Gear

The Best, Most Comfortable Hiking Sandals That Last A Lifetime

June 24, 2019 by

No matter what kind of hiking you plan on doing this summer, one of the most important considerations to keep in mind is having the proper footwear for the job. While a solid pair of hiking boots or shoes might be suitable for most hiking adventures, sometimes the hot weather demands something more breathable and cool. It’s in those instances when you’ll want a pair of good hiking sandals instead.

In this guide, we’ve covered some of the more important factors to consider when shopping for hiking sandals, including comfort, value, water-readiness, and breathability. Along with our buying guide, of course, we’ve also included our top eight recommendations for the best hiking sandals currently on the market.

We’ve hand-picked these selections based on the aforementioned criteria, along with brand reputation and durability. We want to make sure we give you all of the necessary information for you to make a satisfying and informed decision. So, read on to find our top picks and advice on hiking sandals for your summer hiking adventures!

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible Water Sandal

When it comes to outdoor sport footwear, there are few companies with a higher reputation for greatness than Merrell, and their All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible Water Sandals are a case in point. These were by far the best hiking sandals we tested.

Like all Merrell footwear, these sandals feature a Vibram tc5+ outsole that manage to provide excellent traction and footing while still being feather light. But the most important thing is that these sandals, like all Merrell products, are incredibly comfortable. It often feels like you’re wearing nothing on your feet at all.

Add to this their waterproof leather construction, and you know you’re getting a quality piece of footwear that will keep you feet cool and comfy for many years of active use.

Pros:

  • Men’s and Women’s available
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop straps
  • Vibram sole


Cons:

  • Limited color options
  • Relatively pricey

Check price on Amazon

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal

The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is a significant upgrade over their previous models. While they don’t feature the same durability as Merrell’s leather uppers, the upper portion on these sandals are made of a still-durable synthetic material that dries quicker than any other sandals we tested. What’s more, the KEEN Newport H2 sandals feature razor striped outsoles that offer more surface area, giving you better traction on level, smooth ground.

But the greatest benefit of these sandals is their outstanding arch support. The midsole is compression molded EVA, which provides excellent contours that support your foot’s natural structure, providing exceptional comfort. In fact, these were probably the most comfortable and supportive sandals we tested.

Another nice feature is KEEN’s patented toe guard. This guard will keep your toes safe from rocks or falling objects, while still maintaining excellent breathability.

Pros:

  • Men’s and Women’s available
  • Many color options
  • Made in the USA
  • Exceptional arch support

Cons:

  • Relatively pricey

Check price on Amazon

Teva Terra Fi 4 Sandal

When it comes to cleanliness and sanitary concerns, the Teva Terra Fi 4 sandal is an excellent option. It features a zinc-based anti-microbial coating that will keep your feet and sandals fresh and clean even in the harshest conditions.

Moreover, the comfort level of these sandals is exceptionally high. This is primarily due to the variety of points of adjustment, that will allow you to tailor these sandals to get the ideal fit for your feet. On top of that, they feature a soft “Shoc Pad” in the heels. It’s like having full shock absorbers for your feet!

As if those features weren’t enough, they also include Teva’s own “Spider Original” rubber that guarantees a solid grip and traction no matter how wet your hiking environment may be.

If there’s a downside to these sandals, it’s in their appearance. They’re just not as trendy-looking as some of the other options. But no one is going to be looking at your feet when you’re out enjoying nature’s beauty.

Pros:

  • Men’s and Women’s available
  • Anti-microbial treatment
  • Multiple adjustment points for ideal fit

Cons:

  • Not as attractive as other options
  • Limited color choices

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KEEN Men’s Arroyo II Sandal

Though the Arroyo II sandals may not have as many features as some other options from KEEN or other manufacturers, they make up the difference with their more affordable prices.

But, of course, these excellent sandals aren’t completely without great features. For one thing, they include a fantastically convenient bungee lacing system, making getting these shoes on your feet a breeze. Further, just like other KEEN hiking sandals, the KEEN Arroyo II feature a patented rubber to cap, to keep your toes safe while hiking in more treacherous environments.

Another great feature, though, is the removable metatomical EVA footbed. When it comes time to clean your hiking sandals, just remove the footbed for easier access and a more thorough cleaning.

One thing to keep in mind is that we found these sandals run about one half size too large, so you may want to start out with a half size down from your regular shoe size.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Removable footbed
  • Patented toe cap

Cons:

  • Limited color choices
  • Only available in men’s

Check price on Amazon

Chaco Z2 Unaweep Sandal

If you’re looking for a more affordable option for hiking sandals, you should start your search with the Chaco Z2 Unaweep Sandal. At a much lower price point than other sandals we’ve suggested, these still pack in a great number of excellent features.

For instance, these sandals feature polyester jacquard webbing straps that allow you to adjust them for a truly personalized fit. We found this adjustment system allowed our testers to dial in the exact custom fit for their feet, a crucial factor when searching for sport footwear.

We especially liked that these sandals feature the Vibram Unaweep outsole. So now you don’t have to shell out Merrell prices to get your top of the line Vibram soles!

