You’ve planned your cruise vacation and are now putting together your packing list.
If your cruise includes pool time or Caribbean ports of call, we highly recommend packing water shoes for the entire family.
Why Pack Water Shoes for Toddlers and Kids
The best water shoes for toddlers and kids not only reduce the risk of slipping when walking around the lido deck or playing in the splash pad area but also protects their feet from sharp seashells or rocks when at the beach.
Water shoes or swimming shoes also keep children safe from coming in contact with germs or parasites that are common in warm water areas – like around the splash pad, heated pools and hot tubs or even at the beach.
Below we’ll discuss what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for water shoes for babies, toddlers and kids.
We’ve also selected eight best water shoes and swimming shoes that are comfortable for kids and fits a variety of budgets.
Quick Review of Best Water Shoes for Toddlers and Kids
|Crocs Swiftwater Easy On Shoe Sneaker
|- Lightweight and breathable
- Reinforced toe
- Machine washable
- Looks like a regular running shoe
- Easy for little kids to put on
|KEEN Unisex Newport H2 Sandal
|$$ - $$$
|- Durable sole
- Good for land and water
- Cushioned footbed
|Native Unisex Kid’s Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker
|$ - $$
- Hand washable
- Odor resistant
|OshKosh B'Gosh Aquatic Water Shoe
|- Breathable cutouts
- Slip resistant sole
- Adjustable hook and loop strap
|Speedo Kids' Surfwalker Pro 2.0
|$ - $$
|- Soft flexible material
- Machine washable
- Adjustable tab and back pull tab for easy on and off
|Crocs Kids' Classic Clog
|- Wide toe box
- Massaging foot bed
- Super lightweight
- Large range of colors
- Easy to put on
|Teva Tidepool CT Water Sandal
|$$ - $$$
|- Flexible soft material
- Dries quickly
|Stride Rite Made 2 Play Phibian Sneaker Sandal
|- Adjustable strap
- Non marking rubber sole
- Can be worn in water and on land
- Washes easily
*Click on the top water shoes for toddlers and kids for pricing and more info, or scroll down below for more details.
How to Choose the Best Water Shoe for Your Child
The difference between water shoes and swimming shoes is minimal and the terms are often used interchangeably. They both function the same way – protecting little feet from injury while in or around water.
Many swimming shoes are made of stretchy mesh material which makes it great for a variety of foot widths.
Some of the best water shoes for toddlers and kids are stylish enough to wear all day and can be worn in and out of water. A double duty shoe!
You know what that means, right? One less thing to pack into the suitcase!
When shopping for water shoes for babies, toddlers or kids, here are a few things to look for:
- Sturdy sole protects feet from sharp objects like shells and rocks
- Closed toe area keeps debris from getting in
- Made of lightweight material which increases comfort level
- Made of breathable material or has ventilation holes to help with air circulation and faster drying
- Good grip on the sole to prevent little ones from slipping on wet surfaces
Avoid kids’ water shoes that are heavy, have a flimsy sole and ones that rub against the ankle area or inside part of the feet. Blisters caused by poorly made swimming shoes can make pool and beach time dreadful for kids – not something you want to happen on a family vacation.
Top 8 Water Shoes / Swimming Shoes for Toddlers and Kids
What are the best water shoes or swimming shoes for toddlers and kids on a cruise vacation? Read the reviews below to learn more about which shoe is best for your child.
At the top of our list is a lightweight, durable and washable shoe that resembles a regular running shoe. This water shoe from Crocs made with mesh allowing the foot to breathe.
The Crocs Kids’ Swiftwater is suitable for both toddlers and kids. Sizing runs from 6 US Toddler to 3 US Kid. These shoes are perfect for younger toddlers who have already started walking as well as older kids who love playing in the water.
The flexible sole makes it great for wearing all day – not just in water – with or without socks. The stretchable mesh and heel tab makes it easy for younger kids to put on themselves.
This is one of the best water shoes for toddlers and kids as they are lightweight, work for both land and water, have a reinforced toe and is very easy to clean.
Most Helpful Review: “My 4 year old son loves these shoes! They’re easy for him to get on by himself and they are pretty tough.” Click here for the latest prices and reviews
KEEN is a very popular and well known brand among outdoor enthusiasts. For those looking for an extremely durable and long-lasting water shoe that can handle all types of terrain, KEEN’s Newport H2 Sandal for toddlers, kids and even some adults may fit the bill.
The KEEN Newport H2 Sandals comes in a large range of sizes – starting at 4 US Toddler and going all the way up to 7 US Big Kid (Womens 9 US).
The cushioned footbed, quick-drying webbing and adjustable elastic cord and strap makes this shoe perfect for those want to wear one shoe for a variety of outdoor activities – either on land or in the water.
These water shoes / swimming shoes are on the higher end of the price range as they are also used as hiking sandals but they make up for it in durability.
This is one of the best water shoe options for toddlers and kids if you’re looking for something that is machine washable and can be worn over several seasons – long after your cruise vacation is over.
