Industrially profitable water splitting is one of the great challenges in the development of a viable and sustainable hydrogen economy. Alkaline electrolysers using Earth-abundant catalysts remain the most economically viable route to electrolytic hydrogen, but improved efficiency is desirable. Recently, electron spin polarization was described as a potential way to improve water-splitting catalysis. Here, we report the significant enhancement of alkaline water electrolysis when a moderate magnetic field (≤450 mT) is applied to the anode. Current density increments above 100% (over 100 mA cm−2) were found for highly magnetic electrocatalysts, such as the mixed oxide NiZnFe4Ox. Magnetic enhancement works even for decorated Ni–foam electrodes with very high current densities, improving their intrinsic activity by about 40% to reach over 1 A cm−2 at low overpotentials. Thanks to its simplicity, our discovery opens opportunities for implementing magnetic enhancement in water splitting.