Are you looking for the best trekking sandals? You’ve come to the right place! Although most people think that hiking means going to the outdoors carrying a heavy backpack, a raincoat and heavy boots, you know it’s not necessarily like that. If you’re climbing to the top of Cotopaxi volcano, you might need that gear, but there are many options depending on the route and climate.
If you’re hiking in the spring or summer, you’ll need to go as light and comfortable as you can. Wearing boots during those warm months is really unpleasant. The best way to go is carrying just a lightweight backpack, a few t-shirts, and a pair of hiking sandals. If you have doubts about the resistance of this kind of sandal, don’t worry! They are specifically designed for hiking, and are meant to be durable and resistant. Your feet will be grateful to be protected, comfortable and fresh, all at the same time. If you need to cross a stream, they’re really easy and quick to take off, and if you want to cross the stream wearing them (which is my recommendation), they’ll dry up in a few minutes.
Even though they’re designed for outdoor sports, they’re great for travel in warm countries, too. Trekking sandals are super versatile, being a popular option among backpackers traveling to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
There are many options out there and it’s difficult to make the right choice. Don’t worry! You don’t have to spend hours comparing models and reviews because I’ve done it for you! I’ve created a list of the best sandals so you can find the one that best fits your needs.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TREKKING SANDALS
This is probably the most important feature of all hiking gear. You want your sandals to be comfortable. The latest models have incredible designs with padded straps, arch support and soft materials to provide the best hiking experience. However, keep in mind that outdoor sandals aren’t the best option for technical hiking. In that case, you’ll probably need a good pair of hiking boots.
Thanks to the latest advances in design, trekking sandals can provide pretty much the same stability and support of traditional hiking shoes. Most brands have worked hard to produce high-quality sandals, improving stability and preventing your feet from slipping forward.
FIT AND DESIGN
Unlike hiking boots or shoes, every model has a different style of straps and fastening, as well as different protection. If you’re planning a more serious hike in which you’ll encounter rocks, sticks, vegetation, etc., I recommend that you get a model with toe protection.
Closed sandals – which look like ventilated hiking shoes – might be a great option for outdoor adventures. Other options, like open sandals, are great options for beach coast hikes or hikes along easy paths. Most models allow you to wear a pair of socks if you need them.
Traction is a key feature when it comes to finding the right sandals. On thousands of hikes all over the world, you might find streams to cross, muddy areas and slippery rocks. The best models are designed with special materials and are equipped with a Vibram sole. Vibram soles provide the best grip even on slippery terrain.
Everybody wants shoes that will last for many years. This depends on the kind of use you give to them, how often you use them and how well you care for them. I have selected only models with good durability, but of course, you must take proper care of your sandals.
One of the main advantages of these sandals is that they will dry up much faster than will regular shoes. At the same time, there are big differences between models. Some sandals have a lot of padding covering the whole foot, while other sandals have barely a few straps. Therefore, closed models will take longer to dry.
ADVANTAGES OF TREKKING SANDALS:
- Quicker drying
- Good traction
- Easy and quick to take on/off
- Less smell
- Compact / Easy to pack
- Less protection for your feet
- Don’t protect your ankles
- Too cold for certain climates
- Not comfortable when carrying heavy backpacks
THE 10 BEST SANDALS FOR HIKING:
KEEN NEWPORT H2
Pros: Price, comfort, grid
Cons: Takes time to put on/take off
Recommended for: Hiking with water exposure
For women: Keen Newport H2
The Keen Newport H2 is one of the best sandals on this list. It’s a popular choice among hikers and adventurers because its great design and affordable price. You’re gonna love features like the toe box with sturdy protection, the bungee lacing system and the resistant sole.
You’ll see that they are super comfortable, provide great stability thanks to their firm sole, and have amazing traction. You can cross streams and get them wet without any problems. They are made from washable polyester, and are designed to dry quick and to not hold water.
