Best Shoes to Wear White Water Rafting (5 Durable Pairs)

Anyone who’s gone white water rafting knows just how exhilarating and enjoyable it can be. Even if you haven’t yet been a part of the excitement, you can probably imagine just how fast and fun the experience will be. There’s a lot to think about and pack when you’re heading out on a white water rafting trip, but one thing that may not come straight to mind is shoes. While you’re sure to remember to pack your everyday shoes, you need to take the time to find the best shoes to wear white water rafting.

Choosing the Best Shoes for Rafting and Hiking

When it comes to your search for the best shoes to wear white water rafting, the first thing you will need to determine is what type of shoe to choose. You do have more than one option, so you can ultimately choose the shoe style that you’re most comfortable with.

These are the best shoe styles to choose from:

  • Sneakers/Tennis Shoes: if you prefer the feeling of having your feet protected and firmly compressed, you should consider wearing sneakers while white water rafting. It goes without saying that your sneakers will get very wet. You may want to invest in a dedicated pair of tennis shoes for water activities, or simply wear an older pair that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis.
  • River Sandals: this is definitely one of the best, if not the number one option for white water rafting. Water sandals are specifically designed to be worn in bodies of water, and are built to have traction, should you find yourself in need of walking or climbing on slippery surfaces.
  • Water Shoes: these are the shoes you often see people wearing at the beach. They are made of softer, more flexible fabric, but close around your whole foot. They are also made with practical traction and are meant to get wet.

Do not try to wear flip-flops when you go white water rafting. Having your heel open and exposed can be dangerous during rafting, not to mention that flip-flops are rather flimsy and not designed for active exploration. They don’t have enough traction and are likely to slip off, leaving you without shoes.

Are Chacos Good for White River Rafting?

If you’ve heard of the brand Chacos, or own a pair of their shoes already, then you know they produce durable and reliable products. Choosing a pair of Chacos for your white water rafting experience is an excellent choice.

Chacos make a good choice because:

  • They’re very durable.
  • Soles are easy to replace after a lot of wear and tear.
  • You will use them for more than just white water rafting.
  • They are easy to adjust and are flexible for optimal comfort while you’re rafting.
  • When you finish rafting, you can let them dry, throw on a pair of socks, and wear them for the rest of the night to keep your feet warm!


Best Rafting Sandals: 5 Top Picks

Now that you’ve thought more about the type of shoes you should wear while white water rafting, it’s time to take a look at your best options:

1. Teva Women’s Tirra Athletic Sandal 

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The Teva Women’s Tirra Athletic Sandal is an ideal choice for you if you like the feel of a sandal-style shoe but want to make sure that you can move well while you’re white water rafting and explore the natural wonders around you.

You can choose from a wide range of colors when you choose to invest in a pair of Teva sandals, and the price is reasonable when you consider the durable quality you’re getting. Teva designed their sandals specifically for women’s feet and included a number of adjustable straps, so you can create the most comfortable experience possible.

2. KEEN Women’s Newport H2 Sandal 

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If you take a quick glance at the KEEN Women’s Newport Sandal, you may be fooled into thinking that you’re looking at a pair of sneakers. The sandal has wide top coverage and a sole which is thick and contains strong traction. You will feel as if you were walking normally in your favorite pair of tennis shoes, even as you make your way through the water.

The KEEN sandals are made with breathable mesh lining, so you don’t need to worry about your skin getting irritated from sweating. You will take your pick from a collection of natural and brighter color combinations.

3. ALEADER Women’s Mesh Slip On Water Shoes 

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The ALEADER water shoes are the ideal option if you prefer the feeling of your whole foot being protected. You get the best of two worlds with these water shoes, as they keep you safe and comfortable when wet while feeling like your already broken-in sneakers.

The fabric is breathable mesh, so even though your whole foot is covered, you will not be left with sweaty and smelly feet. These sandals are designed with a ComforDry sock-liner which provides a cool, dry cushion for your feet.

4. Zhuanglin Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes 

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Another great option, if you prefer full-foot coverage, are the Zhuanglin Aqua Water Shoes. These shoes will also make you feel as if you’re wearing just another pair of tennis shoes but will stop you from slipping while you raft and climb through the waters.

The fabric that covers your feet is breathable mesh and is designed with holes so that you’ll feel the cool breeze pass over your skin. One of the best things about these water shoes is that, although they are designed like sneakers, they will not rub against the back of your ankle as you walk.

5. Chaco Women’s ZX2 Classic Athletic Sandal 

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The last recommendation on our list is a pair of Chaco Classic Athletic Sandals. These are a reliable choice if you want to invest in a pair of sandals to accompany you, not just during your whitewater rafting adventures, but on other outdoor expeditions, as well.

Just keep in mind that your big toe will be separated by its own strap!


Final Thoughts

As you can see, the shoes you choose to wear while white water rafting is actually one of the most important factors to consider. Rather than leaving it until the last minute, it’s a good idea to think about the style of shoe you want to wear and search for a pair that suits your personal style and needs.


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