Best Hiking Sandals: Tell Your Old Boots to Take a Hike

Man wearing best hiking sandals

You know what they say: "a pound on your feet is equal to 5 on your back." As you're prepping for your next hike, you may be thinking about the choice between a sturdy (read: heavy) hiking boot or a lighter, more flexible trail running shoe. But have you considered hitting the trail in hiking sandals? A sandal can be the right choice for sandy beach-like terrain—no stopping to empty the sand from your shoes. If you'll be crossing rivers or navigating a muddy, bogged-out trail, a sandal may be appropriate. Or if you're the kind of ultra-lighter who shaves a few ounces by cutting off the handle of your toothbrush, then outdoor sandals might be the obvious best-case scenario for almost any terrain.

We've sorted through hundreds of options to find the best hiking sandals for your next adventure. As with any type of footwear, the most important thing to remember is fit is everything. Make sure you take those babies out for a test run, keeping an eye out for potential hotspots, before going out for the big miles. Coordinate your new kicks with a new pair of hiking pants and the best hiking backpack and adventure on.

Why Trust Us?'s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

The Best Hiking Sandals - Our Top Picks

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Best Overall - Birkenstock Tatacoa

Birkenstock Tatacoa


  • Closure: 3 hook-and-loop adjustable straps
  • Weight: 28 oz. per pair (Men's size 9-9.5)
  • Material: Direct-injected polyurethane and TPU construction
  • Toe: Open


These aren't your mom's Birks from the 70s; the Birkenstock Tatacoa takes the classic contoured footbed you know and love and gives it a rugged upgrade. They're designed for trekking through water, rocks, dirt, and mud. Direct-injected polyurethane and TPU create a durable, supportive cushion as you put on the miles. The three-strap design offers a snug fit with maximum adjustability so you can rock them all day without worrying about rubbing and hotspots. A shallow lip on the outer edge of the shoe keeps rocks and debris out and all your toes in.

We love the Tatacoa for long, varied adventure days. They won't fall off or get lost in a swift water crossing, and they keep your feet cushioned and protected on rough terrain. If you're never sure what's coming next, this sandal will be ready for it.

What We Like

  • Anatomically shaped footbed offers unique support
  • Rugged outsole for increased traction
  • 3-point adjustability at toe, instep, and heel for a custom fit

What We Don't Like

  • Tend to run on the wide side, no narrow size available
  • Straps are thick and a bit stiff at first, but do break-in

BUY: Birkenstock Tatacoa

Best Hiking Sandals for Women - Chaco Bodhi

Chaco Bodhi


  • Closure: Adjustable strap
  • Weight: 14.7 oz. per pair
  • Material: LUVSEAT dual-density polyurethane, recycled polyester jacquard webbing, ChacoGrip rubber
  • Toe: Open


The Chaco Bodhi is one of our lightest picks and a minimalist dream. Made with Chaco's women-specific LUVSEAT footbed, it offers a supportive foundation for long days on the trail. The Bodhi is based on the incredibly popular, original Chaco Z-sandal but with fewer straps, a lighter footbed, and little to no sacrifice in comfort. Once you've got the fit dialed, they're quick and easy to slip on before your next adventure.

We love the clean aesthetic and multi-functionality. They're a great choice for hiking, boating, or just kicking it at the swimming pool.

What We Like

  • Webbing made from recycled materials
  • Super lightweight and minimalist
  • Same supportive footbed as the classic Chaco Z

What We Don't Like

  • Toe loop can be irritating to some
  • Supportive footbed is stiff and does not suit all foot shapes

BUY: Chaco Bodhi

Best Hiking Sandals for Men - Teva Hurricane Verge

Teva Hurricane Verge


  • Closure: Plastic buckle
  • Weight: 22 oz. per pair (Men's size 9)
  • Material: EVA footbed, nylon shank midsole, rubber sole, repreve (recycled polyester) mesh
  • Toe: Open


When you're looking for a sandal with the sole of a boot, the Teva Hurricane Verge brings the best of both worlds. The lugged rubber sole has all the traction of the hiking shoes you grew up in, but with the airflow and adjustable straps of a sandal.

A soft cushioned footbed and pads under the buckles and connector points make for a comfortable fit, even on all-day adventures. The aggressively rugged aesthetic will leave everybody wondering where you're headed in these.

