Should You Wear Water Shoes in Croatia?

These days, Croatia is a popular hotspot for vacations, particularly for those who want to enjoy the sea and sun. But when it comes to packing and preparation, there are several questions that need to be answered, including that of footwear, such as water shoes.

beach in croatia where water shows are recommended

Water shoes are considered an excellent, even necessary component of gear for those who are interested in visiting the beaches of Croatia. However, if you’re looking to go swimming in deeper water, they aren’t recommended.

For details on using water shoes in Croatia, keep reading!

Should You Wear Water Shoes In Croatia?

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on the beach in Croatia, then water shoes are considered a must-have, and among the top 10 things, you’ll want to pack to have the best beach experience possible.

If your goal is deeper water and activities such as sailing, diving, or swimming further off-shore, you may not need or want, water shoes.

What Are Water Shoes?

If you haven’t had experience with them before, water shoes – also called aqua shoes or even aqua socks, depending on the design – are lightweight pieces of footwear designed specifically for use in water.

Water shoes typically have a hardened sole, usually of something like rubber, that forms the base, while the upper portion of the shoe is made of a fine mesh that allows water to flow easily in and out of the shoe.

What Is The Purpose of a Water Shoe?

A water shoe is intended to combine some aspects of a sandal with those of a lightweight sneaker or running shoe, to provide the best of both worlds.

The mesh permits water to flow in and out, preventing trapped water from causing mildew or discomfort, such as blisters, which are common in wet sneakers.

The heavier sole and mesh top combine to offer greater protection from the elements than a simple sandal. They are also often more secure than sandals might be.

Can I Wear Sandals Instead of Water Shoes?

It’s possible to wear sandals instead of water shoes, but doing so might restrict your movements. Unlike water shoes, many sandals are not made for immersion and may be damaged by exposure to salt water.

Also, most sandals will not offer the same amount of protection from the environment that water shoes do or the same amount of overall comfort.

Why Should I Wear Water Shoes In Croatia?

Unlike many North American beaches, or what one typically thinks of as a beach, Croatian beaches rarely, if ever, have sand.

Most Croatian beaches are actually rocky expanses, with plenty of sharp stones and small pebbles that can cut your feet if you aren’t careful.

Water shoes reduce the likelihood of injury while walking on the rocky shoreline.

Are There Other Reasons To Wear Water Shoes On A Croatian Beach?

Water shoes can protect you from chance encounters with dangerous wildlife. While jellyfish are an occasional possibility, water shoes are more often recommended as a protective barrier against sea urchins.

Many beaches are home to sea urchins, which have sharp spines. Without some sort of protective covering, stepping on a sea urchin can have excruciating consequences.

Getting jabbed by the sharp spines of a sea urchin is painful all by itself, but some species of sea urchin also possess toxins in their spines. Depending on what you encounter, the result could be a deep puncture, or something much worse.

What Type Of Water Shoe Is Recommended For Visiting A Croatian Beach?

There are several different types of water shoes out there, and Croatian Travel Experts recommend the following:

  • Get something with a sturdy plastic or rubber sole, to ease the impact of the rocky shoreline.
  • Get something that will keep out pebbles, such as shoes with a fine mesh side.
  • Velcro is not recommended, because it has a tendency to degrade faster in salt water. Get shoes that can be adjusted in other ways.
  • Get shoes that are relatively snug. One shoe size smaller than your typical shoe is normal, but you want them to be close-fitting.
  • Get shoes that are comfortable for both walking and swimming. They should be lightweight without skimping on the padding for the sole.

Could I Wear Crocs Instead Of A Water Shoe?

Crocs are usually durable enough to stand up to rocky shorelines. However, they may not be snug enough, or otherwise designed for swimming.

Depending on the amount of permeability, they may also not provide enough protection.

That said, there are many designs for Crocs, and you may find one suitable for use on Croatian beaches. There are also several designs for water shoes, some of which have a distinct ‘Croc-like’ style.

Either way, you should explore your options if you feel uncomfortable in a conventional tennis-style water shoe.

Where Is The Best Place To Get Water Shoes In Croatia?

You can purchase water shoes at any beach-side souvenir stand in Croatia, especially near the more popular beaches. However, Croatian Travel Experts recommend getting your shoes before you venture to the beach.

The reason? This gives you a chance to buy shoes that are a better fit for you and also to get them ‘broken in’ before venturing onto the beach.

The further in advance, you purchase your water shoes, the longer you have to make sure they’ll be comfortable for any type of activity you might wish to pursue during your visit to the Croatian shoreline.

On the other hand, if you forget your water shoes, you’ll probably have no trouble finding a fairly good pair for a reasonable price during your vacation.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking to plan a Croatian beachside vacation, you’ll want to bring along a good pair of comfortable water shoes as part of your vacation apparel.

Water shoes will add an element of comfort and safety to your Croatian beach experience, and allow you to enjoy the water and the sun, without worrying about stones or sea urchins disturbing your enjoyment!

Andrea Arthur