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Top 9 Hiking Sandals Recommended by Outdoor Experts for 2024



When it comes to choosing the right hiking sandals, one important factor to consider is toe design and protection. Open-toe sandals are more breathable but expose your feet to the elements, making them ideal for experienced hikers on casual day hikes or walks around town. On the other hand, closed-toe shoes offer better protection from rocks, roots, and debris, making them a safer option for wet or challenging terrain. Dr. Janine Hatch recommends choosing footwear with a wider toe box to prevent skin irritation and allow for optimal toe movement.

In addition to toe protection, having great traction is essential for hiking sandals, especially on challenging terrain. Look for sandals with sticky rubber soles and a deep lug pattern to provide better grip and stability on steep trails or wet rocks. Dr. Hatch also emphasizes the importance of considering the thickness of the sole to absorb impact and prevent debris from piercing your foot. Adjustable and secure straps are crucial for comfort and preventing blisters, so be sure to choose sandals with straps that fit snugly and comfortably.

When it comes to strap style and material, consider what will be most comfortable for your feet. Some sandals have criss-crossing straps, while others feature a thong style. Padded straps can reduce pressure points but may hold onto water longer, so opt for thin, unpadded straps made of moisture-wicking materials for quicker drying. The footbed of the sandal plays a significant role in comfort, with built-in arch support stabilizing your midfoot and providing comfort on longer hikes. Choose a footbed that suits your foot shape and consult a podiatrist for guidance if needed.

Overall, selecting the right hiking sandals with appropriate toe protection, traction, straps, and footbed design can enhance your hiking experience and prevent discomfort or injury on the trail. Whether you prefer open-toe or closed-toe sandals, prioritize comfort, stability, and support to ensure a successful and enjoyable hiking adventure. By considering these factors and choosing shoes that cater to your specific needs, you can explore nature with confidence and comfort in every step.

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