Do you need water shoes in The Maldives? The Honest Answer to Your Question

Picture yourself strolling along the pristine sandy beaches of the Maldives, the sun kissing your skin, and the turquoise waters calling your name. It’s a scene straight out of a dream, but before you dive in, let’s answer the burning question: Do you need water shoes in The Maldives? Let’s dive in and find out!

Personal story time! I am the person who always has their water shoes! My husband always makes fun of me that I have sensitive feet like I’m the princess from “The Princess and the Pea”. I always complain about rocky beaches, and even on sandy beaches if the sand is not very fine. I always wear flip-flops when on the beach, and I even have in-house slippers all the time. Yes, I’m precious, judge all you like.

But in The Maldives, I adored the sand! It was so powdery, it almost felt like flour or powdered sugar. I loved being barefoot on this sand, and I would have stayed barefoot everywhere on both islands (we went to both a local island and a resort island), if the sand had been the same everywhere.

But in the water, even though the sand was the same, I still preferred to use my water shoes, if I was not wearing the fins. Pieces of sharp coral can hide in the sand, stingrays like to stay in shallow waters as well, and given my luck, I’d get a cut in a seashell or something.

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Why you might need in the Maldives

From snorkeling and scuba diving to kayaking and paddleboarding, the Maldives offers plenty of opportunities to try various water activities. Whether you’re exploring vibrant coral reefs, gliding through crystal-clear lagoons, or simply enjoying a leisurely swim, the water is a major part of your Maldives experience.

And while most of the time you’ll be floating, and not stepping through the water, getting in and out will still have to be done while standing. Unless you only enter the water from a boat, you’ll have to walk on the sand to enter.

Luckily, most islands have a designated area that you can use to enter the water, a place that’s been cleared of all rocks and coral. But stingrays and sea urchins can still be here, and broken pieces of coral can be brought by the currents in these areas as well.

Pro water shoes: safety and versatility

Water shoes offer a range of benefits that make them worth considering for your Maldives adventure. First and foremost, they protect you from various sea creatures that may be lurking beneath the surface. While you may think that you’ll spot them when you enter the water, you’d be surprised how good some of them are at hiding in plain sight.

Stingrays, for example, often hide in shallow waters, camouflaged under a bit of sand. Trust us, they’re not the easiest to spot! Oftentimes, if you’re lucky and have great attention to detail, you might spot the tip of their tail coming out of the water. And while stingrays are not a safety concern in The Maldives, as they’re not aggressive, they will sting if they feel threatened, and stepping in them is kind of like a threat, you know?

Additionally, there are a few dangerous species of fish in the Maldives, like the stonefish and the lionfish (the stonefish is considered the most venomous fish in the world!), and they’re usually very good at hiding as well. Using water shoes and avoiding stepping on rocks and coral will be a good idea to protect yourself against the,

Don’t cancel your trip to The Maldives though! Like sharks, these animals won’t attack you out of the blue. They will attack if they feel threatened, or you might get injured if you step on them. But otherwise, if you give them space and respect, they won’t come after you just to do some damage.

And let’s not forget the coral, as it can be sharp as well. You should anyway not step on the coral, as it’s very fragile and cannot handle your weight. Wearing water shoes though can minimize the risk of stepping on small pieces of broken coral, as some pieces can be the same color as the sand, making it virtually impossible for you to see them through the water.

But it’s not just about safety. Water shoes also offer excellent grip on slippery surfaces, making them perfect for use even if you have a pool villa. Whether you’re walking on wet rocks or navigating slippery boat decks on a day trip, having that extra traction can make a world of difference.

Against water shoes: not essential for everyone

While water shoes have their advantages, they may not be necessary for all travelers visiting the Maldives. Most beaches in the Maldives have a natural sandy bottom, which eliminates the need for protective footwear. Most islands have an entry pathway that allows you to go in the water without having to step on rocks or coral, and when you reach a decent depth, you can just start swimming.

If you prefer the feeling of sand between your toes or enjoy going barefoot, you can still enjoy most activities without any issues. Flip-flops can also be a viable alternative when you’re just on the beach, especially if you’re not planning to venture into areas with sharp coral or encounter potentially dangerous marine life.

Considerations for your personal preference

Ultimately, whether or not you need water shoes in the Maldives depends on your comfort level and the activities you plan to engage in. If you’re sensitive to sharp objects or concerned about potential underwater hazards, water shoes can provide peace of mind. Consider the type of beach you’ll be visiting, the specific water activities you’ll be participating in, and the duration of your stay. These factors will help you determine whether water shoes are a necessary addition to your packing list.

What water shoes to bring?

To be honest, it doesn’t even matter that much. I have some I bought a while ago from Decathlon, and I still use them, even after a few years. I found some cool ones on Amazon recently that look very light and I plan to try them next, but I won’t do so until the ones I already have will break up with me. Remember what we talked about in “Buy nice or cry twice“? Buy some quality items and use them until they die on you, and you’ll be able to afford more trips.

One more note: if you use fins when you swim, even if you don’t dive, but just snorkel, you don’t necessarily need water shoes anymore. The trick is that you really cannot wear both, so you’ll have to either enter the water with the fins on and walk backwards, or walk barefoot until you reach a decent depth and put your fins on at that point. And if you’d like a recommendation for fins, I love the smaller ones for myself, as I’m not strong enough to use the long ones, and they make packing easier as well.

Do you need water shoes in The Maldives? – The Takeaway

In conclusion, water shoes can be a valuable addition to your Maldives packing list, especially if you prioritize safety and want that extra grip. However, they may not be necessary for every traveler. If you’re comfortable with the natural sandy bottom of most beaches and prefer the freedom of going barefoot or wearing flip-flops, you can still enjoy the majority of activities without any issues.

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