What are the best shoes for white water rafting? You may have already made the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes, or you’re just being cautious for your first time.
White water rafting is the perfect outdoorsy activity for anyone who loves a bit of an adrenaline rush. You know that those submerged boulders will give you an amazing experience and that the rocky beaches won’t disappoint those who love the wonders of nature.
However, all of these little things mean that you need something to protect your feet since they will be submerged under cold water.
You’ll have to walk on sharp and pointy rocks as well as slippery moss. So, what shoes would anyone wear in this situation?
The most important thing to consider is whether or not they’ll be durable under these conditions. Also, will they be comfortable enough to wear without socks?
Although there aren’t too many things to consider here, you may be feeling overwhelmed. I mean, you could just go barefoot and hope for the best, but I promise you that it won’t end well.
After all, you need a pair of shoes that are also suited for swimming. What’s rafting without jumping into the water and going for a wonderful swim?
So, let’s see which shoes will be the best for white water rafting and what are your options. If you want to find out everything there is to know about this topic, then you’re at the right place.
The best shoes for white water rafting
Okay, the best option is always to do some excessive research before you embark on adventures like these.
What you need to know is that you may not even need to go out and buy new shoes, you can simply look at the characteristics that we’ll mention below.
You may also be able to find shoes like these in your closet!
Sometimes, the best shoes for these adventures are the type of shoes that should be worn one last time before throwing them away. However, there are a few things that you should look for when you’re picking out shoes for rafting.
1. Close-toed sandals
I would love to tell you that your feet are safe and that you can avoid getting them wet, but I would be lying to you. That’s why sandals will be your best friend in this situation.
However, you should make sure that the sandals are closed at the front. This way, you’ll be able to relax knowing that your toes are safe from the rocks.
You know how easy it is to actually trip in sandals that are completely open. You’ll bump your toes on something hard, you’ll scratch them. The sharp rocks can even break through your skin and create a serious issue.
If you’re going to wear sandals, they definitely are the best option because you can swim in them, walk in them, you don’t need socks underneath them, and so on. There’s no downside to wearing some comfy sandals on your rafting journey.
2. Shoes with rubber soles
When you’re researching what are the best shoes for white water rafting, you may fall into the trap of buying new shoes just because people are promoting their products. However, there’s a good chance that you already have good shoes at home that you can use.
For example, do you have any shoes with rubber soles?
Rubber won’t slip on the rocks, nor will you feel the sharpness of the terrain. Your feet will be completely protected and secure.
When you wear shoes with rubber soles they provide you with the best support and traction. They won’t slip when it’s wet.
For example, if you choose leather soles you’ll slip on anything and everything once they do get wet. You’ll feel like you’re walking on ice, which is horrifying in these conditions.
You need to feel secure on your feet, the rafting itself will provide you with enough adrenaline.
3. Shoes with secure attachment strap
Considering how aggressive the waves can get when you’re rafting, you should definitely understand that you could easily leave this adventure with one or both shoes missing.
When your shoes have a secure attachment strap, then you won’t have to wonder what will happen to them. This is especially important if you’re wearing sandals.
Sandals can easily slip out from beneath your feet and make you trip and fall. They’ll float away in these quick waters and you’ll never be able to see them again.
Why would anyone want to lose their shoes and wonder how they’ll get home safely afterward?
I mean, the best shoes for white water rafting will definitely be some sort of secure sandals. So make sure that they’re securely attached to your feet!
Of course, you won’t have to worry about this if you’ve decided to make this trip in your sneakers or some ankle boots.
4. Quick-drying shoes
If you don’t wear sandals, then make sure that the shoes you wear are quick-drying. You can wear sandals on bare feet, no matter how wet they get from the water.
You shouldn’t wear shoes that won’t dry for days. Especially because sometimes white water rafting lasts for days. You don’t want to go to the campsite in wet shoes and then have to wear those same wet shoes tomorrow again.
Find something that dries quickly, otherwise, you risk a chance to get a serious illness that’s going to ruin your adventure. Your feet will be cold the entire time, and you’ll feel uncomfortable wherever you go.
Who wants that? Hopefully, not you.
5. Old sneakers
Would you like to give your old sneakers one last adventure before you throw them into the trash? Then let’s do it!
Do you have some old sneakers in your house that have just been lying around? Have you been thinking about throwing them away, but you’re just not really ready to let go of them?
Well, then, this is your perfect opportunity to actually give them one last adventure and then say goodbye to them. There’s nothing you should be sorry for!
People often ask this question, of whether simple sneakers would be good for this sort of activity, and my honest answer is: Why not?!
They’re sturdy, they’re flexible, they have good soles, and they’re stable on your feet. I mean, they won’t dry as quickly as some other shoes, but I believe that that’s more than okay for now.
You can still bring some normal flip-flops if you’re going to get out of the boat. I may even take the liberty of saying that you’re the safest if you choose to wear simple sneakers.
Make your choice!
6. High-quality sandals
At the end of the day, if you’re really looking for the best shoes for white water rafting, then you could easily invest in some high-quality sandals.
Once you start to research these, you’ll be flooded with information, but you can ask people who have been doing this sport professionally for some sort of input.
Otherwise, you’ll be left wondering what and how far should you go. The main question you should ask yourself in this case is: Do you want to pursue this sport in the long run or is this a one-time thing?
Also, do your finances give you permission to actually buy something that you won’t use frequently?
If the answer to both those questions is yes – then simply go for it! This is your time to shine.
What shoes are NOT good for white water rafting?
Okay, I briefly mentioned why it’s bad to go barefoot on a rafting expedition. But for those who didn’t listen, here it goes one more time: DO NOT GO BAREFOOT!
You’ll end up hurting yourself, you’ll fall out of the rafter onto the rocks, you’ll step on a snake, you’ll step on a sharp rock. You’ll get so injured that you won’t be able to enjoy the rest of the adventure because you were too confident for your own good.
2. Open-top sandals
Any type of shoe that has an open top will be the worst decision of your life. You’ll stab your toes on anything and everything.
Did you ever walk around in open-top sandals and the sandal caught on something so you trip like it’s no one’s business? Well, I have! So, trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to go through that.
I know that it’s easier this way and that these sandals probably won’t stay wet for too long, but safety is the key here.
3. Hiking boots
Shocking, I know. When you’re thinking about the best shoes for white water rafting, you’re probably thinking that you’re the safest in hiking boots.
But those are heavy! And they’ll only get heavier as they get wet.
They’re not safe if you fall into the water and you’re trying to swim to the boat or to the shore. They’ll make swimming extremely hard and they’ll drag you down when you’re in the water.
4. Anything fancy
This one goes out for the girls who want to look good and take pictures like it’s a runway show, without understanding what’s actually going on. Not to generalize, though, men should take this into consideration as well.
If you’re worried about losing or destroying your shoes the entire time, then you won’t be able to enjoy one moment out on the river.
Just because your shoes are pretty, doesn’t mean that they’re worthy of an adventure such as white water rafting.