The 10 Best Hiking Sandals – [2021 Reviews & Guide]

Hike with ease in a comfortable pair of hiking sandals, we break down the year's top models

Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

So, it’s time to head out and hit the trail. You’ve got your backpack, your tent and… your sandals? Yeah, hiking sandals are definitely a thing and you’re missing out if you’re leaving them behind.

Not only are they wonderful for stretching achy feet after a long day of hiking, you can even hike in them! We’re going to walk you through the process of picking the best hiking sandals.

Then I’m going to introduce you to a five top rated hiking sandals each for Men and Women that I think are great options for your next hiking trip.

Best Hiking Sandals

 KEEN Women's Whisper SandalMerrell Men's All Out Blaze SieveKEEN Women's Newport H2
Upper:SyntheticLeather Synthetic
Sole:RubberSynthetic Synthetic
Features:Machine washable with mesh lining and bungee lace systemAntimicrobial coating to reduce odorOdor-reducing Aegis Microbe lining

For more of my hiking gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Hiking Shoes For Men, Hiking Shoes For Women, Hiking Poles.

Quick Answer: The 10 Best Rated Hiking Sandals For 2021

Best Hiking Sandals For Women

  1. KEEN Women’s Whisper Hiking Sandal
  2. Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
  3. KEEN Women’s Newport H2 Hiking Sandal
  4. Teva Women’s Verra Sandal
  5. Dream Pairs Women’s Adventurous Outdoor Sandal

Best Hiking Sandals For Men

  1. Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe
  2. Teva Men’s Katavi Hiking Sandal
  3. Teva Men’s Hurricane Sandal
  4. KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Hiking Sandal
  5. VENSHINE Mens Sports Summer Hiking Sandal

Our reviews of the top hiking sandals for both men and women with our comparison table and buying guide will help you choose the right pair for you.

Best Women’s Hiking Sandals

Ladies have an entire spectrum of hiking sandals tailored for their needs from great outdoor brands. Let’s consider a few top picks that can get you on the trail today.

Perhaps the lightest weight sandal from KEEN in the women’s lineup, the Whisper is our Editor’s Choice for the best women’s hiking sandals.

It’s an open design, more so than most of the sandals we’ve reviewed below which makes it lightweight and airy. However, it also opens the foot to the dangers of injury on sticks or rocks on the trail.

A full toe cap like all of the KEEN sandals helps to protect from toe injury. On the bottom of the sandal the tread pattern is less aggressive than the Keen Newport.

That makes the Whisper sandal a lightweight option that would be good for well-maintained trails and shorter hikes. Overall a great option for ladies walking sandals when camping with the family or a mix of hiking and recreation based activities.

Best For: Lightweight camp shoes.

This hiking sandal sits more on the side of a trail runner shoe. It’s designed with an open framework for a lightweight, airy feel that’s great in the water.

Since the shoe is open, water can drain easily but rocks and sticks are kept out when hiking. A full toe cap like all of the KEEN sandals helps to protect from toe injury.

This Merrell trekking sandal is quickly adjustable to any foot shape with an elastic draw cord. Neoprene material makes up the majority of the upper.

Underneath, the sandal is rocking a Vibram sole with aggressive tread, the Merrell Blaze’s have my vote for the best hiking sandals for women.

Best For: Technical hikers.

I owned the men’s version of this exact sandal and hiking for several years with them. A perfect shoe for summer use from hiking to boating and enjoying the sunshine.

I like the open design and elastic drawstring. Unlike the Blaze sandal, the Newport is a bit more open. Beware the errant stick and bug bites on the feet!

Underneath the sandal has a slightly less aggressive tread pattern than the Blaze. That means it might be more at home for hiking gentle trails as well as back and forth from the canoe launch.

Overall, it’s a good camping sandal choice for summer lovers!

Best For: Watersports lovers.

Teva is a universal name in hiking sandals. Their Verra model is a classic Velcro laced sandal with minimal foot protection. It’s built on a lightweight sandal sole with moderate tread.

The sandal would be a good choice for moderate to light hiking and mud conditions.

Overall, I think Verra’s are a good choice for an outdoor sandal after hiking. It’s lightweight and compressible with a minimalist frame that will easily disappear into a backpack.

Thanks to the Velcro design it’s also going to be a good fit for any unique foot shape. The open design is guaranteed to feel good after a long day of wearing hiking boots!

Best For: Minimalist design and packability.

Taking more than one page out of KEEN’s hiking sandal playbook, these are an inexpensive alternative. If you’re on a budget and looking for a hiking sandal this might be your pick!

