Whether you’re coming to Costa Rica to lay on the beach, hike up a mountain or embrace your adventurous spirit, which pair of shoes you bring can make or break a trip.

This post will tell you which are the best shoes for Costa Rica and which shoes you should bring for your trip.

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Best Shoes for Costa Rica

We personally recommend closed toed hiking sandals and trail running shoes for Costa Rica. We’ve traveled extensively throughout the country and I’ll tell you why below.

Hiking Sandals

Yeison and I love our closed toed hiking sandals. They are excellent for going from land to water, dry fast and let your feet breathe. Specifically, we really like our KEEN sandals.


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Rain boots in Corcovado National Park

We wore rain boots at the San Pedrillo station in Corcovado National Park because it poured rain the night before and the trails were incredibly muddy. We crossed several small rivers and streams and the rain boots protected against all of the elements.

Initially, we were going to wear our hiking shoes but thankfully our hotel, Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge provided rain boots. We were up to our ankles in mud in some places!

For rain boots, you don’t necessarily need to bring them. They are sold at most hardware stores for cheap and then you can give them away when you leave Costa Rica so you don’t have to take them back home with you.

Rain boots are also useful in Tortuguero National Park and Rio Celeste if it visiting in very rainy months like April, September, October and November. (You can find them for rent outside these two national parks).

Water Shoes

Water shoes are an excellent option if you don’t want to purchase a pair of closed toed hiking sandals just for Costa Rica. The hiking sandals aren’t cheap so if you don’t think you’ll use the sandals again, water shoes are the next best option.

Water shoes are cheaper, work perfectly for activities like rafting, tubing and horseback riding and are easy to carry in luggage. You can also purchase them here in Costa Rica. A lot of supermarkets carry water shoes.

You could bring water shoes + sneakers/trail running shoes.

Extra tips

Before putting on your shoes, and shake it out to get rid of any unwelcome visitors. Scorpions, snakes and other critters like to call shoes home sometimesIf you’re going to Corcovado National Park, ask your hotel if they provide rain boots. Most of the luxury hotels do.We recommend to bring two pairs of outdoor shoes so in case one gets wet, you will always have another dry pair.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to do a lot of activities like white water rafting, tubing, ziplining, long hikes, canyoning, horseback riding, etc. then we recommend you to bring a pair of waterproof trail running shoes.

For lighter activities like snorkeling, boating, tubing, easy hikes, hanging bridges, kayaking and sightseeing, closed toed hiking sandals work great. You can bring sneakers + the closed toed hiking sandals.

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If you’re mostly sightseeing, sneakers work. And if you plan to do sightseeing with one or two outdoor adventures, sneakers + water shoes work (no intense hikes).