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2y3k » Best Shoes for Kayaking 2023

Best Shoes for Kayaking 2023

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Sea to Summit Blitz Booties

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When you head out for a day of kayaking you anticipate the excitement and the challenge of what the conditions lay out for you. Normal preparation includes using a kayak, paddle, and the associated gear that affords the best capability to match the water, weather, and task at hand. The shoes you wear are a part of it and can be a major factor in comfortably and safely meeting the challenge.

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The best kayaking shoes are designed to provide features that can vastly enhance and improve the experience. You want the appropriate combination of many factors that can include comfort, warmth, durability, a good-gripping sole, protection from bumps, scrapes, and a rough bottom or terrain, drainage, breathability, and others depending on conditions.

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That’s a substantial number of things to consider when selecting the best kayaking shoes for your situation. To help you decide, some of the best with a range of features are reviewed below. To start there is a comparison table followed by reviews with key features, photos, and videos, followed by a buying guide.

Best Shoes for Kayaking

NRS Boundary Dry Boots

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Waterproof, Cozy, Warm & Comfortable, Two Strap Closure, Protective Thick Sole

  • Knee cut
  • Waterproof 5mm neoprene uppers with durable blind-stitched and double-taped seams
  • 7mm neoprene insoles
  • 2mm plastic midsole for protection from sharp objects
  • 6mm outsole, durable on rough surfaces
  • Ladder lock strap for a water-tight top seal
  • Velcro cross strap for a secure fit
  • Ankle pads to protect against bumps
  • Glideskin interior for a good seal on the calf
  • Currently only a few sizes available

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Neosport Paddle Low Top Boots

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Wetsuit-Style Warmth, Secure Fitting, Puncture-Resistant Traction Sole, Easy On & Off, Reasonable Price

  • Low Cut
  • 3mm neoprene upper
  • Stitched and glued seams
  • Durable thermoplastic rubber traction sole
  • Puncture-resistant hardened sole insert
  • Ankle barrel cinch-cord
  • Adjustable hook & loop arch strap
  • Sizes from 5-13
  • Reasonably priced

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Sea to Summit Ultraflex Booties

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Warm Water Use, Flexible Thin Sensitive Traction Sole, Comfortable, Easy On & Off, Secure Fit, Multi-Watersport Suitability

  • Low Cut
  • 3mm neoprene upper
  • Optimized non-chafing stitch-lines
  • Synthetic lining
  • Flexible relatively thin rubber outsoles for traction and sensitivity
  • Secure Y-pull Velcro strap system
  • Suitable for a variety of watersports (kayaking, SUP, surfing, rafting, windsurfing, and sailing)
  • Sizes from 5-12
  • Reasonably priced

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Stohlquist Tideline Boots

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Cold Water & All-Around Use, Matches Well With a Wetsuit, Comfortable Ergonomic Fit, Durable Traction Rubber Sole, Reinforced Toes & Heels, Reasonable Price

  • Ankle Cut
  • 5mm neoprene upper
  • Ergonomically-shaped footbed for good fit and comfort
  • High traction vulcanized rubber outsoles with Stohlquist tread pattern
  • Rubber toe and heel caps for reinforcement
  • Heavy-duty YKK zippers with gusseted zipper openings
  • Sizes from 6-13
  • Reasonably priced

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Women’s Model

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Kokatat Nomad Neoprene Kayak Shoes

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Waterproof, Warm & Comfortable, Soft Double-Sided Lining, Durable Vulcanized Sole, Toe & Heels, Calf Protection, Not Cheap

  • Knee cut
  • Waterproof PU coated 3mm neoprene upper with a soft double-sided lining
  • Glued and blind-stitched seams
  • Single-handed lacing system for a secure fit
  • Neoprene lace covers to avoid snagging
  • Breathable waterproof upper gaiter
  • Durable vulcanized rubber toe caps, heel counters, and outsoles
  • 5-12 women’s, 6-13 men’s sizing
  • A little expensive

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NRS Freestyle Wetshoe

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Durable, Flexible, Lightweight, Low-Volume, Comfortable, Warm, Great for Freestyle Kayakers, Good Price

  • Ankle Cut
  • Flexible 3mm Terraprene neoprene upper
  • Quick-drying VaporLoft fleece lining
  • Neoprene Hydro-cuff slip-on closure
  • 1.5mm textured rubber outsoles
  • Rubber support bands for reinforcement
  • Webbing ankle grab tab
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Sizes from 5-12
  • Reasonably priced

