ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST KAYAKING SHOESKAYAKING SHOES REVIEWSKOKATAT SCOUT BOOTSSEA TO SUMMIT BLITZNRS PADDLE WETSHOENRS FREESTYLEO’NEILL FREAKSNEAKSEA TO SUMMIT ULTRA FLEXNEOSPORT LOW TOPNRS BOUNDARYSTOHLQUIST TIDELINE BOOTSKOKATAT NOMAD PADDLING BOOTSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST KAYAKING SHOESHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAKING SHOESTEMPERATURETERRAINSHOE HEIGHTFIT What makes a kayaking shoe different to typical water shoes or everyday shoes? Kayaking shoes typically are made of neoprene, are flexible, and are perfect for helping you maneuver in and out of your kayak. No matter if you’re a beginner kayaker or have been paddling for a while, proper footwear is key to a comfortable experience. But with so many different types of shoes on the market, how do you know what the best kayaking shoes are for you? Here at The Adventure Junkies, we’re obsessed with the finer details and discovering the best gear on the market. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose the perfect pair for your climate and ability. We’ll also show you our top picks for kayaking shoes of the year. For more of out top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Sea Kayaks | Sit on Top | Tandem | Canoes | Inflatable Kayaks Paddles | Seats | PFDs | Dry Bags | Anchors | GPS Wetsuits | Drysuits | Gloves | Shoes Fishing Kayaks | Rods | Reels | Rod Holders | Fish Finders SUPs | Inflatable SUPs | Paddles cloud-downloadCLICK HERE to Download our FREE Quick Starter Guide to Kayaking. Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/karenfoleyphotographyPhoto by istockphoto.com/portfolio/serguacom QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST KAYAKING SHOES Kokatat Scout Boots Sea to Summit Blitz NRS Paddle Wetshoe NRS Freestyle O’Neill Freaksneak Sea to Summit Ultra Flex NeoSport Low Top NRS Boundary Stohlquist Tideline Boots Kokatat Nomad Paddling Boots KAYAKING SHOES REVIEWS KOKATAT SCOUT BOOTS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Kayakers hopping in and out near slippery terrain WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Ankle AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 mm MATERIALS: Neoprene, rubber toe cap, vulcanized rubber outers PROS: Flexible, comfortable, easy to adjust around the ankle, great grip CONS: Tends to run small, especially for wider feet SEA TO SUMMIT BLITZ Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Versatile kayakers who also fish, wade, and walk across wet surfaces WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Ankle AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 mm MATERIALS: Velcro strap, neoprene, thick rubber sole PROS: Warm, durable, easy to adjust, stylish CONS: Rubber sole too smooth to walk along moss or algae NRS PADDLE WETSHOE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Kayakers in cool water wanting a great all-around kayaking shoe WOMEN’S VERSION: NRS Paddle Wetshoe CUT: Ankle AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 mm MATERIALS: Neoprene, gusset-backed YKK zipper, neoprene insole, rubber outsole PROS: Very warm, durable, comfortable, keeps out gravel and sand CONS: Water can pool inside and needs to be drained NRS FREESTYLE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Kayakers with tight hulls that need agility and flexibility WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Ankle AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 (mm) MATERIALS: Terraprene neoprene, VaporLoft lining, rubber outsoles PROS: Made specifically for technical kayakers, flexible, durable, great value CONS: Tread can be a bit slippery for mossy or smooth rocks O’NEILL FREAKSNEAK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Stylish kayakers who want something different from the typical kayaking shoe WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Low AVERAGE THICKNESS: 2 mm MATERIALS: FilterTech mesh, 2 mm fluid foam, rubber outsole PROS: Could be mistaken for an everyday shoe, comfortable, quick drying CONS: Not the best for technical kayaking or walking through slippery terrain SEA TO SUMMIT ULTRA FLEX Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Warm water kayakers needing flexibility and traction WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Low AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 (mm) MATERIALS: Neoprene, rubber outsoles, Velcro Y strap PROS: Extremely flexible and perfect for all types of kayaking, breathable, durable CONS: Sole might be too thin for jagged rocks NEOSPORT LOW TOP Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Kayakers wanting a durable low cut pair of shoes at a great price WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Low AVERAGE THICKNESS: 2 mm MATERIALS: Neoprene, rubber outsoles, Velcro strap, elastic cinch cord PROS: Easy to slip on and off, flexible, stylish, multiple cinch points, great quality for price point CONS: Thin sole makes these shoes not ideal for jagged surfaces NRS BOUNDARY Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Kayakers wading through cold water and rough terrain WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Knee AVERAGE THICKNESS: 5 mm MATERIALS: Neoprene upper, thick neoprene insoles, plastic shim, buckle strap at the calf PROS: Waterproof, sturdy, comfortable, warm, versatile CONS: Sizing can be confusing as this model is unisex STOHLQUIST TIDELINE BOOTS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Cold water kayakers wanting a reliable all-around kayaking shoe WOMEN’S VERSION: Stohlquist Tideline Boots CUT: Ankle AVERAGE THICKNESS: 5 mm MATERIALS: Neoprene upper, vulcanized rubber outer, YKK non-corrosive zipper, rubber toe and heel caps PROS: Great