As you hit the trail for a warm day of hiking, boots may not always be the best option. Your particular hike may incur several water crossings or expose you to the harsh sun, making the traditional boots and wool socks combo far too hot! That’s why we’ve gathered a list of the best hiking sandals, so you can make the most of your trek.

On hot days in the summer, do yourself a favor and let your feet breathe a little. A solid pair of hiking sandals will do wonders at keeping you cool on the trail and perform well under rugged conditions. Whether you’re scrambling up the side of a rocky slope, sloshing through river crossings, or trekking through slick conditions on a hot, wet summer day, the following list will have you covered no matter the challenge.

So sit back, free those toes from their winter socks, and get ready for the coolest foot tan lines. Pro Tip: The more intense the tan line, the more trail cred you have 😉

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Shoes.

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Sandals

  1. Chaco Z/2 Classic
  2. Xero Shoes Z-Trail
  3. KEEN Newport H2
  4. Bedrock Sandals 3D Cairn Pro
  5. Teva Hurricane XLT2 Alp
  6. Teva Terra Fi 5
  7. KEEN Arroyo III
  8. Teva Strata Universal
  9. ECCO Yucatan
  10. Malibu Sandals The Rancho

MULTI-DAY HIKING PACKING LIST

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Comparison Table - Best Hiking Sandals

PictureNameToe StyleWeightAdjustment MechanismPriceRating
Chaco Z/2 ClassicToe Loop / Open Toe1 lb. 15 oz.Buckle$$5.0
Xero Shoes Z-TrailOpen Toe11 oz.Adjustable Strap$4.9
KEEN Newport H2Closed Toe / Covered1 lb. 8 oz.Bungee Lace$$4.8
Bedrock Sandals 3D Cairn ProOpen Toe1 lb. 2 oz.Strap$$$4.7
Teva Hurricane XLT2 AlpOpen Toe1 lb. 4.3 ozBuckle$4.5
Teva Terra Fi 5Open Toe1 lb. 10 oz.Velcro Strap$$4.4
KEEN Arroyo IIIClosed Toe / Covered1 lb. 12 oz.Bungee Lace$$4.3
Teva Strata UniversalOpen Toe1 lb. 6 oz.Velcro Strap$$$4.1
ECCO YucatanOpen Toe1 lb. 9 oz.Velcro Strap$$$4.0
Malibu Sandals The RanchoOpen Toe13 oz.Slip-On$$3.9
PictureNameToe StyleWeightAdjustment MechanismPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - Best Sandals for Hiking

Chaco Z/2 Classic

Specs
  • Toe Style: Toe Loop / Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Buckle
  • Midsole: Polyurethane (PU)
Features
  • Anti-Microbial Application Prevents Foot Odor
  • Synthetic Materials Means These Sandals Are Vegan
  • Podiatrist Certified Footbeds Provide Superior Support
  • High-Performance Sole Is Great For Hiking And Water Crossings

BEST FOR: LONG LASTING DURABILITY

Chacos are one of the biggest names in the sandal business for good reason. Their attention to detail using high-quality materials means these are some of the longest lasting sandals money can buy: period. 

When these bad boys do begin to show signs of heavy wear, just send them off to be re-soled. Broken straps from extreme use? Send ‘em off for repair! Your initial investment will pay you dividends down the road as the cost of repair is much less than buying a new pair. 

The Polyurethane (PU) midsole is longer lasting, more durable, and more supportive than sandals with an Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) midsole. The straps are also highly durable and adjustable, making them a great fit for any foot. 

Lastly, it’s important to be aware of The Great Chaco Debate: Toe Strap or No Strap? People get passionate and fiery about which is better. Some prefer the toe strap/toe loop because it provides more stability and control. Others dislike it because it can be hard to adjust or causes a callus to form. The toe strap wins out in our book because if you do end up disliking it, you can simply tuck it away.

Xero Shoes Z-Trail

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 11 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Adjustable Strap
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Covered By Manufacturer’s 5,000 Mile Sole Warranty
  • Synthetic Materials Means These Sandals Are Vegan
  • Z-Style Webbing Holds Sandals Securely To Your Feet

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT MINIMALISM

When hiking long distances or making a trek swiftly with speed in mind, the last thing you want is to be bogged down by heavy sandals. Weighing in at a feathery 11 ounces, the Xero Shoes Z-Trail is the lightest hiking sandal ever made! 

Make note, light doesn’t mean flimsy. The highly durable synthetic straps make for an ideal fit while the heel cup forms to your foot and keeps debris out. These sandals are also multisport compatible, making them a versatile shoe both on the trail and splashing through rivers. 

The Z-Trail’s minimal and lightweight design allows them to float in water if you find yourself on the river, and make them easy to roll up and stash in your hiking pack or pocket.

KEEN Newport H2

Specs
  • Toe Style: Closed Toe / Covered
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Bungee Lace
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • EVA Midsole Is Extremely Comfortable
  • Heel Strap Helps Foot Glide Into Sandal
  • Designed To Circulate Airflow And Stay Breathable

BEST FOR: SLICK SURFACES

Leave the Slip’N’Slide for lawn parties. Whether you’re trekking through the woods after a downpour or just live in a wet climate, traction is what you need. 

