Yes, we know. Crocs have long been the red-headed stepchild stretching across many shoe categories. Whether relating to work shoes, typical clogs, or water shoes, Crocs have always received a bad rap. Regardless of their interesting styling it is impossible to deny that they are stalwart solid contenders in many different shoe categories. Water shoes is one of these.
The Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal is a tough cookie. They are also extremely lightweight for their structure, and dry very quickly when compared to some of the other water shoes tested.
An incredibly solid water shoe, the Crocs option is one of the best on our list for standard water-based activities. Sure, we aren’t going to suggest that you take a ten mile hike in these bad boys. However, for more standard uses, such as walking about in water, exploration of rockier slippery beaches and river banks, and even relaxation on canoes, boats and kayaks, it’s difficult to go wrong with this choice.
These water shoes have ample features as well, despite being one of the more minimalist shoes tested. This includes hook and loop closures, Croslite foam padding and cushioning, and much more.
Initial Thoughts on Unboxing
When we took the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandals out of the box, the first thing that we thought was “Oh, yeah, these are definitely Crocs”. They come with the same shape and lightweight foam feel that one would expect with Crocs brand shoes. However, these also came with a Velcro strap, and a lightweight mesh upper.
Overall, for weight to material, these were some of the lightest shoes that we tested. The foam soles seemed like they might be a little lower quality though, and the mesh upper connection to the foam outsole was concerning, as it was held on with just glue at some potential points of strain.
Putting Them Through Their Paces
We spent extensive time testing the Crocs shoes in the elements at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Our tests included:
- An ocean test: Sugar sand, waves, and hard packed sand.
- A river test: Rocky creek beds, sandy shorelines, flowing water.
- A hiking test: Over pine needles, sand, puddles, and standard trail surfaces.
Here is how they fared.
The Ocean Test
These shoes performed very well in our ocean testing, ending up in the middle of the pack overall. When walking through the thick sugar sand, however, the large holes that are in the sides of the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal caused a significant amount of sand to get caught.
The River Test
For the river test, these shoes performed extremely well, in the high end of the pack. This was surprising to us, as these shoes had Velcro instead of laces. But they stayed on great, and maneuvered through the slippery rocks with zero issues.
The Hiking Test
The hiking experience with these shoes left a little bit to be desired. The outsole, as anticipated, is not the toughest that we tested by any means. This lead to some punctures and scratching, and again the
Advantages and Disadvantages
While the performance of the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal was stellar, with such features as Croslite foam cushions, hook and loop Velcro closures, mesh uppers and much more, there will always be some concerning points with every water shoe we test.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages that we noted with the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal.
Advantages of the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal
- These shoes have a wrap-around toe bumper, expected and iconic with Crocs brand shoes. These provide some extensive protection from the unpredictable nature of underwater elements, setting it apart from the other tested water shoes.
- Crocs has a cult following for a reason. These shoes are hard-wearing, tough, and practical. Besides the KEEN and Merrell options tested, these would be the best overall for hiking related tasks.
- Due to the thick foam cushioning and light weight, these were some of the most comfortable water shoes that we tested in our processes.
- As stated, compared to alternative Crocs brand shoes, these came in at the low end of the price range.
Disadvantages of the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal
- One of our biggest pain points with these shoes were the Velcro closures. While they helped keep the shoes snug, expect to get sand caught in them immediately.
- There are gaping holes in the sides of the Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Sandal. These tended to let debris and sand into the shoe as well.
- If there was a scale for stylishness of the water shoes we tested, these water shoes would be at the very bottom of the list without question.
Our Final Thoughts
Yes, Crocs by nature are inherently ugly. But there is a reason they have lasted through all of the anti-hype of their appearance. These shoes are rock solid in what they do. These are midrange in price for the water shoes we tested, but are at the low end of cost compared to alternative Crocs brand shoes. These are solid water shoes, and have plenty of features to make them highly useful.
For more water shoe options, check out our comprehensive guide to the best water shoes.