Best Hiking Sandals – Our Top 5 Picks to Keep Your Feet Cool (2022)

Footwear Gear

While hiking boots are excellent for cooler weather, sometimes they’re just too warm and restrictive. That’s where our guide to the best hiking sandals can help. 

What should you be looking for in hiking sandals? Are they designed to go into water? Are they durable enough for challenging trails? And are they comfortable to wear on long hikes? We’ll answer all those questions and more. We’ll also give you our top picks for hiking sandals and why we like them so much.

The bottom line upfront: We think the KEEN Women's Whisper Sport Sandal is excellent. Comfortable, protective, and easy to wear, they’ll keep your feet safe and feel like a dream to wear.

We also like:

Today, we’ll be looking at:

  • The best hiking sandals and how they compare to each other
  • What ‘hiking sandals’ are, and the main features to look for
  • Our top 5 picks, including their key features, our honest opinions on their pros and cons, and more
  • Some frequently asked questions
  • Our final verdict on the best hiking sandals out there

Keep reading to find out more!

Best Hiking Sandals Compared

Feature
Most Stylish
Most Comfortable
Most Protective
Most Durable
Good All-Rounder
Model
CIOR Women's Sports Sandals
Chaco Men's ZVolv 2
KEEN Women's Whisper Sports Sandal
KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal
ECCO Women's Yucatan Sandals
CIOR Women's Sport Sandals Hiking Sandals with Arch Support Yoga Mat Insole Outdoor Light Weight Water Shoes-U118SLX026-Navy-37
Chaco mens ZVOLV 2 Sport Sandal, RALLADURA NAVY, 9 M US
KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Taupe/Coral, 5
KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals, Banyan Tree/Banyan Tree, 10
ECCO Women's Yucatan outdoor offroad hiking sandal, Atmosphere/Ice White/Black, 10 M US
Materials
Rubber, polyester
Synthetic, rubber
Polyester, rubber
Polyester, rubber
Rubber, synthetic
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
8,642 Reviews
565 Reviews
18,966 Reviews
9 Reviews
10,693 Reviews
Feature
Most Stylish
Model
CIOR Women's Sports Sandals
CIOR Women's Sport Sandals Hiking Sandals with Arch Support Yoga Mat Insole Outdoor Light Weight Water Shoes-U118SLX026-Navy-37
Materials
Rubber, polyester
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
8,642 Reviews
Feature
Most Comfortable
Model
Chaco Men's ZVolv 2
Chaco mens ZVOLV 2 Sport Sandal, RALLADURA NAVY, 9 M US
Materials
Synthetic, rubber
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
565 Reviews
Feature
Most Protective
Model
KEEN Women's Whisper Sports Sandal
KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Taupe/Coral, 5
Materials
Polyester, rubber
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
18,966 Reviews
Feature
Most Durable
Model
KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal
KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals, Banyan Tree/Banyan Tree, 10
Materials
Polyester, rubber
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
9 Reviews
Feature
Good All-Rounder
Model
ECCO Women's Yucatan Sandals
ECCO Women's Yucatan outdoor offroad hiking sandal, Atmosphere/Ice White/Black, 10 M US
Materials
Rubber, synthetic
Suitable for Hiking in Water?
10,693 Reviews

What are Hiking Sandals?

Mens Chaco Sandals on the River

Hiking sandals are designed to protect your feet while keeping them cool at the same time. They usually have tough, non-slip soles to help keep you steady on slippery surfaces.

Some hiking sandals are designed to be worn in water. This means you can dip in and out of the water without worrying about the after effects or being uncomfortable, they should also dry quickly.

What to Look for in Hiking Sandals

Before you choose your new hiking sandals, here are some key features to look for:

Size/Fit

Close up man leg with outdoor sandals

As with any other type of shoe, sizing is really important. While you may not find sandals that fit you perfectly (especially if you’re looking for a half-size!), it’s best to look for shoes that fit you as comfortably as possible.

Good hiking sandals should be adjustable, meaning that even if they are slightly bigger than you’d like, you can adjust them tightly to your feet.

Some sandals are better for narrow feet, while others are designed with a wider footbed. There’s a bit of trial-and-error involved here. Some shoe manufacturers offer wide-fit versions alongside their standard sizes.

Durability

Protective trekking sandals for a hike in the mountains on a woman's legs

Durability is another key factor. While hiking sandals are not as protective as boots, they should still keep the soles of your feet safe. They should be tough enough to walk across different types of terrain with ease.

Comfort

Sport orange sandals isolated on white background

Comfort is hugely important for any kind of hiking footwear. When you’re on the trail, the last thing you want to be dealing with are blisters or sore patches on your feet.

