Best Water Sandals for Hiking – Our Top 5 Recommendations (2022)

Footwear Gear

If you’re hiking near water, you’ll need a good pair of shoes to keep your feet safe. Our guide to the best water shoes for hiking can point you in the right direction.

How can you tell which water shoes for hiking are the best? Which key features should you be looking for, and how can you tell if they’ll be able to keep your feet safe even on more challenging terrain? We’ll answer those questions, and we’ll give you our top 5 recommendations to choose from.

The bottom line up front: we like the Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal. They’re durable, they come in a wide range of colors, and they have half-sizes too.

We also like:

Today we’ll be looking at:

  • The best water sandals for hiking, compared
  • What ‘water shoes for sandals’ actually are
  • The key features you should be looking for in water shoes including grip, tread, size, comfort, and design.
  • Our top 5 recommendations, including their key features, pros, and cons
  • Some frequently asked questions about water sandals for hiking
  • Some more details about our top recommendations

Keep reading to find the best pair of water sandals for hiking!

Best Water Sandals for Hiking

Feature
Best Sandals for Women
Most Comfortable
Good Beach Sandals
Best Sandals for Men
Most Durable
Model
KEEN Women's Whisper Sports Sandal
Chaco Men's ZVolv 2
Megnya Hiking Sandals
KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal
Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal
KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Taupe/Coral, 5
Chaco mens ZVOLV 2 Sport Sandal, RALLADURA NAVY, 9 M US
MEGNYA Comfort River Hiking Sandals Women, Lightweight eva Memory Foam Walking Sandals Camping, Sports Sandals Adjustable Hook Loop Straps Size 8
KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals, Banyan Tree/Banyan Tree, 10
Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal, Solid Black, 9
Materials
Polyester, rubber
Synthetic, rubber
Synthetic, rubber
Polyester, rubber
Synthetic, rubber
-
9,554 Reviews
579 Reviews
3,443 Reviews
1,046 Reviews
-
Feature
Best Sandals for Women
Model
KEEN Women's Whisper Sports Sandal
KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Taupe/Coral, 5
Materials
Polyester, rubber
9,554 Reviews
Feature
Most Comfortable
Model
Chaco Men's ZVolv 2
Chaco mens ZVOLV 2 Sport Sandal, RALLADURA NAVY, 9 M US
Materials
Synthetic, rubber
579 Reviews
Feature
Good Beach Sandals
Model
Megnya Hiking Sandals
MEGNYA Comfort River Hiking Sandals Women, Lightweight eva Memory Foam Walking Sandals Camping, Sports Sandals Adjustable Hook Loop Straps Size 8
Materials
Synthetic, rubber
3,443 Reviews
Feature
Best Sandals for Men
Model
KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal
KEEN Men's Newport H2 Closed Toe Water Sandals, Banyan Tree/Banyan Tree, 10
Materials
Polyester, rubber
1,046 Reviews
Feature
Most Durable
Model
Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal
Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal, Solid Black, 9
Materials
Synthetic, rubber
-
-

What Are Water Sandals for Hiking?

Adjustable rubber shoe laces on quick drying water shoes for sports outdoors.

Water sandals for hiking are designed to keep your feet safe and protected both in and out of water. This means you can wear them on long hikes by the water without worrying about getting your feet wet.

They also make ideal sandals for the beach. They’ll keep your feet cool while protecting you from sharp objects or harmful pathogens. This is especially important if you’re walking in the ocean and you can’t see where your feet are treading.

What to Look for in Water Sandals for Hiking

Before we give you our recommendations, here are a few key features you should be looking for in water sandals for hiking:

Grip/Tread

Bottom view of fromt part of colorful running shoe sole isolated on white

If you’re looking for water shoes for hiking, you need to consider how strong the grip is on the soles of the shoe. A strong grip will prevent you from slipping, so if you’re walking by a pool, you won’t have to worry.

The grip is really important if you’re hiking near water. A good pair of walking sandals should keep your feet safe on different types of terrain, while also allowing air to flow to stop your feet from overheating.

Look for durable, thick rubber soles if you can find them.

Size/Fit

Close up man leg with outdoor sandals

Sizing is really important. Not all sandals offer half-sizes, which can be a pain. However, you can usually adjust them to fit closely to your feet. There might be a bit of trial and error involved in finding the right size.

If you have wide feet, you may be able to find sandals that suit you – look for the ‘wide fit’ size option. If you have narrow feet, you should look for sandals with straps that can be tightened easily.

