Walking barefoot on the sand is one of the pleasures of a day at the beach, but chances are you’ll need footwear at least part of the time. The pier may be wet and slippery, the sand may be baking hot, or sharp rocks and broken glass may be lurking underfoot. And footwear is a must if you’ll be going into a public restroom!
Slides or flip-flops are great for all these reasons. They’ll give you better traction, keep you from burning the bottoms of your feet, prevent potential cuts and abrasions, and serve as a barrier to contaminated surfaces. And they’re easy to slip on and off if you’re alternating frequently between dips in the water and lying on the sand. Check out Arena’s sandal collection for inspiration.
If you’re planning on doing water sports or wading over rocks, you’ll probably want something that stays on your feet better. Water sandals or water shoes enclose the entire foot, so they provide greater stability for walking on slippery rocks, and they don’t come off in the water. They still have holes for breathability and to let water out, though, and they don’t get soggy or fill up with sand.
Certain water sports require specialized footwear, of course. Scuba divers usually wear neoprene boots, for example, while kayakers often opt for sports sandals. But a water shoe will do the trick for most beach activities. Arena’s Recife Hook for women and Matrix Hook for men are popular choices for adults, while children like the Sharm 2 or the Softy Kids.
In the end, the choice comes down to comfort, freedom and personal style preferences. The options are varied, and the best alternative depends on what you’ll be doing on what type of terrain. The main thing is to find footwear that is lightweight, comfortable, easy to clean and quick drying.
As with pool sandals, be sure to rinse off your beach shoes with tap water and dry them out completely before you put them away to keep bacteria and fungus from growing on them.
What shoes or sandals do you wear at the beach? Do you have different shoes for different activities or an all-rounder that works for everything?