Kids swimming in the pool

Pro Tips When Buying Bathing Sandals for Kids

Bathing sandals for kids are a great item to help your little ones safely enjoy pools and the sea.

When kids swim indoors or participate in swimming lessons, kids’ pool shoes keep their feet germ-free.

As for outdoor swimming, bathing shoes help with hygiene, prevent pool sides from being slippery, and provide traction at the beach or on rocks.

All in all, bathing footwear can be very useful, and now we will see why!



What are Bathing Sandals?

Bathing sandals or better known as water sandals are the most popular type of footwear for water purposes. They are ideal footwear for water sports and other water activities. It represents a specialized sandal for traction on wet and slick surfaces like those found near and in rivers and lakes.

However, water sandals are not flip-flops. Additionally, they are also not of those nice leather sandals people wear around town, out to dinner, and sometimes even at work.

Quality bathing sandals have traction similar to the ones that hiking shoes have. Kid can easily go in and out of the water because of the traction without worrying about slipping into a chilly river.


Bathing sandals have another name, “water shoes,” but they are not actually the same. You can easily tell the difference between the sandals and the shoes. 

Water shoes have closed toes similar to athletic shoes, while water sandals do not have this feature.


Do You Need Bathing Sandals for Kids?

Usually, kids use water sandals when in the paddling pool or around the lake or riverside.

This is because they go in and out of the water, run all over the place on slippery surfaces, and even use stairs when in the garden, which can cause certain issues.

Slippery feet are caused by wet feet, and even though being cautious is probably the most important, adding a good grip sole can minimize accidents and slips.


Most importantly, bathing sandals for kids protect their little feet from the hazard of the beach and the seafloor.

In particular, kids used to wearing closed shoes all year may be overly sensitive to hot sand and pebbles.

Protective water sandals may be beneficial for more weathered feet as the shoes provide a barrier against:

  • Broken shells
  • Comfortless and pointy rocks
  • Debris
  • Fish and other water creatures 
  • Hot sand

When to Use Bathing Sandals for Kids?

Water sandals are quite affordable and suitable for different situations that don’t involve climbing, hiking, or scrambling across rocks. However, water sandals have specific uses, so here we will name a few situations when your kid can use this watery footwear.

  • Swimming – The most popular time for using this footwear is when kid go to the pool. They are great for protecting the soles of the feet; just ensure to seek our for some quality ones since they can fall apart from constant in/out water activity. 
  • Summertime – Bathing sandals are a great choice for kids in hot weather. They are super light, easy to get on/off, and provide all the foot protection the kid needs during this time of the year. When it comes to cold weather, water shoes are preferable since they hold the neoprene bootie tighter against the skin.
  • Everyday wear – Even though these sandals are not  as pretty as, for example, leather sandals, they are still suitable for walking the down town. The sandals have excellent traction under all kinds of conditions, such as wet pavement and sandy beaches.
  • Wade Fishing – While some kids like this activity and others don’t, water sandals are great footwear for wade fishing. However, for this activity, fishing wading boots are a perfect match, but if you do not have one for your kid, bathing sandals will do the job. Since water sandals provide great traction in the water, they will be suitable for catching some fish.

Are Water Shoes Better than Water Sandals?

Water sandals and water shoes are designed for different purposes. So, depending on what are your plans for your kid during the summer, you will need one or the other.

If your kids will mostly be around the dry ground with a splashes of water, sandals are probably the best option.

While most sandals are designed to take the occasional spillage of water, some are not, so make sure to check that out when shopping for these footwears. This is very important because sandals that are meant for only dry weather, tend to stay wet for a long time, keeping feet excessively cold and prone to blisters.

Additionally, they may absorb water to the point of being heavy, which can rapidly exhaust your little ones.

On the other hand, there are aqua shoes, specifically designed for use in water and can often double up as everyday footwear. 

It is up to you to decide which type of shoes or sandals you are going to get, according to your kid needs. 


Difference Between Water Shoes and Aqua Shoes

So we mentioned that there is a difference between bathing sandals and water shoes, but they are often used as a synonym. Though we all know the difference between sandals and shoes, thus, water shoes and aqua shoes are the same. 

Water shoes or aqua shoes are footwear crafted for use around and in the water.

They usually have a decent grip, a sturdy sole, and a mesh top. In addition to providing traction on slippery surfaces, such as poolside, they protect the feet from rocks and seashells in the sea.

Aqua shoes are not waterproof, but they can go in the water. This means that the feet inside them get wet, but they are protected from cuts and abrasions.


What To Look for When Shopping for Bathing Sandals for Kids?

Here are the top five things we recommend you look after when shopping for kids bathing sandals.

Check the sole – The sandal’s sole should be thick and have a strong tread pattern. Vibram soles, commonly seen on hiking shoes, are also typically found on high-quality water sandals. A sandal with a Vibram sole will almost certainly give an exceptional grip on slippery areas.

The grip: If a decent grip is what you’re looking for, ensure sure the sole is up to the challenge. When it comes to young walkers, remember how fragile their feet are and how important the sole is. Get bathing sandals that are safe for little walkers constructed with foot position and posture in mind, especially if your kids will be using them daily.

What is it made from? – A good water sandal is composed of a variety of synthetic materials, the most common of which is nylon. If you’re looking for a water sandal for water sports, stay away from anything made of leather. This is because if the leather is soaked in water for an extended period, it will break down. You can look after vegan shoes or any other kind of sustainable footwear, if you like. 

The material: Usually, poor-quality sandals are the ones that will wear off quickly. The continuous soaking in water tears up poor-quality sandals rapidly. Usually, the stitching on these sandals breaks apart very quickly.

Avoid flip-flops – Flip-flop shoes are appropriate for a day at the beach or in the garden. They are, however, they are worthless for any kind of use near water surfaces. Keeping the whole sandal in touch with the foot when walking in and near water is critical, especially for stability.


Additional Tips

Also…Look for bathing/water sandals rather than beach sandals – If you want your kid to wear sandals in a rocky river or around the pool or beach, you should consider getting water sandals rather than beach sandals. Beach sandals are good for relaxing on the beach, but they lack the tread and soles required for different water activities.

It would be a good thing to consider our advice; however, depending on your kid, choose a material you think they will find most comfortable. 

For many kids, plastic bands can be sore and cause blisters on their feet, but mesh water shoes and crocs are more suitable.

There are many brands that manufacture great bathing sandals, such as Teva, Crocs, and Keen, that can withstand water surfaces and kids’ playing easily. So, consider these tips, try a few pairs before making a purchase, and have a safety playing around the water with your chosen bathing footwear!



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.