Many beginners first-time jet ski owners eventually decide to buy a pair of water shoes or boots. This can make all the difference in your PWC enjoyment.
The problem is that there are many different types of aquatic shoes available on the market. It can simply be challenging to decide which one is best suited towards personal water craft usage.
Luckily, I’ve done the researching for you. This way you can discover the best jet ski shoes for all types of riders – those riding for fun, those riding for the thrill, and those racing!
Men, women and even children all need high-quality shoes for a day on the water. Jet skis bring a unique need – high grip, will last a long time, won’t fly off and most importantly – won’t mark your footwell or hull.
So let me share with you what I’ve learned.
Best jet ski footwear
You probably want to get some great jet ski shoes to avoid sunburnt feet. Others also get frustrated with walking on pebble-covered beaches, or even crunching their toes at high speed.
I’ve been in this industry for a while. From that I’ve learned that there are primarily 3 different types of shoes.
You’ll generally find:
- The barefoot PWC water shoes which feel like a wetsuit or wet sock, depending on the materials. These are really thin which is excellent for hot days but sometimes can develop holes quickly. A great option for beginners on a budget.
- Reef shoes which are designed for divers, with a rigid base to avoid shark rocks. These are the thickest available, will often last longer, ideal for winter jet ski riding but also more expensive too. I like that you can use these for more than just riding your jet ski.
- Quick drying water shoe, which in my opinion, is the best for jet ski users. They are made primarily of mesh and you won’t wear socks with these. Some people don’t like these because sand and rocks can enter when you’re getting on and off the sandy beaches. Your feet will also get cold in the winter months.
- Jet ski riding boots. These are new to the market but are getting quite an awesome amount of feedback from fellow riders! The most expensive option, but if you’re a professional enthusiast or racer, you’ll love these!
These really are the best options, for both beginners and professionals. Then there
PWC shoes to avoid
These options don’t work that well. Often you’ll find complete newbies to this sport slipping these on at the boat ramp. It’s a quick way to spot the beginner!
- Flip flips (USA) or thongs (Australia), depending on which country you’re from. I understand why people like these, but they make an awful choice for serious jet skiing, even on lakes. Their grip is terrible, your feet are fully exposed to sunlight and your toes are susceptible to crunching. Always have a set of these ready for when you want to explore an island, but otherwise, pack ’em away.
- Normal sneakers with socks. Some beginners think they won’t get wet when riding on a lake, only for them to return to the boat ramp 2 hours later completely drenched! Once your sneakers are wet, they are waterlogged and won’t dry for hours or even days, since they’re made of materials designed to keep your feet warm. Use sneakers when unloading your jet ski at the boat ramp for safety (the grip really helps), but otherwise, skip these all together for true riding.
- Going total barefoot. I admit it – I love riding barefoot. That feeling of having your feet in the water is appealing. Jamming your toes when boarding or merely riding at high speeds will make you question that choice right away. Trust me! Let’s not forget murky water where you can’t see the bottom.
Almost everyone quickly moves away from these 3 options when they realize what’s available on the market. Because in 2019, we have numerous options out there.
In a nutshell
You really should invest in a good quality pair of PWC shoes to make your days out riding your jet ski much more comfortable. Because getting cuts all over your feet, sunburnt feet that hurts for days or just jammed toes is a terrible feeling.
Avoid the cheap options or using an old pair of shoes. You still won’t enjoy this sport that much. Go and purchase a new pair of jet skiing shoes that are designed exactly for this usage. In most cases, these won’t cause damage to your hull, or your own feet for that matter!