Best Hiking Sandals
For a long time, sandals were never considered to be something associated with hiking. People wore them for their casual trips to the supermarket because unlike closed shoes, sandals give you an extra level of comfort, especially in the summers. But for things like hiking and trekking, sandals were thought to be too fragile.
Lucky for us, times have changed and companies have started to develop sandals for all intents and purposes. The sandals now have traction, provide comfort, and are extremely durable for your hiking needs. We here have narrowed down your search and will show you the best hiking sandals in the market today, that match your needs.
How to Buy the Best Hiking Sandals?
Hiking Sandals are the perfect thing for someone who is a hiking enthusiast but are tired of getting their feet cramped up in the heat during the hike. While they can not replace shoes completely, they have their advantages. Some of them are the comfort they provide by allowing the feet to breathe and being lightweight and easy to carry. These are also more versatile than shoes and can be worn outside of hikes too.
Now to find the perfect hiking sandal, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you make your final decision.
What Terrain will you be hiking on?
You need to be aware of the kind of the terrain that you will be hiking on. Is it rocky or smooth, is there a lot of mud and grass, or do you have to cross river beds? Once you narrow down the terrain then you think about the perfect sandals for you. For example if I have to hike in wet conditions I will look for a closed faced sandal whereas if I have to hike in mild conditions I might even go for an open-faced minimalistic and light design.
What are the major components in a hiking sandal?
The midsole is the layer of material between the outsole and the insole. Usually, the midsole is constructed from one of two materials: ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyurethane (PU). EVA foam tends to be lighter and softer, but not as durable. PU is firmer and more supportive. Hikers carrying lighter loads (less than 30 pounds) will be fine with an EVA midsole, but hikers and backpackers with heavier packs (more than 30 pounds) should consider PU midsoles for added support.
The outsole is the lowest layer of the sandal. It makes contact with the ground, and so it is typically made from a type of rubber. You will usually want a sticky outsole on your hiking sandal for maximum traction. The best outsole material out there is Vibram, but there are many other good ones too.
Lacing affects your comfort level with the sandals. While closed faced sandals usually have laces, the open-faced ones have straps. Now it is up to you to decide what sandals are the best for you and which provide you with the proper comfort and security.
Best Hiking Sandals in 2020
Bedrock Cairn Adventure -The Best Hiking Sandals
|Excellent Traction||Low Stability|
The Cairn Adventure, at first sight, seem like a pair of sandals that you wouldn’t give a second glance to. With very minimal tope covering, one does not think of these sandals as durable by any means. That impression soon changes as you start wearing them.
These sandals are lightweight, with a premium webbing upper side, and a very durable rubber build overall. In terms of comfort, the Cairn Adventure has more of a hiking flip flop look. That allows for a lot more breathability, which will annoy you in the cold, or during rain, but for the hot, dry summers, there’s nothing better. The footbed material is also very comfortable with your feet and the adjustable strap allows you to find your perfect fit so that the sandals provide you with yet another level of comfort.
The Vibram XS Trek Regolith sole helps these sandals to be some of the best traction sandals out there. The grip is amazing for your hiking purposes and you immediately realize that once you take these out. The micro-diamond sole pattern ensures a secure grip in even wet and slippery conditions. These are also one of the most versatile sandals due to their unique strapping structure.
The stability, however, could have been better. With a completely open design, the Cairn Adventure offers very poor stability. They try to make up for it with wings they’ve given on the sides that support the instep, but, compared to other sandals on the market, their stability is considerably low. These are also, certainly not cheap and are on the pricier spectrum of the list.
- Very durable, and excellent traction makes them your perfect partner for rough surfaces and tough treks.
- High versatility allows you to fit into the sandals the way you want adding to the comfort.
- These are very lightweight so that you do not have to drag your feet and you have an easier hiking experience.
- They have low stability due to their design and that can be a problem while hiking on rocky surfaces.
- These are expensive sandals compared to the market average for sandals.
