This is a review of the best SUP shoes in 2022.
Having the right type of water shoes when you are SUPing is a necessity. Not just because it’ll be more comfortable that way, but it also allows for your feet to have some protection. Unlike before, going barefoot just isn’t an option anymore.
It’s important to protect your feet from bruises and scratches and have better traction with your board for you to paddle well. With that in mind, check out our picks for the best water shoes you can wear while you’re SUPing.
- Best Quality: Adidas Outdoor Terrex XX Jawpaw II
- Best Durable: UBFEN Water Shoes
- Best Budget: Wave Runner Aqua Jet
- Best Comfort: JointlyCreating Water Shoes
Best SUP Shoes – Our Picks
Here are our most recommended SUP Shoes for paddle boarding.
- Key Features: Adidas Drainage System, Climacool upper with synthetic overlays, super high-traction rubber outsole
- Material: textile and synthetic upper, rubber outsole
- Weight: 200 to 250g
- Best for: Quality
Adidas has always been a trusted brand, and for a good reason. It’s no secret that they provide good quality products, especially when it comes to footwear.
The same goes for their Outdoor Terrex XX Jawpaw II—a pair of slip-on shoes created specifically to maximize traction for water sports. It has its own drainage system in its perforated midsole and outsole, allowing for quick and efficient drying.
It is equipped with a Climacool breathable upper with synthetic overlays, which helps keep your feet cool and comfortable. This also prevents having sweaty feet when you’re out on your board.
The Jawpaw II also comes with a Stealth high-traction rubber outsole, which gives your shoes a strong grip—whether it’s on land, on rocky surfaces, or on normally wet or slippery areas like your board.
However, I feel that their shoes come out bigger than their actual size. Most recommend that they get a size smaller than they normally wear to ensure a better fit. It is also a rather pricey shoe, but you get a bang for your buck with its durability.
- Key Features: Durable and flexible rubber sole with convex dots, soft thickening insole, drainage holes at the bottom of the shoe
- Material: rubber sole, stretchy mesh fabric upper
- Weight: 170g
- Best for: Durability
UBFEN’s Water Shoes are another pair that are designed specifically for the water. They are made of ultra-lightweight stretchy, comfortable, soft, and quick-drying material. Easy to slip on and off the feet, it’s a frequently bought pair for swimming, surfing, and other water-related sports.
It is also made with a durable and flexible rubber outsole that gives it wearing resistance and a soft thickening insole to protect your feet from sharp objects and rocks. The outsole is also littered with convex dots, enhancing its friction and reducing the possibility of skidding.
The shoes also have sixteen little holes at the bottom in order to ensure proper drainage and proper water flow out of them. The brand assures users that these holes are small enough that they do not allow sand or rocks to get into them.
Unfortunately, reviews state that the laces that come with the shoes are not of very good quality. It is recommended that you replace them instead and get different ones like a pair of lock laces.
- Key Features: water-resistant, high traction rubber soles, lightweight fabric
- Material: Hydrophobic polyester mesh, rubber soles, plastic lacing
- Weight: 385g
- Best for: Budget
Wave Runner’s Aqua Jet shoes are shoes that have been created to be compact and breathable, even when put through the harshest of conditions. They are structurally engineered to be flexible and durable to provide you protection for years to come.
The Aqua Jet is made with a hydrophobic mesh, allowing maximum comfort for your feet and making the footwear lightweight. Its rubber sole gives it good traction, protecting your feet from accidental slips.
It is also very water-resistant as it’s equipped with self-draining technology that allows it to stay as warm and dry as possible. This technology also ensures that when they are accidentally removed in water, they will easily float to the top. No need to dive back down in order to retrieve them.
However, according to reviews, the Aqua Jet is said not to be the best choice for when you’re walking on sandy beaches. The many holes in the rubber sole mean that sand and dirt can easily get in, which is irritating to the skin and a hassle to clean.
- Key Features: Anti-Slip sole, lightweight fabric, quick-drying with built-in drainage holes
- Material: high traction rubber sole, flexible mesh fabric
- Weight: 272g
- Best for: Comfort
JointlyCreating’s Water Shoes shoes with an ultra-light design, made with a high traction rubber sole and average padding. It is comfortable to walk in and great for stability in rough terrain.
It comes in an anti-slip rubber sole, engineered for traction, along with drainage holes that allow it to be quick-drying and not feel too squishy when walking in watery or muddy areas. Other than that, it’s also great for preventing sweaty feet.
The shoes also come with a Velcro flap instead of the UBFEN Water Shoes, which come with laces. This adds to the amount of support your feet get, helping them to stay snug during water activities.
Reviews also state that it has a rather weird heel space. To quote a review, “the heel entry area is not flush or vertical from the sole, resulting in weird spacing left in the heel”. They also mention that the insole has a bad habit of slipping off pretty easily, bunching up inside, especially when being taken off while it is wet.
Best SUP Shoes – What to Consider
Consider the following factors before buying your SUP shoes for paddling.
The material your shoes are made of plays a huge impact on their performance and how well they work for the activities you plan to use them for. For example, nylon and polyester work best for running shoes due to them being breathable, lightweight, and non-absorbent.
In the same way, water shoes are typically made out of mesh as they are efficient in draining water, dry quickly, and offer warmth.
A shoe’s thickness and weight can also be up to your own personal preference. You might prefer a lighter pair when out on the beach, as they are more comfortable to walk in.
But if you plan to cross some rough terrains or paddle on more rocky shores, then a heavier shoe might be better for you.
Comfort is another thing to consider when making your choice. You should choose a shoe that gives you warmth and protection. They should fit snugly and shouldn’t keep slipping off your feet when you wear them, especially when wet.
Some shoes are even designed to be so comfortable and lightweight that you barely even realize you’re wearing them.
A good pair of shoes is also measured by how long they last. This especially applies if you will be using them frequently. For example, thin and lightweight shoes might be comfortable, but if they are too mesh-heavy, then they won’t last you very long on rough terrain. They do fine for normal SUPing, but some extra protection from durable uppers will help.