We share the best hiking sandals to tackle the trail in this post. Before hitting the trail, most imagine clunky hiking boots when the conversation drifts towards hiking. However, sometimes your feet want to breathe, so a pair of lightweight hiking sandals are an exceptional choice.
Swapping your hiking boots for sandals can up your hiking game in many departments. Sandals have a definite place on the trail, from a nice excellent airflow to lighter footwear and easy water crossings! They’re a welcome relief for thru-hikers to relieve their feet after a full day. If you are flirting with the idea of switching or looking for your first pair of hiking sandals, we share our favorites below.
Best Hiking Sandals
Teva Hurricane XLT2
Price: $75 | Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz. | Material:
- Excellent Value
- Super Comfortable
- Arch Support
- Excellent Design
- Capable Hiking Sandal
- Velcro Strap Design
- Not As Secure As Chaco
The Hurricane XLT2 is a far more competent hiking sandal than the original Teva sandal. This sandal feels ready to tackle any trail as it is well-cushioned underfoot and has a reliable grip. It features a far more capable outsole and a tread pattern that performs well at protection underfoot. It’s a great hiking sandal that is well built and offers a lot of value as it’s $30 less than the similar Chaco Z/Cloud.
We like the Chaco Z/Cloud strap layout more because it uses buckles instead of Teva’s velcro. The velcro design makes the straps more rigid and uncomfortable. Chaco sandals also feature a midsole strap for a more secure feeling on challenging terrain. However, you can’t beat the value and comfort of the Hurricane XLT2.
We’re nitpicking here because the XLT2 is a fantastic sandal that’s an easy choice for most. It’s a beloved hiking sandal, and the sandals come in some fun colorway options to make a statement.
Shop For Teva Hurricane XLT2
Price: $110 | Weight: 1 lb. 14oz. | Material: Dual-density Polyurethane, Rubber
- Solid Construction
- Super Comfortable
- Comfortable Straps
- Arch Support
- Straps Uncomfortable For Odd-Shaped Feet
Regarding comfort wrapped up as a trail sandal, the Chaco Z/Cloud has everything you need. Chaco’s ‘Luvseat Footbed’ provides an incredibly soft cushion layer that keeps your feet happy all day long. /it is complemented by additional padding in the Z/Cloud and excellent arch support to make a top-notch hiking sandal.
The sole also features an antimicrobial application that will prevent odor and keep your feet feeling fresh all day long. The tread on the sandals is reliable and easily grips wet surfaces and rough terrain. It’s a rugged hiking sandal that feels adept on the trail, it is bulky.
The Z/Cloud is a little heavy, especially for sandals, as there are full hiking shoes that weigh less. There are lighter options if you want a pair of sandals for backcountry adventures. It is just one of three in Chaco’s Z series and provides the cushiest sole. If you want more support and stability, the Chaco Z/1 Original is a great choice; however, we prefer the comfort of the Z/Cloud.
Shop For Chaco Z/Cloud
Bedrock Sandals Cairn 3D Adventure Sandals
Price: $115 | Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz. | Material: Polyester, XS Trek Vibram rubber
- Adjustable Straps
- Excellent Grip
- Very Comfortable
- Y Shape Strap Is Different
If you can’t give up on that flip-flop, feel but want an outdoor sandal’s added stability and support, look no further than the Bedrock Cairn. The thong-like design with ankle strap gives you that great, barely-there feel, while the Vibram outsole is tacky enough to climb mountains.
Their simple design is terrific for those who seek a sandal to walk around town or tackle a serious hike. Since the sandals are lightweight and flexible, it’s easy to stash in your backpack for multi-day backcountry adventures.
Their comprehensive adjustment system means the sandals are custom secured to your foot, and the basic construction relieves you of any pressure points. However, because of the strap construction, these are recommended for hiking in strenuous terrain, but they are stylish enough for urban adventuring and durable enough for long day hikes.
Shop For Bedrock Sandals Cairn 3D Adventure
Teva Original Universal Hiking Sandals
Price: $55 | Weight: 13.5 oz. | Material: EVA, Rubber
- Super Lightweight
- Classic Look
- Secure Fit
- Lacks Arch Support
Teva is well-loved for a good reason, and their classic strap sandal is one of their best. They’re super comfortable, versatile, and don’t look half bad for a pair of hiking sandals. A simple strap setup and smaller footbed make them minimal in all the right ways.
The original design came from the eighties and earned Teva’s loyal following. Patterned straps are lightweight and comfortable and keep the sandals secure on your foot. When it comes to underfoot, EVA provides a comfy ride, while the rubber sole provides enough traction and protection to use on easy hikes and water sports.
They’re affordable and lightweight because they feature thinner soles and less durable outsoles. If you want a more robust hiking sandal for a full-day hike, you’ll want to spend more for a better outsole. They make for great sandals in camp to let your feet breathe. Style is also minimal enough to look nice for errands around town.