The Bedrock Carin Adventure sandals are one of the best hiking sandals available today. While the minimalistic design lessens the stability, it makes them a lot more lightweight. They have the comfort of flipflops and the traction of hiking boots making these our top choice for backpacking sandals.
Merrell Choprock Shandal – Best Sports Sandals
|Excellent Traction and grip||Sand fills into ventilation holes.|
|Amazing breathability||Might irritate heel|
Typically, we are skeptical of things that are hybrid. Many of us believe in buying something that excels in one aspect rather than something that tries to do everything but misses the point. This shandal is a hybrid between a shoe and a sandal, and it excels as both.
This sandal is a closed face sandal with 12 open spaces that provide aeration, while also providing you with more protection compared to typical sandals. It has a Vibram Megagrip outsole which is one of the stickiest rubbers available providing you with an amazing grip, which is essential for the best outdoor sandals. You might be wondering about how water might fill into these like the crocs you wear. Thankfully, for drainage purposes, the sandal has four ports that let the water out. They are cozy and have an amazing fit, due to the laces that run all the way securing your feet in a comfortable way.
One of the issues with this Shandal is the fact that users have complained about it filling up with sand very easily. Furthermore, the inner lining towards the heel provided some users with discomfort.
- Excellent traction and grip make these not only perfect for hiking, but also the perfect sandals for your sporting needs.
- Amazing breathability due to an excellent ventilation system even though these are closed-face sandals.
- Very comfortable to have on and fit your feet well so that you have a comfortable hiking experience.
- Some users have complained of sand filling into ventilation holes making an uncomfortable and irritating experience.
- Some users faced irritation due to the lining towards the heel.
The Merrell Choprock Shandals are the perfect multipurpose sandals you are looking for. With amazing breathability, grip, and comfort, this product meets all your hiking and sporty needs and hence making this a product you can rely on.
Teva Katavi 2 – Best budget Hiking Sandals
|Affordable price tag|| Poor wet traction
|Extreme comfort||Less stable and supportive|
|Excellent design and quality|
These sandals are ones that tick all the boxes at a very affordable price tag. Extremely comfortable, lightweight, and made of high-quality products, the Teva Katavi 2 are amazing sandals from one of the industries leading companies.
Right off the bat, what you notice about these sandals is their comfort. These sandals are some of the most comfortable sandals out there with their plush EVA foam on the inner side. The raised brim on the edge makes sure your feet fall right into place and the mesh lining and soft strap add to the comfort. The straps are anchored at 4 different points on the footbed giving the sandals and you, good stability. The sandals also have good adjustability and versatility.
While the Durabrasion rubber provides the sandals with good abrasion resistant traction, the sandals do struggle in wet conditions. That being said, the traction is really good when compared to other sandals of this price range.
- These sandals give you all the essential features you are looking for with a price tag that is very affordable making this a good value purchase.
- Extremely comfortable sandals that you can wear to most places, be it a hike or a casual night out.
- Excellent design and quality and this add to the value because they can easily be your all-purpose footwear option.
- The poor wet traction could become dangerous in extreme hiking conditions if the surfaces are wet.
- There are not the most stable and supportive sandals out there.
While these hiking sandals are not the most stable and don’t come with the most traction, they make up for it by providing good comfort and overall amazing performance at an insanely good price tag. So if you’re a casual hiker who wants to buy a pair but one that doesn’t drain your pocket, this is the product for you
Chaco Z/2 Classic – The Best Hygienic Hiking Sandals
|Good traction|| Not for all foot types
|Anti-microbial footbed||Not very durable|
|Made of synthetic materials|
Chaco is one of the most popular sandal brands out there. They are known for high-quality products and the Z/2 Classic delivers on this quality. These are extremely durable and a safe investment that will stay with you for ages.
The footbed has an anti-microbial application that keeps your feet hygienically clean and free from odor. For the environmental enthusiast out there, the sandals are made of very durable synthetic materials meaning these sandals are vegan. The podiatrist certified footbeds provide the sandals with a superior support system. And the sole is high-performing and has excellent traction that makes it perfect for your hiking purposes even in water crossings.