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Kokatat Scout Boot

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Zipperless, Lightweight, Easy On & Off, Adjustment & Secure Fit, Good Grip, Comfortable, Reasonable Price

  • Ankle Cut
  • 3mm neoprene upper
  • Durable glued and blind-stitched seams
  • Easy adjusting hook and loop strap
  • Good gripping vulcanized rubber outsoles, heel counter, and toe cap
  • Zipperless, slip-on
  • Ankle grab tab
  • 5-12 women’s, 6-13 men’s sizing
  • Reasonably priced

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Sea to Summit Blitz Booties

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Warm, Sturdy, Zipperless, Easy Adjustment & Secure Fit, Heavy-Duty Rubber Sole, Comfortable, Budget Price

  • Ankle Cut
  • 3mm neoprene upper
  • Chafe-free flatlock stitching
  • Easy adjusting Y-pull hook-and-loop strap for a secure fit
  • High cuffs to overlap with a wetsuit
  • Good traction, heavy-duty, stiff rubber soles
  • Zipperless, slip-on
  • Currently available in sizes 5-10
  • Low priced

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Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Water Shoe

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Ultra-Lightweight, Flexible Snug Fit, Breathable, Comfortable, Easy On & Off, Good Traction, Budget Price

  • Low Cut
  • 1.5mm stretchy neoprene upper with mesh inserts
  • S-trac thermoplastic rubber outsole with non-slip grip
  • Cushioned inner sole
  • Quick-drying
  • Lightweight — 10 ounces
  • Heel grab loop
  • Perfect for a range of watersports and general beach/water use
  • Available in 4 color combinations
  • Sizes from 7-14
  • Low priced

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Aleader Mesh Slip On Water Shoes

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Warm Water Use, Lightweight, Stylish, Breathable Mesh Upper, Ventilated Outsole, Easy On & Off, Traction Grip, 21 Color Combos, Budget Price

  • Low Cut
  • Durable breathable mesh fabric upper
  • Durable, lightweight Solyte midsole
  • Cushioned ComforDry sock liner
  • Rubber outsole with solid-grip traction
  • Pattern of holes in the outsole for quick drainage and breathability
  • Great for shoreside use and a range of watersports
  • Comes in 21 stylish color combinations
  • Sizes from 5-12 (13 sizes)
  • Low priced

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Kayaking Shoes Buying Guide

Water Temperature

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This is the major factor used in determining what sort of material is used in water shoes for kayaking. When the water is cold, a waterproof shoe or one made of thick neoprene can keep your feet warm. For warmer water focus can be diverted to breathability and lighter materials to avoid overheating.

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In warm water, shoes can be low cut and made of thinner neoprene, mesh, or other lightweight material. Some paddlers even prefer a rubber sandal style. For colder water, the cut can be above the ankle or even to the knee for more warm coverage. Wetsuit-style shoes use neoprene up to 5mm thick or thicker. Some models are sealed to be completely waterproof and take that coverage to the knees.

Shoe Height

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As touched on above, water shoes for kayaking come in three cuts, low, ankle, and knee.

  • Low-cut shoes are for warm water use and are generally lighter, flexible, and the most comfortable of the three.
  • Ankle-cut shoes can handle cooler water, are more versatile, and generally more durable with a thicker sole than low-cut shoes.
  • Knee-cut shoes are for the coldest water where paddlers anticipate wading in water deep enough to warrant the added length. Paddlers who often get wet like surf kayakers often prefer knee-cut shoes. These, too, have thicker outsoles to handle rocks and terrain encountered when wading.


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What kinds of surfaces will you be walking on when you go kayaking? Will you be in sand, pebbles, or mud? Will you be porting your kayak over jagged or even slippery rocks. This should all be considered when selecting your footwear. There are shoes with heavy rubber soles to handle hard and pointed surfaces and others with tread more conducive to reducing slippage on smooth surfaces. Still, others have holes in the soles for quick drainage.


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A snug fit is important especially with neoprene water shoes. You don’t want water pooling or extra circulation when they are too loose. Also, you want to avoid debris or sand getting in which can not only be uncomfortable but also cause blisters or infection.

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On the other hand, too snug a fit can cramp your toes and cut off circulation. If you are wearing a wetsuit sock or other sock inside, make sure to account for that in the fitting. By the way, cotton socks should be avoided . They absorb water and stay wet. Quick-drying nylon or polyester with moisture-wicking qualities works better.

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If you don’t have a chance to try them on such as when purchasing online, check the buyer feedback, and seller advice on how to gauge the sizing guidelines. Do they run according to size, larger, smaller, or what?