Updated on July 11, 2021

Flip flops may sound like a great alternative to sweaty hiking boots. That is, until you stub your toe on a root and wind up with a broken sandal or a bleeding appendage. Ladies, do yourself a favor this summer and trade in those cumbersome hiking boots and those flimsy flip flops for the best hiking sandals for women that money can buy.

Lightweight and breathable, hiking sandals offer terrific ventilation while keeping you light on your feet. But how do you know which pair is right for you? That’s where we come in. We’ll tell you everything you need to consider when choosing the best hiking sandals for women along with our top recommendations.

For more of our top hiking footwear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Sandals

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Sandals for Women

  1. Bedrock Cairn Adventure
  2. Teva Original Universal
  3. Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV
  4. KEEN Newport H2
  5. Chaco Z/Cloud
  6. Teva Tirra
  7. KEEN Whisper
  8. Teva Hurricane XLT2
  9. KEEN Clearwater CNX
  10. Chaco ZX/2 Classic

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Sandals for Women

PictureNameWeightToe StyleAdjustment MechanismPriceRating
Bedrock Cairn AdventureBedrock Cairn Adventure1 lb (Pair)Open ToePull Strap$$$5.0
Teva Original UniversalN/AOpen ToePull Strap$4.7
Xero Shoes Z-Trail EVXero Shoes Z-Trail EV8.6 oz (Pair)Open ToePull Strap$$4.8
KEEN Newport H2KEEN Newport H21 lb 6 oz (Pair)Closed ToeBungee Lace$$$4.6
Chaco Z/Cloud1 lb 5 oz (Pair)Open ToePull Strap$$4.4
Teva Tirra1 lb 2 oz (Pair)Open ToeVelcro Strap$$4.6
KEEN Whisper1 lb 1 oz (Pair)Closed ToeSingle-pull Lace$$$4.4
Teva Hurricane XLT215.6 oz (Pair)Open ToePull Strap$$4.6
KEEN Clearwater CNX15.2 oz (Pair)Closed ToeSingle-pull Lace$$4.6
Chaco ZX/2 Classic1 lb 5 oz (Pair)Open ToePull Strap$$$4.5
PictureNameWeightToe StyleAdjustment 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 - The Best Women's Hiking Sandals

Bedrock Cairn Adventure

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester/nylon webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: XS Trek Vibram rubber
Features
  • 3 adjustment zones and sole-hugger wings for stability
  • Exclusive Vibram® soles provide lightweight, rugged, long-lasting grip—especially in dry conditions
  • Plugless toe posts and aluminum hardware provide excellent durability
Bedrock Cairn Adventure

BEST OVERALL HIKING SANDALS

If you need a serious adventure sandal versatile enough for bagging peaks and paddling white water, consider the Bedrock Cairns — they were made to go the distance — and then some.

This sandal features a thong construction paired with a patent-pending ankle strap with 3 adjustment zones, creating for a shoe you’ll barely even notice you’re wearing. This design reduces pressure points along the side of the foot, eliminating hot spots and preventing chafing. The Vibram rubber soles provide for lightweight, long-lasting grip on any terrain — especially in dry conditions. This sandal can really do-it-all and won’t buckle beneath heavy loads, but be prepared to really “feel the ground beneath you” on account of the thin, flexible sole.

What I like most about these sandals is that they’re designed to be a versatile fit for many different foot types, making them a great universal choice.

Teva Original Universal

Specs
  • Weight: N/A
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: Rubber
Features
  • Quick Drying
  • Durable Straps
  • Cushion Footbed For Added Comfort
  • Budget-Friendly

BEST FOR: AFFORDABILITY

The Teva Original Sandals let your feet breathe happily while staying within your budget. Time and time again, hikers have turned to these affordable sandals for their warm weather outdoor adventures.

Sliding these puppies on and off is a breeze with the hook-and-loop closure. Adjust the customizable straps to your feet and take them out for a spin on the trail. The footbed has just the right amount of cushion to keep your feet cozy so you can spend more time focusing on the experience and less on your footwear. If breathable yet affordable hiking sandals are what you seek, then these are an excellent option.

Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV

Specs
  • Weight: 8.6 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: FeelLite rubber
Features
  • 3-layer 10 mm FeelLite™ soles give these their surprising combination of light weight, comfort, flexibility and protection
  • Flat, zero-drop soles
  • Multi-point adjustment
  • Subtle heel cups help keep your heels in place and debris out
  • Vegan-friendly; contains no latex
Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT HIKING

If you’re looking for the lightest sandals you can find that still protect your feet, these are sure to meet your needs.

