Best Hiking Sandals – Maximum Comfort And Performance

best hiking sandals

Different hikes and terrains demand different types of footwear. Sometimes, hiking boot or a shoe might seem like a bit much for a light hike. Plus, you would want to avoid carrying the extra bulk. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

This review lists out my favorite hiking sandals for both men and women. I have looked into different ranges of stability, comfort, size, price and traction. Before you make your pick, it is important to understand the terrain and weather conditions in which you are going to be hiking.

Remember, sandals are only good for extremely light hikes where your feet do not need much protection and stability.

So, read on, make your pick and be safe!

Best Hiking Sandals for Women

1. Teva Women's Tirra Athletic 

Teva Women's Tirra Athletic

The Teva sandals generally have been known to have great performance, but the Tirra requires a special mention. This open-toe sandal comes in a huge range of colors and satisfies just as huge a range of requirements. It is lightweight, supportive, comfortable and dries quickly. All straps are padded and adjustable, ensuring a snug fit.

The ankle strap guarantees more stability than any other sandal. The footbed is soft, offers great arch support and a shock pad heel. The Tirra can handle all kinds of terrain- wet, dry or muddy and caters to a number of foot sizes and shapes- so you are assured of finding a perfect pair! I would pick the Tirra as my number one open-toe sandal for women, without a doubt.

2. KEEN Women's Newport H2

KEEN Women's Newport H2

Next on my list is the Keen Women’s Newport H2 Sandal. I love Keen, and it is but natural that their products feature on my reviews for hiking gear. This sandal is a closed-toe and offers a lot more protection than the Tirra. It can be used for more rigorous hikes.

However, this does compromise on its looks and weight. With multi-directional lugs and a non-marking sole, the Keen Newport offers great all-terrain traction and is ideal on a boat. The sandal caters to different foot shapes and sizes is very adjustable and with defined arch support and a foot bumper, rates high in comfort. The only drawback is that the sandal takes a long time to dry out, upon getting wet.

3. Columbia Women's Sunlight Vent II

Columbia Women's Sunlight Vent II

If inexpensive is what you’re looking for, the Columbia Women’s Sunlight Vent II are the sandals for you! With amazing value for money, these sandals are light and are a good fit for wide feet as well.

They work very well in wet conditions, with a quick-dry synthetic upper and a water draining midsole. Two adjustable straps and the lack of ankle support does make one question the stability. For a due reason. While they are not the most stable, they would, without a doubt, serve you well on a light hike.

With a non-marking multidirectional grippy outsole, these sandals do provide good traction. They do not come in a range of colors and are not stylish enough for summer wear, but these no frills sandals offer you great value for money for a light hike.

4. Teva Women's Hurricane XLT

Teva Women's Hurricane XLT

Next on my list is another Teva product- the Women’s Hurricane XLT Sandal. It is cheaper than the Tirra or the Keen sandals. It is lightweight and extremely adjustable. With a rather classic, simple and straightforward look, it does not rank high in style. However, the thick, burly straps offer excellent support.

Make sure you don’t fasten the straps too tight though- they’re made of a rather outdated material and could scratch your feet. In terms of traction, these sandals will serve you well in all kinds of terrain. Including wet and rocky. The sole is flat and comfortable, although if you have a high arch, I would recommend another sandal because this one offers no arch support. Finally, a glaring drawback in this sandal is that thanks to the straps, it takes time to dry.

5. KEEN Women's Whisper

KEEN Women's Whisper

My final pick in the top rated hiking sandals for women is yet another Keen product- the Whisper. It is closed-toe, similar to the Newport. However, unlike the Keen Newport, it is a narrow fit, and I would not recommend this sandal for people with wide feet. The upper webbing is made of a synthetic material which ensures the sandals dry up fast.

The sole is lightweight, cushioned and is great for all-day wear. However, I have my issues with the traction of these sandals. Despite the sole being made of the same material as the Newport, it is far outperformed. This is essentially because of the pattern of the thread, and this is one feature of the Whisper I am not impressed with, at all. With a range of colors and high adjustability, this sandal is perfect for extended wear, but extremely light and dry hiking.

