If you love being on the water, you have probably seen or tried stand-up paddleboarding– a popular water sport that involves standing on a large board and propelling oneself through the water with a paddle. Having a great shoe helps make the sport more enjoyable and easier to master.
The collection features a wide range of footwear made for Stand Up Paddleboarding and other water sports activities.
The best type of shoes to wear while stand-up paddleboarding are ones that are lightweight, comfortable, and have good grip. A great shoe will allow you to feel the board and better balance yourself. It’s important to choose shoes that won’t slip off easily, won’t absorb too much water, and won’t weigh you down. Water shoes or neoprene booties are a great option, as they provide protection for your feet while still allowing you to feel the board beneath you. Overall, the most important thing is to choose a pair of shoes that you feel comfortable and confident in, so you can focus on enjoying your time on the water.
The best summer paddleboarding shoes from Sperry
There are characteristics that warm-weather paddleboarding shoes should have. They should be lightweight, quick-drying, have a flexible sole, and have grippy traction on wet and dry surfaces. The Sperry Sport collection has paddleboarding shoes for men and women that have these benefits. Plus, they’re stylish, so even if you’re a beginner, you’ll look like a pro on your paddleboard.
You may be familiar with another style of water shoe that fits more like a sock, and Sperry has one of those. The SeaSock™ Water Shoe is a great paddleboarding shoe, too. It has a lightweight, quick-drying mesh upper and a non-marking rubber outsole with Adaptive Wave-Siping™ technology for enhanced wet/dry traction. This men’s and women’s paddleboarding shoe has a form-fitting, flexible design that slips on easily with front and back pull tabs.
Available in men’s and women’s sizes, the Water Strider comes in several colors. This slip-on is designed to fit securely for a whole day of paddleboarding. It’s made of quick-drying hydrophobic materials that won’t absorb water. A cushiony EVA underfoot has a drainage design that keeps you comfortable. It has a rubber outsole that has Adaptive Wave-Siping™ technology that helps keep you steady on your board. A member of the Men’s Health staff offered this praise of the men’s paddleboarding shoe, the Water Strider, “I tried paddle boarding with the Men’s water striders [sic], and they helped me stay standing the whole time and kept my feet comfortable enough to keep paddling all day.”* Fortunately, the women’s paddleboarding shoe version offers the same great features as the men’s does.
*Gollayan, Christian, “Inside Sperry’s New Performance Line, the Best Water Shoes for Summer,” Men’s Health, March 11, 2022, accessed March 15, 2023. https://www.menshealth.com/style/a39409233/sperry-sport-launch-news/
This performance water shoe has a quick-drying, perforated, neoprene sock-fit upper that’s supported by an innovative TPU harness that provides a custom fit and lateral support. You’ll enjoy all-day paddleboarding comfort with its lightweight molded EVA footbed that offers cushioning and shock absorption. The non-marking rubber outsole with Adaptive Wave-Siping™ technology provides extraordinary wet/dry traction. The Men’s Wave Rocker slips on easily with a back pull tab.
Sperry has a sandal that makes an excellent men’s water sports shoe. It’s a lightweight strap sandal made of quick-drying neoprene and other synthetic materials. The heel strap system supports the ankle and secures the sandal. It’s a comfortable ride with a molded EVA footbed for cushioning and shock absorption. Like the other great Sperry sport shoes, the Men’s Eagle Ray Sports Sandal has Adaptive Wave-Siping™ technology that provides grippy traction, so you stay steady on your paddleboard.
When you’re not on your paddleboard, each will make a great water shoe as you play and relax on the beach, deck, dock, or in the water.
A brief history of paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is a young sport, but it has a long and interesting history. Distant cousins of the modern paddleboard existed thousands of years ago in cultures from Africa to South America. Surfing, on boards like paddleboards, has its roots planted in Hawaii, where Captain John Cook observed it in 1778. During surfing booms of the 1960s and 1980s in Hawaii, surfing with a paddle (then called “stand-up surfing”) was ignored and relatively unknown although some instructors would use a paddle with a surfboard to give instructions to beginning surfers.
In 2004 a Viet Nam veteran brought the sport of stand-up surfing from Hawaii to California, and it caught on quickly. “… stand up paddlers realized that the ‘surf’ could be taken out of it, and recreational and racing SUP [stand up paddling] were discovered as sports unto themselves. Across the USA, and now in Europe and Australia, landlocked people have started using stand-up boards as a replacement option to the canoe or kayak.” In 2008 the US Coast Guard classified SUP boards as vessels like canoes and kayaks. Besides having fun being on the water, paddleboarding is a great core workout. “Drawing on roots that are thousands of years old, stand up seems here to stay in the world of modern paddlesports.” While “paddleboarding” is a more common term, SUP is the technical name of the sport.*
*History narrative and quotes: Addison, Corran, “The History of Stand up Paddling,” SUP World Mag, 2010, accessed March 13, 2023.
Do I need to wear shoes while paddleboarding?
Most paddleboard experts suggest having shoes with you. You’ll need water shoes to protect your feet from rocks, shells, and other irritants while wading from land to water with your paddleboard. Once on your board, you may choose to wear your shoes or store them in your dry bag, along with your phone, keys, etc. Many boards have a way of attaching a dry bag to it, or you can choose a dry bag that you can wear as a backpack. Sperry has the best men’s and women’s shoes for paddleboarding during warm months.