TEVA OMINIUM 2
Pros: Comfort and support
Cons: Takes a long time to dry
Recommended for: General hiking
For women: Teva Omnium
The Teva Ominium 2 features a bungee lacing system with a quick-release buckle, a rubber sole and adjustable ankle straps. The model has been designed with an encapsuled shock-absorbing ShocPad heel to provide the greatest comfort.
This hybrid model is ultralight and breathable like a sandal, while protecting your foot like a shoe. You can use it for general backpacking, hiking and outdoor sports. Keep in mind that although it will hold in amphibious environments, it wouldn’t be your best choice for extended forays into the water.
KEEN ARROYO II
Pros: Robust, great traction, best toe protection
Cons: Takes a long time to dry
Recommended for: Hiking in dry areas
For women: Keen Arroyo II
The Keen Arroyo II is probably the toughest option on the list. They feature a robust construction with great toe protection, a closed heel and a bungee lacing system with a rear pull-on loop.
They feel pretty much like hiking shoes, providing great support and stability with the advantage of being breathable. The main drawback is that they take longer to dry than do other models. The design is sturdy and resistant, and they’re meant to have great durability.
OPEN TREKKING SANDALS
TEVA HURRICANE XLT
Pros: Versatile, adjustable
Cons: No toe protection
Recommended for: Hiking and backpacking
For women: Teva Hurricane XLT
The Teva Hurricane XLT is a popular choice among summer sport lovers. They won’t provide the same protection as closed sandals, but they’re ultralight and compact, and feature a great sole and traction.
Most backpackers love these sandals because they can be worn in many situations, like going to the beach, hiking or everyday footwear in tropical countries. Keep in mind that they don’t provide much foot protection if you’re planning to get into serious hikes.
CHACO UNAWEEP Z/2
Pros: Lightweight, good arch support
Cons: Not the best grid, no toe protection
Recommended for: Easy hikes
For women: Chaco Unaweep Z/2
The Chaco Unaweep Z/2 is specially designed for summer adventures. They’re super lightweight and versatile, featuring a contoured footbed and resistant straps with adjustable buckles.
There’s a toe strap for extra stability. They have a good sole, providing good traction and excellent arch support, but are probably not the best option for hiking on very rough paths. However, they might be a good option for short hikes along the coast or on paved trails.
TEVA TERRA-FI LITE
Pros: Comfortable, versatile
Cons: No toe protection
Recommended for: Backpacking and hiking
For women: Teva Terra-Fi Lite
The Teva Terra-fi Lite is another great option for light hiking. As you can see, they’re pretty similar to the Teva Hurricane, but there are some differences.
This model also features three adjustable hook-and-loop closures, but the straps have more padding, providing greater comfort and fit. One of the top open sandals on the market.
Cons: Heavy, less durable
Recommended for: Easy hikes
For women: Ecco Yucatan
The Ecco Yucatan is sturdy and robust, and provides great support and fit. They’re not as lightweight and compact as other open sandals, but they’re super comfortable and feature padded straps.
Keep in mind that even though they’re more comfortable than most open sandals, they don’t protect your toes. In addition, they’re a bit heavy.
THE BEST MODELS FOR WOMEN:
Pros: Lightweight, quick dry
Cons: No heel protection
Recommended for: Hiking and outdoor sports
The Keen Whisper provides the perfect combination of breathability, traction and protection. They’re ultralight and easy to wear while providing great toe protection, a durable sole and durable leather construction. Thanks to they’re metatomical design, you’ll get great arch support and comfort.
They’re one of the best sandals for spring and summer treks on which you can get your feet wet often. They’ll dry up very quickly!
KEEN WOMEN’S VENICE
Pros: Toe protection, lightweight
Cons: Less arch support
Recommended for: Summer hiking
The Keen Women’s Venice is made from resistant leather and provides special protection and a great grid.
