With beach season in full swing, there's no time like the present to pick up a pair or two of cheap water shoes or flip-flops. Proper foot attire at the shore protects feet against the blazing hot sand and debris embedded in the underwater floor.
Here are our picks for affordable beach footwear.
Cheap Flip-Flops.The ultimate in cheap summer flip-flops is Old Navy's version of this all-time classic. Prices start at a mere $3.94 a pair, and if you decide to purchase two or more, the price drops to $2.50 each. If your taste runs to a more stylish alternative, this retailer sells an abundance of options at reasonable prices. For an even cheaper buy, Kmart sells classic and cheap flip-flops for women at $1.99 a pair, available in six colors. Be sure to check out dollar store venues like the Dollar Tree, which offer these basics for a buck.
For a bit more flair, Target's in-house brand Mossimo flip-flops come in many stylish varieties for all members of the family and sell for less than $20 a pair. JC Penny carries lightweight Zori Print Flip Flops, available in fun and colorful prints, for only $3 a pair.
Cheap Sporty Water Shoes.The best all-around shoe for water activities protects both the top and bottom of the foot. The classic minimalist shoe is Vibram's Five Fingers, but with a starting price of $85 this shoe hardly counts as cheap.
Fortunately there are a slew of cheap water shoes that serve the same purpose. OP Dominica, Wave Walker, Menhaten, and Footie varieties are available exclusively at Walmart and priced in the $10-and-under range for men, women, and kids. Consumer reviewers report this is an excellent lightweight, "water walker" shoe with a decent tread and ground feel. Kmart's in-store brand Athletech also features affordable water shoes for everyone in the family for less than $10.
Speedo water shoes are more sophisticated but still relatively cheap, with prices for men's and women's styles starting just below $20. Fans appreciate the durable rubber traction and overall comfort. An interesting fusion of water shoe/Croc is Target's Froggs, made of thermoplastic rubber and available in many colors for both sexes at $16.99 a pair.
Some outdoor enthusiasts prefer water sandals but these beach shoes are rarely available in the budget price range. We found one close substitute, an outdoor men's sandal from Kmart that goes for less than $10 and boasts some water-friendly attributes -- fine for boating, camping, and hanging around the shore but not designed for long periods of total immersion.