The Xero Z-Trails weigh in at 9.1 ounces per pair, making for one of the lightest hiking sandals available. The updated model feature soft, tubular webbing made from recycled water bottles and redesigned dual-chevron tread. Flat, zero-drop soles don’t elevate your heels, instead keeping them in their natural, proper position. They Xero Z-Trails sandals are also flexible enough for you roll them up and slip away into a pack or pocket.

What I like most about the Z-Trails is how sturdy the soles are, despite being so flexible.

KEEN Newport H2

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb 6 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Closed Toe
  • Upper: Polyester webbing/hydrophobic mesh
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Bungee Lace
  • Outsole: Carbon rubber
Features
  • Polyester webbing uppers and quick-dry linings are happy on land and in water
  • 10-point fit with quick-cinch bungee lacing
  • Pesticide-free Eco Anti-Odor natural odor control keeps the sandals fresh
  • Machine washable
KEEN Newport H2

BEST CLOSED-TOE OPTION

When you need the ideal combination of a sandal’s breathability and a lightweight hiking shoe’s support, reach for the Newport H2s — they provide for the best of both worlds.

KEEN designed these sandals with a 10-point fit system, featuring quick-cinch bungee lacing and EVA insoles designed to provide for ample arch support. A burly rubber toe cap and polyester upper give you the added support and protection not found in most open-toe sandal designs. Because they’re a bit heavier and bulkier than other models on this list, they aren’t the best for wearing through water, but they do dry quickly when wet.

What I like most about these sandals is the application of the Eco Anti-Odor natural odor control, which helps keep your sandals — and your feet — smelling fresh.

Chaco Z/Cloud

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb 5 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Jacquard Webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: ChacoGrip Rubber
Features
  • Good Traction Wet Or Dry
  • Comfortable Footbed
  • Odor Control

BEST FOR: ALL DAY COMFORT

The Chaco Z/Cloud Sandals provide exceptional comfort when tackling high mileage on the trail. Their podiatrist-certified footbed balances cushion with support to keep your feet happy every step of the way.

The outsoles of these sandals feature Chaco’s proprietary ChacoGrip rubber which is designed to maximize your grip on both dry dirt and wet rocks alike. These women’s hiking sandals also sport an antimicrobial treatment so they won’t build up funky odor no matter how murky your water crossing.

Teva Tirra

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb 2 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Webbing/Synthetic Leather
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Velcro Strap
  • Outsole: Rubber
Features
  • Supportive
  • Moisture-wicking Lining
  • Shock Absorption For Joint Protection
  • Antimicrobial Protection

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

From the high desert to the humid forest, trail explorers encounter a wide range of conditions and the Teva Tirra Sandals are up to the task. Should you find yourself trekking over dry unstable terrain, the supportive design will increase your performance while the drainage ports on the outsoles free up trapped debris. In wet conditions, the moisture-wicking straps and neoprene foam aid in keeping your feet dry. Wet or dry, the impact dispersing shock absorption and secure fit make this sandal great for hiking along with a variety of other outdoor activities.

KEEN Whisper

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb 1 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Closed Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single-pull Lace
  • Outsole: Carbon Rubber
Features
  • Secure Construction
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent Toe Protection
  • Odor Resistant

BEST FOR: HIKING IN AND AROUND WATER

The Keen Whisper Sandals let you approach river crossings with confidence thanks to their snug and secure fit. Slip your foot in, pull down on the cordlocked single lace, and get moving.

With the closed toe design, water can flow through the sandals without forcing your foot out of the toe bed. Meanwhile, the patented toe guard gives you some peace of mind while crossing over slick rocks or slippery roots – no more stubbed toes here! Paired with excellent traction and durability, the Keen Whisper Sandals are made to handle the tricky obstacles in your path.

Teva Hurricane XLT2

Specs
  • Weight: 15.6 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Textile
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: Rubber
Features
  • Excellent Traction
  • Comfortable Fit
  • Stable Construction
  • Quick Drying Strap Webbing

BEST FOR: VARYING TERRAIN

From the straps to the sole, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandal provides comfort in all the right places. An upgraded classic, these sandals feature padded heel straps to prevent nasty blisters along with improved grippy outsoles to increase traction.

Start your ascent up some rough terrain and the sturdy soles have you covered. As the bottom of these sandals come into contact with the ground, grippy rubber soles provide stability and support. Built to take a beating, these sandals will take the brunt of the impact while you happily glide along the trail.