They feature a useful toe bumper to protect you from sticks and rocks on rough paths. They’re lightweight, breathable, durable and water resistant. Good protection and quick dry on the same sandal.
KEEN WOMEN’S ROSE
Pros: Lightweight, nice design
Cons: Poor stitching
Recommended for: Everyday use, hiking, backpacking
The Keen Women’s Rose features webbed-look straps, resistant soles and rubber toe bumpers. They’re easy and quick to put on/take off thanks to they’re adjustable hook-and-loop strap.
You can use them for hiking as well as everyday sandals because they’re super comfortable and have a stylish design!
OTHER ITEMS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
If you need an extra pair of sandals for the beach, the Havaianas are by far my favorite choice. They’re super comfortable and durable. I’ve done a few short hikes wearing these sandals and found that they have great traction. However, you shouldn’t use them for hiking because they won’t last long.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SANDALS
You can lengthen the life of your sandals by following a few recommendations. Some models are not cheap, so it makes sense to take good care of them and make them last as long as possible, right?
1- Get used to your new sandals.
Before you get into the outdoors, wear your sandals around the house so you get used to them and break them in. Your hike will be more pleasant if your new sandals aren’t totally new. Otherwise, you might focus on how much they’re hurting you instead of enjoying the route!
2- Check them before each hike.
Before heading out, be sure they’re in good condition. Maybe you need to change the shoestrings or fix the straps. Whatever it is, be sure you take care of it.
3- Clean them after each hike.
Remove the debris from your sandals and keep them clean. It’s common for debris to accumulate between the straps, in the spot where the strap meets the sole, and other parts.
Using a knife or stick, remove the mud and stones from the soles.
Finally, remove all mud and dirt from the sandals. You can wash them in warm, mild soapy water. Check the manufacturer’s instructions if you have doubts about how to wash them.
4- Store your sandals.
When you’re not using your sandals, store them in a dry place away from the sun. Avoid keeping them in plastic bags.
WHY WEAR TREKKING SANDALS INSTEAD OF BOOTS
We all know the advantages of wearing boots when we head to the outdoors. Hiking boots provide great support, resistance and comfort. They’re designed to protect your feet and ankles and improve shock absorption. However, hiking boots can be hot in many situations, creating discomfort on long routes or during warm seasons.
That’s why in many cases sandals can be a better solution. They are designed to provide the greatest comfort and traction. They’re breathable and ultralight – the perfect choice for any mountain route as long as there’s not much climbing or snow, or not many big rocks.
If you’re a backpacker or traveler, trekking sandals may be your best choice. They’re much cheaper than traditional boots and can be stored in any small or medium backpack. In addition, thanks to their attractive designs, you can use them to walk cities, travel by bus or go out at night, as well as for many other activities. They’re super versatile, lightweight, compact and affordable.
SANDALS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
Did you know that sandals are one of the oldest types of footwear in history? The first models were very simple. They had a small sole made from esparto or leather with straps around their feet or ankles. The oldest pair was found at Fort Rock Cave, in the U.S. state of Oregon, and had been made more than 10,000 years ago. In Europe, old sandals have been found in Spain, Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean countries. In fact, the word “sandal” comes from the Greek language. The Egyptians also used them, although they built them with palm leaves and papyrus.
In those times, there was no means of transportation beyond horses, so sandals were often used to walk great distances. Nowadays, we can enjoy the best materials and features thanks to new technologies. As you can see, sandals have evolved, but they have been present in our history from practically the very beginning.
WHICH ARE THE BEST SANDALS FOR HIKING?
Do you still have doubts? Let me give you a few suggestions! I think the Keen Newport H2 has a great overall performance at an affordable price. If you’re looking for something sturdy and durable, I’d go with the Keen Arroyo II. For something lightweight, the Teva Terra-fi Lite might be your best choice.
Have you enjoyed “Hiking Sandals for Men and Women”? Leave a comment!
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Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 7 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.