Best Hiking Sandals for Men

1. Teva Men's Omnium Closed-Toe

Teva Men's Omnium Closed-Toe

I, personally, am a fan of Teva products. I think they are well rounded, and the sandals are manufactured taking a whole range of factors into consideration. The Omnium is no different. As a closed-toe sandal with a rubber upper, it offers great protection to your feet.

At the same time, it is lightweight, breathable and dries up quickly, upon getting wet. Also, an anti-microbial footbed ensures that this sandal works well in wet conditions. It is designed taking wide feet into consideration. It offers great, customizable support, thanks to an adjustable heel and instep strap; as well as self-tightening laces.

Additionally, the tread pattern and nonmarking rubber outsole ensure excellent traction in all types of terrain. I give this sandal a sure shot stamp of approval.

2. Teva Men's Terra Fi Lite

Teva Men's Terra Fi Lite

Next on my list of top rated hiking sandals for men is the Teva Terra Fi Lite. This no nonsense open-toe sandal is lightweight and not very bulky. It gets the highest points for traction. With an impressive tread pattern, this sandal is great for the wet, rocky or loose terrain.

With easily adjustable multi- straps, the support offered by the Terra Fi Lite is good. However, don’t be in a hurry to strap on and leave. Take your time with the multiple adjustments and figure what works best for you. What I love about this sandal is that the footbed is designed to lock around your foot, with time. As the footbed customizes around your foot, this is one sandal that only gets better with wear!

3. Teva Men's Hurricane XLT

Teva Men's Hurricane XLT

In terms of value for money, the Teva Hurricane XLT Sandal tops my list. It is very similar to the Terra Fi Lite in terms of looks. It is lightweight and has the same adjustable three-strap system for good support. The thickness of the straps also offers pressure distribution and stability. Even this footbed lets your foot sink in with time and wraps around your foot for maximum long term comfort.

However, I feel the sole of the Hurricane XLT is a little slim which could pose a problem if you are hiking in terrains with pointy rocks. Further, extremely rough use
could cause the sole to fold, which is never good news for your feet. Finally, the customized rubber sole of Teva and the lugs offer more than enough traction for wet, mossy and dry surfaces. All in all, I would say this sandal is a steal for the price.

4. Teva Men's Dozer III Closed-Toe

Teva Men's Dozer III Closed-Toe

Next on my list is yet another Teva product- the Dozer III Closed-toe Sandal. Again, this sandal rates high in terms of value for money, particularly in comparison with its other closed-toe counterparts. The sandal has struck the right balance between comfort and lightweight. With a perfectly cushy footbed, the straps and uppers are padded, but not too much. There are also small plastic pieces embedded in specific locations, greatly enhancing the stability.

All these additional features have not contributed to increasing the weight of the sandal, and this is what I love. It is relatively much more lightweight and low on volume, in comparison to other closed-toe sandals. Further, the aggressive tread and Teva’s customized rubber sole material provide great traction to the Dozer III. This sandal wins in wet conditions and for the price, its performance will blow you away.

5. Chaco Men's Z/2 Unaweep

Chaco Men's Z/2 Unaweep

Last on my list is not a Teva product! It is the Chaco z/2 Unaweep Sandal. This sandal is open-toe but has an additional toe loop, which is great for walking through water and streams with currents. It provides the much needed extra stability, as do the crisscross straps and adjustable buckle.

Although the footbed is not as soft and cushy, often termed as “hard”, once you break into these sandals and with some wear, they are guaranteed to keep you happy. I would say the same about the webbing on the footbed. It ensures your feet are kept right in place but is uncomfortable during initial use.

These sandals do not soak up much water and dry really quickly. With great arch support and a deep heel cup, the comfort this sandal has to offer is tremendous. Great in terms of durability, the one disappointment is the lack of traction on wet and slippery surfaces. So, these sandals are great in water, just not on wet rocks and surfaces.

Conclusion

With this, I come to an end with my review of the top hiking sandals for men and women. While the options are endless, it is important to not over think and confuse yourself.Just make a list of your requirements, and read some reviews, like this one. A lot of these sandals are also good for everyday wear out on the streets and outside trails. Closed-toe sandals offer much more protection than the open-toe ones, but if your hike is rigorous and on tricky terrain, I cannot stress the importance of opting for boots or shoes, instead.

Choose right. Choose smart. Happy hiking!

Product images sourced from Amazon.com
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