Which Hiking Sandals Is The Best For You?

When the average person thinks about hiking, the most likely images that will come to mind are huge backpacks, beautiful mountain landscapes, Clif bars, and high-top hiking boots.

However, many hikers have abandoned the idea of wearing hiking boots for a pair that allows them better freedom. While there’s still a time and place to wear high-top boots for hiking, they can be quite heavy and do not offer good ventilation.

Thus, many people gravitate towards hiking or trail shoes. These lightweight shoes have become very popular since they are lighter, offer better ventilation, and often don’t require break-in periods.

But, it seems that people just won’t stop there. These days, you can find hikers that swear by their pair of hiking sandals. For this post, we talk about hike sandals, their benefits, and buying tips to help you choose the right minimalist pair.

couple wearing hiking sandals Sandals

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Safety is the biggest concern when it comes to wearing sandals while on a hike.

I have always loved my pair of hiking boots, but it can be unbearable during summer hikes due to sweaty feet. As you all know, the summer heat plus sweaty feet will eventually lead to painful blisters. This got me wondering if I should swap my hiking boots for a pair of sandals during warmer hikes.

However, there’s the concern that sandals don’t offer the same stability and protection as boots. One will have to wonder if sandals are truly suitable for long, strenuous hikes.

As it turned out, there’s very little to no safety concern with regards to wearing sandals on the trail. As expected, you would be giving up the stability, protection, and ankle support from boots.
However, if you are not prone to accidents, wearing sandals should be fine.

Another thing to consider is that your feet are exposed when wearing sandals. Therefore, snake encounters and the occasional toe bashing while hiking can be a problem. Other than that, wearing sandals for hiking is a perfectly safe option if you want a more minimalist approach.

This brings us to our next point…

Why Should You Wear Hiking Sandals?


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Why should you consider wearing sandals for your next hiking trip? Here are some of the reasons why:

Allows the feet to breathe

Plenty of support

Lightweight comfort

Easy to dry

Fewer contact points

Why Shouldn’t You Wear Sandals?

man wearing hiking sandals

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Wearing sandals for a hike is not without its drawbacks.

Perhaps, the most obvious disadvantage of sandals is that you can’t wear them all year round. If you are going to ask me, I’ll wear my sandals to every one of my trips, but it’s just not possible. Your exposed feet and snow just don’t mix well. When it's cold, you have the option of wearing waterproof socks to keep your feet warm.

Also, your feet will be a magnet for dirt, mud, and sticks which can quickly become annoying. The lack of ankle support also makes you vulnerable to ankle injuries.

How To Choose A Pair Of Hiking Sandals

hiking sandals

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You have decided that you’ll give sandals a try for your next trip. However, you have no idea how to start shopping. Well, just ask yourself these questions when shopping for your pair:

1. Do I Need A Closed Or Open Toe Sandal?

2. Do I Require Good Arch Support?

3. Do I Need Shock Resistance?

4. Do I Need My Sandals To Be Waterproof?

5. How Is The Fit?

Freedom For Your Feet

Wearing a pair of hiking sandals is not for everyone.

However, if you are curious and want to give sandals a try, I say go for it! I’ve had great fun while wearing my favorite sandals on a hike. It does have its pros and cons, but the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks.

If you want a quick recommendation, it’s hard to go wrong with the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal.

Have you tried wearing sandals for hiking before? What’s your experience? Would you recommend it? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!

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