The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (2024)



Jessica Macdonald

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (1)

Jessica Macdonald

King's College London

Jessica Macdonald lives in South Africa's Eastern Cape province and has been TripSavvy's Africa Expert since 2016. She also covers travel products and has written about everything from camping knives to climbing chalk.

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Updated on 10/07/22

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Nowadays, there is more choice than ever regarding women’s sailing shoes. Options range from classic leather or canvas docksiders to technical sailing sneakers, water shoes, and sandals. Although each option varies in function and aesthetics, there are some standard features to look out for when selecting.

Sailing shoes require nonmarking soles with sufficient grip to stop you from sliding across wet decks in rough weather; a closed toe to protect you from injury; and quick-drying materials that remain undamaged despite repeated exposure to salt water. From fashion-forward choices to budget-friendly water shoes for the casual sailor, here are the best women’s sailing shoes currently on the market.

The Rundown

Table of contents

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look For

  • Why Trust TripSavvy

What We Like

  • Exceptionally light and breathable

  • Designed for multiple uses

  • Two fashionable color choices

What to Consider

  • Relatively expensive

  • Not wind- or waterproof

Available in off-white with pale pink accents or navy with red accents, the Helly Hansen Women’s Ahiga V4 Hydropower Aqua-Trainer is an attractive lace-up sailing shoe designed for coastal, inshore, and offshore sailing. The uppers combine Helly Hansen’s trademarked synthetic textiles, including HH Quick Dry, HH Max-Vent, and HH Pro-Guard. Together, they create a shoe that’s top of its class in terms of performance and breathability and are also very quick to dry.

You can rely on the superior cushioning afforded by the high-grade EVA midsole to keep your feet comfortable even after hours on the water. And, since it's antimicrobial, you can ditch your socks and still stay fresh. The sneakers’ razor-siped rubber outsole also provides the ultimate non-marking grip, keeping you upright on slippery decks. Overall, these shoes’ versatility and high-quality materials more than justify their slightly higher price tag.

Sizes: 5.5–10 | Material: Textile upper, EVA midsole, rubber outsole | Weight: 17.6 ounces

Best Classic

Sperry Women's Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (3)

What We Like

  • Iconic nautical style

  • Hand-sewn, full-grain leather

  • 360-degree lacing for a customized fit

What to Consider

  • Sizing runs slightly narrow

  • Not particularly quick-drying

Sperry’s Authentic Original Boat Shoes are, as their name suggests, the iconic women’s sailing shoes, with a hand-sewn moccasin style that packs a fashion punch while also providing tried-and-tested reliability on the water. The uppers include full-grain leather with 360-degree rawhide laces that can adjust around the foot for a fully customizable fit. Two rustproof eyelets add to the shoes’ overall aesthetic.

The Ortholite insole boosts comfort—something that reviewers repeatedly attest to—while the nonmarking rubber outsole features Sperry’s signature Wave-Siping for faultless traction on wet and dry surfaces. Choose yours in classic brown, navy, or Sahara (a neutral sand color) and team them with pale linens and nautical stripes for timeless prep style. Some claim that the shoes run narrow, but wide-fit versions are available.

Sizes: 5–12 | Material: Leather upper, rubber outsole| Weight: 14 ounces

Best Style

Roxy Women’s Minnow Slip-On Shoes

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (4)

What We Like

  • Laid-back, slip-on style

  • Memory foam insole

  • Wide range of colors and fabrics

What to Consider

  • Not intended for serious sailors

  • Some reviewers find the toe box tight

If technical performance isn’t a priority and you’re looking for a shoe inspired by the classic sailing style but offers a broader choice of colors and fabrics, the Roxy Women’s Minnow Slip-On could be the answer. Channeling laid-back beach vibes, these cute shoes come in several styles to suit all tastes—whether you’re a tie-dye blush girl, a leopard print aficionado, or someone who prefers tasteful gray knitted twill.

All versions have a textile upper with elastic stretch inserts, making them easy to slip on and off. The canvas insole and heel collar have padded memory foam for unparalleled comfort and are lined with breathable printed terry cloth so that you can wear the shoes with or without socks. On the TPR-injected outsole, siping in the shape of the Roxy logo adds grip. Reviewers say the kicks run true to size and are amazingly comfortable.