Most Helpful Review: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways……PRICE…..DURABILITY…..FIT…..VERSATILITY…..These have been through mud and woods and streams and they still look and feel amazing.” Click here to see the latest prices and reviews
The Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker not only works well as a water shoe but also is stylish enough to be worn as a regular running or outdoor shoe.
All Native shoes including the Jefferson Slip-On Sneaker are lightweight, washable, odor resistant, and shock absorbent. The odor resistant and massaging footbed molds to your feet which makes it comfortable for all-day wear. This sneaker can be worn with or without socks and the perforated upper allows feet to breathe.
This specific model of Native Jefferson sneakers come in a multitude of colors and sizing ranges from 4 US Toddler to 3 US Little Kid. Because of the slip on style and lack of adjustment strap, they are not the best water shoe or swimming shoe option for toddlers and kids with wide feet.
Most Helpful Review: “My daughter is the literal worst at A) finding her shoes and B) keeping her shoes from looking like they were dragged through a pile of hog manure…..I can toss them in the shower with said stinky child and all emerge smelling fresh and looking clean.” Click here to see the latest prices and reviews
Made of soft lightweight material, the OshKosh B’Gosh Aquatic Water Shoe is slip resistant and protects little feet from rocks and beach debris.
These shoes are available in toddler and kids sizes – 4 US Toddler to 12 US Little Kid and are machine washable.
The sole is flexible and great for wearing around the pool, splash pad areas and pool deck while on a cruise ship. The adjustable hook and loop strap makes it easy for little ones to put on themselves and prevents the shoe from slipping off once properly fastened.
Most Helpful Review: “Purchased size 7 blue/pink for granddaughter for vacation 2016 for pool and ocean….She doesn’t want to take them off…..” Click here for the latest prices and reviews
The Speedo Surfwalker Pro 2.0 Water Shoe is perfect for those looking for a water or swimming only shoe. Made of lightweight and stretchy material, this shoe prevents kids from slipping on wet surfaces and protects feet from rocks and beach debris.
The pull tab strap at the back of the shoe as well as the velcro adjustable strap allows for easy on and off. These shoes are available in a range of sizes including toddler and little kid and are machine washable. This shoe covers the entire foot and feet can get sweaty if worn in sunny and humid weather for long periods of time.
Most Helpful Review: “These are great water shoes….For the price, it’s still a good value and she will wear them nonstop on vacation…..” Click for the latest prices and reviews
Crocs Classic Clogs are popular water and play shoes for many reasons. They can be worn all-day with or without socks, in the water and out of water. They are lightweight, come in a multitude of colors and are available for in baby, toddler, kids and adult sizes.
They are easy to put on and take off and the holes on the upper part of the shoe makes it easy for feet to breathe in hot and humid weather. They have non-marking soles, a massaging footbed and are great for those with wide feet.
Most Helpful Review: “I know Crocs may not be considered the most fashionable of shoe wear but they certainly are the most comfortable!” Click here for latest prices and reviews
Made with lightweight neoprene, the Teva Tidepool CT Water Sandal is a great water shoe / summer shoe option for toddlers and kids.
The sturdy and non-slip sole makes it good for a variety of surfaces and can be used poolside, at the beach or at the playground.
The hook and loop strap makes it easy for little ones to put on and the shoe can be adjusted to different foot widths. Sizes range from 4 US Toddler to 3 US Little Kid.
Compared to other water or swimming shoes made of neoprene, these Teva Water Sandals are more versatile and can be worn all-day. They are moderately priced for a multi-functional shoe if you have older kids and they’re a great option for families looking to pack only the essentials for their cruise vacation.
Most Helpful Review: “I am a fan of Tevas overall and quality of this product is on par with their stuff….. The soles of the shoes are more like real shoes and good for running around our yard and woods.” Click here for latest prices and reviews
The Stride Right Kids’ Made 2 Play Phibian shoes are a lightweight shoe that can be used as water or swimming shoes as well as an outdoor play shoe. These shoes come in a variety of colors, a large range of sizes and are machine washable.
The sneaker look makes it a great multi-functional shoe and can be used at the pool, the beach, and as a walking shoe. The adjustable strap keeps the shoes from falling off accidentally – this is a great feature to have when swimming or playing at the water park/splash pad.
Because of the full foot coverage and fabric tongue and back, these shoes aren’t as well ventilated as other shoes on this list. Feet will get sweaty when worn for several hours on a hot day.
Most Helpful Review: “I ordered these shoes because it is so hard to keep my toddler sons shoes clean. He jumps in puddles, kicks dirt and rocks….. They also have a really nice grip at the bottom so when he’s running and there’s water he still doesn’t slip.” Click here for latest prices and reviews
The best water shoes for toddlers and kids are a combination of function, comfort, and style.
Expect to pay more for shoes that can be worn in water and on land – they often have a thicker and more durable sole.
Ensuring the proper fit will not only protect your children’s feet from seashells, beach debris and bacteria found in warm damp play spaces but will also minimize chances of blisters developing when worn for a long period of time.
When deciding which water shoes or swimming shoes to bring on your cruise, ask yourself whether you need it just for water play or beach excursions or if you’d like a multi-functional shoe.