Having the right footwear for surfing is important for both performance and safety. If you want to get the most benefit and fully enjoy your surfing experience, finding the best shoe possible as your budget would allow is important. This article will list the best surfing shoes available on the market today. You will see what makes each pair special, the pros and cons of having them, and why they can be the perfect pair for you.
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What to Look for in a Pair of Surfing Shoes?
When shopping for surfing shoes, especially as a newbie, you might find the search a little bit on the perplexing side. After all, what makes a good pair of surfing shoes? Since this topic is a little subjective, we are going to focus on points that affect any surfer (or sometimes even non-surfers).
- Shoe type – There are different types of surf shoe designs available on the market today, and each of these designs have their own advantages and disadvantages. Sandals provide maximum freedom of movement, comfort, and versatility for non-surfing use, but they provide little foot protection. Mesh/fabric based shoes are lightweight and have excellent breathability/drainage, but some of these pairs are prone to premature damage. Each shoe type has its pros and cons, so choose the type that best fits you.
- Traction – Grip is everything not just in surfing, but also in all other water activities. You would want your surfing shoe to have good traction even on wet surfaces. Slips is one of the main causes of injury during water activities, so picking the right footwear for this purpose is something you should absolutely take seriously. Having the right rubber compound as well as appropriate traction patterns are some of the keys for optimal grip.
- Fit – It is important that your shoe provides an optimal fit for your feet. Your surfing experience can be hampered by sloppy fit, so make sure that you pick a shoe that actually hugs your feet adequately. Finding the right size for your feet, as well as extra features such as straps, are some of the essentials to ensure that you get the right shoe for your next surfing escapade.
- Versatility – Are you looking for a shoe that you will use strictly for surfing, or a shoe that you can also use for other water activities or even non-water activities? For those who engage in multiple water sports activities such as swimming, beach walking, and hiking, having a multi-purpose shoe could be the smart choice. However, if you are looking for something that you’ll use specifically for surfing, you can actually pick a pair with more purpose-built features.
- Style – This may be last on the list of your priorities, but it would be nice if you get a pair that is nice looking, too. Whether you are on or off your board, a nicely-designed surf shoe will attract stares as well as boost your confidence. Surf shoes are found in all kinds of designs and colors, and there should be at least one of them that would perfectly fit your fashion statementof the moment.
The 10 Best Surfing Shoes Available Right Now
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For those who are looking for something they can wear on and off the surfboard, you cannot go wrong with the Sanuk Chiba. With its ultra-lightweight design, adequate cushioning, sufficient traction, and laid-back style, this is a surf shoe design that never goes out of style.
The Sanuk Chiba has an upper made of canvas that is lightweight, breathable, and provides adequate water drainage. It utilizes an EVA midsole that molds with the contours of your feet for a comfortable ride in almost every terrain. Providing excellent traction in both the shore and the surfboard is a water-resistant rubber outsole. Perhaps just as important, its slip-on design makes for a shoe that is easy to wear and remove, something that is not true with some of its counterparts.
There are many things to like about the Sanuk Chiba. At the top of the list of its advantages is its looks; it is a great fit for most beach casual outfits. It is also available in multiple colors, so you can get one that is best fit for your style. Also, it provides good traction even on wet surfaces. A must when you are at beaches, pools, or performing any kind of water sport. Its disadvantages are the following: the fit can be too wide and there are surf shoes that deliver better performance for water sports.
For those who want surf shoes that they can use both on and off water, the Sanuk Chiba is one of the best ones you can find out there.
Speedo Surf Knit
- Speedo Surf Knit technology is engineered to offer the ultimate support, breathability and comfort where you need it most
- Hydrophobic material offers superior drainage and quick drying properties
- S-TRAC designed outsole disperses water and provides improved performance
For those who want a surf shoes that is oriented towards optimal surfing performance, you won’t go wrong with getting a pair of the Speedo Surf Knit. Designed to deliver supreme performance in any kind of water sport, it provides optimal comfort and stability in wet conditions, making it an ideal choice for water sport enthusiasts.
The Surf Knit’s upper is made using 100% textile specifically designed for water use. Aside from providing a one-to-one fit, this material is highly breathable while keeping the moisture out of your feet. It is one of the fastest-drying surf shoes out there, and your feet shall never feel soggy out there at any time. It also features a removable insole, which is particularly good for those wearing orthotic devices. Speedo’s S-Trac outsole is used for great traction foe both wet and dry conditions.
