Canyoning Shoes Buyers Guide

Canyoning Shoes Buyers Guide

Somewhere in between slimy water surfaces and raging waterfalls, canyoning gets tough. Your flimsy trainers that soak up water like a sponge won’t do the trick. Neither will sneakers easily give you a way to wet surfaces. The thrill of canyoning triples with the right footwear, which is why you need canyoneering shoes. What are canyoneering shoes?

Canyoneering shoes are special hiking shoes that hem in water shoes’ flexibility and the strong build of regular hiking shoes. These shoes have exceptional grip, quick drainage, and a durable build to offer support as you scale rocks and descend deep, narrow canyons.

If the thought of traversing exclusive parts of nature gets you flashy and excited, you definitely need canyoneering shoes. We’ll help you understand canyoneering shoes in this post, including staple aspects of the suitable ones. To save you the trouble of looking, we’ll even point you in the direction of the best canyoneering shoes in the market!

What are Canyoneering Shoes?

Let’s take a deeper look at canyoneering shoes and what makes them unique.

If you ask any canyoning fan, they’ll concur that designated canyoneering shoes are rare. The good thing is, you don’t have to settle for regular hiking sandals either. Instead, we have special canyoning hiking shoes designed specifically for traversing wet canyons and everything in between.

Canyoneering shoes have a sturdy build to support you through long hours of adventure. Also, just like water shoes, they are quick-drying, so you won’t have to smother your feet in wet shoes all day. What makes them a solid option is that they are sturdy, comfortable, and flexible enough to tackle very rough terrains.

What Do You Need to Look for When Buying Canyoning Shoes?

Of course, there are staple aspects to consider when hunting for canyoning shoes.

Durability, Comfort, support, and of course, flexibility are some must-have features of good canyoneering shoes. Go for those whose size accommodates your feet perfectly (especially if you have wide feet). Also, foot protection, made possible by special rubber toe caps, is necessary.

Skimping on any of these aspects will have you grappling with foot fatigue or grueling ankle injuries. The wrong shoes will also prove to be a major bummer when you can’t keep up with the group.  

Different Types of Canyoning Shoes

 Getting shoes that tick all the boxes of canyoneering is an extreme sport. As it turns out, canyoning shoes are often advertised under different tags. You will also come across canyoning shoes advertised as hiking shoes, yet they excel in wet canyons.

 Here are the different types used for canyoning:

Kayaking Shoes

Own a pair of high-specification water shoes? We love how these shoes easily camouflage at the sight of wet canyons. They are tough, self-draining, and have thick, grippy rubber sole units. Their breathability will come in handy when you splash into pools and glide through water flumes.

Salomon Techamphibian 4

The Salomon Techamphibian 4 is a loved-up canyoning water-shoe that can be found here on Amazon.


Approach Shoes

These are hybrid footwear that blend features of hiking boots and rock-climbing shoes. Since canyoning is in itself a clever mix of different sports, approach shoes work well. We recommend the Scarpa Gecko Approach shoe.


Laces less Canyon Shoes

These are top-level canyoneering shoes. The slip-and-go design of these shoes makes canyoning easier and more fun. You don’t have to keep tying your shoelaces after every jump. Neither do you risk a fall because your laces are entangled around some rock.

Key Features to Look for in Canyoning Shoes

When selecting your pair of canyoning shoes, you should consider 6 different characteristics.


Due to the nature of the sport, comfort is obviously high-up in your list of priorities. Have wide feet? Go for a spacious canyoning shoe. Hate a stuffy shoe? Go for one with a breathable mesh to ensure breathability.

Because in your wetsuit, you’ll dart into water-filled canyons, ascend rocks, jump off cliffs and rappel down waterfalls. Besides adrenaline and a body that’s up to the task, you’ll need comfortable canyoning shoes.

Durable Build

Yes, canyoning needs physical and mental toughness. But if you wear shoes whose toughness doesn’t equally match up, you’re entering troubled waters (literally).

If you’re eyeing multiple canyoning adventures, prioritize shoes with strong fabric (e.g., leather) and durable traction rubbers. These will withstand thorn-pricks and extensive periods of wetness.

Grippy Soles

Settling for casual hiking shoes or tennis shoes sounds cheap and harmless. Wait until they sweep you off your feet (literally), not in a romantic fashion, but an embarrassing and maybe painful one.

The best canyoneering shoes must have soles that offer good grip, even on slippery surfaces. Synthetic rubber soles offer excellent grip.


By now, you know that ahead for heights is essential for canyoning. There’s nothing as frustrating as being held back by weight as you make a jump, especially when the weight isn’t yours to begin with.

Also, you’ll find activities like swimming more thrilling if your shoes are light.

Generally, with lightweight shoes, you’ll glide through your whole canyoning experience effortlessly.


Canyoneering is a melting pot of many sports activities. From rock-climbing, swimming, rappelling, abseiling, and long treks, they’re quite many.

Go for canyoning shoes that can fly all these kites. The most flexible canyoning shoes will have high traction, specifically sticky rubber.

Hands down, the Astral Hiyak shoes nails this category. It comes with high-traction, flex-grip, proper drainage, and a balanced feel for extra support.  

Quick-Drying Abilities

Trekking in squishing, water-filled shoes isn’t fun at all. The best canyoning shoes must be able to drain out water on a whim.

Before buying, check for a breathable mesh or small drainage holes.

Need Help Preparing for a Hike or Backpacking Trip?

Check out our Hiking Equipment Guide for Beginners.  It’s a complete list of gear that every beginner should have!

Canyoning Shoes Buyers Guide Summary

The right canyoneering shoes are crucial for a wholesome experience. Proper canyoning shoes are versatile, comfortable, quick-drying, supportive, and protective of your feet. It’s safer to spend some money purchasing the right canyoning shoe rather than dealing with ankle injuries and foot fatigue.

Hopefully, this buying guide helped you understand canyoning shoes, their features, and how to pick one worth your money!

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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