Best Hiking Sandals 2022

At first glance, one might think that “hiking” and “sandals” do not belong together. Finally, sandals signify a light, breezy chill-out time, perhaps with a carefree stroll along the way. And as we all know, hiking is serious two-legged business that involves obstacles, protection, weather protection and insulation. Well, not necessarily.

In fact, for two or three seasons a year, not having thick socks and full coverage is a good thing. It lets your dogs breathe the way they deserve, meaning you can enjoy your adventures on and off the trail all the more. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best hiking sandals for men, women, and kids.

What’s interesting about the subsequent entries is that — starting right after the “Best Overall” entry — they go from flip-flop-like to sneaker-like, with all the variations in between. But before you judge them, try to keep an open mind—and maybe an open toe box, too. Because you might discover a new breed of hiking sandal that will serve you well as you traverse gloriously dusty, watery, root- and rocky trails.

Best hiking sandal overall

The perfect balance of comfort and durability

Weight: 11 ounces | Materials: leather, suede, rubber | Closure: Strap (Velcro)

The Kuru Tread not only looks like a confident off-road sandal, but also delivers everything in terms of performance. The design feels remarkably supportive based on first-person testing, and as a testament to their comfort, we almost forgot they were on our feet when running or hiking miles. They are also not overly comfortable or too hard. And they offer all the solid support you could need without ever feeling too stiff. Conclusion: The Kuru Tread is pretty much the goldilocks of hiking sandals.

Best ultralight hiking sandal

Surprisingly sure-footed

Weight: 10.5 ounces | Materials: Vibram sole, polyester/nylon straps | Closure: strap (buckle)

You might find it hard to believe when you consider how much this sandal exposes your feet to the elements, but the Cairn 3D Pro II is actually very stable. The zero-drop footbed provides subtle but effective support for your toes and arch. And the new G-velcro heel and front strap system reliably keeps your foot stable. All of this coupled with the ample airiness it offers makes it a fan favorite, especially if you like wearing as little on your feet as possible.

Best women hiking sandal

Fashion meets function

Weight: 6 ounces | Materials: Recycled webbing, EVA foam, rubber | Closure: Strap (Velcro)

New from Merrell, this tough yet stylish entry-level option is designed to tackle trails with confidence. It features an upper made from 100% recycled webbing and a midsole made from 20% recycled EVA foam. The Bravada is a sleek outdoor sandal that’s fun strolling beaches and parks, just as comfortable as it is through offices and malls.

Best minimalist hiking sandal

Grounded, stimulating freedom

Weight: 5.4 ounces | Materials: Rubber, TrailFoam, Naboso, Nylon | Closure: strap (buckle)

You might recognize the Xero brand — which preaches the “next best thing after barefoot” — by their Shark Tank appearance. But even if you missed this episode, you can get the idea by watching it. Essentially an evolved version of their popular Z-Trail sandal, this model offers not only a super-thin, highly flexible outsole, but also the stimulating effect of a Naboso insole. So when you hike in a more natural, grounded way, the soles of your feet get some pleasant attention. If you’re not a fan of thong sandals and think you can get on board with the idea that less is more, this is the perfect option.

Best adjustable hiking sandal

Colors galore to choose from

Weight: 10.5 ounces | Materials: Polyester webbing, PU midsole, rubber outsole | Closure: strap (buckle)

You may be surprised to know that a search for “Teva vs. Chaco” currently returns about three million results. So there is no shortage of opinions on which brand makes better sandals, what differences they have and what they have in common. Whichever camp you fall into, you have to admit that being able to customize each piece of a sandal to your liking – as demonstrated by the colossally contradictory example we created above – is pretty cool. That’s right, you can choose your favorite colors and patterns for the straps, buckles, footbed and sole. Or you can click “Surprise Me” and see what comes up. But more important than that artistic liberty with your shoes, these kicks are legendary for comfort and durability.

Best slide-on hiking sandal

Just don’t call it a flip-flop

Weight: 8 ounces | Materials: Leather, neoprene, nylon, EVA midsole, Vibram outsole | Closure: Hatch

Closing a Velcro strap or tightening a simple buckle probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. But multiply that by dozens — or hundreds over a lifetime — of experience and you really start to appreciate how easy it is to just slip on a sandal. But what exactly is a sandal? Before, by definition, we thought that sandals had to have a heel strap to hold in the foot. But having tried the Danner Lost Coast sandal in person, we can confirm that it feels like a sandal, thanks to the snug yet comfortable upper that locks your foot in place, as well as the thin but very confident Vibram outsole. They wouldn’t be our first choice for every type of running or climbing, but for everyday trail hiking they’re a godsend.

Best arch support in a hiking sandal

The new kid on the block

Weight: 9.5 ounces | Materials: Recycled polyester yarns, aluminum, microfiber suede, PU midsole, rubber | Closure: strap (buckle)

Founded by the same man who founded and ran Chaco for 20 years, Tread Labs is a relative upstart. And while the brand is perhaps better known for its insoles, its sandals – currently the Albion and its strapless sister, the Covelo – are starting to make a splash. They each feature a 3D knit upper and a moisture-wicking footbed. Plus, they’re machine washable after a dirty, long day on the trail. While it’s no surprise given their heritage, these cool, casual kicks gain traction due to their heavy arch support.

Best sustainable hiking sandal

An eco-friendly option

Weight: N / A | Materials: leather, EVA footbed, rubber outsole | Closure: Strap (Velcro)

While they may be better known for their golf shoes, Ecco also offers some great sandal options. A spin-off of their popular Yucatan model, the off-road sandal is a solid – if a bit chunky – open-air shoe that’s ready to tackle any trail. Even better, the fact that this upcycle edition is made from leather scraps that would otherwise have gone to landfill makes this pretty shoe stand out even more.

Best hiking sandal for kids

Versatile footwear for tikes on hikes

Weight: 10.6 ounces | Materials: Textile upper, Lycra, EVA midsole, Rubber outsole, Velcro fasteners | Closure: Strap (Velcro)

As we have seen in this list, most, but not all, sandals offer heel straps. The special thing about this offer from the traditional outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin is that the heel strap is optional. So your kids can safely run it around at top speed or unhook and loop to remove it, making the shoe easy to slip on for more leisurely strolls along the bank, through the woods, around town or at the campsite.

The most flexible hiking sandal

Cleverly laced and comfortable

Weight: N / A | Materials: Polyester cord, rubber outsole, PU midsole | Closure: Hatch

While some casual shoes are defined by their lack of laces, this shoe is quite the opposite, in a truly unique way – leading to its name, essentially the letter U plus “Keen” spelled backwards. The entire upper is somehow made from the braiding of just two cords, and the result is a sandal that adapts really well to both the shape of your feet and whatever environment you choose to explore. It’s a great shoe for everything from boating to bouldering. In fact, building on its success, Keen has since released other versions of this design utilizing canvas, leather and EvoFit knit materials.

The most stylish hiking sandal

If Batman wore sandals, he would wear these

Weight: 12 ounces | Materials: neoprene, rubber, EVA midsole | Closure: quick lacing system

Earlier on in this list we gave some great examples of sandals that were literally designed from the ground up using as few materials as possible to create a secure, comfortable sandal. We have a feeling that maybe Hoka started from the other end, trying to figure out what to take away from a sneaker to forge a more breathable and functional piece of summer footwear. While it might be the heaviest entry on this list, it still looks sleek and elegant in its own way. For example, it is definitely lighter than most hiking boots, but just as sure-footed. If you let your little piggies see themselves exposed then these great all terrain shoes are just the thing to protect them in style and comfort.

Best hybrid hiking sandal

Sneaker-like performance meets excellent breathability

Weight: 11 ounces | Materials: leather, synthetic mesh, elastic, nylon, EVA foam, rubber | Closure: quick lacing system

Fittingly, like other entries on this list, this final shoe challenges our personal definition of what a sandal is (and isn’t). The mesh lining throughout the upper, combined with the solid (as opposed to buckled) heel, makes it a bit of a head scratcher. All we know is that it looks like a fantastic choice for hiking, trail running and various amphibious adventures when your feet sure are getting hot. So call it whatever you want.

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