Fortunately for you, this is Keen’s specialty. The Newport H2’s rock a multidirectional sole that makes them extra “grippy” when tackling a trail in less than ideal conditions. The covered toe also keeps debris like sand and pebbles from slowing you down!

The H2’s also sport a highly supportive webbing that covers your foot better than other hiking sandals. This a great feature when trudging through brush that would otherwise scratch up your feet.

Bedrock Sandals 3D Cairn Pro

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic Webbing
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Strap
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Comes In 2 Colors
  • 3 Adjustment “Zones” Create A True Fit
  • Vibram Outsole Is Extremely Durable And Can Be Re-Cobbled When Worn

BEST FOR: CREEK AND RIVER CROSSINGS

Some of the best and most fun hiking trails have you splish-splashing back and forth across creeks and wading waist deep into slow-moving rivers. These treks require a pretty specific sandal and there’s no better choice than the Bedrock 3D Cairn Pro.

Starting with Vibram’s ultra-sticky “Megagrip” sole, these sandals grip wet rocks and slick surfaces like an amphibian’s foot. The footbeds, or topsole, where your feet rest are made of highly-cushioned Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA), making long treks much more comfortable. 

The pre-molded footbed also provides arch and toe support, giving you an ergonomic fit that will keep you supported as the miles wear on.

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Alp

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4.3 oz
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Buckle
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Cool Throwback 90’s Design
  • Unique Ankle Support Webbing
  • Highly Breathable And Quick Drying

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

Why be limited to hiking sandals that only perform well on the trail or in the water? Now, you don’t have to settle for the “either/or” but can hike confidently in the “both/and” category! 

Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 Alps do just the trick when you traverse diverse terrain or prefer to be prepared when the unexpected arrives (Boyscout motto, anyone?). The synthetic upper webbings are water ready and quick-drying after making a splash while the rugged rubber soles are trail-ready at a moment’s notice.

Even better, the inside of the upper webbing is made from neoprene (wet-suit material) to eliminate rashes that can occur from wet straps. They also sport 3 adjustable points giving this hiking sandal a true to foot fit.

Teva Terra Fi 5

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Velcro Strap
  • Midsole: Polyurethane (PU)
Features
  • Comes In 2 Different Colors
  • Heel Cup Provides Maximum Comfort
  • Synthetic Webbed Uppers Are Very Durable

BEST FOR: RUGGED, LIGHTWEIGHT ADVENTURES

Teva Terra Fi 5 – say that 5 times fast!

While your brain and tongue are playing catch up, let me get you up to speed on these bad boys. The Terra Fi 5’s meet at the intersection of rugged and lightweight. Not possible you say? Check out the details.

Starting with a highly durable and long lasting polyurethane (PU) midsole, the Terra Fi 5’s offer supreme support when handling rocky terrain. It’s beefy and rugged soles are counterbalanced by lightweight straps that don’t make your feet feel smothered in the shoe. 

It’s hook and loop closure also allows your tighten down these battle shoes, er hiking sandals, and keep you feeling supported all day long.

KEEN Arroyo III

Specs
  • Toe Style: Closed Toe / Covered
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Bungee Lace
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Comes In 2 Colors
  • Multidirectional Rubber Lugs On The Bottom of The Sandals Increase Traction
  • Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) Midsole Provides Superior Cushion And Comfort

BEST FOR: ROCKY TERRAIN / SCRAMBLING

When it comes to traversing rocky terrain or scrambling up scree-filled slopes, we’re pretty Keen on the Arroyo III’s. More of a hybrid than a true sandal, this pair will keep your feet protected while maintaining breathable, sock-less trekking. 

The Arroyo III’s closed toe will keep your toes protected as you dig into cliffside holds and its mesh webbing has the rest of your foot covered while keeping out small rocks and pebbles. 

The Nubuck leather uppers are also super durable, water resistant, and made from sustainably certified tannery. Lastly, the bungee lace adjustment system also supports a durable ankle strap, giving you peace of mind and keeping you sure-footed on the trail.

Teva Strata Universal

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Velcro Strap
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Anti-Microbial Application Prevents Foot Odor
  • Smart Design Reduces Weight Without Sacrificing Durability
  • Vibram Outsole Is Extremely Durable And Can Be Re-Cobbled When Worn

BEST FOR: WARM WEATHER HIKING

I know what you’re thinking, “Teva’s again??” Well, yes. They make an outstanding variety of hiking sandals and they do it well. 

If casual warm weather hikes are your thing, then these are the pair you want. Comfy, rugged, and supportive all wrapped into one, the Strata Universal are a quality choice when it comes to moderate hikes. 

The micro-traction lugs on the bottom of each sandal make for quality grip on the trail while the plush Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) midsoles provides a cushiony stride as the miles wear on, leaving your feet happy at the end of the day.

