Best Shoes for Running on the Beach in 2020: Review and Buyers Guide

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If you’re looking for the best shoes for running on the beach, you’ve come to the right place! Beach season is fast approaching bringing with it images of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. This picture is idyllic but trips to the beach are seldom just ‘plug and play.’ Planning is important for a successful holiday. If you fail to plan ahead with packing, you will be paying inflated ‘tourist’ prices for your much-needed beach gear.

Are you planning on sunbathing and swimming all day, or are you more adventurous with snorkeling and beach volleyball on your itinerary? Or perhaps you're going to take part in one of the most popular beach activities of all, a casual run on the shore! If the latter is on your agenda, you’ll need the best beach running shoes to enhance your workout, and to prevent discomfort. To help you in your shopping experience, we’ve created this guide to the five best beach shoes on the market, and a simple buyer’s guide to help you decide which is the right option to get you one step closer to your next adventure.

Comparison Chart

MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks Swim Shoes for Pool Beach Walking Running
Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga
WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Minimalist Barefoot 5 Five Fingers Wide Width Toe Box Gym Workout Fitness Low Zero Drop Male Sneakers Treadmill Free Athletic Ultra Black Size 11
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Black, lux, 11
Speedo Women's Water Shoe Hydro Comfort 4.0 - Manufacturer Discontinued
MOERDENG Quick Dry Barefoot Shoes
Mishansha Quick-Dry Barefoot Shoes
WHITIN Minimalist Barefoot Shoes
Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoe
Speedo Hydro Comfort Water Shoes
Men's and Women's
Unisex
Men's
Men's
Women's
Elastic TPR Upper and Anti-Slip Rubber Sole
Spandex Upper and Rubber Sole
Soft Textile Lining and Rubber Sole
Synthetic Textile Upper and Non-Marking Traction Rubber Sole
Synthetic Upper and Rubber Sole
Women's Sizes 4.5-10.5 and Men's Sizes 3-8
Size 3- Size 13.5
Sizes 7-15
Sizes 7-15
Sizes 5-11
No Lace Slip-On Design, Bungee Laces Designs
Elastic Strap Adjustment
Elastic Lace Up Adjustment
Adjustable Instep Strap, Convertible Heel, Lace Up Design
Elastic Lace Up Adjustment
Quick Dry with Drainage Ports
Quick Dry with Draininage Holes
Quick Dry with Drainage Ports
Quick Dry with Drainage Soles
Quick Dry Drainage Outsoles
Front and Rear Pull Tabs
Heel Pull Tab
Heel Pull Tab
Rear Pull Tab
Heel Pull Tab
25 Color Choices Available
43 Color Choices Available
Black
Black/Grey/Phoenix Blue/Hyper Blue
Black and Pink/Black and Blue
MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks Swim Shoes for Pool Beach Walking Running
MOERDENG Quick Dry Barefoot Shoes
Men's and Women's
Elastic TPR Upper and Anti-Slip Rubber Sole
Women's Sizes 4.5-10.5 and Men's Sizes 3-8
No Lace Slip-On Design, Bungee Laces Designs
Quick Dry with Drainage Ports
Front and Rear Pull Tabs
25 Color Choices Available
Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga
Mishansha Quick-Dry Barefoot Shoes
Unisex
Spandex Upper and Rubber Sole
Size 3- Size 13.5
Elastic Strap Adjustment
Quick Dry with Draininage Holes
Heel Pull Tab
43 Color Choices Available
WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Minimalist Barefoot 5 Five Fingers Wide Width Toe Box Gym Workout Fitness Low Zero Drop Male Sneakers Treadmill Free Athletic Ultra Black Size 11
WHITIN Minimalist Barefoot Shoes
Men's
Soft Textile Lining and Rubber Sole
Sizes 7-15
Elastic Lace Up Adjustment
Quick Dry with Drainage Ports
Heel Pull Tab
Black
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Black, lux, 11
Columbia Drainmaker Iv Water Shoe
Men's
Synthetic Textile Upper and Non-Marking Traction Rubber Sole
Sizes 7-15
Adjustable Instep Strap, Convertible Heel, Lace Up Design
Quick Dry with Drainage Soles
Rear Pull Tab
Black/Grey/Phoenix Blue/Hyper Blue
Speedo Women's Water Shoe Hydro Comfort 4.0 - Manufacturer Discontinued
Speedo Hydro Comfort Water Shoes
Women's
Synthetic Upper and Rubber Sole
Sizes 5-11
Elastic Lace Up Adjustment
Quick Dry Drainage Outsoles
Heel Pull Tab
Black and Pink/Black and Blue

