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Can You Use Crocs as Water Shoes?

Crocs, in addition to being terrible when wet, do not make good water shoes. That is, unless you get the appropriate style of this brand's footwear. For approximately a month when my son was younger, he only wore Crocs. Then the back snapped, and we sort of abandoned them for a bit.

Close up photo of child's feet standing in water with red crocs.

Along with being horrible when wet, Crocs do not make for great water shoes. That is unless you buy the right style of this brand of footwear. When my son was younger, he wore Crocs exclusively for about a month. Then the back broke off and we sort of ditched them for a while.

Now he has another pair that he wears around the apartment, using them more as shoes around the house. But if we head down to the beach or go to the spray park, he will wear them.

Is this a good idea, and should you use Crocs as water shoes? I have come across some useful information that will help you make a smarter choice if you are considering Crocs as water shoes. 

Related: Should You Wear Socks with Crocs? If So, How? Which Socks?

What are Crocs and Water Shoes 

Man sitting on the seashore while wearing water shoes.

Crocs are open slingback sandals that have a full toe box covering and thick sole. These shoes hit their peak about a decade ago when all ages, including nurses and kitchen dishwashers, were wearing Crocs to work as a comfortable choice. They are super soft, but when it comes to wearing these sandals in water, things start to get soggy.

Since Crocs are made of a sponge like material, they tend to hold water. You cannot really wear them in standing water, and swimming with Crocs on is not possible. They will work against your feet as you try to swim.

Water shoes are rubberized or waterproofed footwear commonly in a woven mesh that fits snug to the foot. These are made to be worn in the water, whether in the river, ocean, or in the pool. The way water shoes work is that they filter out the water while staying closely to the foot.

That way, you can easily move through the water while swimming. The water filters through instead of filling up the shoe and causing you to sink.

Should I Wear Crocs to the Pool or Beach

A photo focusing the crocs with a person standing in the shore.

As Crocs are such a popular sandal, they are well received in the summertime. This is also the prime time to have footwear for wet conditions like pools and beaches. According to the Headless Nomad, “Around the water, whether it’s a swimming pool, a lake, the beach, or the river, you’ll often see people wearing Crocs and there are a lot of good reasons for wearing them.

As an all around shoe, Crocs reign supreme in terms of comfort and foot health.” When you want a replacement for a flip flop that has more substance, you might consider wearing them to the pool. 

That might be fine, but if you are planning on going into the water to swim, you’ll need to remove the Crocs. What about the river? If you are going tubing or sitting on a boat, you can get by wearing Crocs as your summer footwear. However, WebMD reports, “Whether it’s rain or snow, when Crocs get wet they’re terrible.”

This includes having Crocs sitting in standing water. So keep your feet up out of puddles if you are on a pontoon, or at least set the Crocs aside when you don’t need to wear them to keep them dry. 

Crocs Pacer Sneakers as Water Shoes

Here is where there is an exception to the rule. You can wear Crocs as water shoes if they are actually made to be mesh like water shoes. Take a look at these Crocs Men’s Pacer sneakers that are very similar to the next shoe, the Swiftwater mesh sandals:

As you can see, these shoes look very much alike and would work equally as well in water. The Crocs Pacer sneaker is a Croc, but not the traditional Croc sandal with the Dutch style toe box covering. The sneakers are also snugly worn on the feet in order to provide better water protection. So technically, with this shoe, you could wear a Croc as a water shoe. Just not your conventional Croc sandal. 

Shoes Better Than Crocs in Water

Muddy men's chaco sandal on a river.

A suggestion comes from the DIS Disney Discussion Boards: “People who need shoes to use in water do not buy crocs. They usually use Chacos or Tevas. Chacos are better but more expensive and made in the USA.

If you are going to buy something just get some cheap flip flops and hope they last a day.” Chacos and Tevas are sandals featuring Velcro straps made from nylon that are tight fitting to the feet and waterproof. 

Here again, with Crocs, you may come across a pair of Croc sandals that are made using the same pattern as Chacos or Tevas strappy sandals. This would allow you to use Crocs with their rubberized straps in place of the Velcro type that the Chacos and Tevas use, which is a much more comfortable fit in my opinion. But there again, the water soaking into the sponge like the sole of Crocs is the problem.

You can’t wear Crocs because of the water absorbing into the comfy material. I would suggest keeping your eye out for other shoes like the Crocs Pacer sneaker that works similar to a water shoe. For example, there is the Classic Boat Shoe by Crocs, which is great at the beach or on a boat deck or pier:

Another shoe by Crocs that does work well in the water is the All Cast Rain Boot made using waterproof materials:

As you can see, there are plenty of Crocs footwear that are made for wearing in the water. You just can’t get away with wearing traditional clog style Crocs in the pool or pond. They will literally “clog up” your ability to swim and move under water.