ECCO Yucatan

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Velcro Strap
  • Midsole: Polyurethane (PU)
Features
  • Anti-Microbial Application Prevents Foot Odor
  • Hard Rubber Outsoles Can Handle Wet And Dry Terrain
  • Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) Topsole Makes A Cushy Ride

BEST FOR: EXTRA SUPPORT

If ankle and foot support are a concern for you when it comes to finding quality hiking sandals, let the ECCO Yucatan assuage those fears. 

Built upon a highly durable Polyurethane (PU) midsole that creates superior stability and support, the Yucatan “carries the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.” This means that your feet will be happy all hike long and you can set your mind at ease knowing these sandals will keep you feeling supported throughout. 

The ECCO Yucatan also wick moisture from your feet as the day wears on and the 3-point hook-and-loop straps help you adjust your fit to exactly the best fit for your foot.

Malibu Sandals The Rancho

Specs
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Synthetic
  • Weight: 13 oz.
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Slip-On
  • Midsole: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Features
  • Comes In 2 Colors
  • Perfect For Casual Hikes
  • Synthetic Materials Means These Sandals Are Vegan

BEST FOR: CASUAL TREKS

If casual hikes at small parks are your thing, Malibu’s “The Rancho” Sandals are the perfect lightweight trekker for an easy day. Focusing on comfort and style, these sandals perform best when keeping it casual on moderately rugged terrain.

The lightweight strap system makes it easy to slip on and stay snug without feeling as if you’re choking your feet. They’re also super comfy, lending them a huge bonus in the cushion department. 

These are also a great choice as an evening camp shoe when hanging out by the fire after a day hike.

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HIKING SANDALS

TERRAIN

Knowing what kind of terrain you’ll encounter on a hike is key to choosing the proper hiking sandal. If the terrain is rocky or full of brush, you’ll probably want a hiking sandal with a covered or closed toe. This will keep your feet protected and give you better footing on the trail. If you know that river crossings will occur, you’ll need a sandal that has the proper sole to effectively handle slick surfaces and wet rocks.

 

UPPER

Simply put, the “upper” or upper part of a hiking sandal is the strap system that holds the sandal onto your foot. Uppers for hiking sandals are typically made of either suede/nubuck or synthetic materials and each have their advantages.

Suede/Nubuck

Suede/Nubuck is a type of leather that is thinner and softer than full-grain leather and typically lasts longer than synthetic materials. However, they do not dry as quickly when wet.

Synthetic

Synthetic materials can be made of polyester, nylon, or microfiber and tend to be lighter and dry quicker. However, they do not last as long as leather. For vegans who are animal conscious about their clothing, synthetic is the way to go.

 

MIDSOLE

The midsole of a shoe is the middle layer between the topsole (what your foot rests on) and the outsole (what makes contact with the earth, commonly referred to as the “sole”). What makes this so important is how it impacts cushioning and durability.

When it comes to choosing the right midsole for you, we’ve broken down the most common materials used – Polyurethane (PU) and Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA).

 

Polyurethane (PU)

PROS

  • Longer lasting
  • Very supportive
  • Extremely durable

CONS

  • Longer “break-in” period
  • Heavier than EVA
  • More expensive

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA)

PROS

  • Extremely soft from day 1
  • Lightweight
  • High amount of cushion

CONS

  • Breaks down faster than PU
  • Doesn’t support heavy loads well
  • Typically lasts 3 – 6 months

 

LONGEVITY

It’s important to note the durability and expected lifespan of quality hiking sandals. Those made with an Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) midsole have the same longevity as atypical running shoe and thus have the same replacement requirements: every 3 – 6 months. This is because EVA, while highly shock absorbent and extremely cushiony, tends to retain the shape of the foot and molds to it. This causes it to lose its effectiveness over time.

Hiking sandals with a Polyurethane (PU) midsole last much longer than the 6-month maximum of EVA due to it’s highly resilient and extremely durable design. If properly maintained, a pair of these hiking sandals can last a year or more.

 

FIT

Not all brands of hiking sandals are sized equally. Make sure you take a look at each brand’s sizing chart or scout the Q&A section to see if a particular sandal runs small or big. Some hiking sandals may also be narrower than you’d expect, something that’s common for guys. Double check the width and see if that particular model is offered in wide sizes. If not, sizing up may be your next best bet. You’ll just have to ratchet down those straps to achieve a snug fit.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

OUTSOLE

Also simply known as the “sole”, it’s the outer portion of a hiking sandal that makes contact with the ground and has traction.

MIDSOLE

A layer between the outsole and insole that provide cushioning and support.

INSOLE

The inside of the hiking sandal where your foot rests.

LUGS

The deep indented pattern that appears on the bottom of the shoe and provides traction.

EVA

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate: a synthetic material made of thousands of tiny bubbles that provides cushioning and shock absorption. Has a “memory” that will contour to your foot.

PU

Polyurethane: a synthetic material that is extremely durable and ideal for arch support. It has no “memory” and thus will last much longer than EVA.

 

 

READ MORE

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