Shop For Teva Original Universal
Price: $80 | Weight: 18 oz. | Material: EVA, Molded Nylon, Rubber
- Thick Rubber Sole
- Water Performance
- Ready For Trails
- Secure Straps
- Not Bad Style For Hiking Sandal
- Hiking Sandal Look
This is a women’s only sandal, but it’s worth mentioning as it’s one of their best sellers. The Teva Tirra has all the best features we expect from Teva. The sandals straps have an excellent design for a secure and comfortable fit. The EVA midsoles – also take water protection to the next level. The Tirra features water-resistant polyester webbing that dries very quickly, a lightweight EVA-foam midsole for maximum comfort, and a ladder lock enclosure that ensures the best custom fit.
They also have that superb Vibram outsole that gives you excellent traction. All of this and the sandals don’t sacrifice style! These walking sandals can wear from an urban setting to the great outdoors without missing a beat. The lugs on the outsole channel away water, and the anti-slip midsole will keep you stable whether you are walking through a puddle or a river.
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Teva Terra Fi-5
Price: $100 | Weight: 26 oz. | Material: Polyester, EVA Foam, Polyurethane, Rubber
- Super Comfortable Underfoot
- Great Traction
- Durable Construction
- Solid Water Performance
- Straps Can Cause Blisters
- Not As Comfortable or Stable As Chaco Z/Cloud
Teva owns a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the most rugged hiking sandals in the business, and the Terra Fi-5 is an excellent example. The Terra Fi 5 is a classic open-toe sandal. This footwear hides a few essential tricks under the hood to make it a powerhouse on the trail.
The outsole features Teva’s ‘Spider Original’ rubber which provides reliable and long-lasting traction in nearly every environment. The sole is cushioned with Teva’s ‘Shoc Pad,’ giving superb heel cushioning for those long days on the trail. Durable and quick-drying polyester webbing and odor protection round off the ensemble for an excellent light hiking sandal.
The straps and weight of the sandals are our only two complaints. We find the straps thick, which can lead to blisters and chafing. The sandals are some of the heaviest on this list if you’re trying to save ounces in your hiking backpack.
Shop For Teva Terra Fi 5
How to Choose Good Hiking Sandals
Hiking Sandals Support
How on earth can a sandal give me the support I need on the trail?’ you might ask. Well, believe it or not, sandal manufacturers have gone to enormous lengths to give their sandals the arch support and cushioning you need to hit the trail. These sandals don’t have the same level of support that a boot offers in terms of ankle protection.
It’s, therefore, crucial to remember that not all hiking sandals are the same. It’s essential to look closely at potential sandals and get a feel for the type of support they’re offering. Especially keep an eye out for different types of arch support (low, medium, and high) and the amount of cushioning included, as this corresponds directly to shock absorption.
As most manufacturers have their proprietary methods, we can’t give you a specific material or process to seek. Look closely for the special attention given to midsole or heel cushioning and comfort, along with a polyurethane (PU) midsole for maximum longevity.
Traction in Hiking Sandals
Hiking isn’t always a fair-weather sport, and when that rain soaks the trail, it pays to have a pair of hiking sandals that will keep their grip. Keep your eyes peeled for sandals that are ready for wet conditions.
In general, a Vibram rubber sole will hold up very well to the rigors of hiking yet maintain excellent friction through all conditions. It is the same material that many intense hiking boots will utilize and help provide reliable traction on a wet rock.
Hiking Sandals Type
It’s vital to consider hiking in your future when scoping out hiking sandals. First and foremost, think about the climate. The warmer tropical or temperate environments are the ideal places to rock some hiking sandals. We loved having a pair of hiking sandals in Costa Rica and on the island of Maui.
Hiking during winter in Minnesota? We recommend sticking to some insulated boots or perhaps evaluating your life choices.
Also, think about potential hazards along your way. Any possible threats to your feet in the forms of animals or landscape will play a massive role in the type of sandals you pick out, which brings us to our last point.
Open vs. Closed Toe Hiking Sandals
The two primary sandal designs on the market are the open and closed variations, where your toes are either exposed or enclosed in a rubber or fabric cover. As we mentioned above, the type and location of your hiking is the deciding factor here. Are there poisonous snakes ahead? Is there an abundance of sharp/volcanic rock on your hike? We highly recommend opting for close-toed sandals in these and similar scenarios if this is the case. The additional toe protection will provide a layer of security for your feet, but you can also enjoy the ventilation and lightweight benefits of sandals, so you get the best of both worlds.
Open-toed hiking sandals are best in safer beach or paved trail hiking environments, where the risk to exposed toes is minimal. We like to play it safe rather than sorry.
Waterproofing in Hiking Sandals
One of the exciting points about hiking sandals is the newfound ability to boldly stride through water obstacles and not worry about soggy socks and boots for the rest of your hike. To this end, it’s often helpful to keep an eye out for sandals constructed from waterproof materials or with a waterproof coating.
It, combined with the sandals’ natural ventilation, will expedite the drying process after any water encounters. You can tackle any puddles, ponds, or rivers without worrying about a wet foot slipping and sliding inside the sandal or spending the rest of your day with wet feet.
Now that we’ve covered our primary sandal consideration points let’s move on to our handpicked list of the top hiking sandals on the market to get you started!