Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc are versatile water-friendly slippers, ideal for casual paddling adventures on sit-on-top kayaks and stand-up paddleboards during calm summer days, and general beach activities.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc


  • + Lightweight, flexible and easy to carry
  • + Breathable and quick-drying mesh upper
  • + Reasonable underfoot protection
  • + Lots of recycled material used
  • + Easy to take on and off
  • + Good for casual paddling and everyday beach use


  • - No protection for the toes, heel or upper foot
  • - Less grip than many other paddling shoes
  • - Slightly loose fitting, with no tightening system
  • - Sand and grit can get in
  • - Expensive for what they are


Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc review


While serious, all-season paddlers are more likely to go with a substantial shoe such as the Palm Descender or the Gill Marine Edge boots, less-frequent and more fairweather kayakers and SUPers, who don’t venture out into the rough stuff, will find a simpler shoe like the Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc fine for their requirements.

There are very few bells and whistles here, and these unfussy aqua slippers don’t claim to do any more than supply some protection for your feet while you’re paddling or playing around on pebbly beaches, a basic task they perform well.

As such, while this moc is far from the most technical piece of kit that has come across our desks, it does deserve to be contextualized among the ranks of the best kayak shoes out there.

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Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc: look and feel

Essentially a pair of slippers for the beach, the Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc aren’t going to win any beauty pageants, but they are easy to get on and off, and they feel very comfortable while you wear them.

In fact, once you’ve thanked them for their service while walking across the pebbles and shells to get on the water in first place, it’s easy to forget you have them on at all.

Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc: design and materials

Happily, Helly Hansen have created the Crest Watermoc mostly from recycled materials, so they have a low environmental footprint that goes some way to justifying their fairly hefty price tag (for a simple shoe, I think they’re too pricey, but you can often find them on offer).

The quick-drying mesh upper is all recycled, and it’s comfortable next to your skin. Be warned, though, if you put these mocs away damp, they will soon start to stink.

These shoes are very lightweight and flexible (perfect for taking travelling), but the rubber outsole is still thick enough to provide pretty good protection from most underfoot hazards.

The grip is reasonable, but nowhere near as comprehensive as some other kayaking shoes I’ve tested, such as the Xero Aqua X Sport or the Salomon Amphib Bold 2.

On-water performance

I have been wearing these very simple water slippers for a range of summer paddling and aquatic activities, from kayaking (sit-inside and sit-on-top boats) and stand-up paddleboarding, to generally messing around on the beach.

My local coastline is completely covered in pebbles, which are great for water visibility but can be very painful to walk across – especially when you’re carrying a kayak. These mocs are perfect for alleviating the problem of pebble hopping.

As expected, I found the Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc to be ideal for quick and casual summer paddling outings in warm and non-technical conditions.

With a pull loop on the heel and a loose fit, they’re extremely easy to put on and take off – but, on the flipside, they can potentially be lost if you experience a wet exit in choppy conditions.

Helly Hansen Crest Watermoc submerged

These unfussy shoes are nice and breathable and keep your feet cool, but they also protect your feet from the sun, which is perfect when you’re paddling a sit-on-top or SUP during summer. They’re extremely comfortable too.

That said, the low-cut design, loose fit and lack of any tightening method does mean that sand, grit and even small pebbles can find their way into the shoes and cause you some discomfort.

They drain OK, though, and the mesh upper dries quite quickly. The grip on the outsole is also good enough for low-level use, but it’s not as aggressive as many other kayak-specific shoes – and there is no protection for paddlers’ toes, heels or upper foot.

Used within their limits (short paddles on calm lakes, rivers and beaches in warm weather), these are perfectly good, albeit low-level kayaking shoes, but if you intend to push your paddling to the next level and launch into more challenging conditions you will need to invest in some more secure and serious footwear, such as the Palm Rock water shoes.

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One step up from a basic beach shoe, the Crest Water Moc from Helly Hansen is fine for casual paddling on sit-on-top kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, and performs well when you’re hanging out at the coast, walking across pebbles or exploring rock pools, but it definitely has its limitations. There is no strap or lace system to tighten the shoe and they can easily come off in medium to large surf. The loose fit means sand and grit can and does regularly get in. Plus, while underfoot protection is reasonable, and the shoes supply some degree of grip, there’s no support or shielding for the upper foot. They’re also quite pricey for what they are, but we do really like the fact they’re mostly made from recycled material, and (providing you don’t lose them) they should last for several seasons full of fun paddling and general beach use.


Weight (per shoe, men’s size 11):153g / 5.4oz
Materials:100% recycled polyester webbing upper; EVA midsole; 30% recycled rubber outsole
Colours:Black/Charcoal/Deep fjord
Compatibility:Warm-weather kayaking, SUPing and general beach use