The one detractor for these hiking sandals, though, was the relatively “tacky” colors and designs. While some might find the styles charming or—at worst—irrelevant, we thought there were simple more attractive designs to be found in the other options recommended on this list.

Pros:

  • Very affordable option
  • Comes in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Unaweep Vibram outsole

Cons:

  • Kind of unattractive styles, but some might appreciate the funky designs

Check price on Amazon

Ahnu Women’s Lagunitas Sandal

Unlike our previous selection, our reviewers though that the Ahnu Lagunitas Sandals were among the most attractive options available for hiking sandals. While they only come in black, we think you’ll be very pleased with these stylish hiking sandals.

But, of course, it’s not just about their stylish appearance. In fact, Ahnu sandals feature their patented Numentum technology, a positioning system engineered to accommodate your foot’s natural biomechanics. It guides your foot with its positioning technology to give you a steady, balanced step every time. This is an especially important feature for those who might not be as nimble as other hikers, as it will give you much surer footing out on the trails.

We also really liked the speckled, mottled design of these sandals. There are surely one of the more stylish options available, even though they come in a limited number of color schemes.

Pros:

  • Very affordable option
  • Classy, sleek, modern design

Cons:

  • Only available in women’s sizes
  • Only one color

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Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal

Yes, it’s another KEEN pick! We absolutely loved the KEEN Whisper Sandals for women. They offer so many features, we can’t list them all. On top of that, there are more than 25 different colors and styles to choose from! We’re sure with all of those options, you’ll be able to easily find the perfect pair to mater your particular tastes and preferences.

Like other KEEN sandals, the Whisper sandal features a metatomical footbed design. This is an internal support system that is designed to give you the best arch support, accommodating the natural contours of your feet.

And what’s more is that these sandals are completely machine washable! Just toss them into your standard washing machine to keep your KEEN sandals in excellent condition and looking stylish for years to come. Once they’ve been washed, just air dry and you’re ready for your next hiking adventure!

Also, as you might have already guessed, given that they are machine washable, these sandals are great if you will be hiking in wet environments, as they dry quickly!

Pros:

  • Wide variety of color/style options
  • Machine washable
  • Metatomical footbed design

Cons:

  • Only available in women’s sizes

Check price on Amazon

Merrell Choprock Strap Hiking Sandal

We would be remiss if we didn’t include at least one more Merrell pick in our selection of best hiking sandals, and the Merrell Choprock Strap Hiking Sandal is the perfect addition to our list.

One of the premier benefits of these particular sandals is their water-readiness. Constructed out of quick-drying materials, the Merrell Choprock Strap hiking sandals are the perfect choice if you are going to be hiking in wetter environments, like near bodies of water or in the rainy seasons.

Further, the hook-and-loop strap system is easy to use and allows you to get the perfect fit from these sandals, no matter the shape or size of your feet. With this, and the Vibram Megagrip outsole, you’re sure to have a comfortable, breathable fit that will give you the best traction available for hiking sandals. Indeed, these sandals are perfectly suited to practically any hiking terrain you may encounter. Just strap on and you’re ready for your next adventure!

Pros:

  • Available in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Vibram soles
  • Quick-drying materials

Cons:

  • Limited color options

Check price on Amazon

Key Considerations When Choosing Hiking Sandals

Comfort

It kind of goes without saying that, when it comes to purchasing any kind of footwear, comfort is key. Just like when shopping for any other kind of footwear, you want to be sure that your hiking sandals fit well and offer plenty of comfort and arch support to make those long treks in the woods more manageable.

That’s why comfort was our main criterium for deciding which hiking sandals to recommend in this guide.

Value

Let’s face it. Footwear for hiking—along with most other outdoor gear—can be expensive. When you purchase a product like hiking sandals, you’re probably expecting to pay quite a bit, as this is more of a long-term investment. When compiling this list and composing this buying guide, we made sure to take bottom line value into account. This doesn’t mean that we’ve selected “cheap” products, by any means. Rather, it simply means that we made our selections with your pocketbook in mind.

Water-Readiness

One of the best aspects of hiking sandals over hiking shoes or boots is that they tend to be more suited to getting wet. That’s why we included water-readiness (or water-proofing) features in our criteria for selecting the best hiking sandals available. We accounted for drying time and comfort when wet as our main considerations for water-readiness in the sandals we tested.

Breathability

Of course, we can’t forget the main reason you’re probably looking for hiking sandals in the first place! One of our top concerns when testing these products was clearly their breathability. If a pair of sandals didn’t offer sufficient cooling comfort and breathability, it didn’t make our list of recommendations.

The Bottom Line

No matter where your hiking adventures may take you this summer, we’re sure that if you follow this guide and our recommendations, your feet will thank you! We’ve summed up the important factors to consider when shopping for hiking sandals: comfort, water-readiness, value, and, of course, breathability.

The good news is that all of the hiking sandals we’ve recommended in this guide will provide ideal solutions to all of those concerns. It really comes down to a matter of personal taste, intended use, and how much you’re willing to pay for this investment.

Just be sure to take into consideration the factors we’ve laid out in this guide, and you’ll be thrilled with your hiking footwear experience!

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