KEEN Clearwater CNX

Specs
  • Weight: 15.2 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Closed Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Single-pull Lace
  • Outsole: Rubber
Features
  • Lightweight
  • Toe Protection
  • Traction In Wet Or Dry Conditions

BEST FOR: TOE PROTECTION

If you’re digging minimalist sandals but want a bit more toe protection, take a look at the Keen Clearwater CNX Sandals. Featuring Keen’s patented toe guard and with the pair weighing in at less than a single pound, you can have the best of both worlds with this hybrid sandal.

The Clearwater CNX sandals feature a 4mm heel-to-toe drop with light cushioning. This lets you experience a more natural movement while adding a touch more comfort when stepping over roots and rocks. Combining enhanced traction with stability, you’ll be able to move fast and stay upright in both dry and wet trail conditions.

Chaco ZX/2 Classic

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb 5 oz (Pair)
  • Toe Style: Open Toe
  • Upper: Polyester Jacquard Webbing
  • Adjustment Mechanism: Pull Strap
  • Outsole: Rubber Compound
Features
  • Comfortable Footbed
  • Toe-Loop For Better Foot Control
  • Antimicrobial Protection (to keep your feet smelling fresh)
  • 3mm Sole For Increased Stability

BEST FOR: COMFORTABLE FOOT CONTROL

Comprised of eight simple features, the CHACO ZX/2 Classic Sandals have a timeless design you can always rely on. These sandals streamline comfort and performance which is precisely what you need on the trail.

Slip on a pair and adjust the double straps to your liking. With an additional toe-loop and textured footbed, you don’t have to worry about your foot slipping and sliding when it starts to get a little sweaty or wet from the inevitable stream crossing. Plus, the footbed is podiatrist-certified so you know you’re in for some yummy comfort all day long.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HIKING SANDALS

COST

While there are many things to consider when choosing a pair of hiking sandals, cost tends to be one of the biggest determining factors. If the concept of hiking sandals is a new one, we recommend starting off with an affordable pair. As you gain experience, you’ll learn what kind of straps, footbed, coverage, and soles feel right to you. This may mean you stick with a budget pair or invest in something more pricey.

 

WEIGHT

The lighter the sandal, the lighter you’ll be on your feet. Lightweight sandals will keep you agile, allowing you to move faster on the trail. The tradeoff here is a thinner sole, which means more ground feel. If you prefer the sturdy comfort of a thick sole, a heavier pair is a better option.

 

COMFORT AND FIT

The footbed, straps, soles, and coverage of your hiking sandals will all determine how comfortable they feel on your feet. This can vary from person to person, so it’s important to find what works best for you.

The footbed should have just the right amount of cushion while the straps should have a secure fit without causing irritation from rubbing. The outsoles should provide ample traction while giving you the desired amount of ground feel.

Along with this, you’ll want to consider overall sandal coverage. For the most freedom, thin straps and an open toe style will probably feel just right. On the other hand, if you’re scrambling up rocky terrain and worried about stubbing your toe, you’ll want to consider a pair of hiking sandals with more foot coverage and a closed toe.

 

HIKING TERRAIN

Will you always be hiking on a smooth dry trail? Or will there be water crossings? How about jagged, rocky terrain? The type of terrain you plan on hiking will influence what type of hiking sandals you require.

For instance, if you’re hiking on rough surfaces, you’ll want a pair of durable hiking sandals with good traction, rugged soles, and a secure fit. You may even want to take it a step further and choose a closed toe pair with a toe guard for extra protection.

In the event of water crossings, look for a pair with grippy soles along with the added features of quick-drying webbing and a textured footbed to prevent slippage. Antimicrobial treatment is also a good option to look out for when buying hiking sandals if you’re worried about your feet getting stinky after being wet on the trail all day.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

SHOCK ABSORPTION

Shock absorption reduces the impact of your heel striking the ground to relieve stress on your joints.

ZERO DROP

Zero drop means your foot, from heel to toe, is at the same height. Rather than striking heel to toe as you do with an elevated heel, zero drop forces your foot to strike from the midfoot or forefoot. This allows for full foot splay and a more natural range of motion that is comparable to being barefoot.

EVA

EVA is short for ethylene-vinyl acetate. Commonly used on the middle sole, this material is a type of foam that provides cushion and excellent shock absorption.

CORDLOCK LACE

Rather than tying shoelaces, cordlock laces thread an elastic single-pull lace through an adjustable applicator to lock it in place.

NYLON SHANKS

Located between the insole and outsole, nylon shanks are the light and flexible supportive structure of your footwear.

 

READ MORE

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