footprints in the sand at the beach

Best Footwear For Beach Walking

Picture this. You are walking down the beach. Sand is gently slipping under the weight of your feet while its warmth reaches up to remind you that you are in paradise.

Your gait is confident, as if you were made to walk across sandy beaches like some sap from a romance novel. Everything feels right. The love of your life has probably just appeared and is completely aware of how awesome you are.

Now imagine that as you step forward to take their hand, you trip and fall face first into a mound of sand because you are not wearing the right kind of shoes to walk on the beach.

You can assume how the rest plays out. Your soulmate leaves you, and you are stuck with a face covered in sand. It’s probably in your eyes. It sucks. Whatever.

The message here is that having the right kind of shoes on when you are out for a stroll on a beautiful beach is the difference between having a picturesque moment and feeling like your life just exploded.

girl walking on beach

It might sound a little dramatic, but we care about you, which is why we are here to talk to you about the best kinds of footwear to purchase for strolling along the beach.

Why it matters what shoes you wear

Sand is a force to be reckoned with. Anyone who lives near a beach will tell you that sand can do things that no force on earth should be able to do. If you go to a beach even once, you can expect to be finding granules of sand in your car for the next fifteen years.

It just has a way of getting everywhere, and even when you think you have it conquered, it shows up again. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to choosing what shoes to wear.

If you make the daring decision to wear sneakers to the beach, we would like an invitation to their funeral because those shoes will without question never be clean again.

Wearing shoes that can easily be shaken out and rinsed to remove the microscopic bits of sand clinging to them are without question your best hope when it comes to enjoying a pleasant experience walking on the beach.

If you wear shoes with nooks, crannies, and fabric, you can expect that sand will be fully imbedded in there until you retire them.

In addition to sand’s unique ability to get anywhere and everywhere, it is also not necessarily the easiest to walk on.

Though we are taught to view people frolicking on the sand as a picturesque moment where people have no care in the world, sand has a tendency to shift under your feet, and it is already an incredibly uneven surface to begin with.

This makes it very easy to trip and slide as you walk across it, so if you are going to be logging some miles, it is best to have shoes that will stay securely in place and can be rinsed out with a quick step in the ocean or lake to relieve you of any sandy buildup that might be grating against your skin.

The point is that the shoes that you wear really do matter.

Related: Is It Rude To Take Off Your Shoes In Public? Why You Should Never Do This

Living the flip-flop life

Flip-flops are a quick go-to for most people when they visit the beach. If you plan on walking over to the beach and spending the majority of your time in the water, these are a great choice for your day trip.

flip flops on beach

Flip-flops are completely open, easy to rinse off, and are generally a comfortable and favorable decision for any water activity. However, when it comes to walking, you will want to make sure that you only wear flip-flops if you are planning on walking a short distance.

Though there are plenty of nice flip-flops that provide comfort and can be great for walking, when you are shifting and dancing across sand, the points that flip-flops put pressure on can get sensitive and you might end up with blisters.

Since the entire shoe tends to move around your foot as you walk, it is easy to get sand grinding into your foot, which is not great after the first mile. Since they are loose, they also increase your chance of tripping.

Why water shoes are good for beach exploration

As the world’s love for outdoor activities continues to increase, we are seeing a shift towards a complete love for water shoes.

Though you might not think that water shoes are what you need for beach walking, these bad boys can offer some serious benefits.

water shoes

They are designed specifically to be versatile and allow you to step in and out of water without any discomfort.

More importantly, they have strong and durable bottoms that will protect your precious feet against any sharp shells or sticks hidden away in the sand. As long as you don’t mind the awkward tan lines that can come with them, these shoes can be great for bravely traversing the beach.

The power of a good pair of sandals

Sandals are a great option for walking across the beach because they allow for all of the ease that flip-flops do, but they also stay securely in place and can provide additional support.

Though they are completely easy to shake out and rinse off, they are secure enough to give you some control against slipping and are less likely to roll your ankle when a drift of sand decides to shift beneath your feet.

Sandals are easily the gold standard for what to wear if you plan on trekking across a beach to soak up the sun and get your steps in at the same time.

You will want to aim for sandals that are well fitted, stay securely in place, do not rub when you walk, and preferably offer some arch support.


In order to preserve the sanctity of your beach-going experience, it is without question best to make the right decision when it comes to footwear.

If you plan on exploring the beach for miles on end, you will want the comfort and security of a good shoe. Protecting your feet when you walk on the beach is always important, but it becomes even more important if you are just visiting and do not frequently take on the challenges of battling sand.

The beach is a beautiful place to visit and you will be happy that you went prepared for success!