A big adventure calls for a high-quality, hard-wearing sandal. What are the best hiking sandals, though? Waterproof or breathable? Ankle support or arch support? With soft, comfortable fabrics or sturdy, supportive materials? A comfy, sturdy pair of hiking sandals can make all the difference.
When you’re navigating uneven terrain, slippery slopes, and river crossings, you know better than to wear flimsy flip-flops or sandals you got at Walmart for $5.99. Hiking sandals are supposed to be supportive, protective, and comfortable enough to get you through the day pain and pressure-free.
Whether you’re trail running or backcountry hiking, features that promise to provide you with arch and ankle support, traction, and quick-drying technology are a must. Lightweight, breathable footwear with a clean, functional construction can get you to where you need to be without dragging you down.
Hiking boots are great because they offer your feet more coverage and protection, but they’re oftentimes troublesome because they’re – quite literally – dead weight. Hiking sandals, on the other hand, are lightweight and breathable, and go from wet to dry environments without skipping a beat.
Before embarking on your next outdoor adventure, consider investing in a quality pair of hiking sandals that will make your hike much more enjoyable. But before you get going, check out our top picks for the best hiking sandals on the market and make sure you make an informed decision.
How to choose the best hiking sandals for you
Not all sandals are going to be your cup of tea, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When you’re shopping for hiking sandals, you need to make sure you’re shopping for the right features for your feet – whether that means arch support, waterproof fabrics, or slip-resistant outsoles.
With that out of the way, there are a few tips and tricks that work for most hikers. Materials play a part, whether you’re going for fuller-coverage hiking sandals or something a little more simple and sleek. Midsoles made from EVA foam, for example, are better when you’re walking about with a day pack.
Rubber outsoles, on the other hand, are a must. Soles with some depth to them (whether that’s from knobs, bumps, or lugs) will weigh a little more, but they’re guaranteed to protect you from slipping and falling. When you’re hiking, every ounce matters – make sure every ounce counts, too.
Lighter hiking sandals tend to be better, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go for sandals that are thin, flimsy, or made with poor-quality materials. Features like padding for comfort, extra fabric and material for toe protection, and handy closure systems add weight, but they’re a life savior on a hike.
While we’re sure you understand the difference between hiking sandals and regular sandals, we do need to underline that hiking sandals are specifically designed to withstand tough environments and even tougher workouts. When you start shopping, don’t forget to keep these tips in mind.
Our top picks for the best hiking sandals
1. Nike Oneonta Sandals
We’re pretty sure that everyone and their mother knows Nike as a footwear powerhouse, and because of that, nobody’s surprised that we’re starting with Nike Oneonta sandals.
Wearable and versatile, these sandals are equally successful on a hike and a date night – depending on your personal preferences.
Designed with an ultra-thick heel strap, a plush webbing system, and a contoured footbed layered on top of durable foam, these sandals are made for outdoor enthusiasts. Named after the Oneonta Gorge in Oregon, Nike Oneontas is an excellent choice for rugged and smooth terrains.
2. Keen Newport H2 Sandals
It takes a lot to rank among the best hiking sandals, but Keen Newport H2 sandals deserve every bit of hype they’re getting.
It’s clear that these sandals are the best of all worlds – they’re lightweight and come with a comfortable webbed upper, they’re breathable, and come with the same toe coverage you’d get with a boot.
Keen Newport H2 sandals are great for seasoned hikers and first-timers alike, and they’re a great place to start when looking for a high-quality, hard-wearing sandal.
3. TEVA Hurricane XLT2 Sandals
TEVA Hurricane XLT2 sandals are what dreams are made of, whether you’re looking for a beginner-friendly hiking sandal or footwear to run errands and stroll around town.
Comfy and stylish, they’re perfect for hikers who want to look polished and put together – and feel like they’re walking on clouds at the same time.
Made with soft heel-strap padding, a durable, rubber outsole, quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic, a robust EVA footbed, a nylon shank, and Velcro straps, these are some of the most wearable and versatile sandals you’ll ever wear.
