The 10 Best Hiking Sandals

We tested the best hiking sandals for 2024 and this is how they performed.

Updated on January 13th, 2024
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Hiking sandals can be used as primary hiking footwear, instead of hiking shoes. In fact, I thru-hiked the Washington section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Bedrock sandals. They can also be used as a secondary pair of hiking shoes for river crossing and when hotspots and blisters start creeping in. 

We tested the best hiking sandals on the market today. Read on to see how they performed, which is best for you, and get some buying advice.

Best Hiking Sandals

The best hiking sandals are:

1. Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure $125 1 lb 1 oz Vibram Vibram® XS Trek Regolith 9/10
2. Xero Shoes Z-Trail $79.99 10.8 oz TrailFoam Dual Chevron Lug Pattern 9/10
3. Teva Tirra $80 1 lb 2 oz EVA Rugged Spider Rubber 9/10
4. Chaco Z/Cloud 2 $100 1 lb 5 oz LUVSEAT™ dual-density PU midsole Non-marking ChacoGrip™ rubber compound, 3.5mm lug depth 8/10
5. Teva Hurricane XLT2 $75 1 lb 4 oz EVA Rugged Durabrasion Rubber™ 8/10
6. Ecco Yucatan $135 1 lb 9 oz EVA, FLUIDFORM™ DIP P.U Rubber 8/10
7. Hoka Hopara $135 1 lb 8 oz Rubberized EVA Sticky Rubber, 4mm Multidirectional Broad Lug Pattern 8/10
8. Keen Clearwater CNX $125 1 lb 1 oz Durable polyurethane (PU) Rubber, Multi directional flex grooves 8/10
9. Keen Whisper $120 1 lb 1 oz EVA Carbon rubber 8/10
10. Keen Newport H2 $130 1 lb 12 oz Compression molded EVA Rubber, Quick Channeling 7/10

Best Overall Hiking Sandal:


Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure

✅ Great traction

✅ Breathable

✅ Lightweight


❌ Thong style not for everyone


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 1 oz
  • Midsole: -
  • Outsole & Lugs: Vibram® XS Trek Regolith

Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure sandals are another favorite among sandal-wearing hikers. They score high in almost every category making them our best overall hiking sandals.

We love that they are lightweight and have a very grippy Vibram sole. The soles of Bedrock sandals are very similar to a rock-climbing approach shoe. They feel great on slick rock to sandstone and do very well on dirt. With burly lugs, these also perform well in wet conditions.

Bedrocks are zero drop, allowing your feet to move naturally with maximum stability. Weight wise these are the second lightest model we tested. The price runs in the middle of the pack compared to the other sandals we tested.

The strapping system looks like a thong sandal. The thong portion of the sandal attaches to a Y-shaped webbing strap that wraps around the heel and top of your foot. This strap attaches to the sole on either side of the ankle for a very secure fit. This along with a molded footbed make them comfortable sandal too.

Being thong style we love how breathable the Bedrocks are. Really the only drawback we can find is that the thong-style sandal isn’t everyone's favorite.

Bonus feature: Bedrock will Re-sole any of their sandals that you’ve managed to wear out, too. Read in-depth review here.

Best Hiking Sandal for Women:


Teva Tirra

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Lightweight

✅ Comfy


❌ Middle of the pack for traction and support


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 2 oz
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole & Lugs: Rugged Spider Rubber

The Teva Tirra is our pick for best hiking sandals for women thanks to its great all-around scores. These women’s specific sandals have three hook and loop closures to adjust the fit of the straps. We found the straps to be very strong, dry quickly, and last a long time.

As a cool bonus, we like that the straps are made of recycled plastic bottles. These sandals have a substantial sole with plenty of cushion. They feature a contoured midsole for arch support. And, there is extra cushioning in the heel, Teva’s “Shoc Pad” technology.

However, we found your foot can slide forward and back while you walk. This is especially true when your foot is wet. The biggest downvote from us would be the middle of the pack for traction and support.

Best Budget Hiking Sandal:


Teva Hurricane XLT2

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Breathable


❌ Low traction and support


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 4 oz
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole & Lugs: Rugged Durabrasion Rubber™

The Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandals use Teva’s classic design. They are the least expensive hiking sandal on our list and our pick for best budget hiking sandals. They run smack in the middle of the models we tested for weight and comfort.

