The 4 Best Swimrun Shoes in 2024

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If you are planning to participate in a swimrun event soon, then you should know which swimrun shoes are best to wear. 

People do not wear shoes when swimming for the most part, but if you need to quickly transition from swimming to running then you will want to have something on your feet that is light, fast, and drainable

Shoes are a key part of any racing kit that involves running. During a swimrun event, you will likely experience a variety of terrain. Pebbles, sand, and rocky shorelines, oh my! 

The 4 Best Swimrun Shoes in 2024 1

The 4 Best Swimrun Shoes of 2024

Swimrun Shoes Should Be Grippy Not Slippy

Because of the various types of terrain, you will likely be running on, you will want to make sure your swimrun shoe has grippy soles and some type of rock plate or foot protection for those potentially sharp stoney patches you could end up running through. 

Some of the swimrun shoe options have smoother bottoms, like road bike tires.

These may be acceptable if you know the terrain you will be running on, and it is not rugged. Swimrun shoes with smooth bottoms would be fine for flat-road running terrain. 

If you know that your swimrun event will be going off-road and onto trails or over rocks, then you will want the bottom of your swimrun shoes to look more like a jeep tire or motorcycle tire.

This will help to protect you from slipping and falling on rocks or in mud. 

closeup of running on the beach

Swimrun Shoes Need Proper Drainage

Swimrun events involve swimming and then running, or vice versa.

This means that your shoes will be completely submerged in water at some point. While you may think it is a good idea to opt for a waterproof shoe, it is actually quite the opposite. 

Waterproof or resistant shoes are meant to keep water out when running through shallow puddles or in the rain.

However, when your foot is fully submerged in water, it can enter through the ankle area of the shoes. These do not make for good swimrun shoes because of that. 

Waterproof shoes do not do well with letting water out once it is in. You will want to make sure that your shoe has quality drainage. 

The best swimrun shoes are shoes with drainage holes in the bottoms of the soles and have uppers made of mesh-like material so that the water goes out just as easily as it goes in. 

If you find a shoe that you love, you can make some modifications to make it better suited for a swimrun event, such as drilling small holes in the bottom if it does not already have drainage holes. This will make it into a better swimrun shoe. 

Female swimmer looking at her watch

Be a Minimalist With Your Swimrun Shoes

Many people seek out well-cushioned shoes for running but for a swimrun event, you may want to avoid these types of shoes. They can absorb water and bog down your feet when you begin to run. 

This may worry some people who feel they need the cushioning. Going with a well-cushioned shoe may sound like a good idea, but it is likely that when the shoe is wet, it will not provide the support and comfort you are expecting or used to anyways. 

For a swimrun, a minimal shoe is best. Look for shoes that are advertised as barefoot or zero drop. 

We have covered the basics of what makes the best swimrun shoe. But remember, every person and foot has different needs, and this is not a one size fits all topic

Here are the five best swimrun shoes to start your search. 

Here we go…

Woman running next to sea

Best for a Comfortable Fit: Racqua Breathable Mesh Water Shoes

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Quick drying with no slip EVA soles

Perfect for someone seeking a comfortable fit 

Do not let the affordability of these lightweight water shoes fool you. The Racqua breathable mesh water shoes are perfect for your next swimrun event.

These shoes are extremely flexible and versatile. You will not feel restrained as you tread in the water or get back on land to run. 

When you set foot on land and take off running, you will notice that your feet have a steady grip on the ground and are not waterlogged thanks to their ultra-breathable and lightweight mesh upper and non-slip EVA sole. 

If you want a shoe that will do the job without breaking the bank, then the Racqua water shoe is your go-to.

Whether on land or in the water, you can put your true fitness to the test

Best for a Snug and Supportive Fit: Inov-8 X-Talon G210

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Durable cordura mesh upper, graphene grip outsole

A great option for someone seeking a snug, supportive fit

The Inov-8 X-Talon G210 shoes are meant for trail running, but their trail running properties also make them perfect for swimrun events. 

Tough and durable are two things that best describe these shoes.

They have advanced technology that gives them perfect traction when wet.

You will be able to easily scatter across offroad terrain that is technical without having to slow down

The cordura mesh upper makes them super drainable so that water does not stay trapped inside of them once you exit the swim.

Once you get out of the water and onto the trail, you will notice that even though the upper is mesh, your feet are still protected from trail debris

These shoes are quite minimal, but the injected EVA fusion midsole makes them super responsive. You can easily maintain quick turnover. You will have a sense of comfort without the bogging down of a soggy, heavy sole

The deep 8mm lugs will help you find traction no matter the terrain you set foot on. 

Shop X-Talon G210 Shoes On innov-8

Best for Experienced Runners: Vivobarefoot Primus Swimrun FG

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Foot-shaped construction, water-repellent

Great for experienced barefoot runners

These shoes are slightly different from the previously mentioned styles because they are designed specifically for swimrun events

The Vivobarefoot Primus Swimrun FG shoes are meant to endure both land and sea. The quick-draining mesh these swimrun shoes are constructed of comes from recycled plastic bottles. 

This recycled material they are constructed of helps to minimise water weight when you move from water to land. You will not feel weighed down by wet and soggy soles. 

The lugs of these swimrun shoes are low-profile and suitable for off-road traction. They are not as aggressive as some models, but will still give you enough traction to keep from slipping about. 

One unique feature of these swimrun shoes is their neoprene ankle collar to keep out any grit. The perfect way to fight off blisters that can be easily caused by sand. 

Slip these babies on and head out for a quick swim and speedy sand run.

Best for Everyday Use: Merrell Trail Glove 6

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Recycled mesh upper, rock plate for protection

The ideal swinrun shoe for someone seeking everyday use

The Merrell Trail Gloves have increased abrasion resistance and are designed to mimic the shape of your foot.

Your foot will stay in the position it is meant to be when you are not wearing shoes. It will feel like you are wearing nothing and is ideal for a swimrun event. 

The Merrell Trail Glove 6 has an improved fit compared to the previous model and has additional arch support. Extra arch support can be hard to find in a more minimal shoe, so this is a good find

A thicker sole on this shoe makes the transition to a barefoot style shoe easier, so if you have a swimrun event planned and want to wear a shoe like this but do not have experience wearing one, this is a good option. 

Equipped with a rear sling heel lock, you will feel locked in and comfortable when transitioning from water to land

These shoes are not necessarily meant for water, so while their lightweight and barefoot qualities make them a good swimrun option, you may need to look into drilling holes into the bottom so that water does not stay trapped. 

Perfect for trails and strolling the streets after you use them for your swimrun, these shoes are a great multi-use swimrun shoe option

Shop Trail Glove 6 Shoes On Merrell

There you have it. The top five best swimrun shoes for your next adventure.

Remember to train in them beforehand so you know if your first choice is the best option for you and your specific event. 

If not, give another pair on the list a shot. 

Closeup of sneakers running on a beach

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I am a UESCA-certified running coach, psychology PhD student, and competitive obstacle racer and trail runner. Once 100 pounds overweight I found fitness and fell in love with an active and competitive lifestyle. My passion for inspiring others and fitness come together seamlessly in the world of writing where I get to share the thing that changed my life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, my dogs, as well as baking and cooking.

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