Hiking is amazing, nothing feels quite as astounding as the rush of trekking the hills near or far from home. However, without the proper footwear you’d be sentencing yourself to pain and misery instead. But, while most hikers tend to enjoy wearing boots or sneakers, a true connoisseur knows that a comfy pair of hiking sandals is the way to go.
After all, they feature similar levels of comfort, slip resistance, and durability as the others, plus some unique benefits. Still, choosing the right pair can seem like a daunting task for beginners.
That’s why we did the research for you, and found the best pairs of hiking sandals available in the market!
Top 10 Best Hiking Sandals for Women 2020
KEEN Newport H2
One of the most popular brands in the market, Keen brings you the Newport H2 Hiking Sandals. Featuring basically all you could want for tackling the nearby hills and mountains of home.
You can find the Newport H2 in a variety of styles and colors, that can perfectly suit the tastes of almost any fashionista looking to start hiking. But, it’s not all looks as they’re notoriously durable, and known for their comfortable rubber sole.
Additionally, these are great at handling odors, thanks to their Cleansport NXT fabric and breathable mesh lining working together to release any awful smell particles and bacteria that can accumulate after a long day. Just make sure you can flush them out with some water before going to bed.
- Great odor control
- Easily adjustable
- Plenty of colors and styles to choose from
- Quality can vary depending on the location of the manufacturer
Another well established manufacturer in the world of hikers everywhere, Chaco’s Zcloud 2 are some of the most durable, and comfortable hiking sandals in the market. Chaco has spared little to no expenses, developing their product, and it shows in part to their patented technology.
You’ll find the insole is the ultra soft Luvseat™, which makes them a joy to wear even as your day goes on. The performance Chacogrip™ rubber outsole is perfect for traction, while not taking away any of the comfort or practicality from the sandal.
The Zcloud 2’s also come with a toe-loop that is designed to give you more control over the front portion of your feet. Finally, you add in the fact that they have an ergonomic design, and you’ll be glad to wear these on almost any occasion.
- Plenty of designs and styles to choose from
- Patented technology makes them rather unique
- Can be too narrow for some feet
- Sizes may vary
The Yucatan hiking sandals come to you straight from Ecco, another recognized brand in the world of hiking. These babies are known for their superior cushioning and incredible stability.
They come with a polyurethane (PU) midsole that makes them easy to wear for extended periods of time and the infamous Receptor technology that involves a mixture of channels, propulsion plates, and a middle shank for enhancing stability during inclines and declines.
But, if you’re more inclined towards looks and fashion, fear not as the Yucatan hiking sandals come in a plethora of colors and designs, ensuring you’ll find something that matches your style.
- Receptor technology for incline and decline stability
- PU midsole for extra comfort
- Sporty and fashionable designs
- Arch support can feel lacking
- Not recommended for individuals with Plantar Fasciitis
Coming to you from Teva, one of the oldest hiking sandal manufacturers in the market and a well established brand for hikers. The Tirra hiking sandals are a combination of comfort and utilitarianism in a lightweight package.
Made with textile materials and a rubber sole, the Tirra is certainly known for its robust materials. An ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole provides plenty of cushioning to the sole of your feet. Finally, the padded heel and Nylon stability shank give you plenty of traction on the road.
But, if you’re concerned with the fit of the sandal, fear not as an easily adjustable hook-and-loop closure gets your feet adjusted quickly on the go. However, while the designs of the Tirra tend to be fairly similar, the variety of colors means you’ll likely find something you love in your preferred color.
- Utilitarian design for hikers with a mission
- Robust materials with plenty of comfort
- High traction
- Less variety than others
- Straps are not designed for wider or high-arched feet
A relative newcomer in the market of outdoor gear and footwear (established circa 2005), Camel Crown is certainly here to stay. Their Sports hiking sandals have plenty of nifty features that are certain to please even the pickiest of footwear connoisseurs.
The curved toe design on the front is designed to help your toes breathe, while relieving pressure from the feet. Plenty of ankle support, helps you avoid injuries and sprains, and stay safe while on the road. An elastic midsole that provides plenty of bounce keeps the sandals lightweight, and will certainly provide some pep in your step!
But, if you’re worried about slipping, fear not as the outsoles are designed to give you some much needed traction as you go around tough terrain. Now, while all of this sounds great, just how do they look? Well, there aren’t as many varieties and colors as with others, but the quality of the product is fantastic, and the ones available do look great!
- Great ankle support
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Curved toe design for breathability
- Lack of colors and variety
- Not made with camel skin
Keen brings you, yet another solid pair of hiking sandals with the O2-W Hiking Sandals. This pair is unique in their style, featuring a semi-closed toe design that resembles a shoe, but with the breathability of a sandal aptly named known as “secure fit lace capture system”.
