Boots and shoes are great for spring, fall and winter, but can be feel a bit stuffy on your feet in the warm, dry months of summer. When the temperature rises and there’s no chance of rain, what you really want to do while hiking is let your feet breath a little. Sweaty, confined feet are never very comfortable over a long day of hiking. And despite the fact that sandals like flip flops are fairly unisex, there are actually some important differences between men’s and women’s hiking sandals, just like there are differences between men’s and women’s hiking shoes. Men and women have different feet, after all, and this requires a different kind of footwear for each.
Women’s Hiking SandalsFeatures to look for when shopping for your next pair of women’s hiking sandals.
- Sole – What you definitely don’t want in a hiking sandal is the kind of sole that you would find on a traditional sandal. Remember that you’re going to be hiking, and that you want to have a good, rugged grip on the trail beneath your feet.
- Straps – Similar to the point above, you don’t want something that looks like a traditional sandal. The straps on your hiking sandal should do a good job of securing your foot in place, so you don’t have to worry about your foot slipping and sliding around, or worse, coming out of the sandal while you’re hiking.
Best Women’s Hiking SandalsOnly the very best women’s hiking sandals.
- Chaco Z/2 Unaweep - At first glance these don't look like much of a hiking sandal, but a few standout features, like a vibram sole for excellent grip, help to set these women's hiking sandals apart. The strap system is fairly minimal, but they will keep the sandals secure on your feet. And the minimal amount of upper material means that your feet get plenty of ventilation. A great hiking sandal if you want something simple.
- Vibram FiveFinges Sprints - Not quite a hiking sandal, but they fulfill much the same purpose, by allowing your feet plenty of open air to breath. The individual toes combined with the very thin sole means you get a real feel for the ground and what you're walking on. They also dry extremely quickly, meaning that they will do water just as well as a sandal would. And finally, the strap across instep ensures that they wont go anywhere. Not a hiking shoe for everyone, but definitely one to consider.
- Keen Newport H2 - If you're looking for something that is more a combination of shoe and sandal, the Newport H2 is a good choice. The upper portion of the shoe resembles a shoe with large chunks removed. Even the rudimentary lacing system is similar to what you would find on a shoe. That, combined with a good sole and toe guard make these a good choice for those looking for ventilation without too much exposure.