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The Best Hiking Sandals

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Buyer's Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Sandals: Everything You Need to Know

Everyone enjoys a nice trek, but it's more than just putting on your boots and heading out.

Hiking sandals are more flexible than hiking boots or shoes and are designed to be easier to put on and take off.

Hiking sandals are also often lighter in weight, making them an excellent choice for people who want to avoid the added weight of hiking boots or hiking shoes.

You'll need the proper materials and equipment, including boots. Hiking sandals are ideal for hiking since they provide all of the benefits of traditional sneakers, such as durability, cushioning, flexibility, traction, and support.

Hiking sandals, on the other hand, have certain crucial distinctions that make them ideal for outdoor trips.

What are hiking sandals?

Hiking sandals are often fashioned from a range of materials such as canvas, rubber, synthetic rubber, neoprene, and leather.

The most popular varieties of hiking sandals, however, are Nike's Air Jordan and Converse Chuck Taylor, which combine the style of your everyday shoe with the support and durability of a hiking boot or hiking shoe.

Hiking sandals of this type are often made for casual outdoor enthusiasts searching for something that can be worn on the beach, on the trail, or just outside for some light outdoor exercise.

Hiking sandals are not one-size-fits-all footwear. Some hiking sandals are primarily made for athletic purposes, but others are built for comfort and aren't as snug on the feet.

Why hike with hiking sandals?

Hiking shoes or boots are ideal for covering lengthy distances (such as walking around the neighborhood park), whereas hiking sandals are ideal for shorter or more difficult trips.

First, evaluate how long your hike will be and what your objectives are. Some hikes are so short that you may change shoes immediately, while others will demand you to hike in them for several hours.

Hiking in a pair of hiking sandals is a fantastic idea depending on the length and difficulty of your trek. However, if you don't mind getting a little dirty, you can go trekking in standard shoes.

Second, think about your personal preferences. If you are prone to blisters, you should consider hiking in a pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes.

What's the difference between Hiking Sandals & Hiking Boots?

Hiking sandals are often composed of synthetic, neoprene, or canvas materials. While most hiking boots have rubber soles, hiking sandals contain a thinner, more flexible material to provide additional traction.

Hiking sandals have a few advantages over hiking boots because the rubber sole isn't as thick. Hiking sandals are far more convenient to put on and take off.

They're far more comfy, particularly if you're wearing socks or slippers.

They're a lot lighter, so you can wear them on a long trek without getting sore, fatigued, or winded. These are just a few of the reasons why hiking sandals are an excellent choice for long-distance hikes.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Hiking Sandals

Hiking sandals can be worn for a number of activities, including running around the park and hiking to beaches and mountains. Consider this element to see if hiking sandals are a good fit for your trekking demands: What kind of terrain do you intend to hike in?

Hiking sandals provide all of the advantages of ordinary sneakers, including long-lasting materials, cushioning, flexibility, traction, and support. Hiking sandals are ideally suited for typical trails or roads where you can quickly put them on, hike for a while, and remove them without removing your boots or hiking shoes.

These types of routes are ideal for anyone who needs to transport their hiking boots and shoes, such as runners or bicyclists who want to hike on uneven or rocky terrain on occasion.


Sandals are made of cutting-edge materials that protect your feet from sharp pebbles, trash, and other hazards. Here are some materials to check for when purchasing your next pair of sandals:


If you'll be playing in the mud and sludge, seek a sole constructed of firm rubber compounds. Choose sandals with a deep tread for when you're climbing a steep mountain face or balancing precariously on wet river pebbles. The upper portion of your sandal, including any straps, should be constructed of a breathable and long-lasting material like nylon webbing or polyurethane. Memory foam on the top sole provides supportive cushioning and a pleasant fit. Furthermore, these materials are water-resistant, which means they will not become soaked if you tread through a creek and will not decay after a few wet wears.


EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate for your sandal's midsole is recommended. Because of its cushion-like characteristics, this spongy substance that provides arch support is frequently utilized in orthotics and high-end soccer cleats. It also has little to no odor and will not make your feet sweat.


Treads designed for hiking and portaging over tough terrain are available from specialized rubber producers such as Vibram. Stealth Rubber, which is used in Five Ten climbing shoes and Astral river shoes, is meant to attach to rocks and keep you upright in the water. You can spend days researching rubbers, but respectable brands always employ great proprietary sole materials.

Closed-toe sandals are the way to go if you plan on doing anything where a few broken toes could put you in a perilous scenario, like running Class IV+ rapids, canyoneering, distance-portaging a Royalex canoe, or extended hiking treks that include a lot of fording.