Comfort

Crossing a mountain river to a ford

If you’ve ever been stuck on a long hike with uncomfortable shoes, you’ll know how important this is! You’ll likely be able to avoid blisters by picking comfortable hiking sandals with cushioned straps to stop them from digging into your feet.

If you have flat feet, you should look for sandals with increased arch support to help keep your feet nice and comfortable even after hours of wear.

Look for sandals that dry quickly. If you’re on a hike by the water, you don’t know when you’ll unexpectedly have to cross a stream or encounter water of some sort. Look for sandals with quick-drying fabric so that they won’t rub against your skin and become uncomfortable.

Design and Colors

Indian Made Men's sandals

There are different types of designs to choose from when it comes to water sandals for hiking. Some are similar to regular sandals, with a couple of straps to keep the sole firmly attached to your feet. These are good for the beach or really hot weather.

Others are more protective, with a ‘cage’ type of design. These have extra straps and usually have an extra layer of protection in the toe area. These will keep your feet safe in the water or on rugged terrain.

Top 5 Best Water Sandals for Hiking

Here are our top 5 recommendations for water sandals for hiking. We’ll give you the key features you need to know for each pair, as well as their pros and cons.

1. KEEN Women’s Whisper Sport Sandal – Best Sandals for Women

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

Key Features

  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Materials: Polyester, rubber

The KEEN Women's Whisper Sport Sandal has a cage design, keeping your feet safe on all sides. They’re safe to wear in the water, with a multi-directional outsole. This gives you plenty of grip, even on slippery surfaces. They dry quickly too.

These sandals are comfortable, and they fit nicely to your feet using a lace-lock bungee system. They have soft, compression-molded midsoles. This gives them a nice ‘cushiony’ feeling while still being supportive. They also have good arch support.

They’re slightly wider than the standard shoe, so if you have narrow feet, you might want to avoid these. They have a decent selection of sizes, including half sizes. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns, which is a nice extra. They’re machine washable for easy cleaning.

Pros

  • Protective
  • Comfortable
  • Good range of sizes
  • Excellent for wide feet
  • Good grip
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Not great for narrow feet
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2. Chaco Men’s ZVolv 2 – Most Comfortable

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

Key Features

  • Sizes: 7-15
  • Materials: Synthetic, rubber

The Chaco Men's ZVolv 2 are safe to wear in the water. They have a strong tread, so you won’t have to worry about slipping. The synthetic uppers dry out quickly, and they still feel comfortable when wet.

These are extremely comfortable sandals. Once you put them on, you won’t want to take them off! Even if you’re wearing them for a long time, they’ll still feel nice to wear. The adjustable ‘heel risers’ give you extra arch support if you need it.

They come in a wide range of sizes and colors, and they adjust easily to your feet. The straps are quite long. This is fine if you have wider feet, but if you have narrow feet, you might find yourself with excess material that you’ll need to tuck away or cut down to size.

Pros

  • Adjustable heel risers for flat feet
  • Super comfortable
  • Wide range of sizes and colors
  • Good grip
  • It can be tightened to fit snugly

Cons

  • Straps are long, which may cause issues if you have narrow feet
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3. Megnya Hiking Sandals – Good Beach Sandals

MEGNYA Comfort River Hiking Sandals Women, Lightweight eva Memory Foam Walking Sandals Camping, Sports Sandals Adjustable Hook Loop Straps Size 8

Key Features

  • Sizes: 5-11
  • Materials: Polyester, rubber

The KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal are safe to wear in the water, with a rubber outsole for greater shock absorption. The soles have a strong tread to stop you from slipping over on slippery surfaces.

They have memory foam insoles, so they feel comfortable to wear. The ergonomic design gives you great arch support; they also fit closely using velcro straps, so you won’t have to worry about your feet slipping when wet. However, they’re not as durable as some of the others on this list.

They come in a wide range of sizes, including half-sizes, and they have a few different color options to choose from. The braided design looks stylish, and they make perfect beach sandals.

Pros

  • Good shock absorption
  • The rubber sole has a strong tread
  • Comfortable memory foam insoles
  • It comes in a wide range of sizes
  • The braided design looks stylish

Cons

  • Not as durable as some of the others on this list
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4. KEEN Men’s Newport Retro Sandal – Best Sandals for Men

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

Key Features

  • Sizes: 7-17
  • Materials: Polyester, rubber

The KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal are protective, with a great amount of coverage to keep your feet safe. In addition, they have multi-directional lugs to stop your feet from slipping. Plus they have a toe bumper to keep your feet protected in the water.

