water shoes for snorkeling. beach travel blog

 

Other snorkeling beaches may have more of a rocky beach entrance.

 

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When do you need water shoes for snorkeling. water shoes for beach. snorkeling shoes for swimming. beach travel blog

 

And some spots may just be a straight up rock entrance!

 

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When do you need water shoes for snorkeling. swimming shoes for snorkeling. beach travel blog

When do you need water shoes for snorkeling. swimming shoes for snorkeling. beach travel blog

When do you need water shoes for snorkeling. swimming shoes for snorkeling. beach travel blog

 

It’s for these types of rocky beaches or rocky entrances that you might want water shoes for those rocky snorkeling entrances.

And if you will be swimming directly above coral reef…

While you will very much want to avoid touching coral reef that’s below you as you’re swimming, in case your foot accidentally does hit the reef, water shoes can provide protection. Again, coral reef can be sharp!

 

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And, you never know what beach you’ll end up at, so it can be a good idea to bring along water shoes just in case!

There are water shoes that are mainly for swimming, and there are also shoes that are called water shoes that can also be suitable for regular walking and even hiking. The biggest difference between these types of shoes will be the durability of the soles. You can expect swimming shoes to have a thinner sole compared to water shoes that are also designated as being good for hiking.

 

 

Now…

Find your water shoes for snorkeling and swimming!

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There are affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

 

 

Water shoes for women

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Water shoes for men

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Water shoes for kids

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And that’s a bit about what shoes to wear snorkeling!

 

More for your snorkeling trip:

 

 

 

Headed to Hawaii?!

See more packing tips!

 

Snorkeling spots in Hawaii:

 

HAPPY SNORKELING WITH OR WITHOUT SHOES!

 

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There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...

For a Hawaii experience you are sure to remember, get out on the open water to sail the ocean!

Look for the reviews!
  • OAHU: Take a look at a morning sailing trip like this one that includes snorkeling and sailing with the iconic Waikiki skyline as your backdrop. (It comes with a good chance that you'll be swimming with turtles!)
  • MAUI: Take a look at a catamaran cruise like this one from West Maui to the coast of Lanai that can include snorkeling, seeing the West Maui Mountains and Lanai cliffs from the boat, and maybe even seeing some turtles and dolphins!
  • BIG ISLAND: Take a look at a catamaran cruise like this one off the Kona coast for the chance to swim with manta rays at night. (One of THE most popular types of tours in Kona!) Or for a daytime boat ride, take a look at a sailing trip like this one off the Kona coast to go snorkeling at one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island.
  • KAUAI: Take a look at a catamaran sunset sailing trip like this one along the famous Na Pali coast.

ALOHA!