I like that they kept the rubber toe cap. If you’ve done much hiking you know that stubbing your toes on rocks and roots is a regular occurrence.

One added feature is the Velcro adjustable heel strap. This helps adjust the total amount of space in the sandal for a good fit.

The tread of this backpacking sandal is pretty light so don’t expect it to cut through nasty trails and muck!

Best For: Hikers on a budget.

Best Men’s Hiking Sandals

With an aggressive Vibram sole this sandal is ready to hit the hardest trails. Fully enclosed toe design and a rubber toe cap make it a good choice for more technical hikers.

It’s quite similar to the majority of Merrell’s sandals with an elastic quick lace system that’s adjustable to most any foot shape. I think this is a great system for the vast majority of hikers.

I like that the sandal is offered in a handful of colors to help wearers customize their kicks. Overall the Merrell Blaze’s are the best hiking sandals for Men, especially for hikers looking for something between sandal and shoe.

Best For: Hikers also into paddling and watersports.

Teva Men's Katavi Outdoor Sandal

Teva brings in another Velcro sandal with suede and mesh uppers. This is an open toe design much like the Verra women’s sandal. Two Velcro straps across the upper foot and one across the heel provide all the adjustment.

One thing that sets this sandal apart is the extremely rugged tread. Large lugs and an overall aggressive design across the entire sandal make it a good choice for more technical hiking.

However, due to the open toe, it may not be advisable to push this sandal into harder hiking trails. There’s nothing worse than getting tripped by a stick and having a foot injury.

Best For: An aggressive camp sandal.

These may be one of the simplest sandal designs on our list today. With moderate tread, they’re a good choice for just about any recreational or casual hiking.

Aesthetically they leave something to be desired when compared to more lavish models of the KEEN sandals. However, their lightweight and compact design make them a standout choice for camp shoes.

With a simple Velcro design, there’s not much to go wrong. Simply adjust the sandal and enjoy. I would recommend these as a good men’s choice for camp sandals.

They are fully open toe sandals so beware of income sticks, rocks, and debris.

Best For: All around summer use.

Maybe the total opposite end of the spectrum from the Teva Hurricane sandals, these KEENS are robust. A generous rubber toe cap fully encapsulates the front of your foot for protection from sticks and debris.

Never underestimate the crippling effects of a foot injury on the trail. Using an enclosed toe sandal can help prevent that.

They’re available in many colors and wildly popular as a hiking / paddling hybrid. I personally owned this hiking sandal for years.

I found the tread to be a good happy medium between casual and technical for all around summer use and a good choice for a pair of trekking sandals.

Best For: Hiking and paddling together.

VENSHINE Mens Sports Sandals Summer LeatherAnother fully enclosed toe sandal with moderate tread. These would make a serious contender for anyone seeking a men’s hiking sandal at a budget price.

With an elastic lacing system and leather uppers they’re quite a nice build quality. I do enjoy the Velcro adjustable heel which provides a bit more customization compared to other similar models.

Some users worry about ever so slightly lower build quality compared to KEEN sandals but I wouldn’t worry. It really comes down to which you prefer: lower price, or peace of mind? I would say the Venshine’s are the best budget hiking sandals for Men.

Hiking Sandals Comparison Table

Hiking Sandal ForToeUpperSoleRating
KEEN- Women's Whisper Hiking SandalWomenFull rubber capSynthetic/ LeatherRubber4.6 / 5.0
Merrell Women's All Out Blaze SieveWomenFull rubber capSynthetic/Textile Synthetic4.6 / 5.0
KEEN Women's Newport H2 Hiking SandalWomenFull rubber capPolyester webbing Synthetic4.4 / 5.0
Teva Women's Verra SandalWomenOpenSynthetic/Textile Synthetic4.5 / 5.0
Dream Pairs Outdoor SandalWomenFull rubber capSynthetic/Textile Rubber3.9 / 5.0
Merrell Men's All Out BlazeMenFull rubber capSynthetic/ LeatherSynthetic4.6 / 5.0
Teva Men's Katavi Hiking SandalMenOpenSynthetic/ LeatherRubber4.5 / 5.0
Teva Men's Hurricane SandalMenOpenPolyester webbing Rubber4.4 / 5.0
KEEN Men's Newport H2MenFull rubber capPolyester webbing Rubber4.4 / 5.0
VENSHINE Men's Sports Hiking SandalMenFull rubber capSynthetic/ LeatherRubber3.9 / 5.0

Considerations For Choosing Hiking Sandals – Buyers Guide

Best Sandals For Hiking
Photo Courtesy of Mr.TinDC on

You’re wondering just how different sandals can really be, aren’t you? What are the differences between hiking sandals? I love to hike in my sandals and I’ve even gone out for long backpacking trips with a pair of sandals on my feet.

