I get a lot of questions about SUP shoes for stand up paddleboarding. In short, footwear is not required for this sport.
This is because all paddleboards (inflatable or not) are built with a grippy deck pad that enables paddlers to easily stand without slipping, even if they are moving around.
That said, I have found water shoes to be extremely comfortable during the winter months when I want to keep my feet warm. They can also be helpful if you are paddling in shallow water and want o dismount from your board and walk around a rocky shore or river bed.
In these cases, I have a few suggestions…
1. Warm Feet
If you want to keep your feet warm, I recommend neoprene booties that come up above your ankles. They are super comfortable and are often used by cold water surfers. However, they can give you a bad case of farmers tan on a warm summer day so watch out.
2. Breathable & Fast-Drying
In addition to stand-up paddleboarding, I am a year-round swimmer. I know I can always depend on the Speedo brand for quality, long-lasting durability and comfort. Not surprisingly, they make a popular water shoe which can be used for pretty much anything related to water.
It comes in a variety of different colors, and they make them for men, women and kids. They are inexpensive too, usually running between $20 and $30, depending on the size and color you choose.
3. Free-Moving Toes
Toes are handy for gripping surfaces and maintaining balance, so it makes sense to give them freedom to move separately, even if you want foot protection.
In comes Vibram, with their cool-looking and form-fitting 5-finger water shoe. Except this one has drainage holes!
I can’t forget style, especially if you plan to use these as your daily summertime shoe. As you’d expect, there are tons of styles to choose from, so I thought I’d include just a few to give you some ideas.
Compared to other sports apparel or other types of shoes, water shoes for paddleboarding can be quite cheap, so who’s to say that we need just one pair?
Speedo Men’s Lace-up Water Shoe
Unisex Whale Water Shoes
Cudas Women’s Shasta Water Shoe