You’ll get a bunch of compliments as you strut around with these, and if you got wider feet, fear not as they’re comfortable even on larger ones. However, arch support can be a bit lacking, and you might want to add some extra support via gel pads to make them even more comfortable.
Still, the EVA footbed does its best to provide you with plenty of comfort on long trips, and the rubber sole is thick enough to protect your feet from common threats. Finally, a number of colors and styles are perfect for those looking to get something that matches their looks.
- Unique look and design
- EVA insole for comfort
- Perfect for any type of foot
- Arch support is lacking
The perfect match for those looking for a minimalist hiking sandal, the Z-Trek from Xero is yours for the taking. This simple footwear is inspired by the desire of feeling like you’re wearing nothing at all, while providing your feet with some basic protection. They’re also lightweight and contort to your feet as you walk around without any unnecessary supports to slow you down.
They’ll give your feet some additional traction for those moments you can’t simply rely on your feet. Plus their open toe design means your feet can stay light and airy as they take you through the trails. You’ll also find they’re easy to remove, for those moments when you actually want to feel the ground below you.
They also feature some wide soles to fit almost any type of feet out there!
- Lightweight and airy, feel like you’re wearing nothing at all
- Added protection with a minimalist design for safety
- Fast drying and easy to wear
- Lack arch support as expected
- Not designed for longer trips
Chaco brings to you, yet another sporty hiking sandal, that is perfect for any hike. Their PU midsole and Luvseat footbed technology are present in the Zvolv X2 in full effect, giving you the comfort you desire as you trail along the road.
But, they don’t slouch on the other departments either, as their EcoTread outsole is made out of recycled rubber to make them a tough contender on the road, and environmentally friendly. But, if you’re looking for a sandal that will last a lifetime fear not as PU does not break down when exposed to the elements.
As with many others, the variety of styles available for the Zvolv X2 are certain to please.
- Durable and tough
- Eco friendly
- Not designed for wider/larger feet
These hiking sandals are sure to please, thanks to their comfortable, odor resistant, and sporty design! Merrell provides hikers with a slim, yet feminine pair of adventure sandals that are simplistic, yet cool.
A breathable mesh ensures your feet stay dry and warm as you journey to the summit, and thanks to their cushioned footbed (using Q-Form Comfort technology) you’ll feel right as ease while doing so. Extra padding on the heel, helps them absorb shocks and impacts that might otherwise impact your stability.
The only downside? Not that many colors to choose from, and the variety is fairly limited, but if practicality is what you’re looking for the Jacardia hiking sandals have your back.
- Great stability thanks to shock absorbing design and rubber sole
- Nice arch support
- Antimicrobial design helps avoid nasty smells after a long day
- Velcro straps don’t feature too much adjustability
- Limited colors and designs
Coming to you from Northside, the Santa Rosa Sports Sandals are a simple, yet fantastically effective pair of hiking footwear.
A synthetic Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) traction outsole provides your feet with as much stability as possible, and with their EVA footbed, you’ll stay comfortable for extended periods of walking! Additionally, this material is long-lasting and is sure to last for years to come!
But, that’s not all as their drawstrings are perfect for lacing up your feet into a snug and comfortable position that adjusts perfectly to your feet. Finally, keep your toes safe thanks to their capped toe design!
- Closed toe design for added protection
- Cost effective
- Fit snugly on your feet
- Lack of arch support
- Not many styles to choose from
Choosing the Best Hiking Sandals for Women
As with any product in the market, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration before making any purchases. After all, everybody knows that color and style aren’t the only important traits for footwear. Aspects such as the fit, traction, toe design, comfort, water resistance, and versatility are the features you’ll really want to take into account before making any purchases.
Now, we’ve already discussed the pros and cons of the best ones in the market this year. But, if you want a more in-depth look at the importance of these attributes please read below.
1. Water Resistance
Some people love the water, naturally these individuals will gravitate towards hikes that include rivers and streams. But, not every hiking sandal is made to handle water efficiently.
For this reason, a few manufacturers have started making Water/Hiking sandal that can handle both tough terrain, while simultaneously drying faster than the average pair if they do get submerged. Additionally, these hybrids are more versatile than others, offering their own set advantages and disadvantages.
The ability to handle water is not the only multipurpose trait of hiking sandals though. You’ll find some pairs are lighter than others, working efficiently for small/simple hikes.
Long trips, however, require something more heavy-duty with plenty of padding and arch support.
Other activities, such as sports will benefit from closed-toe sandals that can dry quickly if the situation requires it. Just be mindful of the activities you’ll be engaging in and find a pair that suits them.
One of the biggest traits to consider should be traction, and that means for both the insole and outsole. If you’re certain that your trip will not involve water, a solid outsole is your primary concern. However, if you’re one of those individuals who does plan to cross rivers, streams, or play in the water, you’ll need to consider the insole. After all, rubber can get slippery when wet, and if you can’t keep your foot steady (on the inside) while jumping through river rocks, you could seriously injure yourself. As such, remember to avoid this material if you’re going to hit soaked terrain.
