We’re going to talk about the best water socks in this post – and save your feet from a world of grief.

Does that sound mundane? It shouldn’t. There are few things that suck more than chafed feet (uggh). That’s all the more important in the dog days of summer, when you’re surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and/or doing that whole water sports thing.

Water socks are a layer between water shoes and your skin. Wear them with water shoes and scuba fins, or even hiking boots. These are the best water socks for your dollar as of 2020.

Please note, these are links to Amazon, and if you buy any of these bad boys through said links, I’ll get a commission, which will feed my growing caffeine addiction. Don’t sweat it though – these are objective reviews based on my personal research and not clouded by that whole ‘who gives the biggest commission’ thing.

The exception would be if they paid commissions in a caffeine source I could hook up to my arm, which I have yet to find. I am shaking already…

Water Socks protect your feet and are a good idea if you do water sports. Photo Credit/Much Love to: Grant Durr/Unsplash.com

Best Water Socks Rated

  1. TIlos 3MM Neoprene Fin Socks
  2. Seavenger Zephyr 3mm Neoprene Dive Socks
  3. BPS Storm Sock
  4. Capas 2mm Neoprene Socks
  5. OM Gear Neoprene Water Socks
  6. Akona 2mm Low Top Neoprene Socks
  7. Seavenger SeaSnugs Tall Beach Volleyball Socks

Water socks are a good purchase if you spend much time on the beach or do water sports. They protect your feet from blisters, scrapes and the general ‘Holy Crap That Hurts!’ of walking on sand and pebbles. The best water socks tend to be made of neoprene, which further protects your feet from either hot or cold water.

You’ll generally want to wear them with water shoes, as the latter has a stronger sole and water socks are exactly that – they’re socks. Still, the best water socks are both durable and comfortable, and can make your time on the beach and in the water a world more enjoyable. Some may be strong enough to be worn on their own.

And here’s something else to consider: sunburnt feet increase your risk of skin cancer, to say nothing about sun and age spots you’d prefer not to have. Cover your feet with swim socks and your skin may thank you.

#1 – Tilos 3MM Neoprene Fin Socks (Top Pick)

Tilos 3mm Neoprene Water Sock

Comfortable, versatile, great traction and designed to make you look like a ninja, the Tilos 3MM water socks is, simply put, the best water sock out there. OK, so maybe looking like a ninja isn’t high on your criteria. Scratch that then – consider the honeycomb design on the sole that helps with better traction, so you’re less likely to slip on wet surfaces like rocks.

They’re comfortable too, thanks to blind-stitched seams. These are light water socks, yet they’re durable enough that you can pretty much wear them in any situation, without water shoes if you like. Use the Tilos 3MM Neoprene water sock for kayaking, snorkeling, SUP paddling and most water sports in general.

Or just wear them on the beach and let that 3MM neoprene protect your feet from the burning sand.

Pros:

  • 3MM Neoprene (For Better Protection)
  • Lightweight
  • Blind-Stitched Seams (Less Chafing)
  • Good Traction
  • Very Durable
  • You’ll Look Like a Ninja

Cons:

  • Some Issues With Sizing (Refer to Tilos’s Size Chart)

Specifications:

Thickness – 3MM

Material – Neoprene

#2 – Seavenger Zephyr 3MM Neoprene Dive Socks (Editor’s Choice)

Seavenger Zephyr Neoprene Water Socks

The Seavenger Zephyr 3MM Neoprene Dive Socks is another low-cut water sock. It stretches, it goes on easy and it’s well-suited for most water sports, be it snorkelling, diving, swimming, kayaking – you name it. The 3mm neoprene material helps conserve body heat, so you’ll be warm in colder waters. You’ll also like the dotted silkscreen sole, which helps with traction, so you’re less likely to slip.

It’s the kind of water sock that has you covered (nice one!) in most water sport scenarios. You can wear Zephyr 3mms while walking on sand or a reef. Wear them with fins or flippers, they’re a snug, versatile, durable and comfortable water sock. And that, dear friend, is the name of the game.

Pros

  • 3MM Neoprene (Keeps You Warm)
  • Dotted Silkscreen Sole For Better Traction
  • Suitable For Most Water Sports
  • Snug Fit
  • Stretchable

Cons:

  • Some Reports of Durability Issues

Specifications:

Thickness – 3MM

Material – Neoprene

#3 – BPS Storm Sock (Awesome Value)

BPS Storm Neoprene Water Sock

BPS Ultra Premium Water Fin ‘Storm Sock‘ is a durable, 3mm neoprene water sock. It’s got an elastic strap around the ankle for a customizable fit and to minimize water getting getting in, which, speaking from experience, is a big plus. The ocean isn’t terribly kind to water socks that are too big and will quickly make you wish you were dead. OK, so that’s a stretch, but the ankle strap is a nice touch.

Speaking of customizable, this is a unisex water sock that you can buy in a variety of pretty nifty designs.

Aesthetics aside, the BPS storm sock belongs near the top of the best water socks for quality and performance. The 3mm neoprene fabric can help keep your feet warm and with a sole that grips most surfaces so you’re less likely to slip.

Pros:

  • 3mm neoprene fabric (for warmth)
  • Glued and Blind-Stitched (For Durability)
  • Elastic Strap (Reduces Water Seepage)
  • Good Traction
  • Versatile Water Sock (Suitable For Most Water Sports)
  • Available in a Variety of Colors

Cons:

  • Not Great For Walking Long Distances

Specifications:

Thickness – 3MM

Material – Neoprene

#4 – Capas 2mm Neoprene Socks

You may be wondering why, if the best neoprene socks are 3mm thick, why would anyone want 2mm water socks? The answer is this: breathability – something the Capas 2mm Neoprene Water Sock does exceptionally well. This is a sand-proof water sock. It fits above your ankle and has everything you want in a water sock – neoprene, blind-stitching and an ‘anti-slip’ sole with a design that mimics that of an SUV tire.

That gives the Capas 2mm Neoprene Water sock excellent traction.

So why is it fourth and not in the top three? It’s 2mm thick – not three – and this is to encourage better air circulation. That’s a good thing, although it comes with the trade-off of less protection from cold water. It’s not a huge deal, and some people may actually prefer this to a thicker sock.

You say “Tomato”. I say “Tomauto“…

Pros:

  • Excellent Breathability
  • Keeps Sand Out
  • Durable
  • Can Be Used For Water Or Land Sports
  • Stretchable

Cons:

  • Some Reports of Slipping on Surfaces

Specifications:

Thickness – 2mm

Material – Neoprene and Nylon

#5 – OM Gear Neoprene Water Socks

OM Gear Neoprene Water Socks

Oh My Gear! OMGear water neoprene water socks are a humdinger of a good value if you’re on a budget. They’re neoprene, they’re 3mm, they’ve got an ankle strap and they’re reinforced on the sole with rubber printing, which should help with traction.

They’ve also got glued and blind stitched seams, which should help with durability and, heck, the variety of snazzy designs is kinda neat too.

If there’s one drawback to OMGear Neoprene Water Socks, it may be around the big toe, where socks tend to wear out in general. Some reviews suggest OMGear water socks wear out a little faster here, although most reviews are overwhelmingly positive. They’re among the cheapest of the best water socks too, so if you’re a penny pincher, this may be your sock.

Pros:

  • 3mm Neoprene (For Warmth)
  • Ankle Strap (Prevents Water Seepage)
  • Rubber-Inforced Sole
  • Blind Stitched Seams
  • Cheap Water Sock
  • Good Variety of Designs

Cons:

  • Some Reports of Early Wear and Tear Around the Big Toe

Specifications:

Thickness – 3mm

Material – Neoprene and Nylon

#6 – Akona 2mm Low Top Neoprene Water Socks

Akona Neoprene Water Socks

Akona 2mm low top neoprene water socks are another good option for folks looking to do a little waterspouts. As the name implies, it’s a low-top sock that fits well under fins, booties and even hiking shoes. Also as the name implies, this is a 2mm water socks. Back to the debate about breathability vs thickness again, although 2mm will definitely insulate you from colder waters.

Being a low-top water sock, the Akona 2mm slips on easily. The 12 month warranty is a nice touch too.

Pros:

  • Low Cut Design (Fits Easily)
  • Fits Under Fins, Booties and Even Hiking Shoes
  • Breathable
  • Blind-Stitched Seams (For Durability)
  • 12 Month Warranty

Cons:

  • Sizes Run Small
  • Sand and Pebbles May Get In

Specifications:

Thickness – 2mm

Material – Neoprene and Nylon

#7 – Seavenger Seasnugs Tall Beach Socks For Soccer

Seavenger Seasnug Tall Beach Socks Are Good For Beach Sports

Gonna spend a little more time on the beach than you would in the water? The Seavenger Seasnugs Tall Beach socks is perfect for that. It’s the only spandex product on this list, made with a heat-resistant sole that makes it ideal for protection from hot sand when you play volleyball, soccer, frisbee and all those epic beach sports that make summer so, well, summer.

It’s a high cut sock, which reduces sand from getting in where you don’t want it. You shouldn’t have any chasing either, thanks to that smooth, flat lock stitching.

Light weight, and with an adjustable fit, Seavenger Seasnug Tall Beach Socks fit well under fins and you can use them for snorkelling.

Pros:

  • Perfect For Beach Sports
  • Good Protection From Hot Sand
  • High Top Design (Keeps Sand Out)
  • Adjustable Fit
  • Can Be Worn Under Fins
  • Wide Variety of Designs

Cons:

  • Some Reports of Early Wear and Tear

Specifications:

Thickness – N/A

Material – Spandex and Neoprene

Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Water Socks

Those are the best water socks. But how do you find the right one for your needs?

While different water socks serve different functions, you’re generally looking for the following criteria:

Gonna be on the beach this summer? Protect your feet dude! Photo Credit/Big Love to: Mitchell Luo/Unsplash.com

Durability

You know how socks tend to wear out at the big toe? That’s an issue with water socks too, and if you go for the cheapest product, you may find the same problem.

The best water socks have a durable sole. They’re typically buffered with rubber, nylon or a combination of both. You also want glued and blind stitching, so the sock won’t tear when you put it on, yet you don’t want chafing from that stitching either.

Material

Ever worn socks in water? Right – it sucks. That’s why you want water socks made with a material that protects your skin from cold water, doesn’t absorb that water, dries quickly and is strong enough to protect your feet from the other challenges of water sports, like rocks and hot sand.

They shouldn’t cause chafing or blisters, either.

Enter neoprene – a synthetic rubber you’ll encounter in wetsuits because it offers excellent cold protection, dries quickly and is generally appropriate for most people with sensitive skin (although speak with your doctor if you have a skin allergy). It’s tough as well, and when strengthened with rubber and nylon (especially around the soles), should ensure your water socks live up to the abuse you put them through.

Also consider that light, mesh and/or honeycomb-styled water socks, like the Tilos 3mm water sock breathe better than solid materials and have better drainage.

You don’t want to hike the PCT with sweaty feet for 12 hours straight.

Most water socks can help protect your feet while hiking. Photo Credit: Daniel Hershman, Wikipedia.com

Stability

A water sock should have cushioning that supports the arch of your foot. Stability counts, especially when you consider you’ll be balancing your feet on rocks, between cracks and the typically abuse your feet go through in the great outdoors. Whichever water sock you choose, the sole should feel firm and support your feet.

Traction

This is also important. We all know what a slippery surface feels like. Rocks and the area around swimming pools in particular can be a problem.

The best water socks offer good traction with soles designed to minimize those nasty spills. Check out the SUV tire-inspired rubber sole design on the Capas 2mm neoprene water sock.

Thickness

Most water socks are either two or three millimetres thick. I’ve ranked the Tilos 3mm neoprene water sock as the best overall water sock for your money. So 3mm is always the way to go, right?

Well, not quite. A 3mm water sock gives you better cold water protection, but it’s a heavier sock, it drains slower and it doesn’t breathe as well.

As a general guideline, think about a 3mm water sock if you’re in a lot of cold water or will wear it under hiking shoes, and a 2mm water sock if you’re just gonna chill by a pool.

FAQs About Water Socks

What’s the Difference Between Booties, Water Socks and Water Shoes?

Booties are dive boots. Water socks are ‘socks’ and water shoes are water shoes.

That’s the quick explanation. The longer version is like this:

Booties – Are usually thicker and heavier than water shoes and water socks. They offer more protection from tears, punctures and cold water, which is important because those risks are higher when diving.

Water Socks – Are socks you can wear in water. They’re generally light and designed to be unintrusive, with 2-3mm thickness and a light-ish sole.

Water Shoes – Are shoes you can wear underwater, on land, and a combination of both. They’re thicker than water socks and have a stronger sole, which is sometimes so durable you can even use them for hiking.

How Should I Size Water Socks?

You should size water socks by your shoe size. They should be tight enough that there are no air pockets and they don’t slide down your ankles, but they shouldn’t be hard to get on either. Again, your shoe size will likely be your best guide for sizing water socks.

Always check the manufacturer’s size chart when you buy water socks.

How Do I Clean Water Socks?

Start by rinsing them off with hot water. If they still stink, mix a mild soap (like a dishwashing detergent) with vinegar to warm water and give them a good scrub. If it’s especially dirty, let it soak overnight, then rinse it off and hang them dry. Note you’ll want to avoid putting neoprene in your washing machine because the material can be delicate.

And yes, you need to wash your water socks even if they’re just in a lake. Fresh water has microbes too and the stink factor still applies whether it’s a lake, pond, or the mighty Pacific Ocean.

Can I Swim In Water Socks?

Yes – water socks are great for swimming, although you might want one of the more stream-lined products, like the Seavenger Zephyr 3mm Dive Sock to minimize drag.

Do I Need To Wear Them With Water Shoes?

Generally speaking, you should wear them with fins or water shoes. The ‘Generally’ part is that some, like the Seavenger Tall Beach Sock is ideal for the sand and might be OK on its own. That will be a matter of preference.

Are Water Socks Worth It?

Do you like blisters, cuts, chafing, sweaty shoes and/or wet socks when you’re hiking? If the answer is no, then they are a very good value. That’s all the more important if you’re big into water sports, you hike a lot (you can wear them under hiking shoes) and you just want to be more comfortable as you do your thing in the epic outdoors.