Finding the right hiking shoe or outdoor boot that fits perfectly can be difficult, as can fitting hiking sandals. However, thanks to the following six-pointers, this does not have to be the case:

  • Due to swelling, the human foot enlarges slightly at the end of the day. As a result, it's a good idea to put on sandals in the afternoon or evening.
  • Please bring your socks. If you like to wear socks with your sandals (which is also OK), bring your favorite hiking socks with you. Wool or synthetic socks are preferable since they are moisture-wicking and provide warmth or insulation.
  • Purchase it in half size. Getting the right size might be difficult at times. Fortunately, most brands offer half-size hiking sandals. If your preferred full size continues to fall short, consider ordering a half size smaller or larger.
  • Allow extra room for your toes. There should be at least a half-inch of room in front of your big toe. This distance keeps your toes from touching the ground, which is especially important during descents. The rest of your foot should likewise remain within the limitations of the footbed—no heel or midfoot overlaps allowed. If you prefer closed-toe sandals, opt for a spacious toe box with plenty of wiggle area.
  • Instead of going large, go wide. If your feet still feel cramped and constrained after trying on multiple sizes, especially around the sides, request a wide version of that sandal. Because some people's feet are extra-wide, certain footwear makers offer wide-width options.
  • Try out your new sandal. After you've found the appropriate pair for you, walk up and down an inclined surface, making sure your toes don't slip past the front of the footbed or strike the end of the enclosure during descents. You should also have very little or no heel lift. If it does, loosen the straps or lace them up. It's also a good idea to size up or down.


types of hiking sandals

The most important element to consider while selecting a sandal is activity. Will you have to scramble over mountain passes? River fording? Having a good time at camp? Whatever you're doing, there's a sandal for it.


If you want to keep a low profile, flip flops are unbeatable. A pair is simple to put on and take off, and it is low in weight. Leather flip flops are difficult to beat for comfort after some breaking in, but they can become slippery once soaked. Top soles made of rubber are less pleasant but more functional.


When hiking with sandals, some strapping is required for security. Teva and Chaco are the most common technical hiking or trekking sandals. Hiking sandals, as opposed to flip flops, feature straps which go around the heel and frequently incorporate a cinch clasp for a secure fit on all terrain. Hiking sandals often include a more robust, trekking outsole, like Vibram rubber, as well as a sturdier midsole that makes challenging things like climbing or canoe launches infinitely safer. Hikers' toes are often more durable, and some hikers prefer scaling up a half size for a larger cushion among their little piggies and impediments. Kayakers and rafters have welcomed the "Hiking" style sandal after ages of missing flip flops in rivers and straining ankles throughout portages.


Although the huarache sandal is new to the general market, it has been around for a long time. These ultra-light sandals are a hybrid of a flip and a hiking sandal, with a simple rubber sole (typically Vibram) and narrow webbing that separates the big toe like one flip and grips the heel and tightens like a hiker. Because of their simplicity and lack of top and midsoles, huaraches are the closest thing to walking barefoot. Some individuals do 100-mile endurance sports in some of these, however their lightweight and versatile construction make them an ideal packable and adaptable sandal.


In response to stubbed toe complaints, sandal manufacturers such as KEEN have extended the sandal outsole up and over the front area of the foot to create a rubber barrier for ultimate toe protection. Closed-toe sandals are ideal for hiking and fording fast rivers, where scuffing your foot on a rock is a possibility. Closed-toe sandals offer excellent toe protection, with the lone disadvantage that dirt can gather in the toe area.


Sandals frequently have webbing upper or interwoven straps. Aside from providing a secure and customized fit with their adjustable straps.

The more straps a sandal has, the more secure the lockdown (which is especially handy if you have oddly shaped feet). Aside from the number of straps, consider how easy it is to alter these. Nobody wants to deal with difficult-to-adjust straps in the middle of a hike.

Choosing the best Hiking Sandals for your specific needs

To choose the best hiking sandals for you, you must first decide what you want from a hiking sandal.

First and foremost, why do you require hiking sandals? Hiking sandals are suitable for a wide range of activities for the majority of individuals, including:

  • Long-distance hiking
  • Getting to the trails
  • Camping while mountain biking or trekking
  • Taking part in outdoor activities

A hiking sandal should be durable enough to carry you through a variety of weather situations, including rain, heavy snow, and more, despite being lightweight and comfortable.


Final Thoughts

Hiking shoes are ideal for any sport that requires a lot of walking, from frequent jogs to extended treks, but they must be comfortable and light in weight.

Hiking sandals are ideal for any sport that requires a lot of walking, from regular jogs to extended treks, but you need something comfortable and lightweight. Hiking sandals, which are normally quite flexible and suitable for walking, can also be used as a go-to casual and sporty sandal.

However, hiking sandals are ultimately about the experience. It's all about having fun outside, being as active as you want, and enjoying your environment in a fresh and different way.


Are sandals allowed on hikes?

