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I'll be wearing this $14 sock-shoe hybrid for the rest of the summer

They slide on like socks but feel like a comfortable sandal.
Katie Jackson / TODAY

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One of the highlights of my summer was supposed to be visiting family at their lake house. However, on the first day, I went outside in my bare feet and ended up limping away with way too much of the dock — in the form of splinters — buried in my foot. I didn't know splinters could hurt so badly, but I did know summer was far from over. I needed something to protect my feet, so I decided to try Amazon's bestselling water shoes.

Vifuur Water Sports Shoes

Why try this particular pair?

Katie Jackson

There are several reasons I went with this particular pair. Advertised as "aqua socks," these water shoes are the No. 1 bestseller in Amazon's Women's Water Shoes category. I didn't read all of the reviews, but I definitely noticed that these shoes were reviewed by over 7,000 verified shoppers and received a 4.3-star average rating.

Katie Jackson

Since an ill-fitting pair of shoes can be all the difference between a great and terrible day, I also liked that 76% of reviewers say these fit true to size. Finally, I fell for the price. Most sizes are under $15, which is a tough deal to pass up.

My feet look good and feel good

Katie Jackson

When it comes to clothes, makeup and my hair, I'm a believer that if I look good, I feel good. But with shoes, which can be quite uncomfortable if they rub in all the wrong places, I'm not so sure. Fortunately, these shoes look good enough to wear to the grocery store and they make your feet feel good regardless of what you believe!

They also come in more than 40 colors and eye-catching fun prints. If I'm feeling conscious about my body and don't have my go-to swimming suit cover-up nearby, I like the idea of drawing attention to my shoes instead.

Katie Jackson

In terms of how they feel, they go on like socks and have a handy tab on the back to help get them over the heel. Unlike booties I've worn for surfing, they're not so tight that I feel like I'll lose circulation in my feet. That said, they're also snug enough that water doesn't seep in and make them heavy. Most of all, I appreciate the rubber sole — which would have saved me a lot of pain (and time digging out deeply embedded splinters) if I'd been wearing them while at the lake house.

Where I wear them

Katie Jackson

If Crocs are my quarantine shoes, then these are my summer shoes. I'm currently working in Porto, Portugal, where there are endless opportunities to get wet. For starters, I can wear these while jet-skiing, going for a speedboat ride or taking a rowing lesson in the Douro River. I can also wear these while biking to the surrounding beaches where I scramble over slippery rocks to look at tide pools or play beach volleyball in the sand where sharp objects can be found.

Katie Jackson

In fact, the description on Amazon says these shoes can even be used for jogging. I haven't tried it yet, but it's not because I don't believe it — it's because I don't jog. However, if I did jog on the beach, I would definitely consider wearing these. One reviewer who gives them a 5-star rating says he's put miles on his pair while working at a spa and they still show no wear or tear.

The first thing I pack

Katie Jackson

Because of COVID-19, I don't know what next summer will look like. But I do know that if I visit my family at their lake house again, these shoes will be the first thing I pack. They'll also probably be the last thing I take off when it's time to leave.

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