But, what can you do about the traction? Well, ensure you research the types of terrains you’ll be facing when you go out on a hike. Buy a pair of hiking sandals that meets the requirement of that area. A thicker outsole provides ample protection for your feet. Thinner outsoles on the other hand, while offering similar traction can often leave your feet vulnerable to punctures.
Regardless of what type of hike you’re going in, you’ll want to be comfortable. Otherwise, you might put yourself in a spot where you won’t want to wear them again (with the added risk of potential blisters and bruises). But, by purchasing a comfy pair of hiking sandals, you’ll be eager to go on your next trip.
Material such as rubber is fairly comfortable, while providing plenty of arch support for the back. Likewise, sandals that weight little to nothing can be really comfortable, but leave you exposed to certain threats. Both of these are perfect for short hikes and small treks that don’t require you to carry a large bag filled with supplies.
On the other hand, ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA (as they’re also known as) offer better impact protection, and comfort during longer hikes that require you to carry bags filled with supplies. You’ll want to have some of these on bigger trips (it’s okay to carry multiples with you).
5. Toe Design
Hiking sandals come in a two particular styles, which are open or closed toe. The obvious difference in these are the levels of protections they offer.
Closed-toe sandals will protect you from falling terrain or stubbing your toes, but can become smellier than usual after a day of wearing them (if improperly cared for). Serious hikers should opt for this type as the terrain can get treacherous in certain hikes, and while they are heavier than regular open-toe ones, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Open-toe sandals are easier on the feet and tend to be more breathable, you’ll want to wear these on simple trips and even visits to the beach. They don’t offer nearly as much protection, but they’re great for easier hikes.
Depending on the type of activities you’ll be engaging in, your feet can either swell or blister if improperly fitted. Sandals with an ankle strap can provide you with another layer of adjustability than those with simple front straps. Still, even those that only have front straps can be worn comfortably enough if you choose carefully.
But, just what is so important about the fit? Well, consider that after a long period of walking your feet might become swollen, in these cases you can loosen them a bit to let them breathe.
Perhaps you forded a river and now your sandals are wet, but instead of being properly tightened they’re somewhat loose. Well, due to your negligence, your feet are now covered in blisters because of the friction that occurs when your feet rub the straps continuously.
One last tip to consider, ensure your sandals are properly fitted by avoiding your toes from hanging over the top edge of the sandals or even laying underneath the front strap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I visit the beach with Hiking Sandals?
Yes, in fact, some hiking sandals are specially made to handle both hikes and water. Find a pair that is suitable for the beach and take them with you.
Q: Can I get some for my kids?
Absolutely, children’s hiking sandals are readily available and can be easily purchased in a number of locations from well established brands.
Q: Socks or not?
Some people might treat wearing socks with sandals as a fashion faux pas, but it’s really a matter of preference. Do consider that wearing socks will provide additional protection to your feet from insect bites and such.
Q: Hiking sandals or hiking shoes?
While it’s mostly a matter of preference, you’ll find that hiking sandals offer certain benefits over a regular pair of hiking boots or shoes. However, you’ll especially find hiking sandal’s lightweight, quick-drying capabilities, and ability to keep your feet cooler beneficial in the long run. The biggest downside would definitely the exposure, but if you’re going on a relatively safe hike, then it shouldn’t be an issue.
Q: Can I go out in town with these?
Absolutely, you’ll find their variety of styles and looks are designed to be worn in almost any scenario that does not involve formal wear. Basically, if you can go out with a regular pair of sandals to the event, you can wear your hiking sandals too.
Q: Can I do any type of hike with these sandals?
You’re potentially able to do any type of hike while wearing hiking sandals, but I wouldn’t recommend engaging in cold weather hikes. Since your feet are primarily exposed to the climate when wearing them, you could get frostbite. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, shoes or boots, and socks provide more protection to your feet, than plain hiking sandals when dealing with bugs, snakes, and other critters.
Q: Are Sports Sandals the same as Hiking Sandals?
You might be confused at the labeling of these, but they’re essentially the same product. Some people simply prefer the term “sports sandals” because you can use them for a variety of outdoor activities.
Q: Do these provide ankle support?
Yes, some of these do provide ankle support, however it’s not as extensive as a pair of boots. If you’re going on a steep climb, you might want to pack a pair of boots in your pack for the steeper sections.
Hiking sandals are fun, sporty, and cool! They’re a versatile style of footwear that is both great for letting your feet breathe, and also engaging in outdoor activities. There are a lot of things to consider before getting yourself a pair, but once you find the perfect one, you’ll be glad you did.
Just remember to take into consideration the activities you’ll be engaging in, and make your decision from there. Keep in mind that, comfort isn’t always what you’re looking for, and practicality should always be at the forefront of any decision you make. After that, the mountains will basically become your playground.