Even if you do not wear heavy-duty hiking boots, hiking is a physically demanding activity. Hiking requires you to provide support for your feet, thus it is critical that you purchase sandals that provide adequate arch support. Sore feet can be caused by wearing flat sandals.

Invest in a sandal that delivers both support and comfort. Because the sole of the sandal is what provides the shoe with its support, it is critical to choose a style that is both comfortable and stylish. Hiking sandals are exactly what they sound like.

Chacos are an excellent choice for hiking, camping, kayaking, and even going on a difficult trip in the mountains. Because of the outstanding arch support provided by these sandals, they may be customized to exactly fit your feet over time. They have excellent grip and tread, and they are capable of withstanding lengthy, steep walks as well as some rock scrambling.

The majority of Amazon customers believe that these sandals are perfect for hiking, camping, and kayaking adventures. Even those suffering from plantar fasciitis will find that the arch support offers them all-day comfort.

Is there a bonus? Chaco is concerned with the long-term longevity of its shoes. If they get damaged or worn out after a period of time, you can send them in for repair through the ReChaco initiative. This will replace any damaged outsoles or buckles and will be significantly less expensive than purchasing a new pair.

Chacos are good for hiking

Hiking may be done with Chacos, and they are really comfortable. Whatever you choose will be determined by the terrain and your particular tastes. From sandals to running shoes (see how to hike in running shoes), from hiking boots to sandals to running shoes, and even climbing mountains barefoot, I have hiked in a variety of footwear options.

Can I hike in Birkenstocks?

There are many different types of sandals available, each with their own set of uses. If you want to get the most enjoyment out of your new sandals, it is critical that you understand the purpose of each pair you purchase. It is not recommended that you submerge your new leather sandals in water.

Chacos are the most comfortable hiking sandals I've ever worn. Birkenstock does not make sandals exclusively for hiking, as many other companies do. They are incredibly comfy, but you will almost certainly require something more particular. There are several sandals with back straps that can be worn for light hiking and are suitable for this purpose.

Are you comfortable wearing socks with your hiking sandals?

If you are able to do so comfortably, you might consider investing in a pair of high-quality hiking socks. If you want to keep your feet warm, you should avoid going through streams.

Are Sandals OK to Wear Hiking?

Because sandals are so comfortable, it can be tempting to merely walk around in them while hiking. Despite the fact that they are comfortable, they should not be worn all of the time. Here's some information on when you should wear them in place of your regular clothes.

Are They Safe to Wear When Ultralight Backpacking?

Yes, but only if the rest of your gear is also extremely light in comparison. In order to understand why, consider the following: If you plan on hauling a lot of heavy equipment, you'll want to invest in a pair of boots.

They can be worn if I need good arch support.

To be sure, a few of the sandals discussed above provide excellent arch support and cushioning. Comfort is important to Active Weekender when it comes to outdoor gear, and these brands and models are no exception. I actually wear my KEEN sandals virtually every day while I'm in Las Vegas, and they're very comfortable.

Are They Safe to Wear?

Many hiking sandals are shock-resistant, which is a good thing. When looking for hiking sandals, look for ones that have ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or foam midsoles for added comfort.

What makes chacos so bad?

Chacos have a foul odor. After a long day on your feet, the sweat that collects between your feet and the footbed can cause a nasty odor to develop. A complete ecosystem of stinking bacteria develops between the sole of your foot and the footbed as a result of sweating on your feet. This problem can be readily resolved by applying an antibacterial solution to the footbed in question.

In the event that you are concerned about the environment, there are numerous alternatives to consider. Chacos can be extremely cumbersome. They are really, extremely hefty. They're designed for long-distance hiking.

Chacos require a lighter version that does not necessitate the use of all of one's mountaineering strength. It would be preferable if the straps were a little softer. There are a plethora of alternatives. Once in position, chacos don't move around as much as they used to.

Are there tevas that can be used for hiking?

Teva offers a wide range of shoes, sandals, and boots for a variety of outdoor activities. Light trekking, brook crossings, mountain climbing, and free-footed rock scrambling are all possible with these boots on your feet.

Are Chacos worth the effort?

Chacos are unquestionably worth the investment. The most appealing feature of Chacos is their long-lasting quality. They will last for a long time, allowing you to store them in your wardrobe without having to purchase another.

The bottoms of the shoes are also cushioned for comfort. You will not experience any discomfort when walking. Your ankles will also benefit from the support provided by these shoes. But that's not all there is to it. Chacos can also help to keep your toes and heels stable when walking. It will help alleviate any discomfort in the heels.

You can wear them for extended periods of time without experiencing any discomfort. They not only provide comfort, but they also provide support and stability. Chacos will always be able to supply more advantages. The fact that they may be worn for any occasion is one of the most appealing aspects of Chacos.