Best Shoes for Running on the Beach Reviewed

1. MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes

MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks Swim Shoes for Pool Beach Walking Running

Review

The MOERDENG unisex water shoes have a comfortable design that’s both lightweight and versatile to suite a variety of beach and water activities. These shoes have high performance both in and out of the water, and the quick-dry aqua design is great for a casual barefoot style running, walking and adventuring on or near the beach. Heavyweight or water absorbing shoes will create drag in the water, but these lightweight and water repelling shoes make swimming and exploring a pleasure. Along with a quality construction, they’re also very flexible to keep feet feeling comfortable throughout the day while wearing them. 

Because they’re so lightweight you’ll probably find they’re practical for the beach, and also for other venues such as water parks, going to yoga or even jogging. It’s an easy answer to foot safety and anything that has multiple uses becomes an investment.

No one likes the ‘sloshing’ effect of water inside a shoe, so the quick-dry drainage holes in these shoes ensure that water doesn’t get trapped inside, leaving your feet feeling dry and comfortable all day.

There are many dangers that lurk beneath the surface of the water, but there is no reason to let them keep you on the shore. The durable rubber soles with anti-slip features provide great traction on slippery surfaces and rocks, and the durable materials protect your feet against cuts and scratches from sharp rocks, coral and shells.

PROS

  • Quick Dry Drainage Design
  • Flexible and Lightweight Fit
  • Durable Rubber Soles
  • Anti-Slip Features for Ultimate Traction
  • High Performance In and Out of the Water
  • Unisex

CONS

  • Not Ideal for Long-Term Use On Rough Terrain
  • Lack of Cushioning isn’t Ideal for Everyone
  • Sizing may be Challenging

2. Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes 

Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga

Review

You will love how quick and easy the Mishansha water shoes slip on and off. There’s zero fuss with annoying shoe laces, simply slip them on, tighten the straps and you’ll be ready for plenty of fun in the sun in no time at all.

Beach holidays are all about being barefoot and fancy free, right? With these shoes you have the best of both worlds because even when you’re wearing them you will feel as though you are barefoot.

The breathable spandex fabric is lightweight and provides great cross ventilation to keep feet cool and comfortable throughout the day. The fabric is flexible and stretchable making for an incredibly comfortable and snug fit. With a versatile design, these water shoes are great for a variety of activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, beach volleyball and more. One of the reasons for this is the breathability made possible by excellent ventilation. No need to put your body at risk just because it’s a sweltering day, these shoes are designed to keep feet feeling comfortable during the entirety of your adventure.

These quick-dry shoes are suggested not only for the beach but also swimming, sailing, boating, kayaking, windsurfing and beach volleyball. Once you are back from your holiday you can use them for yoga and Pilates too.

PROS

  • Breathable and Well Ventilated Shoe Material
  • Quick Dry Design
  • No-Lace Design is Easy to Take On and Off
  • Versatile for a Variety of Marine Activities
  • Comfortable Barefoot Feel Fit
  • Available in a Variety of Fun Colors and Styles

CONS

  • Sole Traction Could be Better
  • Sizing may be Challenging
  • Not Ideal for Slippery Surfaces

3. WHITIN Athletic Water Shoes

WHITIN Men's Trail Running Shoes Minimalist Barefoot 5 Five Fingers Wide Width Toe Box Gym Workout Fitness Low Zero Drop Male Sneakers Treadmill Free Athletic Ultra Black Size 11

Review

Are you looking to trade your running shoes in for a ‘minimalist’ shoe? Look no further, the Whitin Barefoot Shoes will help you make the adjustment quickly and easily.

These water shoes are hybrids, perfect for both the water and the beach, suited to running, jogging, hiking and other water sports.

The shoes feature quick-dry drainage ports, as well as an anti-slip rubber sole for quality traction and grip on slippery surfaces like rocks, shells, and more. These are features we feel should come standard with any beach running shoes, and this product doesn’t disappoint. Because of the quality grip and comfortable fit, many reviews report that they use the shoes for an array of activities, from beach sports, to adventure water sports, running inland, and even working out at the gym. 

Featuring a lightweight and comfortable fit, these water shoes also have lace-ups to create a snug fit, which is ideal especially for vigorous activities. When shoes fit snugly and securely there’s less chance of hurting ankles or getting blisters, ensuring comfort throughout the day. 

We love how user friendly these are because the soft textile lining is comfortable but also fits snugly, ensuring very little chance of chafing. Additionally, these shoes are great value for money especially considering how versatile they are.

