Don’t Go To Hawaii Without: Shoes You Don’t Mind Getting Wet & Muddy

I see so many people on Hawaii’s trails and adventures wearing new-looking, white sneakers. I just don’t have the heart to tell them that their shoes will never look the same. They’re blissfully unaware that they’re going to have to stamp through unavoidable mud or cross the trail in a stream.

To hike to waterfalls and traipse through a rainforest, you really need to be wearing shoes that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty. Ideally, you should bring hiking shoes or sandals that are designed for quick drying. I always bring my hiking/water sandals to Hawaii. They’re perfect for Hawaii adventures. They work really well for hiking, biking and kayaking. Several activities like ATV riding, zip lining, and horseback riding require you to wear closed toe shoes and these water sandals fit the bill.


If you don’t have quick-drying water sandals, I recommend you bring your old, beat up sneakers on your Hawaii vacation. On my first trip to Kauai, I brought an old pair of sneakers knowing I would be hiking the Kalalau Trail. I knew the trail would be muddy, but I had no idea I’d have to cross some streams. At the end of the hike, I had to throw those old sneakers away.

I purchased my hiking/water sandals from my local REI on sale for about $40, which was quite a bargain. They’re made by Ryka. They’ve been well worth the investment.

Amazon is a good source for purchasing hiking/water sandals and so is Zappos (free shipping.) Look for one that’s quick-drying and closed-toe.

Read the other posts in this series:

Don’t Go To Hawaii Without: Rash Guard Top

Don’t Go To Hawaii Without: Moisture Wicking Long Pants

  1. And, you get people hiking the trails in flip flops! Muppets!

    Another tip, don’t leave your hiking shoes in any kind of plastic bag when you get home. As I discovered, mold grows pretty quickly on damp hiking shoes left in a plastic bad! On the plus side, you can throw them in the washing machine and they clean-up good as new! 🙂

  2. What I didn’t understand was people wearing flip flops in Volcanoes National Park. The terrain there is rough and I would’ve liked some strong hiking boots.

  3. Hi,
    I guess my post from yesterday failed.
    I am hoping for a recommendation for a tour that will fly my husband and I out of the Hilo airport in the early AM and spend the day seeing Pearl Harbour, US Arizona, Waikiki Beach, perhaps the Punchbowl then return us to Hilo Airport that evening.
    I find Kona flights but we want Hilo. Does something like that exist? We will be on the Big Island April 30.2013 thru May 9th.
    We want a one day excursion. Any help will be appreciated Judy and Lou in Manassas VA

  4. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for the tips you’ve shared. I’m making my first visit to Oahu and staying at Turtle Bay on the North Shore. Do you have any additional tips or must sees for Oahu/North Shore?

    Ed V.

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