Look for sandals with cushioned soles for extra comfort. You may also find sandals with padded straps, or a thin layer of fabric under the straps to stop them from cutting into your feet.

Some sandals have increased arch support, which is ideal if you have flat feet.

Suitable for Water

Crossing a mountain river to a ford. Little hiker tourist

Whether you’re hiking by the sea, crossing a stream, or simply experiencing a sudden rain shower, you may find yourself with wet feet somewhere along the trail. 

Some sandals are designed to go into the water, with quick-drying fabric. This means your sandals will still be comfortable to wear while they dry out.

Others aren’t specifically designed to go into water. While it won’t be a disaster if you accidentally step in a stream, the sandals could rub against your skin while you wait for them to dry out.

Design

Teenage blond girl wearing face mask choosing walking shoes sandalds at sport warehouse retail shop

There are a few different designs to choose from. Some are very open, with a few straps covering the tops of your feet. These are perfect for super-hot weather. Others are a little more protective, covering the toe area. Which one you go for will be down to personal preference. 

If you know you’re hiking in tough terrain, we’d recommend going for a pair that keeps your toes nice and safe, just in case.

Top 5 Best Hiking Sandals

Now, here are our top 5 picks for hiking sandals! We’ve tried to pick a range for you to choose from. We’ll give you our honest thoughts on each pair, as well as the key details you need to know, such as: sizing, durability, and comfort.

1. CIOR Women’s Sports Sandals – Most Stylish

CIOR Women's Sport Sandals Hiking Sandals with Arch Support Yoga Mat Insole Outdoor Light Weight Water Shoes-U118SLX026-Navy-37

Key Features

  • Materials: Rubber, polyester
  • Suitable for hiking in water: No

The CIOR Women's Sports Sandals are more stylized sandals. In a range of colors and prints, they’re ideal if you want sandals that are robust enough to protect your feet, but nice enough to wear in your day-to-day life too. They come in a range of sizes too, although they don’t offer half sizes, which is a shame.

They’re comfortable with a cushioned, soft insole to absorb impact and help you to feel more comfortable. The heel straps are padded to prevent chafing and blistering, and there is arch support built into the sandals, making them a good choice if you have flat feet.

They have an anti-skid outsole, designed to protect you from slipping. The soles are robust, so you can definitely hike in them. However, they’re not ideal for hiking through water, as they feel uncomfortable to wear when wet.

Pros

  • Pretty designs
  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Good arch support
  • Robust soles

Cons

  • No half sizes available
  • Not suitable for hiking through water
Check Price

2. Chaco Men’s ZVolv 2 – Most Comfortable

Chaco mens ZVOLV 2 Sport Sandal, RALLADURA NAVY, 9 M US

Key Features

  • Materials: Synthetic, rubber
  • Suitable for hiking in water: Yes

The Chaco Men's ZVolv 2 are comfortable, practical, and good for most hiking situations. They have a wide range of sizes and colors available, and the straps are easy to adjust to your feet. The straps are quite long though, which is something to consider if you have smaller feet.

These are super comfortable to wear, even on long hikes, and they’re also supportive. They have a good arch support too, with adjustable heel risers so you can fit them to the perfect height.

These sandals have a strong tread, so you won’t have to worry about slipping. The synthetic uppers dry really quickly, which means these can be worn in water without worrying about how they will feel to walk in afterward. They’d also make great sandals for the beach for this reason.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Adjustable
  • Strong tread to stop you from slipping
  • Good for wearing in water

Cons

  • Strap is long, so you may have to cut it down to size if you have smaller feet
Check Price

3. KEEN Women’s Whisper Sport Sandal – Most Protective

KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Taupe/Coral, 5

Key Features

  • Materials: Polyester, rubber
  • Suitable for hiking in water: Yes

The KEEN Women's Whisper Sport Sandal are designed to keep your feet safe and cool at the same time. They have a really good range of sizes, including half sizes, and they’re really easy to adjust. There’s a wide range of colors/patterns to pick from, too, so there should be something to suit everyone.

These are very comfortable. With a lace-lock bungee system, you can fit these closely to your feet without too much trouble. They have compression-molded midsoles, so they feel ‘squishy’ and comfortable while still providing support. They’re a little wider than the industry standard, which is good if you have wider feet, but not ideal if you have narrow feet. They do have a great arch support though.

With a ‘cage’ design, these sandals have plenty of coverage, so they’ll keep your feet protected on the trail. They have a multi-directional outsole, with plenty of grip to stop you from slipping over. They’re ‘water-ready’, so you can expect them to dry quickly even when they get wet. Plus, they’re machine washable, which is a bonus!