PROS

  • Hybrid Design for Running and Water Sports
  • Secure, Comfortable and Snug Fit
  • Lightweight, Breathable and Ventilated Design
  • Comfortable Soft Textile Lining
  • Lace-Ups for a Secure Fit
  • Minimalist Feel

CONS

  • Non-Slip Soles Could be Better
  • Lack of Sole Cushioning isn’t Ideal for Everyone
  • Sizing may be Challenging

4. Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Black, lux, 11

Review

Water shoes make it much easier to simply cross rivers and streams without getting your feet wet or ruining your shoes when you are hiking. Anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors knows that they will, at some point or another, get into water, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead. These water shoes from Columbia will allow wearers to easily cross through water without worrying about ruining the shoes that they have on. Because these shoes have been designed to help water drain out of them quickly and easily, there isn’t any concern of the wearer walking in a puddle for the rest of the day.

Not only do these shoes work to drain water, but they are also attractive. The bold colors that you can choose from will look great, won’t fade in the sun, and will wash clean every time you get into water. This means that wearers don’t need to worry about accidentally damaging their shoes.

The Drainmaker is designed to drain water, last for a long time, and be comfortable. These shoes are perfect to wear with or without socks, can be worn hiking or playing in the river, and can even survive long walks. The non-marking sole allows them to be worn inside buildings without causing any damage to the flooring, and thanks to the snug fit and laces, there isn’t any concern of them coming off. Wearers who choose these quality water shoes are able to enjoy being in the water without any repercussions.

PROS

  • Mesh and Synthetic Upper is Durable and Comfortable
  • Midsole Drainage Ports for Added Ventilation
  • Quick Drying Design
  • Cushioned Sole for Ample Comfort
  • Available in a Variety of Colors and Styles

CONS

  • Not Suited for Wider Feet
  • Sneaker Shoe Design isn’t Great for a Barefoot Feel
  • Not as Quick-Drying as Other Options

5. Speedo Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe

Speedo Women's Water Shoe Hydro Comfort 4.0 - Manufacturer Discontinued

Review

Water shoes are important for aerobics swim instructors, hikers, and people who want to be able to spend time in a river, lake, or pond. Choosing the right water shoes is important, as high-quality shoes will help to decrease the possibility of the wearer slipping and falling. These Speedo water shoes are designed to offer plenty of traction in the water and prevent the wearer from losing their footing. Not only is the sole perfect for gripping wet surfaces and keeping balance, but the shoe is designed to allow water to run through it so that it doesn’t pool uncomfortably in the shoe.

Unlike some other water shoes that are almost impossible to get on and off of a wet foot, Speedo has designed this water shoe to be a little bit easier for people to use. This means that wearers can take their shoes off during a rest on a hike and still be able to put them back on easily without a lot of battle, thanks to the wet fabric. The pull tab on the back of the heel and the easy cinching laces make wearing these water shoes easy.

Not only are they brightly colored, but they are also very comfortable while on, which means that most people won’t want to take them off. Being able to quickly adjust how tight the shoe is on the foot allows users to enjoy a perfect fit each time they put them on. Safety, comfort, and design are all important, and this shoe is a great combination of them all.

PROS

  • 100% Synthetic Materials Dry Quickly
  • Side Port Drainage Keeps Water and Sand Out
  • Quick-Fit Toggle for a Fast Fit
  • Available in a Variety of Fun Colors and Styles
  • Comfortable and Versatile Fit

CONS

  • Sizing may be Challenging
  • Laces may Require Replacing
  • May Not be as Quick Drying as Other Options

Choosing the Right Beach Running Shoes: Buyer's Guide

Runners who vacation at the beach find themselves drawn to taking an early morning run. However, some runners don’t realize that running on the beach is completely different from running on the road, and that having the right shoes for beach running is important. Not only will having the right shoes make your runs on the beach easier, but they will also prevent you from being injured. Consider the following features when looking for new beach running shoes so that you can be sure you can enjoy a great run without any pain.