The Speedo Surf Knit provides multiple advantages for those looking for a performance surf shoe on a budget. It provides a full knit upper and all the advantages that come with it at the fraction of the usual price. Its traction and cushioning also provide optimal performance and comfort for surfing and other kinds of water sport. Perhaps its only disadvantage is that the fit around the ankles could have been made better.
For those looking for a high-performance surf shoe on a budget, the Speedo Surf Knit is one of the pairs you should highly consider.
- WEAR ALL DAY — Flexible 3mm neoprene and anti-chafing seams create a snug, comfortable fit.
- WEAR UNDER FINS — Simple fin strap cleat and adjustable buckles keep snorkeling fins in place.
- FOR ALL WATERSPORTS — Gear that's designed for scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing and more.
- LONG LASTING DESIGN — Vulcanized rubber sole with toe and heel guards are great for an active diver.
- LOW CUT DESIGN — Features a short slip-on style with a YKK #10 zipper that's made to last.
The Zephyr from Seavengers is a purpose-built boot that can be used for just about every kind of water sport. Made specifically for use in colder waters, these surf shoes will keep your feet warm for optimal cold-weather performance and adequate blood circulation even while underwater.
The Zephyr is mainly constructed using neoprene, a synthetic material known for its flexibility, water resistance, and insulation. It has a well-made outsole that grips into the surfboard very well, as well as in other surface even when wet. Lastly, it is available in 7 different sizes, so just about anyone can find an ideal pair for the configuration of their feet.
The Seavengers Zephyr provides an intriguing list of benefits for surfers, especially those who are regularly surfing in cold waters. Its versatility makes it a great choice for different kinds of water sports. Its flexibility and traction on most surfaces make it an ideal choice for those looking for an all-around surf shoe. However, it provides limited protection for your ankles as well as against rocks and other debris. The durability of its stitching also seem suspect.
While the Seavengers Zephyr is not specifically designed for surfing, surfers can use this shoe with confidence for their surfing trips thanks to its all-around comfort and performance.
- Men's Olukai, Ohana Casual water resisrant Lace-Up
- Naturally weather-resistant antiqued waxed nubuck upper
- Hand-sewn, whipstitching, and embroidered logo detail
- Dri-Lex microfiber synthetic suede lining
- Removable and washable Everfit contoured footbed with Dri-Lex microfiber synthetic suede cover
Designed for those who go for sandals as their go-to choice for surfing footwear, the Olukai Ohana is a stylish pair that provides surprisingly adequate traction and comfort.
The Ohana comes with multiple features that make it stand out from your usual pair of sandals. It has a design that puts a premium on comfort and fit, combining an anatomical drop-in EVA footbed with an EVA midsole for optimal shock absorption without compromising feel. Beyond comfort, it also promotes correct gait for superior balance and reduced risk of injury and pain. A lug design combined with a non-marking outsole provides adequate all-weather traction.
The Ohana’s main advantages are quite overwhelming: it doubled down on comfort and support, which makes it one of the most comfortable sandals you will find out there. It is also stylish enough that you will look cool while wearing it whether you are on the surfboard or at the shore. There are some questions about the durability of the synthetic material straps, but the build quality of this product is solid overall. It’s just something you should watch out for moving forward.
The Olukai Ohana is a piece of footwear that combines both style and versatility with the comfort and performance of a legit surf shoe. It is one of the best-quality beach sandals you can find at any price point.
- UPPER: The Molokai Layback sandal flip flop features a cotton canvas strap and a finely woven nylon toe post with herringbone texture; Classic sandal for every day you're on your feet; Wear them for work, school, to the beach or the pool
- ARCH SUPPORT: Anatomically correct arch support, heel contour and toe bar provide added comfort to your feet
- FOOTBED & OUTSOLE: Compression-molded, slip-resistant and textured EVA footbed; Blown rubber outsole with multi-angled logo lugs for added traction; Printed color & graphic application on footbed
- QUALITY: Quiksilver provides high quality fashion for those seeking performance and comfort in the world of adventure sports; Our sandals represent the quality and style we design to keep you looking your best any day the sun is shining
- QUIKSILVER: We make boardshorts, shorts, sandals, shoes, tees, graphics, hoodies, flannels, sports shirts, kids wear, jeans, pants, jackets, hats, beanies, towels, and more
As one of the top sports lifestyle companies on the planet, Quiksilver knows how to produce items that will appeal both to the casual fan and to the hardcore water sports guy. The Quiksilver Molokai hits the happy medium between these 2.
