Can You Use Crocs as Water Shoes? We Asked 48 Hikers for Their Opinion

crocs as water shoes

Crocs are popular footwear known for their comfort and versatility, but can they be used as water shoes? To find out, we reached out to the hiking community and received responses from 48 hikers who shared their opinions and experiences. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using Crocs as water shoes, recommended models, and the difference between water shoes and water sandals.

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crocs as water shoes
Crocs as water shoes

The Opinion of the Hiking Community

Our survey revealed that 56% of hikers did not consider Crocs to be suitable water shoes, while 44% either currently use or would use Crocs for water activities. Those who were skeptical about using Crocs raised safety concerns as the main reason. However, among those who used Crocs as water shoes, they acknowledged that while Crocs worked, there were better options available.

What Are Water Shoes?

Before diving into whether Crocs can serve as water shoes, let’s clarify what water shoes actually are. Water shoes are designed to be submerged underwater and are typically made from breathable mesh material. They have enhanced traction on the soles to prevent slipping on wet surfaces, allow water to flow in and out of the shoe, and facilitate quick drying. These shoes are ideal for crossing bodies of water, kayaking, or engaging in water sports. Some water shoes also provide insulation for colder water and keep feet cool despite being wet.

Crocs vs. Water Shoes: The Difference

When comparing Crocs to traditional water shoes, it’s important to understand the distinction between water shoes and water sandals. Water shoes are fully enclosed toe designs that protect feet from rocks and debris in water. They are made from mesh material for breathability and quick drying. On the other hand, Crocs are made from a rubberish material with holes similar to water sandals. While Crocs can be used as water shoes, they may not provide the same level of protection and stability as traditional water shoes.

Benefits of Using Crocs as Water Shoes

Despite some reservations, many hikers prefer using Crocs as water shoes due to several advantages they offer:

1. Don’t Forget About Sport Mode (4×4 Mode)

Crocs come with a feature called “sport mode” where the strap is put up to provide better security and stability by holding the heel back and keeping the toes in place. This mode, also known as 4×4 mode, makes Crocs more versatile and suitable for hiking or lounging around the campsite.

2. They Float

One unique advantage of Crocs is that they float. Although losing your shoes in the water is not ideal, if they do become dislodged due to a mishap like a capsized canoe or kayak, the floating nature of Crocs gives you a chance to retrieve them. This prevents you from being shoeless for the remainder of your trip.

3. Versatile and Multifunctional

Crocs serve multiple purposes and are highly versatile. Many hikers use them as camp shoes to give their feet a break from heavy hiking boots. The easy on-off design and the option to wear them with or without the strap make Crocs convenient for both lounging and quick transitions.

4. Quick Drying

Crocs are made from a rubber material that does not absorb water, allowing them to dry quickly. Unlike fabric or mesh shoes, which may retain moisture, Crocs ensure that your feet stay relatively dry. This is particularly beneficial when crossing bodies of water or engaging in water activities.

5. Lightweight and Comfortable

Crocs are lightweight, weighing between 11 ounces and 16 ounces on average. This makes them more comfortable to wear, especially during hikes that involve paved or smooth sections of the trail. Additionally, their soft and breathable material provides adequate support and comfort for the feet.

Drawbacks of Using Crocs as Water Shoes

Despite the benefits, there are some drawbacks associated with using Crocs as water shoes, primarily related to safety:

1. Rock Collection

One common issue reported by hikers who have used Crocs as water shoes is the accumulation of rocks inside the shoes. The presence of holes in many Croc styles makes it easier for small rocks, sand, and debris to get trapped, causing discomfort and inconvenience. While this problem is not exclusive to Crocs and can occur with other water sandals, it’s something to consider.

2. Unstable and Slippery

The stability of water shoes is crucial when navigating slippery and rocky riverbeds. Unfortunately, many styles of Crocs are not specifically designed to provide the same level of stability as dedicated water shoes. This can increase the risk of slipping and falling in fast-moving water, compromising your safety.

Recommended Crocs Models for Water Shoes

While Crocs may not be the top choice for water shoes among hikers, certain models have proven to work better than others. According to our survey respondents, one specific type of Croc stood out as a recommended option for water activities. For more information about these recommended models, please refer to the sections below.

Crocs Vs. Water Shoes
Crocs Vs. Water Shoes


In conclusion, the hiking community’s opinion on using Crocs as water shoes is divided. While Crocs offer some benefits such as versatility, quick drying, and comfort, they may not provide the same level of stability and protection as traditional water shoes. It is important to consider the specific water conditions and activities involved before deciding to use Crocs for water-related adventures. If you do choose to go the Croc route, certain models are better suited for water shoes than others. Ultimately, it’s essential to prioritize safety and choose footwear that best meets your needs and requirements.


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