The 5 Best Women’s Hiking Sandals


Hiking boots are great for serious wilderness excursions but sometimes you want something a little more lightweight for your trekking adventures. And while sandals aren’t necessarily the most technical option (please read: not for scaling Mount Everest), they offer a fantastic alternative for easy day hikes or light, summertime backpacking trips. The best women’s hiking sandals, however, will be different than your regular summertime shoes.

First and foremost, you need traction. Look for strong, sturdy soles, preferably made from 100-percent rubber. They should also have some sort of lugs or tread pattern that will help you grip the trail and navigate rocky terrain.

Next, think about the webbing, which is the part that goes over your foot. The best options will be constructed with tough material, such as leather or thickly-woven polyester (not plastic or foam, like your classic flip flops). The webbing also needs to fit your foot properly with secure, snug buckles and an adjustable design.

Finally, consider the midsole. If you’re hiking long distances, you’ll want the footbed to be soft and shock-absorbing. That will help your feet last longer and not tire as quickly. Below, I’ve gathered a list of the best hiking sandals that showcase all of these features. Scroll through to find the best pick for your hiking adventures.

1

The Overall Best Hiking Sandals

What’s great about them: Chacos’ line of Z-style shoes are classic hiking sandals among outdoor enthusiasts. These Z/Cloud sandals are constructed with tough polyester jacquard webbing that wraps around your foot and through the midsole, allowing you to make tiny, micro-adjustments for a custom fit. The soles are made with strong rubber and feature 3-millimeter lugs for plenty of traction and grip on the trails. Additionally, the sandals feature an injection-molded buckle that won’t slip and an anti-microbial treatment that prevents them from getting stinky. Best of all, they’re available in a large variety of colors and sizes (including wide sizes).

What fans say: “These shoes are incredible! They are so comfortable and are so amazing when walking over rocks and waves in the water. Once you’re out of the water they are so comfortable to walk in and dry quickly, and grip incredibly well if you need to hike over slick rocks or dirt … Overall I highly recommend these if you are outdoors a lot hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking … Most definitely worth the price.”

  • Available sizes: 5 – 15 (available in wide sizes)

2

The Runner-Up

What’s great about them: Another classic pair of outdoor shoes, these tough Tevas hiking sandals are similar to the Chacos in that they have massive outdoor-enthusiast-appeal, but with a more traditional strap design instead of the “Z.” The only thing that landed these as a runner-up, in fact, is that the Chacos are offered in more sizing options. However, the Tevas boast similar polyester webbing and tough rubber soles. They have exceptional traction and a great fit, staying securely in place without chafing. The nylon shank aids in arch support to help ensure your feet won’t tire quickly, and the hook-and-loop closure makes it easy to get these sandals on and off — not to mention to find the perfect fit.

What fans say: “I wish I had gotten these sandals sooner. They are everything I need for an active FLorida lifestyle, especially the good support for walking both on and off pavement and hiking some of our state’s sandy trails. They are also great for biking, kayaking, and tromping around Disney and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter !! I wear these with compression socks as well as ‘bare toes’, but the fit is easily adjustable with the velco strips. This is important to me because I have a wide foot and could never find non-adjustable sandals that fit. Two other features I appreciate are the padded heel strap and the superior traction of the sole. […]”

3

The Best Leather Hiking Sandals

What’s great about them: These leather hiking sandals are hugely popular on Amazon, boasting more than 5,800 perfect five-star ratings. Reviewers say they love how comfortable they are, as well as how many sizes and colors are available. They’re made with 100-percent Nubuck leather, as well as a rugged, omni-directional rubber sole and molded EVA footbed. Polyurethane foam in the midsole provides comfort and shock absorption, while the neoprene lining keeps these sandals soft so your feet stay blister-free. As a bonus, they’re a great pick for smaller feet since they start at size 4.

What fans say: “I got my first pair in 2013 before I started working for Backroads as a trip leader. This pair stuck with me through hundreds of hikes and adventures, across various terrain (rocks, water, sand, and snow), trekking all over the world! It broke my heart when they finally split while white water rafting this year (6 years and at least a thousand miles later!) So…I bought a new pair! I wasn’t sure if they would feel the same or if I would love them as much…I’m happy to say I received the new pair today and I had forgotten how Extremely supportive and sturdy they feel in the very beginning! […]”

  • Available sizes: 4 – 12.5

4

The Best Budget Hiking Sandal

What’s great about them: If you don’t hike that often and want a simple pair of shoes that don’t cost a fortune, these affordable women’s hiking sandals are a wonderful budget option. The soles are made with a rubber-phylon blend, which isn’t quite as durable as pure rubber but is still great for offering traction and stability. The webbing is constructed with fast-drying material, so if you get them wet, they won’t stay damp all day. Most importantly, reviewers say the footbed is soft and comfy. Just note that these probably won’t hold up for multi-day trips or super technical terrain — they’re best suited for more casual day-hikes.

What fans say: “Wanted something with an open toe to easily shake out debris when hiking. The foot bed is comfortable also. These even handled a 6 mile hike with a mix of rocky/gravel footing!”

  • Available sizes: 5.5 – 10

5

The Best Flip Flops For Hiking

What’s great about them: If you’re someone who hates the back-strap on sandals, these flip-flop-style sandals are a great alternative. They offer thick, rugged straps that won’t snap under pressure, as well as plenty of traction and shock absorption. On top of that, the material is quick-drying, so your feet won’t feel soggy if they get wet. I personally have a pair of flip flops from Keen and use them regularly on a steep, rocky incline that goes down to the beach. They feel comfortable and have held up well.

What fans say: “I chose this style because I have very skinny, wobbly and problematic feet, so finding a kind of flip-flop that actually fits and doesn’t flop off causing me to trip and injure myself wasn’t easy. These are perfect: I’ve been walking up and down hillsides over rough terrain like a mountain goat!”



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