Comfort and performance are something they emphasized in the Molokai, as they want this pair to be something you can confidently carry on your surf trip. A slip-resistant sole and thong provides adequate traction and foot hold even in wet conditions. Its rubber structure also cradles your foot just well enough to keep you comfortable whether you are surfing or walking.
If you want a pair of surf-ready sandals that you can wear at the pool, at the beach, or at the seaside, the Molokai should be more than capable of being your go-to slipper. It provides a lot of the things you need in a surf shoe even while it seems that it isn’t too much. This should work very well for those who want something more minimalist. However, those with concerns with their feet might want something else, as it provides virtually no arch support.
The Quiksilver Molokai is the surf shoe of choice for those who want something minimalist. It gets the job done on the performance end, and it has enough looks to stand out as casual wear
Reef Deckhand 2
- Reef shoe
- Premium micro-corduroy upper with workboot lace detailing
- Boat shoe styling
- Washable sockliner for odor management
- Molded rubber swellular traction outsole
Combining the advantages you can get from a shoe and a slipper, the Reef Deckhand 2 is a surf shoe that gets the job done by going back to the basics. It has a very simple yet effective design that looks great on any outfit while providing great performance qualities to help you get the best of your surf trip.
The Deckhand 2 has a simple design that provides you with the essentials you need for a surf shoe. Its canvas upper is both lightweight and breathable, and provides enough structure to protect your feet against debris and other elements. It is also equipped with a non-slip rubber outsole that provides adequate traction for both wet and dry conditions. A traditional lacing system allows for easy adjustments for a secure fit. Perhaps just as important, its simplistic design should look nice with any outfit.
There are many things going for the Reef Deckhand 2, making it a smart choice for a purchase. While there’s nothing fancy with the use of a canvas upper, it does get the job done. Also, the outsole, which utilizes a swellular traction pattern and a non-marking outsole, provides superior grip even while on the surfboard. Even better is that these shoes are relatively affordable as well. Perhaps the only thing not going for this shoe is it runs narrow, which might be bad news for people with wide feet.
The Reef Deckhand 2 may look simple and unassuming, but it does get the job done. This is one high-quality product that should serve you well whether or not you are surfing.
L-Run Barefoot Skin Water Shoes
- Material: 92% polyester and 8% spandex upper, flexible and breathable; Top quality rubber sole,lightweight and slip resistant.
- Convenience: Smooth neck design prevents scratching when wearing. It is easy to wear and take off.
- Flexible&Comfortable: Made of durable and high stretch fabric with strong wicking performance, quick-dry and comfortable to wear
- Protective&Safe: This water shoes is wearable with top-quality rubber sole, which protects your feet from being hurt by sharp objects
- Wide Usages: Unisex water shoes for kids, women and men. Perfect for walking, running, yoga, beach sports, swimming and other indoor and outdoor sport activities
Do you want to have that barefoot feel while still getting enough protection for your feet? The L-Run Barefoot Skin Water Shoes just might be the best choice for you.
This product uses a minimalist approach in its design, which some surfers actually prefer. It has a wide range of sizes available, so finding one that perfectly fits your feet should not be a problem. Secured by a zipper, it’s guaranteed to hug your feet securely as you swim, do water sports, and walk by the beach. It utilizes a 720-degree mesh design which provides superior ventilation and quick drying. A double padded toe box provides some much-needed protection for the front end of your feet.
There are many advantages going for the L-Run surf shoe. Because it is a unisex shoe, both men and women can enjoy this shoe and the unique advantages it provides. Its abundance of sizes and great fit ensures you can ride the waves with full comfort and supreme confidence. Its mesh design is also crafted in such a way that you’re able to maximize the advantages of such uppers. As a minimalist shoe, it does not offer much in terms of support, which could be problematic for people with foot problems.
The L-Run Barefoot Skin Water Shoes is a great pair for those who want a minimalist pair for their surfing needs. It’s a shoe that focuses on the bare essentials, which some people may actually love.
Aleader Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes
- Breathable mesh upper with hot melt overlays for support and keeps your feet cool and comfortable
- Synthetic hot melt toe caps protect toes and uppers from bumps and abrasion
- Quick-adjusting elastic bungee for easy on/off convenience and extra support
- Removable footbed helps make cleaning and maintenance a breeze
- Integrated Drainage System drains water and improves breathability
For those who are looking for a no-frills surf shoe that gets the job done, the Aleader Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes is one option that you should take a look at.
