Why You Should Wear Shoes for Water Aerobics (Explained)


Water aerobics is a great way to exercise and a popular choice for many. With this activity, it’s common to see a mix of people wearing shoes in the water while others choose not to wear any footwear at all. Although it may seem silly to be wearing shoes under the water, there’s a good reason for it. 

You are not required to wear shoes for water aerobics. However, it is recommended that you wear shoes to prevent foot pain and increase traction on the pool’s floor. Despite being underwater, the feet can still take a beating as they would with other physical activities.

If you haven’t yet been sold on why wearing shoes for water aerobics is a good idea, this article will explain why!

Why Water Shoes Are Recommended for Water Aerobics

Water aerobics incorporates a considerable amount of jumping up and down on the bottom of the pool. Some pools have grittier floors than others, but all pool floor surfaces are hard due to the nature of the cement material used. 

Walking or bouncing across the hard surface at the bottom of a pool can eventually lead to foot pain, which is the primary reason why water shoes are often recommended for water aerobics. However, that’s not the only reason!

Keeps Your Feet from Developing Blisters

Although it’s not often thought about, water aerobics can cause blisters. This is because the skin on the bottom of the feet will start to soften and prune in the water. This causes your skin to become more sensitive than if your feet weren’t wet at all.

It certainly doesn’t help that many water aerobic exercises produce excess friction as you grate your feet against the bottom of the pool while jumping up and down. If your feet are not used to light abrasive contact, blisters will likely result.

This is another reason why wearing water shoes is recommended. Like wearing regular shoes when exercising, water shoes can prevent your feet from getting irritated on contact time after time. 

Water Shoes for Basic Protection

If you’re in the market for a pair of basic water shoes for water aerobics, check out these fantastic shoes on Amazon. They come in a vast selection of colors suitable for any matching outfit. Rated as the best overall water shoes, they are super light to make moving through water effortless. 

Specially Manufactured Shoes Are Slip-Resistant

Wearing a non-slip water shoe during water aerobics is very important for injury prevention (source). Despite being in the water with nowhere to fall, slipping can cause blisters—as mentioned above—as well as friction burn. 

Accidentally slipping also has the potential to slightly tweak your muscles if you end up hyperextending your range of motion on a certain joint. Injuries are definitely something you want to avoid. Injuries will not only keep you from progressing with your water aerobics workouts, but they will also effectively eliminate days or weeks of hard work in the pool.

Furthermore, there’s a potential that you might even injure someone else if you slip the wrong way. This is especially hazardous if you’re both working with water weights. 

Having stability during water aerobics is vital because your lack of bodily control in the water is magnified due to the added resistance. Slip-resistant shoes will offer more control to perform exercises with proper form and tempo.

Plus, the slip-resistance of water shoes also comes in handy outside the pool. The slick pool deck can be a hazard for those who don’t exactly have the surest footing. Water shoes can provide an extra layer of protection against this, which is important when entering or exiting a pool.

Water Shoes that Are Slip-Resistant

If an anti-slip water shoe is what you’re looking for, check out this pair of water shoes from Amazon. The best feature of these shoes is the anti-slip sole that helps you keep stable footing for any water aerobics class you may have. The support also comes from the full coverage wrapping of the shoes. 

So Comfortable That You Forget You’re Wearing Shoes

The best part of wearing water shoes for aerobics is the comfort you get from the breathable fabric that keeps your feet cool while working out. They’re often made of materials like soft foam for the bottom and mesh fabric for the tops (source). 

Additionally, several water shoes fit similar to a sock, while other water shoes have extra materials that can sometimes make them feel like a soft but sturdy sneaker.

So if you were wondering whether or not wearing shoes in the pool would cause discomfort, there’s your answer. Even if wearing shoes does feel strange at first, you will get accustomed to the feeling in no time. Put simply, this initial discomfort pales in comparison to the benefits you will receive from wearing shoes in the pool.

Water Shoes that Are Comfortable

As its name implies, this shoe is actually meant to fit more like a sock and gets as close to barefoot as you can get. The lace locking mechanism allows you to adjust the shoe as tight as you need to prevent excess movement. 

Don’t Absorb Water and Get Heavy Like Regular Shoes

Water shoes are made with excellent mesh material, allowing water to easily move through the shoe with little to no absorption. If you’ve ever walked or ran with sneakers in the rain, you know how much of a hindrance it can be to lug around these heavy shoes with each step.

In water aerobics, keeping this heaviness to a minimum is crucial, especially considering just how much the legs are involved in the exercises. Wearing soaked water shoes would almost be akin to wearing ankle weights because of how much additional resistance you would have to overcome.

If you’re just starting your water aerobics journey, you want to make the transition to the pool as easy as possible. You don’t want to add unnecessary obstacles or distractions on top of the exercises.

Plus, the excess strain on your hamstring and quad muscles may cause them to be too sore for you to carry on a consistent water aerobics regimen. With any workout routine, consistency is key. The more water aerobics workouts you miss, the less likely you are to see progress.

For this reason, you should keep your shoes light and reduce soreness as much as possible during the early days so that you can easily stick to the workout program.

You can find additional information about what kind of soreness to expect with water aerobics by clicking over to Does Water Aerobics Make You Sore? (Solved!).

Water Shoes That Drain Quickly

These CIOR water shoes are a terrific quick-dry option because of the seven-hole drainage system present within the shoe soles. As a bonus, it also promotes a “barefoot” effect with how the shoes stimulate the muscles in the feet.

Can You Do Water Aerobics Barefoot?

Water aerobic classes generally do not mandate the use of shoes, so going barefoot is definitely a viable option. In fact, certain individuals may prefer it for various reasons, such as its unrestricted, natural feel in the water.

There are people out there that swear by doing everything barefoot when it comes to exercise. Water aerobics is no exception to this rule.

The rationale behind this barefoot movement is that shoe support tends to hinder the muscular strength of the feet that they would otherwise acquire naturally (source). Along those same lines, it is also thought that barefoot training increases flexibility in the feet since the shoe no longer restricts their capacity to move freely.

Of course, another major benefit to going barefoot during water aerobics is that it helps you to feel more comfortable in the water, especially if it’s your first time participating in this activity.

Despite all this, however, water aerobics participants are still strongly advised to wear water shoes because of all the reasons we discussed above. Ultimately, foot protection and stability should take precedence above all else.

Do Most Water Aerobic Participants Wear Shoes or Go Barefoot?

Typically, beginners start barefoot with water aerobics because they’re not yet familiar with the various benefits of wearing water shoes. However, certain water aerobics instructors may sway these beginners after the first few sessions once they explain these benefits to them.

In contrast, more seasoned water aerobics participants will be seen wearing shoes because of their safety and comfort. Over time, you may find yourself preferring to wear water shoes during the activity, too!

Generally, most people prefer to do water aerobics without shoes because they never get past that initial feeling of unfamiliarity. Admittedly, it does take at least a couple of bouts in the water to get used to. Just like most accessories, the choice to wear or not wear shoes ultimately comes down to preference.

You can learn more about which clothing accessories are actually useful for water aerobics by clicking over to What to Wear to Water Aerobics (Simple, Easy Checklist).

So, in short, try water shoes for yourself and wear them around for a few water aerobics workouts. You might just find yourself outside the norm, knowing that the benefits of wearing water shoes are exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Sources: 1 2 3

Austin Carmody

I am the owner of HydroPursuit. I enjoy kicking back and getting out on the water as much as I can in my free time.

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