We like the velcro closure system that allows you to adjust the fit on the heel, top of the foot, and near your toes. Like the Tirra’s, these are made of recycled plastic webbing.

We did find they slide around on your foot when wet. The burly Teva sole gives support but leaves a little to be desired traction-wise with just a basic rubber outsole.

These sandals have a moderate heel-to-toe drop as well. At the low price point, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandals are a great all-arounder for when you don’t know what the day will bring. They’re not the best choice for longer hikes, though.

Best Ultralight Hiking Sandal:


Xero Shoes Z-Trail

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Ultralight

✅ Very breathable


❌ Less traction and support


  • Weight by pair: 10.8 oz
  • Midsole: TrailFoam
  • Outsole & Lugs: Dual Chevron Lug Pattern

The Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV are ultralight, minimalist sandals and are our top pick for the best ultralight hiking sandals. They are the lightest on our list, a full 7 ounces lighter than the runner-up. We like the price point too, the second least expensive model we tested.

These barefoot sandals allow your foot to move naturally. The minimal amount of strapping makes them extremely breathable too. We found the z-strap system does a good job to hold the sandal in place.

These zero-drop hiking sandals have a 10mm thick sole, thinner than other models we tested. It provides enough cushion to not feel rocks, but only just. The bonus is it can be rolled up and stowed in your pack.

They offer less traction and support than other models due to their minimal nature. This makes them a great option for day hikes and hikes in dry, smooth terrain with the occasional water crossing.

Xero sandals also come with a 5,000 miles sole warranty. So, if you wear out the soles of these soles sooner than that, they’ll replace them at a nominal cost. Read in-depth review here.

To see reviews on minimalist sandals, read our post on the best minimalist sandals.

Best Hiking Sandal in Wet Conditions:


Hoka Hopara

✅ Extra comfy

✅ Excellent traction and support


❌ Expensive

❌ Heavy


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 8 oz
  • Midsole: Rubberized EVA
  • Outsole & Lugs: Sticky Rubber, 4mm Multidirectional Broad Lug Pattern

The Hoka Hopara is another hiking sandal that blurs the line between sandal and shoe. Hoka describes this piece of footwear as both a shoe and a sandal, and they aren’t wrong. We found the synthetic, neoprene upper with large open sections to be comfortable and decently breathable when wet or dry.

We thought the quick-lace system was easy to tighten as needed. It also comes with a toe cap to protect your feet from rocks and roots. With 5mm of drop, you’ll get plenty of stability out of this sandal and the deep 4 mm deep lugs grip hard in all conditions.

These shoes work well for someone who wants a sandal for fast and light adventures and are our top pick for hiking sandals in wet conditions.

Most Comfortable Hiking Sandal:


Ecco Yucatan

✅ Extra comfy

✅ Excellent traction and support


❌ Expensive

❌ Heavy


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 9 oz
  • Midsole: EVA, FLUIDFORM™ DIP P.U
  • Outsole & Lugs: Rubber

While the Ecco Yucatan looks like a basic, casual sandal we were impressed by how comfortable they are. The neoprene-lined upper keeps your feet comfortable. And the straps have three velcro adjustment points: on the heel, top of the foot, and near the toes.

We liked the thick soles that provided cushion on our feet. And, the lightweight molded EVA footbed with a microfibre cover gives a cozy feel. With a durable rubber outsole, you’ll get good traction on a variety of different terrains. The foam they use in the soles is so light that these sandals float, too. So, you won’t lose your sandal if it falls in the water.

We found these sandals to be very durable, and think they would last a long time. We don’t like the price, the most expensive hiking sandal on our list. And the weight is also quite heavy compared to other models we tested. But if you want a comfy sandal that is at home in the city and on the trail, these are a great choice.

