Beach Apparel

Best Shoes for Running on the Beach: Buyers Guide

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.... a good old fashioned run! ​If this is your plan, you need the right shoes for the beach because this can make or break your beach day run. We have reviewed some of the best shoes for running on the beach.

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 Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Jogging Workout Trail Running Trekking Hiking Fitness Water Sports FiveFingers 5 Toe Five Fingers Beach Walking Yoga Black Size 11
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Hyper Blue, Fission, 11.5 Regular US
Speedo Women's Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe, Black/Pink, 6 C/D US
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 Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Jogging Workout Trail Running Trekking Hiking Fitness Water Sports FiveFingers 5 Toe Five Fingers Beach Walking Yoga Black Size 11
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Hyper Blue, Fission, 11.5 Regular US
Speedo Women's Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe, Black/Pink, 6 C/D US
from $16.98
from $7.99
$25.99
$59.08
from $44.50
MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks Swim Shoes for Pool Beach Walking Running
MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot Aqua Socks Swim Shoes for Pool Beach Walking Running
from $16.98
Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga
Mishansha Mens Womens Water Shoes Quick Dry Barefoot for Swim Diving Surf Aqua Sports Pool Beach Walking Yoga
from $7.99
WHITIN Men's Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Jogging Workout Trail Running Trekking Hiking Fitness Water Sports FiveFingers 5 Toe Five Fingers Beach Walking Yoga Black Size 11
WHITIN Men's Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Jogging Workout Trail Running Trekking Hiking Fitness Water Sports FiveFingers 5 Toe Five Fingers Beach Walking Yoga Black Size 11
$25.99
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Hyper Blue, Fission, 11.5 Regular US
Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Hyper Blue, Fission, 11.5 Regular US
$59.08
Speedo Women's Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe, Black/Pink, 6 C/D US
Speedo Women's Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe, Black/Pink, 6 C/D US
from $44.50

Best ​Shoes for Running on the Beach

1. ​MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes

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

Review

If you are looking for comfortable, lightweight and versatile shoes for all beach and water activities, these are them. These shoes perform well in and out of the water.

The quick-dry aqua shoes are great for casual barefoot style running and walking on the beach. Heavy shoes can create a drag in the water, but these are lightweight enough to make swimming in them a pleasure. They’re also very flexible so you’ll quickly feel very comfortable wearing them.

Because they’re so light you’ll probably find they’re practical for the beach but also 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. The quick-dry drainage holes in these shoes ensure that water doesn’t get trapped inside, leaving your feet feeling dry and comfortable.

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

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PROS

  • ​Quick dry
  • ​Flexible and lightweight
  • ​Excellent traction on slippery surfaces

CONS

  • ​Though highly versatile, they're not ideal for all use cases

2. ​Putu 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 these shoes slip on and off. There’s zero fuss with annoying shoe laces. Just 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 light and provides great cross ventilation. The fabric is stretchable making for an incredibly comfortable fit. They are so versatile can even wear them on long-haul flights. 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 keep on feeling comfortable.

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.

We also love that they’re easy to put on or take off, so if you want to sprint into the water without them it only takes a second to change.

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PROS

  • Breathable fabric
  • ​Quick dry
  • ​Easy on and off

CONS

  • ​Traction on slippery surfaces could be a bit better
  • Size down for a better fit

3. ​WHITIN ​Athletic Water Shoes

WHITIN Men's Minimalist Barefoot Shoes for Jogging Workout Trail Running Trekking Hiking Fitness Water Sports FiveFingers 5 Toe Five Fingers Beach Walking Yoga 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.

The Whitin Barefoot Shoes are hybrids, perfect for both the water and the beach. These shoes are suited to running, jogging and hiking as much as they are an array of water sports.

The shoes offer quick-dry drainage ports as well as an anti-slip rubber sole, features we feel should come standard with any beach running shoes. They will give you a good grip which makes them an investment; you’ll probably use them for the beach but also indoor adventure sports, outdoor activities and even going to the gym.

These shoes are lightweight and comfortable. They are lace-ups, but this means a more secure fit which is great for more vigorous activities. When your shoes fit well there’s less chance of hurting your ankle, so this is once again a good investment.

We love how user friendly these are because the soft textile lining is comfortable but also fits snug—very little chance of chafing.

These shoes are great value for money especially considering how versatile they are.

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PROS

  • ​Hybrid shoes for running and water sports
  • ​Secure fit
  • ​Lightweight and breathable

CONS

  • ​Non-slip quality can be improved

​4. ​Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoe

Columbia Men's Drainmaker IV Water Shoe, Hyper Blue, Fission, 11.5 Regular US

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.

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PROS

  • ​​Synthetic upper and open mesh work together to create a comfortable and durable shoe
  • ​​Midsole ports are designed to improve airflow and allow water to drain out of the shoe
  • ​​Dry incredibly quickly, which makes them great for use on any outdoor adventure

CONS

  • ​​The toe box isn't very spacious which may cause issues with sizing for wider feet

​5. ​Speedo Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe

Speedo Women's Hydro Comfort 4.0 Water Shoe, Black/Pink, 6 C/D US

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.

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PROS

  • ​​Made from 100% synthetic materials so that they dry incredibly quickly
  • ​​Side port drainage helps to keep water from pooling inside the shoe
  • ​​Quick-fit toggle makes cinching these shoes easily and fast

CONS

  • ​​Doesn’t tend to run true to size

​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.

Look for Shoes That Dry Quickly

No matter how careful you are to stay out of the water when running on the beach, you are probably going to have at least one misstep that results in you getting wet feet. By choosing running shoes that will dry quickly you can eliminate the problem of blisters the next time you want to run. Some running shoes are designed to be not only lightweight, but also to have a lot of airflow through them, and this can help them dry faster once you have accidentally gotten them wet, which will help out a lot on future runs.

Keep an Eye Out for Drain Holes

You are going to step in the water and get sand into your shoes, and while allowing them to dry between runs will prevent blisters in the future, you also want to make sure that you are comfortable now when running. Some running shoes have drain holes or extra mesh that will allow any water and sand to easily drain out while you are running. While you will still have a wet shoe that needs to be dried after your run, you won’t have to worry as much about running in a puddle, which is annoying and uncomfortable.

Consider a Wider Sole

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. 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. You are likely going to have to do some movement and skipping of certain areas so that you don’t end up in a depression anyway, but choosing a wider soled shoe offers you more support.

Protect Your Ankles

Running on any uneven surface can be really painful if you haven’t taken time to think about how you are going to protect your ankles. Thanks to the elevated areas, dips, troughs, and bumps on the surface of the beach, you need to make sure that your ankles are as supported as possible. Sturdy shoes that will help to keep your ankles from shifting around and moving when you run will help prevent injury and are really beneficial.

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 additional flexibility. This will allow your foot to hit the ground and to conform to the shape of the surface without a lot of pain. While you don’t want a shoe that is so flexible that you no longer get support, 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.

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 Verdict

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 shoes we reviewed impressed us with these common features.

The best shoes that we reviewed, however, were the Whitin Barefoot Shoes. Besides all the non-negotiable features that we mentioned, these shoes provide the best support for running, hiking and jogging.

These Whitin’s ​might not be for everyone, but they really are great shoes. When you consider that you will probably be wearing them every single day of your holiday you might as well go with the best of the best.

Related:Top Shoes for Walking on the Beach

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