Speedo’s water shoe contender in our research is the Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe. This option is extremely viable for use on at the beach and in very sandy conditions, and even in swimming pools. If you happen to be looking for a very strong water shoe that maintains Speedo’s budget-friendliness, there is no need to look any further than this Speedo option.
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The Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe was developed with a breathable and lightweight mesh upper, as well as consisting of sticky, rubberized outsoles. These outsoles have been treaded significantly for additional traction. The tight stretching mesh upper that Speedo has incorporated into the Surfwalker Pro water shoe was manufactured to stay tight on your foot and prevent sand or small pebbles from getting in.
Initial Thoughts on Unboxing
When we pulled these shoes out of their box for the first time, one of the first thing that we noticed is that these water shoes looked ideal for swimming in the ocean, and indeed we found that to be the case. While these shoes seemed heavier than some of the water shoes we tested at similar sizes, we were immediately impressed by the stickiness and durability of the outsoles.
These shoes were a beautiful grey and yellow.. With how these water shoes looked, we were confident that we would be comfortable wearing these shoes in an serious aquatics or water sports activities.
Putting Them Through Their Paces
We spent extensive time testing the Speedo 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
In the ocean test, the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe did quite well. With their lightweight nature, they did fine in the ocean waves. With their sticky outsole, they did wonderfully in the hard-packed sand and shells. Their performance in the deeper sugar sand was excellent, keeping sand out admirably to prevent irritation on our feet.
The River Test
In our river test, the Surfwalker Pro 3.0 did very well, towards the top of our water shoe rankings. The rubber, sticky outsoles of these water shoes did great when gripping onto the wet, round rocks, and even against the slightly powerful current of Simpson Creek.
The Hiking Test
In the hiking test, we noticed that there were a few issues with the high-grip, rubberized outsoles. These outsoles, while heavier than anticipated with a light shoe, were also very thin. It led to a barefoot feeling, and slight discomfort, as we were able to feel sticks and rocks. These shoes were not really designed with hiking in mind, so there's not much of a surprise here.
Advantages and Disadvantages
While the tested performance of the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe was more than adequate, with such features as mesh uppers, a strong bungee cord lace design and much more, there are always going to be some points of concern with every water shoe we test.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages that we noted in our testing of the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe.
Advantages of the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe
- Unlike some of the more common water shoe alternatives, the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe surprisingly does not absorb water, but instead repels it. As such, they have some of the fastest time-to-dry values of any of the shoes we tested.
- As mentioned, these Speedo water shoes have extremely effective traction. They are ideal on wetter or more slippery surface, like boats, rocks, and kayaks.
- Speedo’s patented drainage systems provide an extensive drainage capability on these shoes. That kept the water shoes from becoming heavy and waterlogged when moving through water.
- Breathable mesh uppers and specialty rubberized soles kept the shoes rather lightweight for their features. Additionally, while many of the shoes were unappealing in terms of style, these were one of the most stylish water shoes we tested.
Disadvantages of the Speedo Surf-walker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe
- In our testing processes of the Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe, we noticed that the soles were thin and very soft. As such, while great for gripping abilities, this didn’t make the shoes perform well on rough terrains, such as fording streams with smaller pieces of debris, or when hiking.
- In addition to the above, the thinner soles on these Speedo water shoes left them very prone to wear and tear. We noticed a bit of rub-off after wearing them for a bit of time when walking on rougher pavement.
Our Final Thoughts
The Speedo Surfwalker Pro 3.0 Athletic Water Shoe is incredibly versatile and stylish. From an overall perspective, they were some of the strongest water shoes that we tested. When coming from a manufacturer who is a figurehead of the watersports market, this is not surprising. If you are on the hunt for a budget friendly water shoe with plenty of features, there is no need to look any further than Speedo’s option.
For more water shoe options, check out our comprehensive guide to the best water shoes.
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