Quick-Dry Design

During a run at the beach your feet are going to get wet, it’s just inevitable. Choosing running shoes that dry quickly and offer ample water drainage eliminates the hassle of blisters or discomfort. Quality running shoes for the beach should be lightweight and offer plenty of airflow and ventilation to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Avoid water absorbing materials, and opt for fast drying options that won’t hold onto water. Many of the top beach running shoes are made of the following quick-dry materials:

  • Spandex
  • Rubber
  • Neoprene
  • Synthetics
  • Mesh

Water Shoe Drainage

White water shoes are designed to get wet, shoes that pool water inside will make feet uncomfortable and potentially cause blisters and more. The shoes you choose for beach use will need to feature proper drainage holes or ports on the sides and bottoms of the shoes to ensure water and sand can leave the shoe easily. Additionally, mesh materials are great for letting water and debris flow easily out of the shoe. After shoes get wet you’ll still have a wet shoe to run in, but proper drainage ensures you won’t worry about having to run in a puddle, preventing both annoyance and discomfort.

Wide Sole Design

Even if you don’t prefer shoes that have wider soles, they are great for running on the beach, as they will provide you with a large surface area for when your foot strikes the sand. Since running on the beach can be tricky due to the uneven surface, choosing a wider sole will give you more stability and balance on the uneven terrain. Narrow shoes simply won’t offer all of the support that you need to keep from being in pain or accidentally tripping and falling into a soft spot or a hole in the sand. Running on the beach often requires easy maneuvering and jumping over obstacles, so by choosing a wide soled shoe you’ll support your needs and set yourself up for a successful beach run.

Protect Your Ankles

Protecting your ankles is important while running, especially when you’re jogging on uneven terrains such as a sandy beach. If you haven’t prepared for this, it can be particularly painful, and you can cause self injury if it’s done carelessly. The elevated areas, low area dips, troughs, bumps and obstacles on the beach all make for added challenges during your beach run. These obstacles and challenges mean you’ll need to pay special attention to protecting your ankles for shifting around or losing balance while you’re on the go. 

Choose a shoe design that fits your feet comfortably, and one that offers plenty of stability and balance for beach running to help you prevent injury.

Look for Flexibility in the Sole

In addition to looking for a wider sole, as well as a shoe that will help support your ankles, you also need to consider looking for a shoe that offers flexibility and maneuverability. This will allow your foot to hit the ground and to conform to the shape of the surface without pain, twisting or discomfort. While you don’t want a shoe that is so flexible that you sacrifice support and balance, a little movement in the sole can make running a lot more comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t I Just Wear My Regular Running Shoes?

If you are only going to be going for one or two short runs, then wearing your regular running shoes is possible, especially if you don’t want to spend the extra money to buy another pair that won’t get a lot of use. While this is not ideal, there are a few things that you can do to improve your beach running experience. First, make sure that you stick to damp sand, as this will be packed and will provide you with a smoother and firmer running surface. You also want to make sure that you avoid any water, as it will not drain out of your shoes and you will likely damage your normal running shoes.

Keep in mind that traditional running shoes are not designed to get wet, and they won’t have drainage for sand or water that gets inside. These inconveniences, along with the shoes being a heavier weight, are the reasons why the shoes on this list make the best options for a run on the beach.

Will the Salt Water Damage My Shoes?

Salt water is really damaging, and just like it will damage everything else on the beach given enough time, it will also damage running shoes. For this reason, you need to make sure that you avoid getting into the water as much as possible and that you take care of your shoes when you do accidentally get them wet. It’s easy to forget about caring for your beach running shoes, but if you want them to last for a long time, then you need to be careful with them.

How Can I Keep My Beach Running Shoes in Great Condition?

Even if you don’t wash your regular running shoes regularly, you need to make sure that you do take good care of your beach shoes. Sand, sweat, and salt water can really damage your shoes if you’re not careful, and buying new ones right away tends to get really expensive. Skip the additional purchase by hosing them down after a few runs to remove any salt and sand from the fabric. Allow them to air dry outside, but don’t put them in direct sunlight.

Should I Get Running Shoes with a Grippy Bottom?

There are some running shoes that have extra grip due to the design of the sole. If you are planning on climbing over slippery logs or rocks, then choosing a running shoe that will help you better grip the surface is a good idea. On the other hand, if you know that you’re more comfortable sticking to the sand, then this is a feature that you probably won’t get a lot of use out of and you don’t need to look for.

Final Thoughts

What are the non-negotiable features of a beach running shoe? They should be comfortable, non-slip, lightweight and able to protect your feet. The 5 water shoes reviewed on this list meet these marks, and are designed for beach running, and a variety of other beach activities. Using this guide you should be one step closer to your next beach adventure, a good workout, a leisurely jog, or more! 

If you’re looking for other beach gear reviews to make your adventure the best yet, check out these Seaside Planet articles:

Has this guide gotten you one step closer to your next beach run? Did you choose to purchase one of the shoes listed in this review? Share your thoughts and comments with us in the section below! 

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