Some people have had problems with the durability of the sole. The people who have worn the shoes all the time have complained of the sole running out early. Some people have also had comfort issues highlighting that these sandals are not for all foot types.
- Good traction provides a good and safe trekking experience be it on wet or dry land, making these ones of the best Chacos for hiking.
- The Anti-Microbial floor helps get rid of germs and especially odor-causing germs keeping your sandals clean and fresh.
- Made of synthetic materials these sandals are the perfect choice for those who want to contribute to the health of the environment.
- Some people have had a very uncomfortable exp[erience with these sandals indicating that these are not made for all the foot types.
- Some users have complained that if used intensely, the soles of these sandals wear out relatively earlier as compared to previous models.
Chacos are probably the most well-known name that pops up when you start looking for sandals, especially for hiking. These sandals are no exception to their promise of quality. The sandals are great for hiking and trekking and provide great traction and stability. They also come at a reasonable price compared to other high-end market leaders.
ECCO Yukatan -The most comfortable hiking sandals
|Great comfort|| Primitive design
ECCO is one of Europe’s forest shoe manufacturers, founded in 1963 in Denmark, over the course of time, Ecco has made its mark on the shoe and sandal industry by making high-quality products.
The Yukatan is an excellent hiking sandal, and it stands out for its comfort. The EVA foam footbed cradles your feet immediately. The straps are made of soft leather that feels good against your skin. The traction is not as amazing as the Vibram-branded sandals, but it stills fares well in most hiking conditions be it rocky, dry, or wet. The foam and design that provides the comfort also provide very good stability so that your feet are firmly fixed in place. These sandals are multipurpose in the sense that they can be worn for sports, or hikes, or even a casual trip to the beach.
The sandals have a typical three-strap build, and while most of the industry is moving towards more innovative strapping patterns, ECCO has here gone with the classics. The problem with that is that these aren’t the most adjustable sandals.
- These sandals standout with comfort and the attention to detail in the foam, the design, and the leather straps make you feel right at home when you wear these sandals.
- The sandals have good traction, which might not be the one for intense hikes but will certainly be your companion in your weekend trekking adventures.
- Good stability that keeps you and your feet safe from falling off and the extra layers of foam gives an extra layer of protection.
- The aesthetic does not look modern and innovative, they do not look any different from the traditional sandals in the market.
- These are expensive compared to the market average of the sandals, and so you have a price to pay for the added comfort.
The ECCO Yukatan are the best sandals for you if you are looking for a daily driver that you can wear anywhere and feel comfortable. These are longlasting, have good traction, and provide you with such a comfortable experience that these will easily become the new home for your feet.
Teva Terra Fi5 Sandal – The best Durable Hiking Sandals
|Quick-drying material||Poor craftsmanship|
Tevas are a household name. Everyone has at some point in their lives owned a pair of these. And they got here by making excellent products that are durable and stay with you for ages, and there’s no doubt that they make some of the best outdoor sandals.
These are open-faced sandals thus providing your feet with ventilation. The sandals have a very adjustable strap design meaning that these are very easy to use and wear and provide you with good comfort as they fit your feet securely. The versatile material looks really good and what adds value to these hiking sandals is the fact that these are almost waterproof hiking sandals because of the quick-drying material. These sandals are shock-absorbing and the outsole gives you the perfect traction for backpacking. The other little benefit that you add to the list is that these allow you to put socks on too!
With great quality and features, comes a great price and the Terra Fi5 is no exception to that. These are certainly not cheap, but that’s the price you pay for a top of the line product. Some users have had problems with the craftsmanship of the sandals, complaining about the placement of the velcro which harms the adjustability.
- Durable. Like most Teva products, these are sandals that can stay with you for ages owing to the high-quality materials these are made of, they have the robustness you are looking for in rough hiking sandals.
- The quick-drying material on these sandals gives them an edge over many other sandals out there meaning you can step into a puddle and still not let it bother you for long.
- Comfortable sandals with a soft interior and multiple points for the adjustment of the straps adding more to the comfort.
- The sandals are very expensive compared to most sandals offering similar features, although they have good quality.
- Some users have complained about poor craftsmanship by talking about the thickness and the width of the straps and their placement.
You can’t do wrong buying a Teva. Their top-quality sandals give you all the essential features you are looking for in the best hiking sandals and even though the price might seem steep, the performance of the sandals will make it worth the buck.
Xero Z-Trail – Best Lightweight Hiking Sandals
If you are someone who is looking for lightweight sandals that are easy to carry around, and you are not looking to do some heavy-duty hiking the Z-Trail is the product for you. These are super minimalistic and so are so light they make you fly.
The dual-density foam and ultra webbing make these a very comfortable pair of sandals. The plush straps feel good against your skin and the general open-face design gives you the air you need on warmer days. The strap of webbing is adjustable and doubles back and helps you secure your feet tightly, adding to the comfort. It is made of high-quality materials and they do good in mild hiking conditions. And all this comes at a very relatively appropriate price tag, meaning it will do the job without denting your pocket.
In terms of hiking sandals, traction is average at best. While the sandals do support you on wet rocky surfaces, the sandals aren’t very reliable as your hikes become more extreme. The TrueFeel rubber sole helps you step over sharp objects but because it is very thin, whatever you step on, your feet will know. With an ultralight minimalistic design, you will have to give up on a few features and in this case, what you are giving up is good stability. While the midsole and the webbing try to give you the support you require, these sandals lack the support that most of the sandals on the list have, but that’s just a game of preferences. For moderate hiking tracks these will be good for walks, even runs.
- Lightweight. These sandals are a breeze and give you a barefoot carefree feel when you are on your hikes while simultaneously giving your feet protection.
- The sandals are very comfortable even though these have been made as minimalistic as possible, the dual-density foam in the inner side and the adjustable straps provide good comfort and secure your feet well.
- For hiking sandals, these sandals have average traction meaning that while you can walk and run on easy tracks but these will certainly not support you if you are looking to go out on big adventures.
- The minimalistic design has caused these sandals to have a very low stability rating, and that might be dangerous combined with the low traction, if used on difficult tracks, these sandals might hurt you.
If you were looking for casual sandals that are comfortable, lightweight, and good for many purposes, this is the right fit for you. You can even manage to play sports with these sandals well as long as the surface isn’t rocky but you can not count on them to be your hike partners.
Keen Newport H2 – Best Waterproof Hiking Sandals
|Great Stability||Low adjustability|
These are our second closed faced sandals and while most of the sandals on the list do provide traction in wet conditions, very few are as water-resistant as the Newport H2. These sandals are tough, durable, and comfortable.
The sandals have a protective toe box and a supportive midsole that makes these sandals one of the more comfortable ones, amongst the close faced variants. The protective toe box is a great feature since you can not always see the rocks when your feet are underwater and the box helps save your toes from injury. The neoprene backed webbing the sandals are made of is what not only makes them water-resistant but also very comfortable. The traction is not as amazing as those sandals that have Vibram, but, it certainly is not bad either. While these may falter occasionally, the traction is amazing on wet and dry surfaces alike. Like most closed faced sandals, the Newports have amazing stability. The protective toe box and its shape protect your feet in rugged conditions.
Like most closed faced sandals, one of the major drawbacks of these sandals is the fact that sand tends to fill up into the holes making you very uncomfortable. The adjustability is obviously low too owing to the closed face, there are no straps and buckles that you can strap according to your fit. The Sandals arent the most versatile sandals either owing to the sand that gets stuck in the holes.
- Waterproof, these sandals will be your companions when you are going to lacks or near riverbeds because not only will it dry your feet quickly, it will protect your feet from injury.
- These are one of the most stable sandals out there owing to their closed faced design and protective rubber toe box, these sandals give you the essential stability you need especially while hiking in wet conditions.
- Sand and silt might get stuck into these sandals if you take them to places like the beach, meaning that these sandals have low versatility.
- The sandals have low adjustability since straps and buckles are not available meaning that it might be a little harder to get into these sandals compared to the other open-faced ones.
If you live somewhere around a lot of lakes or by a river, or if your area is constantly underwater, then these are the hiking partners you are looking for. The Newports check all the boxes providing comfort, protection, stability, and traction making these an excellent pair of sandals.
Teva Original Universal Women’s
|Comfortable and Stylish|| Poor stability
While all of the sandals that we have reviewed thus far are unisex, we thought about giving a special shoutout to the Teva Original Universal Women’s, considering it is a unique pair of sandals and at an unbelievably low price.
Straight off the bat, the first thing you notice about these hiking sandals for women is the fact that these are extremely lightweight. The cushy sole makes them incredibly comfortable too, even though the straps don’t feel great against the skin. The sole is light and flexible, making it ideal for smooth terrain but long walks or rough hikes will tire your feet. The traction isn’t out of this world, but it isn’t bad either. It works great on rocky surfaces however the steeper it gets, the looser the grip. These sandals have good versatility because unlike most, these sandals have a cool look that can be worn to casual gatherings and you can also play some sports in them as well as go on mild hikes.
It is very easy to adjust them, but they lack adjustment points, and it would have been great if there were some more of them. The flexible sole and the minimalistic design hardly cradles your feet, making them very unstable. So you need to think twice before taking them on tough and rugged excursions.
- Comfortable sandals with a soft and comfy footbed and added style make these sandals stand out.
- The sandals keep the eye on the ball as hiking sandals as they provide good traction and while they might not be the best ones to climb the Everest, they will be good for your light and casual hikes.
- They come at an extremely affordable price tag making this an excellent product that falls within your reach and you don’t have to sweat to make the decision to buy them.
- The sandals lack stability which is one of the most essential requirements for the best hiking sandals, but it can protect you in mild conditions.
The Teva Original Universal for women deserved a special shout out because these are amazing sandals that excel in performance, comfort, and style at a very affordable price tag. This is another quality product from Teva which has because of its amazing quality, become a household name for most of us.
Keen Clearwater CNX- Best Adventure Hiking Sandals
|Good water Performance||Not easily adjustable|
The Keen Clearwater is a strong performance sandal. It puts up solid a solid performance in stability, traction, and comfort. This is one of the most stylish of KEEN models.
Although the sandals don’t come with a Vibram sole, they do have decent traction. The Clearwater is a very comfortable sandal. Having a PU midsole that provides a comfy couch like feel, you often forget you were wearing this sandal. The polyester webbing upper conforms to many different foot shapes, and testers remarked on the lack of pressure points. During long days, the sole feels sturdy enough to support different arch types but maintains a nimble feel. They have excellent stability that comes with their multi-directional “flex grooves” which give you a natural contact with the ground.
One of the factors the Clearwater falls short in is adjustability. Having a single strap at the top of the foot that tightens the cord in a shoelace-like pattern, it’s difficult to fine-tune adjustments. These sandals are also amongst the most expensive ones reviewed here.
- Good Comfort, giving you an easy and enjoyable hiking experience and helping you hike greater distances.
- These sandals have great performance when submerged in water since they keep feet dry, and gives them protection.
- The sandals are versatile meaning you can wear them to a lot of places because not only do these have excellent performance but, the Clearwater also has a good style to it.
- Clearwater’s price is a significant number above the market average price making this heavy on your pocket.
- The sandals aren’t as adjustable as many other sandals on the list and hence lack that ease of use that comes with easily adjustable sandals.
The Keen Clearwater is a very decent sandal, it can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from sports to hikes whether they are in dry or wet conditions. They provide you with good traction, stability, and comfort. Not to mention these are stylish enough to be your companions in casual gatherings.