Beach shoes had long been a strange, toe-curling category of footwear; a reserve of camping dads who swear by being over-prepared for a day by the ocean. But as you know, we've all become way more accepting of the wild and weird when it comes to what's on our feet. See Vibram and Suicoke's painted-toe monster, brain boots, or pretty much any recent Crocs collab for reference.
With the sneaker world and its audience way more open-minded these days, I've realized that shopping for beach shoes means coming face to face with some of the best footwear on the market right now. They aren't just acceptable. They're actually cool, and wearable anywhere.
Of course, the best beach shoes need to be waterproof, fit for strolling into the sea with. They also need to be tough enough to withstand long contact with sand and sun. Luckily for us, brands are putting out options that fit this bill and look fire, including Merrell, Prada x adidas, and Bottega Veneta. I'm so here for it.
Scroll for the best beach shoes on the market right now.
adidas x Prada A+P Luna Rossa 21 Performance Shoes
Limited to just 200 pairs worldwide, this is an exclusive-to-Highsnob colorway of a shoe built to the specifications of the Prada Luna Rossa sailing squad. As such, it boasts strategically-placed outsole holes to let water flow in and out with ease and a mesh and rubber build for superior waterproofing capabilities. Technical stuff aside, it's also my favorite-looking piece of the blockbuster collab so far.
Balenciaga Rubber Slides
Say what you want about Balenciaga, Demna usually has the house's eyes firmly on the future. Here, he gives the humble pool slide a space-age silhouette. Just don't be upset when a kid mistakes them for an ice pop.
Keen Yougi Clogs
Here's some proof that the physical form of footwear considered beach-worthy actually hasn't changed that much, it's just become way more acceptable. Japan's Keen is making some of the best summer shoes of the moment — with the Yougi packing some EVA cushioning for some serious comfort.
Merrell 1 TRL Hydro Moc Sandals
This one's my favorite of the list and comes courtesy of active footwear expert Merrell. Wear it in the water. Wear it on the sand. Wear it on the city streets. The ultimate all-rounder.
Bottega Veneta Rubber Sandals
Bottega's standout puddle boot just got summerized. The result is a rubber sandal that's perfect for showing that stripped-back beach looks don't have to be sub-standard. This colorway definitely won't get lost, either.
Tokyo Design Studio x New Balance Niobium Concept 2 Sandals
When New Balance and Tokyo Design Studio unite, next-level outdoor gear is pretty much guaranteed. This pair of sandals features a sole so big, you'll be kept well away from water.
Havaianas x Reality to Idea Flip Flops
As we're talking sand-appropriate footwear, you probably already had the flip flop on your mind. No label is more experienced in serving up this summer staple than Havaianas, which has been in the game since the '60s. The OG Brazilian split-toe provider just teamed up with California artist Joshua Vides's design studio Reality to Idea for a special collab release that also includes some tabi socks for off-beach use.
Suicoke x Vibram Nin-Lo
If you've been following the strange direction the footwear game has taken of late, you'll no doubt know all about the Suicoke Five Finger. In everyday life, it's definitely at the stranger end of the spectrum. But in the water, it works.
Birkenstock x Rick Owens Arizona Sandals
Arizona Leather Sandals
Rick Owens x Birkenstock
EXTRA 20% OFF SELECTED ITEMS EXTRA20
EXTRA 20% OFF SELECTED ITEMS EXTRA20
A recent shoe of the week for us, Rick Owens gives the classic Birkenstock Arizona an iridescent coating inspired by the sci-fi movies of Fritz Lang. Not as built for the water as the Merrell or Keen shoes above, but a sophisticated beach shoe nonetheless.
YEEZY Foam RNNR
YEEZY Foam RNNR "Sand"
It's a new Kanye era, in more ways than one. March's YEEZY Foam RNNR, perhaps the wildest of the family so far, released in March, was followed up by the recent unveiling of the YEEZY Gap jacket
Needles Track Line Slide
If you don't want Needles' signature purple stipe to end at your track pants, then here's a solution. Also bearing the Japanese label's iconic butterfly logo, these are the slip-on/kick-off option that every vacation needs.
Crocs Classic Clog
You thought we could bring you a curation of beach shoes without a pair of Crocs? Absolutely not. The divisive clog continues to ride a wave of blockbuster collabs and shock value releases that doesn't look set to go anywhere soon. We've stuck with the OG here, though. Diplo can keep his mushroom Jibbitz.
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