Sizes: 5–12 | Material: Textile upper, memory foam insole, TPR-injected outsole | Weight: 8 ounces

The 12 Best Women’s Sandals

Best Comfort

Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (5)

What We Like

What to Consider

  • Only available in regular width

  • Not suitable for technical sailing

Those for whom comfort is queen cannot go wrong with the Skechers Women’s GOwalk Lite Boat Shoes. Reviewers love that these slip-on boat shoes offer a robust sole yet remain incredibly light; they consistently praise how comfortable they are. With good support and a deep tread for improved traction on all terrains, they are a great choice as an all-rounder that’s as functional on land as it is on deck.

The shoes have canvas uppers with Leather-Tex overlays, nonmarking rubber outsoles, and Skechers’ trademark Goga Max cushioned insole. The latter pairs with a layer of Ortholite comfort foam to provide long-term cushioning and breathability for an overall effect that feels like walking on air. Choose yours in one of three colors: navy, coral, or natural (light sand), all with on-trend beige accents. Bonus: All versions are fully machine washable.

Sizes: 6–10 | Material: Canvas and Leather-Tex upper, Goga Max insole, rubber outsole | Weight: 5 ounces

Best for Racing

Musto Women’s Dynamic Pro II Adapt Sailing Sneakers

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (6)

What We Like

  • Mesh construction for maximum ventilation

  • TPU welded overlays for lateral support

  • Shock-absorbing heel cage

What We Don't Like

  • One of the most expensive options on this list

  • Unnecessarily technical for casual sailors

If you race boats, chances are you’re looking for a sailing shoe that’s less about style and more about technical performance. Musto’s Dynamic Pro II Adapt sneakers for women are designed precisely to handle extreme on-water conditions easily. Made of mono mesh, they’re well ventilated and exceptionally quick-drying, with an XPL drainage system that prevents water from pooling inside the shoe.

TPU welded overlays in the upper provide added lateral support, while the Dynamic Gilly lacing system guarantees a secure, snug fit. Other highlights include a shock-absorbing heel cage and a nonmarking outsole made from Musto’s proprietary GripDeck rubber compound. Finally, a multidirectional GripFlex tread provides peerless traction on even the most steeply angled decks. The sneakers come in two colors: white with pale green accents or navy with red and white accents.

Sizes: 5.5–10 | Material: Mesh upper with TPU overlays, EVA midsole, rubber compound outsole| Weight: Not listed

Best for Fishing

Columbia Women’s Dorado Boat Shoe

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (7)

What We Like

  • Treated for water and stain resistance

  • Techlite midsole provides a high-energy return

  • Fashionable design in multiple colors

What We Don't Like

  • Some reviewers report color bleeding

  • Not suitable for winter fishing

The Columbia Women’s Dorado PFG Boat Shoes are an attractive option for lady anglers searching for sneakers that perform well on a full-day fishing trip but also look good back at the dock. Designed especially for fishing, they feature an open mesh and synthetic upper that dries quickly and allows your feet to breathe. Best of all, the shoes are protected from water and blood stains by the brand’s trademarked Blood n’ Guts fabric treatment.

They also feel great, thanks to the Techlite midsole with superior cushioning and optimum shock absorbency. The nonmarking rubber outsoles feature Omni-Grip razor siping for good on-deck traction, while color combinations range from the lighter end of the spectrum (silver gray/coastal blue) to the dark (mountain/red coral). Pick the one that best matches the rest of your fishing gear for a seamless, professional look.

Sizes: 5–12 | Material: Mesh upper, EVA midsole, rubber outsole| Weight: 8.5 ounces

Best Sustainable

Allbirds Women’s Tree Skippers

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (8)

What We Like

  • 100 percent carbon neutral

  • Lightweight, breathable tree fiber upper

  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like

  • Relatively expensive

  • Available in whole sizes only

Allbirds Tree Skippers are our top choice for sustainable sailing shoes as they are 100 percent carbon neutral and crafted from all-natural materials. The upper is made from responsibly sourced eucalyptus tree fiber, creating a lightweight, breathable shoe that’s perfect for the tropics. Your feet stay dry and smell fresher for longer, thanks to the layered castor bean oil and merino wool insole, which wicks moisture and reduces odor while providing plenty of cushioning.

Comfort is guaranteed by the outsole, too, which features Allbirds’ proprietary low-density foam. This allows for fantastic lightness while also mimicking the flexibility of bare feet. The S-curve tread grips tightly to wet surfaces, while colors range from classic choices such as Kaikoura White or Navy Night to limited edition Lux Purple and Hazy Cobalt. Those who wear half sizes should size down.