With an upper that is mainly made of fabric, this shoe is lightweight and features superior breathability and drainage. In spite of this, it still provides adequate support to reduce the risk of surfing and other water sport injuries. A specially designed rubber outsole is designed to provide adequate traction even on wet surfaces. Its flexible midsole is designed to provide optimal range of motion, ensuring seamless movement. To top things of, there are 12 different color combinations to choose from.
There are many reasons why this shoe from Aleader can be your ideal choice for a surf shoe. Its slip-on construction provides for effortless wearing and a secure fit, and its lightweight and breathable materials make it a great option for some on-water action. It also has a stylish design with multiple colors to choose from. Interestingly, some wearers say that this shoe does not dry as quick as advertised, but it should not be bad enough to make you avoid buying these.
The Aleader Mesh Slip-On Water Shoes is a well-built shoe that can be used for surfing and other water sports. Lightweight and comfortable, it’s good enough to be your go-to pair for those ocean escapades.
VIFUUR Barefoot Water Shoes
- Recommended 1: CONVENIENCE - Smooth neck design prevents chafing when wearing our water shoes. It is convenient to wear and take off.
- Recommended 2: COMFORTABLE FIT -- Breathable and smooth fabrics with fine stretch on uppers. Like socks, flexible and comfortable.
- Recommended 3: RUBBER OUTSOLE & FOOT SAFETY -- Wearable and top-quality rubber sole, which protects your feet from being hurt by sharp objects.
- Recommended 4: OCCASION - Yoga Training, beach, swimming, pool, weight training, wake-boarding, sailing, boating, kayaking, windsurfing, cycling, jogging, walking, fishing, beach volleyball, gardening, lawn, car-washing and driving. Family outings!
- Tips：VARIOUS SIZE AVAILABLE -- fit different feet,little kids, big kids,men,women are available.
Surf shoes that simulate the barefoot experience without hurting your feet has been the craze these days. The VIFUUR Barefoot Water Shoes might be the one that is best at it on the market today.
At first wear, what you would notice is that this surf shoe does not actually feel like a shoe, but rather it has the feel of a sock. In spite of its sock-like feel, there is never a minute where you would feel like your feet is not secure. Its low-profile design and snug fit provides optimal comfort and flexibility at any position. Its outsole is made of high-quality rubber that provides traction in both wet and dry conditions. Its slip-on design also allows for quick wearing and removal without any chafing.
There are many things going for the VIFUUR, making it among the top choices available on the market today. Its high-quality mesh material provides an ideal combination of light weight, breathability, and efficient water drainage. It also has a multitude of colors available so you can select the color that best fits your style and outfit. Perhaps the only concern about this pair is the durability, as the mesh upper feels like it cannot hold up on heavy-duty use.
The VIFUUR Barefoot Water Shoes is a lightweight and versatile option for those who want a minimalist pair of surf boots. It fits so nice that you just might use it for other activities as well!
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This is yet another surf shoe that resembles a heavy-duty sock. Beyond its minimalist design, it has some nifty features that make it a great choice for both surfers and non-surfers alike.
BPS has made it a point to focus on fit on this shoe. Its main material is neoprene so it flexes with the contours of your feet. It also has an ankle strap that provides an additional way to adjust fit for optimal lockdown and support. It also has a patterned rubber outsole that provides stable grip in just about any surface, regardless if it’s wet or dry. You also have more than 20 different color combinations to choose from, so you can pick one that best fits your style!
The BPS Storm has a lot of things going for it. Its neoprene construction has the proper balance of light weight, insulation, and breathability, making it a good choice for most weather conditions. Also, the ankle strap is very useful for creating the type of fit essential to get the most out of such a shoe. Lastly, the traction is as good as advertised, making it an ideal shoe for surfing and other activities. However, it must be mentioned that it’s not an all-terrain shoe; it might break faster when used on rougher surfaces.
The BPS Storm is an all-around pair of surf shoes that is well-built and have functions that are very useful. It’s comfortable, versatile, and provides loads of foot protection.
This list was created using the extensive testing of our team. Based on our observations, these are the surfing shoes that deserve to belong to your equipment bag. You can’t go wrong with picking any of these items, as they provide unique advantages to different types of water sport enthusiast. Find the best surf shoes for your needs in this list and surf in full safety (and in style, too!).