traction, easy to fit with wetsuit, warm CONS: Runs small and can be too tight around the lower shin KOKATAT NOMAD PADDLING BOOTS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Cold water kayakers wading through frigid water WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CUT: Knee AVERAGE THICKNESS: 3 mm MATERIALS: Double lined neoprene, waterproof gaiter, neoprene cuff, blind-stitched seams, rubber outsole PROS: Warm, durable, compatible with cold weather outer gear, flexible CONS: Takes a few wears to break in due to tight ankle opening COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST KAYAKING SHOES PICTUREKAYAKING SHOESBEST USECUTTHICKNESSPRICERATING PICTUREKAYAKING SHOESBEST USECUTTHICKNESSPRICERATING Kokatat Scout BootsOverallAnkle3 mm$$4.9 Sea to Summit Blitz OverallAnkle3 mm$$4.8 NRS Paddle WetshoeOverallAnkle3 mm$$4.5 NRS Freestyle OverallAnkle3 mm$$4.3 O'Neill Freaksneak BudgetLow2 mm$4.6 Sea to Summit Ultra Flex BudgetLow3 mm$4.7 NeoSport Low TopBudgetLow2 mm$4.3 NRS BoundaryCold WaterKnee5 mm$$$4.7 Stohlquist Tideline BootsCold WaterAnkle5 mm$$4.3 Kokatat Nomad Paddling BootsCold WaterKnee3 mm$$$4.4 Gear up for kayaking, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Kayaking GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR KAYAKING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAKING SHOES TEMPERATURE Kayaking shoes come in a range of thicknesses and materials that are largely tailored to the temperature of water you’ll be kayaking in. Cold water kayakers will want a thick neoprene or waterproof shoe, while those in warm water will need something with airflow to keep feet from overheating. In general, cold water kayaking shoes will have thick neoprene, 4 mm and up, and might be cut above the ankle for extra warmth and protection. Warm water kayaking shoes will likely be made of thinner neoprene, mesh, or a rubber sandal style. In an article about kayaking clothing from Paddling.com, they advise kayakers to never wear cotton (this includes socks) while kayaking because it draws heat away from the body and takes too long to dry. The temperature you’ll be paddling in should be one of the biggest considerations you look for when choosing the best kayaking shoes. When in doubt, get something that’s a little warmer than is necessary because it’s easier to cool down feet than warm them up when kayaking. Dress correctly, and you can even explore the wild waters of Antarctica from the comforts of a kayak like Antonio and Amanda from The Adventure Junkies have done. TERRAIN Will you be scampering up jagged rocks? Wading through mud? Treading through pebbles and sand? Or stomping through marshes? Each terrain you explore on your kayak excursion dictates the type of kayaking shoe you’ll want — especially if you’re hopping in and out of your kayak often. By the way, did you know there’s a proper way to get into a kayak? Check out our guide that explains how to climb inside your kayak with ease. You’ll want a kayaking shoe with a thick sole if you’re going to be walking over jagged rocks, tread for smooth surfaces, and a tall, closed-shoe if you’re walking through sand or pebbles to prevent blisters. Kayakers often find themselves in slippery situations. The combination of moss, water, and wet rocks near bodies of water can create a catastrophe for adventurers. Fortunately, BC Forest Safety has a guide on navigating through this slippery terrain safely and with ease. Wearing sturdy shoes is essential. Consider where you’ll be kayaking most of the time and choose your shoes based on that. If you’re kayaking around variable terrain, then opt for an overall shoe that suits the average temperature. SHOE HEIGHT Kayaking shoes typically come in three heights, low-cut, ankle, and knee height. Low-cut shoes work best in warm weather and offer a lot of comfort and flexibility. These are best if you’re looking for minimal protection while hopping in and out of a kayak. They’re often made of mesh or thin neoprene, meaning it’s easy to cool your feet off with a quick dunk into the water. Ankle high kayaking shoes are a little bit warmer and offer more support than low-cut shoes. These are typically found in overall kayaking shoes as they’re versatile and tend to come with thicker soles. They’re easy to put on, pack, and wear. Knee high shoes are loved by cold-water kayakers who need extra warmth or waterproof shoes when wading in and out of the water. Surf kayakers, who are no strangers to getting wet, also tend to gravitate towards these. Knee high shoes should be very snug to prevent water pooling inside because this can be dangerous and restrict movement if the kayak capsizes or the kayaking falls into the water. FIT Your kayaking shoes should be more snug than the shoes you wear in everyday life, especially if it’s made of neoprene. Think of it as fitting more like a glove or a sock. Too tight, and you might have foot cramps after just a few hours of paddling. Too loose, and you risk having water pooling inside, debris coming in, and getting blisters. A bulky shoe might also not be compatible with the inside of your hull if you have a kayak with small footholds. You should be able to flex your foot, including your toes, comfortably, but not have any loose material. Keep in mind that neoprene expands and becomes more flexible in water. KAYAKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSKAYAKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. KAYAK SAFETY 2. KAYAK SKILLS 6. DESTINATIONS 3. KAYAKING GEAR 7. KAYAK FISHING 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 8. SUP 1. BASICS 2. KAYAK SKILLS 3. KAYAK GEAR 4. KAYAK CLOTHES 5. KAYAK SAFETY 6. DESTINATIONS 7. KAYAK FISHING 8. SUP Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.