What We Like

  • Adjustable toe and instep straps for a custom fit
  • Nylon shank and padded support for increased stability and comfort
  • Mesh straps breathe and dry quickly

What We Don't Like

  • Straps and buckles are finicky to adjust and keep adjusted
  • Not available in half sizes

BUY: Teva Hurricane Verge

Best Hiking Sandals for Backpacking - Chaco Banded Z-Cloud

Chaco Z Cloud Banded


  • Closure: Strap
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 9.6 oz. per pair
  • Material: LUVSEAT polyurethane midsole, ChacoGrip rubber outsole, polyester jacquard webbing upper
  • Toe: Open


The Chaco Banded Z-Cloud is a serious upgrade from the original Z-sandal. They've added Chaco Cloud cushioning for all-day comfort and an extra strap for more stability. Those features go a long way when you're going a long way—especially with the added weight of a backpack. They come in a little heavier than some of our other picks, but compared to a hiking boot they're like walking on air.

With all those straps, it may take a few wears to figure out the perfect fit, but once you've got them dialed in, you'll never want to take them off. We love the classic Chaco sole with major arch support for heavyweight days on the trail. They trek in and out of the water and manage challenging terrain just as well as our favorite boots.

What We Like

  • Chaco Cloud cushioning is way comfier than the original Chaco footbed
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Super adjustable and durable high-tensile webbing straps

What We Don't Like

  • Cushioned footbed absorbs water and doesn't dry quickly
  • Softer footbed is not quite as durable as the original Chaco footbed

BUY: Chaco Z-Cloud Banded - Men's | Women's

Best Water Hiking Sandals - Astral PFD

Astral PFD


  • Closure: Slip-on
  • Weight: 8 oz. per shoe
  • Material: Closed-cell EVA foam midsole, Flex Grip outsole with Gss rubber outsole, post consumer recycled polyester webbing and canvas upper, stretch-mesh tongue
  • Toe: Open


The Astral PFD sandals truly belong in their own category. They were designed by Astral's founder and inspired by a personal flotation device with river guides in mind. The siped flex-grip soles make short wet hikes between boats a breeze. Astral's Balanced Geometry toe box and zero-drop Level Footbeds are clearly engineered to support the natural movement of your real-life human foot. We love them for longer than average portages, dragging our canoe over gnarly shallow patches, and short hikes with loads of water crossings.

What We Like

  • Siped flex-grip outsoles like a water shoe provide great traction when wet
  • 100% recycled polyester webbing and canvas
  • Balanced Geometry roomy toe box and zero-drop Level Footbeds for natural alignment

What We Don't Like

  • Tricky to fit, may need to go up a size (or two)
  • Oversized buckles on strap seem unnecessarily bulky

BUY: Astral PFD - Men's | Women's

Best Ultralight Hiking Sandals - Bedrock Cairn Adventure

Bedrock Cairn Adventure


  • Closure: Strap
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz. per pair
  • Material: XS Trek Vibram rubber outsole, polyester/nylon webbing upper
  • Toe: Open


The Bedrock Cairn Adventure sandal has become a hit among ultra-light long-distance hikers and for good reason. The hyper-minimalist zero drop, low profile Vibram soles encourage barefoot style movement, but with enough protection to keep moving all day. The simple thong style offers three-point adjustability for a snug fit that won't breed hotspots or chafing.

While these are a great lightweight option for day hiking, backpacking in a minimalist sandal isn't for everyone and takes some getting used to. But if you've minimized your pack, cut out hot food, and slept under a staked-out poncho, you're probably already in a pair of Bedrocks.

What We Like

  • Zero-drop and low profile—as minimal as it gets
  • Vibram soles are lightweight, rugged, and grippy
  • 3-point adjustability for custom fit

What We Don't Like

  • Minimal weight = less support than you might be used to
  • Little to no protection from rocks, roots, trail hazards

BUY: Bedrock Cairn Adventure - Men's | Women's

Best Hiking Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis - Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

Birkenstock Arizona


  • Closure: Slip-on with buckles
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz. per pair (on average)
  • Material: Suede topsole, cork/latex midsole, contoured cork footbed, EVA outsole, oiled leather upper
  • Toe: Open


Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common foot issues in hikers and non-hikers. While a pair of shoes is no substitute for appropriate physical therapy and treatment, the right footwear can help manage the pain from plantar fasciitis and prevent further flare-ups. The main reasons we love Birkenstock's Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal are the gentle molded arch support and super cushioned footbed. This sandal is also available in a regular, more wide width, and a narrow width so you can get the right fit and your foot won't be doing the extra leg work to keep it in place. The slip-on style easily transitions from casual to trail.