You can also use them for activities such as backpacking, rafting, and trekking. They can be worn wherever you go, so it doesn't really matter where you're going with your outfit. Because they provide so much, they are well worth the hype and the money spent on them.

Why do I need hiking sandals?

Hiking sandals are an excellent choice for outdoor activities such as hiking, strolling, and traveling. You can walk freely, hike freely, and traverse difficult terrain without being restricted by the limitations of footwear that requires laces or straps to be worn.

On top of that, many people enjoy it because it is both comfortable to wear and has a fashionable appearance. Furthermore, because they allow your feet to breathe, they are particularly suitable for hot weather. Hiking sandals have a unique style that is not found in other types of shoes, such as sneakers.

This footwear has excellent traction and will keep your feet feeling comfortable even on long excursions or trips in the wilderness. Aside from that, when it's extremely hot outside, most people choose to wear hiking sandals rather than shoes because having their feet exposed allows them to breathe better.

What are the benefits of wearing hiking sandals?

Hiking is one of those sports that needs a high level of focus on your part. You must maintain complete awareness of your surroundings and the area you are walking across, as there may be potentially hazardous scenarios ahead. It is not possible, however, if you are wearing extremely tough footwear that covers your feet and ankles.

Sandals are the finest option for hikers since they allow them to roam around freely without the fear of being wounded by jagged rocks or other hazards. Many folks are taken aback by how durable hiking sandals actually are. Some of them are even capable of surviving river crossings, which is a significant advantage.

The majority of types have soft soles, which are perfect for walking on uneven terrain. Aside from that, they also offer protection from wet and cold weather conditions. Hiking sandals with arch support can help you stay comfortable throughout your trek because they provide the most stability available to you.

Numerous people find it challenging to select hiking footwear that is appropriate for extended treks or hikes across severe terrain. Even more importantly, they want something that is comfortable and offers excellent support and stability. The good news is that hiking sandals can take care of this for you!

What kind of terrain can I go through with my hiking sandals?

Wanderers using hiking sandals can navigate a variety of terrains, including grassland trails, deserts, pebble beaches, and forest routes. There are, however, some versions that are designed expressly for water sports activities.

This implies that you may even go through rivers and spend time on the beach without having to remove your glasses. On top of that, some sandals provide excellent insulation against cold weather, allowing you to wear them throughout the year, even in winter.

What should I look for before choosing hiking sandals?

When selecting hiking and travel footwear, there are several factors to consider, including ventilation, water resistance, and terrain type. Without a doubt, you would prefer your sandals to be both long-lasting and comfy.

If you have hurting feet the next day after wearing new shoes on the first day of your trip, there's nothing worse! As a result, we urge that you try them on first to ensure that they are the correct size. Hiking sandals are ideal for travel, not only because of their practicality, but also because of their fashionable appearance.

There's nothing better than taking in the sights of your favorite locations while wearing fashionable footwear. Make sure you select a pair of shoes that complements your unique style and is appropriate for the location you will be visiting!

How to choose the best hiking sandals?

Choosing the appropriate footwear is quite important, especially while hiking for an extended period of time. Making new shoes comfortable can be unpleasant, and it is not the best way to spend time outdoors enjoying yourself. In order to ensure that they are the correct size, we recommend that you try them on first.

Additionally, we recommend selecting a pair with an adjustable strap so that you can tighten or relax it according to your preference. They will not fall off your feet in this way, and you will always feel at ease while wearing them!Ventilation is also quite crucial, as hiking sandals must be breathable in order to be effective.

During the summer, when your feet will be sweating the most inside the shoe, it will be uncomfortable to wear them, which is when you will need them the most. We recommend selecting a pair with a large number of air holes or mesh panels in order to give enough ventilation. In addition to this, it is preferable if they are lightweight and long-lasting.

When your footwear isn't as durable as it should be, you run the risk of being hurt by sharp rocks. Taking this precaution will ensure that you will have a wonderful day outdoors without the risk of becoming harmed. After all, the most important thing is your safety!

What are the different types of hiking sandals?

Hiking sandals are generally divided into two categories: those that allow you to cross water and those that are designed for mountain paths. As previously noted, some types are specifically intended for activities such as rock climbing and swimming in rivers.

Hiking sandals can also be classified according to the sort of terrain they will be used on. Aside from this, there are a few more characteristics that distinguish them from one another. Some hiking sandals are equipped with a heel strap, which makes them suited for hiking through difficult terrain. This way, you can be certain that they will not fall off or become stuck between rocks! On top of that, certain models feature an adjustable heel strap, allowing you to customize the fit to your preference.

In addition to this, you should investigate the type of material that was used to construct them. Hiking sandals are typically composed of rubber or polyester, so choose a pair that will withstand the terrain you will encounter.