They’re durable, with comfortable cushioned insoles. They have a lace-lock bungee system to fit closely to your feet, and they feel nice to wear even after hours of use.

These sandals are designed with retro Jerry Garcia prints, so they have a nice ‘retro’ feel to them. They only have 2 colors to choose from, but they have a distinctive style. They offer a wide range of sizes, with half sizes available. Plus, they’re machine washable for easy care.

Pros

  • Trendy designs
  • Comfortable
  • Good grip
  • Toe bumper to keep your feet safe
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Limited range of colors/patterns
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5. Chaco Women’s Zcloud X2 Sandal – Most Durable

Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal, Solid Black, 9

Key Features

  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Materials: Synthetic, rubber

The Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal are durable, rugged sandals. They have a firm rubber sole to keep your feet protected in the water, although they don’t offer as much coverage as some of the others on this list.

They have a comfortable insole with a bit of arch support, and the straps can be adjusted easily to stop your feet from slipping. On the other hand, the straps are a bit complicated to tighten initially, but they do come with instructions to make it a more clear.

They come in a wide range of sizes, including some wide fit options, and they have a good range of colors to choose from, too, which is great.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Strong rubber sole
  • It comes in a wide range of sizes
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Some wide fit options are available

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer as much coverage as some of the others on this list
  • Straps are a bit confusing to adjust at first
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Frequently Asked Questions

Now, before we settle on the best pair of hiking sandals, here are some frequently asked questions about water sandals for hiking:

Do I have to break in my hiking sandals?

girl trying on sandals in supermarket

Hiking sandals are usually softer than hiking boots or work boots. This means you won’t have to worry about breaking them in. If they do feel a bit stiff straight out of the box, you can wear them in short bursts around the house before you take them out for a full hike.

Are hiking sandals good for fishing?

Male feet in sandals stand on the wooden deck of a yacht against the backdrop of dark water. Top view.

Yes, you can use them as fishing shoes on hot days. However, you might prefer boots or shoes with more coverage to stop them from getting grimy!

Are sandals really safe to wear on hikes?

Traveler Feet in tourist sandals hiking in mountains Travel Lifestyle adventure active summer vacations outdoor concept

Yes, they’re safe to wear. There are some exceptions, though. We wouldn’t recommend wearing sandals if you know that there will be very challenging terrain, for example, if the area is very rocky or uneven. Sandals may not offer the best protection for your toes, and the last thing you want is an injury while you’re out on the trail.

For hot weather, hiking by water, or less challenging trails, they’re safe to wear. They should have enough grip to keep you from slipping, and they should be comfortable enough for long walks too.

Check out these essential hiking safety tips for more guidance.

Should I wear socks with my hiking sandals?

Funny feet covered with socks and sandals

If you’re planning a long hike, you might be wondering if you need to wear socks. The sandals on this list are designed to be worn without them, so you won’t have to worry about that. However, if you prefer the feel of wearing socks, you can wear them. Just make sure you take them off before you go near the water!

Can I wear regular sandals for hiking?

Men sandals footware brown on wood grunge table desk with copy space.

No, we wouldn’t recommend it. Regular sandals are fine for wearing on the beach or for short walks, but hiking is another matter. Going on long hikes in regular sandals may lead to blisters or even toe injuries. Plus, they won’t offer you protection if you’re walking on slippery surfaces.

To Sum Up … Which Water Sandals for Hiking Are the Best?

blue and orange sandals on the beach

We like the Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal. They’re extremely durable, tough sandals with a firm rubber sole. They have a comfortable insole with a bit of arch support, and they’re easy to adjust too.

We like the wide range of sizes available, and there are ‘wide fit’ options if needed.

However, if you want something with a bit more coverage, you could try the KEEN Women's Whisper Sport Sandal. With a cage-style design, they’ll keep your toes safe in and out of the water.

For men, we’d recommend the KEEN Men's Newport Retro Sandal. There are 2 color options to pick from in a retro style, and they’re protected with the extra padding around the toe area to stop your feet from getting injured. They dry quickly too.

We hope this has helped you to find the best pair of water shoes for hiking. Please feel free to share this online with your fellow hiking enthusiasts. Plus, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any recommendations for hiking gear or any tips for beginners? Leave us a comment below!