What We Like

  • Gentle arch support and cushion to reduce pressure on feet
  • Easy hands-free slide on and off, no need to adjust straps after first wear
  • Last for years and get more comfortable with wear as they mold and shape to your foot
  • Available in regular/wide or narrow widths

What We Don't Like

  • No heel strap and looser fit can leave a lot of room for movement as you walk
  • Straps and footbed require a break-in period of wearing to establish fit

BUY: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed - Men's | Women's

Best Closed-Toe Hiking Sandals - Salomon Tech Amphib

Salomon Tech Amphib


  • Closure: Quicklace drawstring
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz. per pair
  • Material: Synthetic/textile upper, rubber outsole
  • Toe: Closed


The Salomon Tech Amphib might have tricked you on first glance into thinking it's not even a sandal. And maybe it's not! The Tech Amphib is designed for land and water, with easy draining mesh panels and the sole of a trail runner. The Contagrip soles are razor siped for great traction on wet surfaces, so they're ideal for muddy trails and river crossings. The classic Salomon Quicklace makes for easy on and off. At only a pound per pair, these could be a full trail shoe or you could strap them to your pack and use them only as a water shoe.

What We Like

  • Water Contagrip and siping on outsole for superior traction on wet surfaces
  • Welded upper and collar binding mean fewer seams and rough spots and a more comfortable fit
  • Made with recycled materials

What We Don't Like

  • Run a bit small
  • Mesh is less durable than typical shoe uppers

BUY: Salomon Tech Amphib - Men's | Women's

Best Hiking Sandals for Wide Feet - Keen Newport H2

KEEN Newport H2


  • Closure: Bungee lace
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Material: Synthetic topsole, EVA midsole, carbon rubber outsole, polyester webbing/hydrophobic mesh upper
  • Toe: Closed


When it comes to hiking in sandals, a good fit is the MOST important feature, and different brands are built for different foot shapes. Keen is well known for a wider shoe, so we knew the Newport H2 would be a great option for hikers with wide feet. The rugged, grippy razor-siped soles and Keen's iconic toe bumpers combine for a boot-like experience, but you still get the airflow of a sandal. This is a true go-anywhere shoe with a snug fit and a classic outdoorsy look.

What We Like

  • Razor-siped outsoles with solid grip on wet surfaces
  • Durable enough to throw in the washing machine
  • Wide toe-box so toes can spread out while walking
  • Rugged outsoles and toe bumpers to protect feet on all terrain

What We Don't Like

  • Pretty bulky/heavy
  • Small opening makes for snug fit, but can be difficult to get on and off

BUY: Keen Newport H2 - Men's | Women's

What to Consider When Buying Hiking Sandals


While a slip-on sandal is the quickest to get on and out the door, it's not going to offer the same support on the trail that a drawstring closure or something with buckles and adjustable straps will. If you'll be making big miles in a hiking sandal, you'll likely want something that isn't going to slide around much when you're walking, so a snug, the adjustable fit will be key.


A more rugged sandal with solid traction and some protection for the bottoms of your feet or toes is generally going to come in a few (or quite a few) ounces heavier than a more minimalist style. However, a lighter shoe makes for less work on the legs with each step. In the range of available features and weight options, you can surely find something that suits your needs.


Lots of the options we've chosen are made from synthetic materials, though many of those include recycled materials if eco-conscious considerations are forefront in your mind. When considering the materials used on the uppers, keep an eye on what's going to be closest to your skin, how soft or rough it is and how sensitive your feet are—especially the tops. Most adventure sandals are equipped with sturdy rubber, razor-siped soles which are great for traction and stability on uneven terrain. While there are some other great options out there, this tends to be a go-to for a hiking sandal.

Toe Coverage

A closed-toe sandal can offer protection against rocks, roots, and underwater obstacles. If you're a clumsy hiker or have a tendency to shuffle your feet—this may be your sign to keep those toes covered. For less intense terrain or city walking, an open toe is more breathable and will allow for more movement in the forefoot.

FAQs About Hiking Sandals

Should you wear socks with hiking sandals?

It's totally up to you! If you're hiking in cooler temps but just aren't ready to give up sandal season yet, socks are a perfect solution. There are even amazing toe socks on the market that can be worn with any style of sandals. Additionally, if you're rocking your brand-new sandals that haven't been broken in yet, socks can protect against hot spots until the straps soften a bit and your feet get used to them.

Is it OK to wear sandals hiking?

Of course! While sandals might not be the best option for every hike, they are ideal for lots of situations. Once your feet experience the freedom and the sunshine, you might find yourself wearing sandals in places you never imagined. Chacos at the top of Half Dome? Why not? Bedrocks with a tuxedo? Dream big!

Are hiking sandals better than hiking shoes?

Our favorite gear questions all have the same answer: It depends! Hiking sandals are better than hiking shoes for certain situations, certain kinds of trails, and certain kinds of feet. Hopefully, this article gave you some great ideas for when a hiking sandal might be the best first choice—but the only way to know for sure is to find a pair your feet like and give them a whirl.

Discuss This Article