What qualities are important for choosing a hiking sandal? Well hold on to your bucket hat because I’m going to break it down for you!

Type of Hiking

You first need to consider if sandals are right for the hiking you plan on doing. If you plan on carrying a heavy pack, I would advise against sandals, they just don’t provide the support and cushioning that a good shoe or boot will give you.

If it’s some light hiking then sandals will work just fine, but make sure you get a pair with toe protection. Open sandals are ideal for just using around the campsite or flat, easy trails.


Hiking sandals come in just about every style you can imagine. Weight, however, remains a pertinent factor since you’ll have to wear or carry them on your hiking trip. Anything that goes into the woods with you should be as lightweight as possible.

There’s a popular saying that one pound on the feet is equivalent to five pounds on your back. As it turns out, it’s actually true that any extra weight on your feet is much more tiring than extra weight on your back.

With that in mind, reach for the lightweight sandals when other factors aren’t as critical.

Lacing Method

When it comes to hiking sandals, there are three main types you might consider.

best hiking sandals for men

Thongs or Flip-Flops

These lightweight minimalist sandals are everyone’s favorite summer footwear. Do they really belong on the trail, though? I think they have their place.

Flip-flops can be ridiculously lightweight. Look for those foam and rubber ones at the dollar store. They weigh a couple ounces and give you an ultralight sandal for wearing around camp.

Not recommended for hiking in.

Velcro Sandals

Velcro sandals definitely feel like it’s 1995 all over again. Velcro is not only one of the most useful inventions in history, it also makes some good sandals.

Velcro sandals are a close second to webbing sandals. Many will find that Velcro sandals are even better for security and fitment. Choose a Velcro based sandal if you’re looking for the most secure and enveloping fit.

Webbing Sandals

I first found webbing based sandals from a company called Chaco. They’re made with adjustable flat straps of webbing in various designs and colors. Webbing sandals are available from many outdoor footwear brands today and the selection continues to grow!

I love my webbing sandals because, once adjusted, they’re quite secure and comfortable. They eventually wear in to fit your unique foot shape. On top of that they’re more customizable than any other hiking sandals I am aware of.

Tread and Sole

Hiking Sandals Tread

Since we’re looking for a hiking sandal, it’s important to consider the sole of the sandal. Among outdoor footwear there are many types of tread available. Looking for a rugged and deep tread pattern with large lugs is always important though.

Lugs are the tread of the sole around the outside of the foot. These are heavily responsible for traction when cutting through thick mud and slippery trail conditions. Since sandals are already less stable than a good trail running shoe or hiking boot, great lugs are a must.

You’ll also want a rugged and durable sole material made by a reputable company such as Vibram. If you’re actually hiking in your sandals, inexpensive lightweight flipflops made from foam just won’t hold up.

Toe Cap

best womens hiking sandals
KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal with rubber top cap

Just like with hiking shoes or boots, you need some toe protection for when you inevitably kick a rock or log. Without a some good toe protection you risk injury to you toes and feet.

Any sandal designed for hiking trails will come with toe protection of some sort. However, if you are just kicking around the camp site or the beach any open toed sandal will do.


Like any footwear, fit is one of the most important factors in your choice of sandals. Naturally you want your sandals to be comfortable. One factor to keep in mind is the ability to adjust the fit easily on the trail.

If you are hiking all day your feet may swell so being able to make them a bit larger with adjustable straps is a nice feature. If it starts to get cooler being able to put on a pair of socks to keep your feet warm is going to come in handy.

How We Researched

To come up with the top hiking boots we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as REI, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas and Backcountry along with our own personal experience.

We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.

With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options for the price. The author, Casey Fiedler has been leading backpacking trips for over a decade in his native state of Michigan.

To help narrow down the selection he used his personal experience along with recommendations from fellow guides and outfitters.

After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.


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Casey Fiedler

Casey is a qualified ski instructor, naturalist educator, hunter, and avid outdoorsman based in Mason, Michigan. He spends much of his time in the wilderness where he tests outdoor gear supplied to him by companies such as Patagonia, Smith Optics, and Wolverine. Casey has guided backpackers, kayakers, and skiers on backcountry trips all around the US. He taught Alpine skiing at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah for several seasons before transitioning into freelance writing. When he is not working, Casey enjoys fishing and participating in adventure and orienteering races.
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