4. Hoka Hopara Sandals
On the lookout for ultralight hiking sandals that won’t drag you down? We suggest checking out Hoka Hopara.
Reviewers’ favorite, these sandals are made with a synthetic upper with cutouts that allow water drainage, grooving on the outsoles, a neoprene collar that reduces friction, a rubberized EVA midsole, and a rubberized toe cap.
We could go on and on about the features you get with these sandals, but we don’t have that much time. We recommend checking them out because they’re definitely worth the hype.
5. Chaco Z/Cloud Sandals
Chaco Z/Cloud sandals are iconic, to say the least. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to sacrifice appearance for comfort, and these sandals are the best proof of that. They’re absolutely adorable, with a wide range of colors to choose from, but they’re supportive and protective, too.
Chaco sandals are made with adjustable polyester webbing straps, injection-molded ladder lock buckles, PU midsoles, and rubber outsoles that make for some of the best hiking sandals on the market at the moment.
Whether you’re hiking on rough or smooth terrains, these sandals promise to keep you securely on your feet no matter what.
6. Merrell Alpine Strap Sneaker Sandals
Sporty sandals are all the rage these days, and that’s why you can wear the Merrel Alpine Strap Sneaker sandals everywhere you want – when you’re going to work, taking on a hiking trail, or making a quick trip to Target.
Merrell sneaker sandals feature a textile and Lycra neoprene upper, a dual top-and-back strap hook-and-loop closure system, cushioned padding beneath the straps, and sticky rubber outsoles. These all make them a perfect option to consider for people who crave comfort when attending different occasions.
These sandals are fashion-forward and on-trend, and you don’t need to worry about them not matching your aesthetic.
7. Skechers GOwalk Flex Sublime Sandals
Skechers is known to produce some of the most comfortable sneakers out there, and that’s why we’re not surprised that its Gowalk Flex Sublime sandals ended up on this list, too.
Now, are Skechers sandals the absolute best hiking sandals on the market? Probably not. But, are they comfortable, wearable, and protective enough to get you through a rough hike without a scratch? Absolutely.
Skechers sandals are made for everyday wear, and they’re equipped with contoured Goga Mat technology in the footbed, adjustable ankle straps with hook-and-loop closures, and a textile upper that makes your feet feel safe and secure.
8. Luna Mono Winged Edition Sandals
We’ve given you quite a few options in case you’re looking for a chunky, sturdy hiking sandal that can get you through your hike regardless of the terrain.
We do understand that these lug-sole sandals might not be everyone’s idea of an attractive sandal, and that’s why we’re bringing you a minimalist, simple, and sleek option, too.
Luna Mono Winged Edition sandals are the most elegant hiking sandals on the market. Made with a patented continuous-loop lacing system with an adjustable buckle, Vibram Morflex soles, and Vibram rubber outsoles, they’ve got all you need and more.
9. Northside Santa Rosa Sport Sandals
What do you do when you’re not willing to break the bank for a pair of hiking sandals that might or might not protect your feet? Affordable alternatives exist, and they’re not as bad as you might think they are.
Whether you’re a beginner hiker or someone who simply doesn’t want to spend half a paycheck on a pair of hiking sandals, you might want to check out Northside Santa Rosa Sport sandals.
Made with water-resistant materials, a quick-dry lining, a lightweight cushioned EVA insole, an elastic drawstring lacing system, synthetic rubber toe caps, and durable multi-directional synthetic rubber outsole thread, what’s not to love?
10. Kuru Tread Multi-Sport Sandals
Kuru Tread Multi-Sport sandals are robust, supportive, and sturdy, and they’re perfect for people who prefer the traditional look. Engineered with ample traction and support, waterproof leather, quick-dry lining, and grippy, rubbery outsoles, these sandals promise to walk straight up a sheer rock face.
Whether you’re going across moving streams or over slippery boulders, you can count on these sandals to keep your feet happy and healthy. Remember, every ounce of your gear can make a difference, and that’s why you need these sandals.