Desert Canyon/Water Shoes?


Apr 22, 2018
I am planning more trips to Canyon Country this year and usually wear Chacos, and if necessary socks to prevent blisters.

I am looking to pick up some waterproof/trail runner/hiking shoes that are comfortable in water/sand and dry quickly.

What is your favorite choice for this terrain?

Also sorry if there are multiple relevant posts I did not find.


Mar 28, 2012
my favorite choice is regular trail runners, I don't think waterproof footgear is usually a great tradeoff in the desert. when I get to water I either get my shoes wet (they seem to dry pretty quickly if you take off socks first), go barefoot, or switch into these:
btw these things make good camp shoes, even in nasty weather if combined with neoprene socks


Hiker Trash
Jan 4, 2015
Agree. I'd get a lightweight pair of trail runners. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in camp, you can always bring a pair of Crocs so you can walk around camp without having to keep your wet shoes on.


Jan 11, 2018
For longer wet canyon hikes I have a pair of trail runner-like Merrell water shoes, but for multi-day stuff or terrain with a combo of water, sand and slickrock I use straight up trail runners. Either way look for shoes with sticky soles and a protective toe box. +1 to neoprene socks in the colder months.

I only use waterproof shoes/boots if there's significant snow.


Jul 16, 2014
I'm trying Astrals right now. They were recommended by some of the outfitter guides by Zion. They are really lightweight and sticky. They are actually a boating shoe.


Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Jun 7, 2012
I find something quick drying much more favorable to waterproof in a canyon situation. La Sportiva Wildcat is my shoe of choice the past few seasons.


Sep 7, 2014
Definitely quick-drying rather than waterproof. Waterproof can sometimes be too hot, depending on brand and time of year you go. I've been on an Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh kick in recent years. Love them. I also have their waterproof boots, which are great in the winter.


Nov 28, 2018
i'd go with some light weight trail running shoes too and toss in a pair of flip flops for camp.

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
I've loved the sole stickiness, support, and durability of the Scarpa Crux and Zen. For feel on friction the lighter Crux and with a multiday pack I love the firmer midsole of the Zen. Once the snow is gone they're great in the alpine, too.


Jul 12, 2018
These are not waterproof but check out SKinners: I bought them on Kickstarter a few years ago and they are great.

I recently used them while Kayak Camping along Catalina Island. They were great to have on while kayaking and jumping in and out of the kayak because it was a really rocky coast.
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