When the sun comes out, it can be awful having to stick your foot in a tight, hot, non-breathing boot. Hiking sandals offer an obvious alternative to that problem. Your feet may get dirty, but they also get to breath, and in the process you get to avoid some of the problems that can arise from hot, sweaty feet being crammed in to a boot or shoe all day long. And the best hiking sandals are not so much sandals as shoes that just have really good ventilation, so you never have to worry about them coming off or falling apart on you.
Best Hiking Sandals
What to look for when you are shopping for hiking sandals.
Good Sole - What you definitely do not want is a pair of hiking sandals that remind you of a pair of flip flops or something similar. Just because you are wearing sandals, does not mean you have to settle for a poor sole. You're hiking, remember, and a good sole is important, whether you're wearing sandals, shoes or boots.
Secure to the Foot - Similar to the point above, you need something that is going to stay securely on your foot for the duration of the hike. If your hiking sandals are going to be flopping around and falling off, there's a good chance you're going to end up hurting yourself.
Best Hiking Sandals Reviews
The best hiking sandals, broken down by gender.
Best Hiking Sandals for Men
Keen Newport H2 Sandals - The Newports are more like a shoe with a lot of chunks missing than a sandal. They have an excellent sole and a raised toe guard to keep your toes safe. Small touches, however, like a single pull lacing system and antimicrobial foot beds, are what separate the Newports from the competition. In all, they weigh 28 ounces, or 790 grams.
Chaco Z/1 Unaweep Sandals - The Unaweeps are a lot more like a sandal. They have a much more open upper than the Newports, and a more basic strap system that secures your foot in place. The sole is made by Vibram, however, so you don't have to worry about these hiking sandals being under performers. All told they weigh 30 ounces, or 850 grams.
Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Keen Newport H2 Sandals - These are the same sandals as the men's Newports above, but with a female cut and sizing. The more developed uppers are similar to what you get from a proper shoe, but with plenty of ventilation. A single pull lace system and an antimicrobial foot bed are both very nice touches that people will appreciate. An all-around great hiking sandal.
Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandals - Very similar to the Chaco Z/1s above, but with an extra strap for the big toe that helps keep the sandals firmly on your feet where they belong. Despite the more sandal look of the Unaweeps you get a very good Vibram sole, so you don't have to worry about slipping and sliding around. All in all, a great, more minimalist hiking sandal.