Sizes: 5–11 | Material: Eucalyptus fiber upper, castor bean insole, foam outsole | Weight: Not listed

Best Budget

Zhuanglin Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (9)

What We Like

  • Adjustable drawstring lacing system

  • Drainage holes in the outsole

  • Wide choice of colors

What We Don't Like

  • Do not keep sand out

  • Some reviewers report poor longevity

Coming in at roughly a quarter of the price of the most expensive shoes on this list, Zhuanglin’s Quick-Drying Aqua Shoes are the ideal solution for vacation sailors that don’t want to spend a fortune on footwear they’ll only use a few times a year. Despite their lower price point, the shoes receive excellent reviews for everything from comfort to ease of cleaning. They feature a breathable, quick-drying mesh upper and a drawstring lacing system that allows easy tightening and loosening.

The solyte midsole is significantly lighter than the EVA equivalent, while the nonmarking rubber outsole features good tread and drainage holes that prevent water from pooling inside the shoe. Potential buyers should be aware that these holes also allow sand and small rocks to enter—a potential drawback for beach launches. There are more than 20 colors from which to choose.

Sizes: 6 – 11 | Material: Mesh upper, solyte midsole, rubber outsole | Weight:8.47 ounces

Best Sandals

Keen Women’s SOLR High-Performance Sport Sandals

The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (10)

What We Like

  • Webbing made from recycled plastic bottles

  • Lace-lock bungee system for easy fastening

  • Protective toe bumper

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for cold weather

  • Some reviewers say sizes run small

If you typically sail in warm weather, you may prefer sandals to conventional docksiders or sneakers. The KEEN Women’s SOLR High-Performance Sport Sandals give you the last word in breathability while offering the protection and support you need when engaging in active pursuits. Lightweight and flexible, they feature an aggressive toe bumper, a water- and abrasion-resistant TPU upper, and a bungee lacing system for ensuring the perfect fit.

The midsole and insole are made of EVA for comfortable cushioning and arch support, while the nonmarking rubber outsole includes KEEN’s signature Aqua Stop zonal siping. The latter promises amphibious traction on land and in the water, and if your adventures take you into the mud, the sandals are also fully machine washable. Choose from five color combinations, including navy/blue mist and desert sage/dubarry.

Sizes: 2.5–9 | Material: TPU upper, EVA midsole, rubber outsole | Weight: 9 ounces

What to Look for in Women's Sailing Shoes


Fit is the top priority when choosing sailing shoes—after all, the quickest way to ruin a day out on the water is a pair that pinches, chafes, or feels disconcertingly loose. You should always try them on, remembering that sizes may differ from one brand to another. Fit the shoes to your largest foot (most people have one slightly bigger than the other), ensuring that they fit comfortably around the ball, heel, and across the toes. When standing, you should have at least a finger's width in space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, and your heel should never slip when walking.


Choosing the right style of sailing shoe is partly a matter of personal preference—which materials, colors, and designs go best with your individual aesthetic? It also depends on what you want from your sailing shoes. If you’re a vacation sailor who plans on wearing the shoes once or twice a year when renting a dinghy at a tropical resort, a pair of affordable water shoes is probably sufficient. If you’re a seasoned yachtie, high-end docksiders that score points for both fashion and function may be best, while serious fisherwomen, offshore cruisers, or racing sailors should opt for technical footwear designed specifically for their chosen activity.


Sailing shoes should have materials capable of withstanding life on the water. Traditionally, uppers are made of leather, canvas, or suede and treated for water and stain resistance. More contemporary sneaker-style options sometimes use synthetic materials developed for quick-drying lightness, durability, and breathability. Regardless of your style, soles are typically made of rubber or a rubber compound, with razor-cut siping that provides traction on wet surfaces. The advantage of rubber is that it’s nonmarking, keeping your deck in pristine condition.

Why Trust TripSavvy

As a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and casual sailor, Jessica Macdonald has spent many hours testing different footwear on the ocean. She also worked as a sales assistant at London’s premier marine and watersports store, Ocean Leisure, where she learned a lot about different sailing shoe brands. For this article, she reviewed more than 25 products, comparing them for style, functionality, price, and user reviews to come up with the final selection listed above.

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The 10 Best Women’s Sailing Shoes (2024)


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