Most Durable Hiking Sandal:


Chaco Z/Cloud 2

✅ Durable

✅ Hiker Favorite

✅ Inexpensive


❌ Heavier


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 5 oz
  • Midsole: LUVSEAT™ dual-density PU midsole
  • Outsole & Lugs: Non-marking ChacoGrip™ rubber compound, 3.5mm lug depth

Chaco’s have cult-like popularity among those who wear them with good reason. These are great all-around hiking sandals and are the most durable on our list. We’ve heard of many hikers who’ve put 1,000s of miles on their Chacos.

We love the strapping system on the Chacos that allows them to attach securely to your feet while still being very breathable. We like Chacos for dry desert hiking. In wet conditions, the straps take a bit longer to dry and can cause chafing.

The Chaco Cloud footbed is a more recent innovation in the Chaco line. We find this technology improves the comfort of past models. We still find these to be a little stiffer than others and rank them right in the middle for overall comfort. These are on the heavier side of other models we tested.

Another good model is the Chacos Z2. You can see review on these here.

The Other Noteworthy Models

Keen Clearwater CNX

Keen Clearwater CNX

✅ Lightweight

✅ Good traction and support


❌ Less breathable

❌ Not as comfortabl

❌ Narrow fit


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 1 oz
  • Midsole: Durable polyurethane (PU)
  • Outsole & Lugs: Rubber, Multi directional flex grooves

The Clearwater CNX is Keen’s lightweight sandal offering. They are tied for the second lightest on our list. We found the soles are the least cushy of all Keen sandals. Ideal for water activities and smoother trails.

Unlike most Keen’s that have a significant heel-to-toe drop, these sandals have 4mm of drop. We like Keen’s commitment to using a closed-toe design for their hiking sandals. At first glance, these sandals could be confused with a shoe.

We found them to be more breathable than hiking shoes. However, compared to the other hiking sandal models we tested they offer less breathability due to the extra foot coverage. The trade-off is lots of toe protection compared to open-toe sandals. And the chunky sole offers great traction and support.

We did find these sandals to be a narrow fit. If you have wider feet these might not work for you. We like these sandals as a great option for hikes with many water crossings or for a float trip that includes a longer hike in or out.

Keen Whisper

Keen Whisper

✅ Lightweight

✅ Good traction and support


❌ Less breathable and comfortable than other sandals


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 1 oz
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole & Lugs: Carbon rubber

Another classic rugged option from Keen, the Whisper is specifically designed for women. Compared to the Keen Newports this is a much lighter hiking sandal thanks to less material on the upper portion.

We found it to be more breathable than the Newport but it’s still a classic Keen-style shoe with lots of coverage and a toe guard. It’s not as breathable compared to other open-toed models we tested.

Like the Newports, these also have issues with rubbing and leave a bit to be the desired comfort-wise. We think they are a good choice for hiking sandals in almost all conditions, especially when extra coverage is needed. They come in a variety of fun colors, too.

Keen Newport H2

Keen Newport H2

✅ Good traction and support


❌ Heavy

❌ Expensive

❌ Less Breathable


  • Weight by pair: 1 lb 12 oz
  • Midsole: Compression molded EVA
  • Outsole & Lugs: Rubber, Quick Channeling

If you want a bombproof sandal for wet conditions or water crossings the Keen Newport delivers. We found these to be durable and provide excellent traction and support. These sandals sport Keen’s classic burly toe lug and have a multi-directional lugged sole with razor siping for increased traction in wet, muddy conditions.

We rate these lower on comfort than other models due to the tendency of the sandals to rub uncomfortably on your skin over long distances. We recommend wearing socks with Keens to avoid this. They also have a large heel-to-toe drop which may not be to every hiker's liking.

The trade-off for their durability and protection is weight. These sandals are the heaviest on our list by a whopping 8 ounces. A great option for hikers who prefer the stability of a boot but want a more breathable option. If you need something to wear when the weather gets too hot for your boots, grab a pair of Keens.

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing


The good news is that hiking sandals can be cheaper than hiking shoes and often last longer. Simple, thin sandals are often the cheapest, while more rugged chunky sandals cost the most.

Hiking sandals that provide the greatest value:

Affordable hiking sandals:

Premium hiking sandals (most expensive):


The weight of your footwear is important. You’ll be lifting that weight every time you take a step. Heavier sandals are more likely to slide around when wet. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend a pair of sandals that weigh under 20 ounces.

