Updated September 2022
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Buying guide for Best shower shoes for women

Whether you’re in college and living in a dorm or make frequent trips to your local gym, there may be times when you need to use a communal shower. Even if the shower is cleaned regularly, it can still be a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and athlete’s foot. To protect your feet from infections, it’s always a good idea to wear shower shoes when you venture into a communal shower, stroll around a public pool, or visit a spa.

Shower shoes for women are specialized footwear that keeps your bare feet from coming into contact with the shower floor. They’re made of a waterproof material, so they won’t get damaged while you shower, and they feature a nonslip sole to protect against falls.

Because there are so many shower shoes for women to choose from, finding the right pair can be a challenge. You have to decide which type you prefer, what material you like best, and what other features would make the shoes as effective and safe as possible.

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As a general rule, shower shoes don’t offer much support, so they shouldn’t be worn for extended periods.

Key considerations


When you’re buying a pair of shower shoes, you can choose from three main styles: flip-flops, slides, and water shoes.

  • Flip-flops: Most people are familiar with flip-flops, which usually have an extremely flat sole that doesn’t offer much cushioning. They also have a narrow Y-shaped strap — known as a thong — that fits between your first two toes to hold the shoes in place. Flip-flops usually have a lightweight design, are easy to slip into and out of, and are very affordable. Some people find the thong between the toes uncomfortable. For others, the lack of support in the flat sole is an issue.
  • Slides: Slides are similar to flip-flops, but instead of a thin strap that fits between your toes, they feature a wide strap that goes across the top of your foot just under your toes. In some pairs, the strap is adjustable, so you’re able to get a snug fit. Like flip-flops, slides are backless, but they usually offer more cushioning and stability. They are lacking in heel support, though, and they don’t always fit narrow or wide feet well.
  • Water shoes: In contrast to flip-flops and slides, water shoes have a closed-toe design. They feature straps or webbing that go across the top of the foot, so they’re heavier and more solidly constructed. Water shoes provide better cushioning and offer a more secure grip on the floor than flip-flops or slides. The heavier design of water shoes usually works best if you plan to wear them when submerged in water rather than in the shower. If you want a more versatile shower shoe, though, you may want to consider water shoes.


Shower shoes are all made of waterproof materials, but you can usually choose from a few options. Rubber is the most common material for shower shoes. That’s because water simply beads up and slides off of it, so you don’t have to worry about the shoes breaking down. Rubber has a comfortable, flexible feel and offers some shock absorption.

Other shower shoes for women are made of plastics such as PU (polyurethane) and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), which are often used because they’re similar to rubber and easy to clean. Avoid any flip-flops or slides that feature fabric or other porous materials because they can easily grow bacteria.

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Did you know?
Athlete's foot is usually characterized by an itchy, red rash that begins between the toes. In some cases, it may also feature blisters or ulcers.


Antimicrobial coating

Any pair of women’s shower shoes you consider should have an antimicrobial coating. The coating is usually applied to both the shoes’ footbed and exterior, which helps prevent bacteria from spreading. An antimicrobial coating also helps keep your feet cleaner and can reduce foot odor. Not all shower shoes are antimicrobial, however, so be sure to read the product description carefully.

Slip resistance

Since you’ll be wearing your shower shoes on wet shower tiles, you want to be sure that they offer slip resistance to help avoid shower tumbles. Choose shoes with an anti-slip sole designed to grip the floor as you move. Rubber soles are particularly effective in preventing slips and falls.

Some shower shoes also feature soles with raised bars or lugs that reduce the surface area that actually touches the floor, thus providing a better grip. You can also find some pairs with water channels in the bottom that direct water away from the sole’s main pressure points to improve your stability.

Drainage holes

A high-quality pair of shower shoes usually has drainage holes in the bottom. They allow water to pass through the sole, so you don’t have to worry about your feet sliding around in the shoes and possibly causing a fall.


Shower shoes obviously serve a practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look cute. You can find pairs in basic neutral shades like white and black, but there are also fun color options like pink, purple, baby blue, cobalt, mint green, and red. While the color you choose won’t affect shoe performance, you may feel a little bit better about wearing them in public if you choose a color you like.

Shower shoes for women prices

Shower shoes for women vary in price based on their type and material, but most pairs range from $5 to $50.


The most affordable shower shoes for women are usually rubber flip-flops or slides. They may feature an antimicrobial coating but don’t offer too many other special features. They typically cost between $5 and $15.


Taking a step up, mid-price shower shoes for women will cost from $15 to $30. At this price point, womens shower shoes are generally rubber or plastic flip-flops or slides. They usually have an antimicrobial coating, anti-slip soles, and effective cushioning and support.


High-end shower shoes are usually water shoes that cover the foot and toes. They often have an antimicrobial coating, anti-slip soles, and effective cushioning and support. They typically cost between $30 and $50.

Expert Tip
If you have plantar fasciitis, opt for shower shoes with a padded mid-sole to provide key arch support that can alleviate discomfort.


  • Your dishwasher is a shoe washer. Rubber shower shoes can often be washed in your dishwasher. Just place them on the top rack to make sure they don’t take too much of a beating.
  • Keep shower shoes clean and dry when not in use. You should always rinse off and dry your shower shoes after wearing them in a communal shower to avoid tracking any bacteria or germs home with you.
  • Use proper gym bag hygiene. If you’re wearing shower shoes at the gym, make sure that you have a separate compartment in your gym bag to store the shoes for the trip home. This will keep your shower shoes from contaminating other items in your bag.
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Some shower shoes have a textured footbed that massages your feet as you walk.


Q. How long does a pair of shower shoes usually last?

A. Because you probably won’t be wearing your shower shoes outside much, they typically last longer than traditional flip-flops or slides. If you clean them regularly to prevent mildew and bacteria growth, your shower shoes will likely last for several years.

Q. What’s the best way to clean shower shoes?

A. On a daily basis, rinse off your shower shoes with clean water from the sink or shower — or your garden hose if you’re wearing them poolside. Every few weeks, it’s a good idea to wash them with a solution of antibacterial soap and warm water to kill any germs that may be lurking on the shoes. Rinse them well afterward and dry thoroughly.

Q. Where else can I wear shower shoes besides a communal shower?

A. Shower shoes are also ideal for use around public pools, saunas, school locker rooms, or steam rooms.

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