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Protective 
  • Easy to fit your feet
  • Good for those with wide feet
  • Can be worn in water
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Not great if you have narrow feet
Check Price

4. KEEN Men’s Newport Retro Sandal – Most Durable

KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals, Banyan Tree/Banyan Tree, 10

Key Features

  • Materials: Polyester, rubber
  • Suitable for hiking in water: Yes

The KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal are very durable, so you can expect them to last a long time. These are designed in the retro style of Jerry Garcia, a famous 80’s and 90’s tie designer. They have a distinctly ‘old school’ feel to them, but there are only 2 colors to choose from. There is a wide range of sizes available, from 7-17, with half-sizes too.

These sandals are comfortable. They have the same lace-lock bungee system as other models by KEEN, which means they’re really quick and easy to fit to your feet. Also, the insole is nicely cushioned.

They’re protective and cover your feet well, keeping you safe on rougher terrain. The sole is durable and strong, with multi-directional lugs to keep your feet from slipping. Plus, they have a toe bumper for extra protection. They’re safe to wear in the water, and they’re machine washable too!

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Protective
  • Retro design
  • Safe to wear in water
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • More limited range of colors
Check Price

5. ECCO Women’s Yucatan Sandals – Good All-Rounder

ECCO Women's Yucatan outdoor offroad hiking sandal, Atmosphere/Ice White/Black, 10 M US

Key Features

  • Materials: Rubber, synthetic
  • Suitable for hiking in water: No

The ECCO Women's Yucatan Sandals are good all-rounders. They have a chunkier design, with a few colors to choose from. The size range isn’t massive, but they do have some half-sizes available.

These sandals feel ‘squishy’ to wear, thanks to the padded, molded footbed. The straps are lined underneath with soft material, to prevent them from digging into your skin as you walk. They easily fit to your exact foot shape, and they have a good arch support.

You can technically wear these in water, but they do take a little longer to dry compared to some of the others on this list. They’re ideal for hiking along rough, stony trails rather than wading through water. They’re durable though, with excellent tread to stop you from slipping. Plus, they have great shock absorption to help prevent any aches and pains in your legs.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Some half-sizes available
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Good for stony trails

Cons

  • Slightly more limited size range
  • Not as good for hiking in water
Check Price

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we give you our final verdict, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about hiking sandals:

Can I wear my hiking sandals on the beach?

Woman on the beach holding her sandals at sunny summer day

Yes, there’s no reason why you can’t! Hiking sandals are easy to wear on the beach, especially if the pair you have chosen are designed to be worn in water.

Hiking sandals can help to keep your feet safe on the beach, protecting them from sharp objects, which is ideal.

Are hiking sandals good for fishing?

Man sitting on a small boat fishing on a river or lake in a first person point of view of his legs and feet above the deck

Yes, you can use them as fishing shoes if you want to keep your feet cool.

Will I need to break in my hiking sandals?

tourist corrects the clasp at the Sandals on the trail

You shouldn’t need to break in your hiking sandals, not in the same way you would have to break in a pair of work boots or hiking boots. They’re usually much softer and less stiff, which means they should feel pretty good to wear straight away.

Are hiking sandals safe to wear?

Long tired naked legs in hiking sandals on peak

Yes, hiking sandals are safe to wear for most occasions. However, we wouldn’t recommend that you wear them on very challenging terrain, as they may not be protective enough for your feet.

We’d also recommend that you avoid wearing them in colder weather, which kind of goes without saying!

Check out some hiking safety tips for more guidance on how to stay safe on a tough hike.

Can I wear my hiking sandals for other sports?

Woman Taking Off Her Shoes To Do Yoga

That depends on the sport itself. But yes, generally, you can wear hiking sandals for other occasions. They’d be suitable for something like outdoor yoga, for example, as they’re soft, flexible, and also protective.

What else do I need to start hiking?

travel, tourism, hike and people concept - close up of woman with water bottle in backpack pocket

If you have your footwear sorted, now is the time to look for other hiking equipment. You may need:

To Sum Up … Which Hiking Sandals are the Best?

couple hiking sandals on mountain near river on nature background

Our top pick for today has to be the KEEN Women's Whisper Sport Sandal. They offer enough coverage to keep your feet safe, so you won’t have to worry about catching your toes on rocks as you walk. They’re comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and they’re machine washable, too.

If you want something extra comfortable to wear, even on long trails, try the Chaco Men's ZVolv 2. We like how adjustable these sandals are. We also love how good they feel even after hours of use!

Lastly, if you want something you can wear for other occasions, too, check out the CIOR Women's Sports Sandals. Perfect for running around in warmer weather, these will take you from errands to light trails with ease.

We hope this has helped you find your next pair of hiking sandals! Please feel free to share it on social media with your family and friends if it has.

As always, we welcome your comments. Do you have any warm-weather hiking tips or words of wisdom to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts!