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Which water shoes for crabbing are best?

If you’re planning to go crabbing this season, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right gear. You’ll want to protect yourself from spiny claws, slippery rocks and sunburns. One of the most important things to bring is a good pair of water shoes. They’ll keep you from slipping on stones and make sure your toes stay safe from potential crab pinches. 

The best water shoes for crabbing are close-toed and comfortable. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoes combine all-day comfort with a grippy sole and a stylish design. 

What to know before you buy water shoes for crabbing


Traction is one of the most important considerations when it comes to purchasing a pair of water shoes for crabbing. Many water shoes have light, flexible soles meant for swimming or surfing. But when buying water shoes for crabbing, you’ll want a pair with thicker soles and rubber lugs or other traction points on the bottom that will keep you safe on slimy rocks. 


Look for a pair comfortable enough to wear all day, especially if you plan to be out for several hours or more on your crabbing trip. You’ll also want to choose a pair that slides easily off your feet. 


Water shoes vary significantly when it comes to arch support. Most are designed for swimming or walking on the beach — they’re meant to be light on your feet and do not offer much support. Other water shoes, particularly those meant for running or hiking, have a thicker and more supportive sole. When buying water shoes for crabbing, you have a couple of choices. Flexible soles with less support allow you to grip your feet around rocks. But if you’re going to spend many hours on your feet or if you’re crabbing on particularly sharp terrain, you may want a pair with more support. 


You’ll find water shoes in a variety of styles. Some are slim and contour to your feet, while others have a sturdier structure and defined shape that resemble a traditional shoe. Water shoes also come in a huge variety of colors and patterns to match any outfit or aesthetic. You’ll find specific water shoes for men, women and kids. 


A water shoe with good protection is important when it comes to crabbing. A thick sole will help protect the bottoms of your feet from sharp rocks. And a closed-toed water shoe is good for protecting your toes from pinching crabs. You’ll also find some water shoes with open ventilated sides and a sturdy toe box. 

What to look for in quality water shoes for crabbing


Some water shoes drain water more efficiently than others. A quick-drying water shoe drains water quickly and prevents your feet from feeling waterlogged and soggy. It also prevents the shoe from mildewing after use. A quick-drying water shoe can fully dry in just a few hours. 

Pull-on vs. fasteners

Some water shoes stretch and pull on to your feet, while other water shoes have fasteners such as laces and Velcro straps. This affects how quickly you can pull on the shoe and also how snugly it fits around your feet. Water shoes with hook-and-loop systems are easy to adjust but often less secure than lacing systems. 

Ventilated sides 

Water shoes with ventilated sides let water easily drain out of the shoe as you wear it, so that water doesn’t build up in the shoes as you wear them. However, this does make your feet more vulnerable to crab pinches — so make sure you look for a pair with a closed toe. 

Defined toe design

Some water shoes offer a design with separated toes for a barefoot feel. This gives your feet more flexibility to wrap around rocks and slippery terrain while crabbing. However, these shoes are sometimes more challenging to put on your feet, especially when wet. 

How much you can expect to spend on water shoes for crabbing

Water shoes cost anywhere between $10-$15 on the lower end up to $60-$80 at the top of the line. Quality water shoes for crabbing should cost at least $25, as mid-range shoes generally have supportive soles, secure fasteners and other features ideal for crabbing conditions. 

Water shoes for crabbing FAQ

How do I care for my water shoes? 

A. It’s important to properly dry your water shoes to prevent mold and mildew from developing. Always rinse your shoes after use in clean cold water to remove salt water, sand and debris. Then shake off any excess water and let them dry in a well-ventilated area. Hanging them will help them dry more quickly. 

What should I wear for a crabbing trip? 

Sun hat

A. On top of a good pair of water shoes, be sure to pack plenty of sun protection, including a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Wear layers so you can easily adjust for varying weather. Quick-drying fabrics such as nylon, polyester or merino wool are best in case you get wet. 

What are the best shoes for crabbing to buy?

Top water shoes for crabbing 

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoes

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoes

What you need to know: This high-end water shoe has a grippy sole, sturdy toe box and ventilated sides and is available in both men’s and women’s styles. 

What you’ll love: Its waterproof leather construction is durable, comfortable and stylish. The shoes are available in six colors. Ventilated sides easily drain water and the sturdy toe box protects your toes. The sole has 3-millimeter lugs for a strong grip. 

What you should consider: These water shoes are significantly more expensive than other designs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top water shoes for crabbing for the money

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe

What you need to know: This is a mid-range water shoe with a low-profile design, ultra-grip sole and defined toes for a barefoot feel. 

What you’ll love: The low-profile, defined-toe design is ideal for wrapping your feet around slippery rocks. Ultra-grip soles provide additional traction. The stretchy upper lets you easily slip on the shoe. An integrated drainage system keeps your feet from feeling waterlogged. 

What you should consider: It can be difficult to get your toes into the shoes at first. Some users also report that the fabric takes a long time to dry.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Aleader Quick-Drying Water Shoes

Aleader Quick-Drying Water Shoes

What you need to know: These mid-priced water shoes are particularly lightweight, breathable and quick-drying. 

What you’ll love: The breathable mesh material drains water during use and dries quickly after use. The shoes include a sock liner for a custom fit, and they’re available in both men’s and women’s styles and 19 colors. 

What you should consider: These are less durable than other designs. Some find the toe box to be a bit narrow for their feet. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Katy Severson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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