You will need snorkeling shoes for those rocky beach water entrances. But what do you do with them once you are snorkeling? We will share with you our solution and give you footwear options if you wear either closed foot or open foot fins on this page.
Since we wear closed foot fins, we will start with the footwear options you have if you wear the same. We prefer closed foot fins because they are lightweight for travel and they are more efficient in the water. But because this type of fin is made to fit your foot snugly, there is not room for booties or water shoes. And if you bought them large enough to wear booties inside, they may not stay on your feet while snorkeling.
So, the solution is to wear a pair of sturdy flip flops or water shoes that have a loop on the heel. You wear these shoes out into the water until you are deep enough to float and change from your snorkeling shoes to your fins.
Now, what do you do with your shoes? We made belts that we wear while snorkeling that have carabiners for attaching shoes. (It will also hold your waterproof valuables box and your camera if you need to have your hands free.) So, you strap your flip flops or water shoes to your belt and off you go for your snorkel. You can find out how we made our belts on this page. You could also add an attachment to your weight belt for your shoes, if you wear one.
We have some suggestions for sturdy flip flops that we have found work for this purpose. Nicole has been using Spenco flip flops for years and finds them to work quite well. They cup your foot so that it is harder to slip out of them. They also have enough traction on the sole for many situations. They are made for both men and women. Galen doesn't wear the same kind. He really likes his new Sanuk Latitude flip flops as snorkeling shoes, though, so we recommend them too. They have a comfy foot bed that has some texture so his foot does not move and good traction on the sole too.
If you don't get one of these brands of flip flops, be sure you get some that hold onto your foot and have good traction on the sole. Also be sure that the straps are snug but comfortable and capable of getting wet. Neoprene is a good fabric for the straps.
One down side to the flip flop option is that in some situations, no matter how good your shoes are, you slip around and bang your foot into a rock and cut your foot. This problem might be solved by wearing water shoes instead. They would have to be made of a sturdy fabric to prevent this type of cut and they must have a loop on the heel so you can hook them to your belt. Here is an option for women and an option for men. Make sure your water shoes have some traction on the sole too.
For those of you who choose to wear open foot fins, you have another
option. You can buy booties that have soles on them that are made to be
worn with your fins. Then, you don't have to deal with belting separate
shoes to you while you snorkel. Remember, you may have to size up your
fins to fit you with booties on. Here is an option that has unisex sizing.
The next time you are confronted with a rocky entry, don't try walking in with your fins on. Try wearing some shoes you take with you on your snorkel. The snorkeling shoes give you more freedom for one-way snorkels too, allowing you to walk back in the comfort of your shoes.