The lightest hiking sandals:


The comfort of your feet is one of the most important considerations with any footwear. If you plan on hiking big miles, look for sandals with midsole cushioning and arch support to provide extra comfort.

Note the material used in the midsoles. Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is commonly found in running shoes and will be lighter and feel more cushioned. Polyurethane (PU) midsoles are commonly found in hiking boots and other similar shoes. They will be heavier, more protective, and last longer.

The most comfortable hiking sandals:

Traction & Support

Just like shoes, hiking sandals can have an aggressive lug pattern reminiscent of burly hiking boots. On the contrary, some sandals have a relatively flat outsole.

If you plan on hiking in dry conditions, you probably don’t need deep lugs on your sandals. However, if you do a lot of hiking in muddy conditions, look for sandals with longer, pointed lugs to keep you from sliding.

Also, pay attention to the type of rubber hiking sandals used in their outsoles which can increase traction and add to durability.

The hiking sandals with the most traction and support:

Other Things to Consider


A hiking sandal needs to be tough. When looking at durability, look at both the robustness of the sole and the sturdiness of the strapping. Often a hiking sandal with a thick sole with deep lugs will be more durable than a thinner-soled option. Strapping should be thick enough to handle scuffs from rocks. It should also solidly attach to the sole of the sandal.

all best hiking sandals on rock


Hiking sandals are much more breathable than shoes, but not all hiking sandals are created equal. Rugged sandals with extra coverage are less breathable than simple thongs or Chaco-style strappings. You’ll want to balance your need for foot protection while allowing for as much breathability as possible.

lug pattern of hiking sandal



Look at how wide the sandals you’re considering are. You wouldn’t want your feet to hang off the sides. Sizing is important with sandals. If they’re too big, your foot will slide around in them, which might be worse than your foot hanging off the side. If you’re going to be moving a lot in your sandals, get some that are very adjustable.

Sandals are usually secured to your feet using some combination of straps, webbing, velcro, or bungee lacing. Usually, the more points of adjustment, the better. You want to be able to tighten your sandals down to keep them from sliding.

Hiking sandals adjustment straps



Do you often accidentally kick rocks while hiking? Get sandals with some toe coverage. These types of sandals look more like a shoe but will protect your feet much more than a more traditional open sandal design. Get sandals without toe coverage if you want maximum airflow for your feet.

Teva hiking sandals



Heel drop refers to how high your shoe heel is relative to the forefoot. And, heel drop generally correlates with how natural your foot will sit in a given piece of footwear.

If a shoe or sandal has “zero drop,” that means the heel isn’t any higher than the front of the shoe. This is how your foot would be if you were barefoot. However, if a sandal has 10 millimeters of drop, your heel will sit a whole centimeter higher than the ball of your foot. This puts you in a position that is thought to make you faster, leaning forward on your toes. But, leaning forward on your toes can also make you less stable.

Crossing a stream in sandals



A lot of sandals come with some type of warranty, just like shoes. Sometimes, those warranties are even better with sandals, though. Certain sandals come with an option to re-sole them when you’ve worn out the old soles. This way, you can keep your old broken-in sandal straps. Other sandals come with a mileage guarantee, too.

Hiking sandals worn in snow

Photo: Sam Schild


Are sandals good for hiking?

Yes, hiking sandals are good for hiking. They're good for those wanting to avoid damp feet and have maximum breathability. Many hiking sandals have robust soles that are excellent for hiking in.

Why do hikers wear sandals?

Hikers wear sandals primarily for superior breathability and their quick drying benefits. If a hike involves many water crossings a hiker can save time by not needing to remove their sandals.

How do I choose a hiking sandal?

When choosing a hiking sandal consider the environment you will be walking in. In rugged, wet environments choose a sandal with excellent traction and support. In dry environments choose a sandal that allows for maximum breathability to keep your feet cool.

hiker crossing a river in hiking sandals
Sam Schild photo

About Sam Schild

By Sam Schild (aka “Sia,” pronounced sigh): Sam is a writer, thru-hiker, and bikepacker. You can find him in Denver when he’s not out exploring in the mountains somewhere..

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After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

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