Tips for Choosing the Best Beach Shoes
In New Jersey, there’s the Shore. New Englanders have the Cape. Midwesterners make a beeline for the U.P., while the Coast beckons Pacific Northwesterners. Swedes long for the Archipelago. And for everyone else, there’s the beach, playa, plage, or strand.
No matter what we call it, we’re all on a mission for the same things: some waves, salty breezes, local fare, and the feeling of sand between our toes.
So who needs shoes, right? (Spoiler alert: Anyone who wants to avoid boardwalk splinters, coral scrapes, hot pavement and sand, and “No shoes, no service” enforcement.)
We get asked about beach sandals a lot, so here’s a quick round-up of a few of our faves—whether you’re hopping on your bike for the nearest sandy spot or taking off on a flight for a tropical escape far, far away.
The original beach sandal: The flip-flop
With flip-flops, easy on meets total foot freedom. Sandy feet? No problem. No space in your luggage? Also no problem. These are light enough to carry in one hand during long walks on the beach and small enough to fit in the water bottle pouch on your backpack. We made ours, the Kona flip, with traction and comfort to take you well beyond the beach.
With the addition of a toe bumper, this is the flip to wear when you want that flip-flop freedom but don’t want to stub your big toe on curbs or coral. Our Waimea sandal for men and Bali sandal for women straddle the sandal and flip-flop worlds, giving you the best of both.
Dinner and a cold beverage at the end of a beach day is one of the best parts of a beach day. And, let's face it, anything goes with black or neutral flip-flops and sandals — like our women's Elle stretch sandals and our men’s Targhee slide sandal in premium waterproof leather.
The beach slide
When you want to give your toes a little R&R, a slide is the way to go. It’s the perfect shoe to slip into after a day of kitesurfing, SUPing or skimboarding. Plus, with the extra coverage, it has the added bonus of helping prevent sunburns on the tops of your feet because you forgot to put sunblock there (oops). Check out the men’s Aruba slide, and the Yogui slide for men and women.
The coastal sandal
Some coastal environments can be a little rockier than others (hello, Hawaii!), and those hidden gems may involve a bit more of a trek to reach the sand. That’s where an adventure sandal, like the Newport, comes in handy. Sure, you’ll have to shake out any sand that gets caught inside, but you’ll get the extra protection of sandal webbing and a toe bumper, plus more sure-footedness.
Here in Oregon, where ocean temps hover around 55°F all year, we’re known to wear waterproof boots to the beach. So, really, it’s all about what works for you and your beachy ways.
One more thing before you jump feet first into sand and surf...don't forget to keep your sandals fresh in between all your beach adventuring with our sandal care tips.