Hiking boots are great for serious wilderness excursions but sometimes you want something a little more lightweight for your trekking adventures. And while sandals aren't necessarily the most technical option (please read: not for scaling Mount Everest), they offer a fantastic alternative for easy day hikes or light, summertime backpacking trips. The best women's hiking sandals, however, will be different than your regular summertime shoes.
First and foremost, you need traction. Look for strong, sturdy soles, preferably made from 100-percent rubber. They should also have some sort of lugs or tread pattern that will help you grip the trail and navigate rocky terrain.
Next, think about the webbing, which is the part that goes over your foot. The best options will be constructed with tough material, such as leather or thickly-woven polyester (not plastic or foam, like your classic flip flops). The webbing also needs to fit your foot properly with secure, snug buckles and an adjustable design.
Finally, consider the midsole. If you're hiking long distances, you'll want the footbed to be soft and shock-absorbing. That will help your feet last longer and not tire as quickly. Below, I've gathered a list of the best hiking sandals that showcase all of these features. Scroll through to find the best pick for your hiking adventures.
1. The Best Overall
What's great about them: Chacos' line of Z-style shoes are classic hiking sandals among outdoor enthusiasts. These Z/Cloud sandals are constructed with tough polyester jacquard webbing that wraps around your foot and through the midsole, allowing you to make tiny, micro-adjustments for a custom fit. The soles are made with strong rubber and feature 3-millimeter lugs for plenty of traction and grip on the trails. Additionally, the sandals feature an injection-molded buckle that won't slip and an anti-microbial treatment that prevents them from getting stinky. Best of all, they're available in a large variety of colors and sizes (including wide sizes).
What fans say: "These shoes are incredible! They are so comfortable and are so amazing when walking over rocks and waves in the water. Once you’re out of the water they are so comfortable to walk in and dry quickly, and grip incredibly well if you need to hike over slick rocks or dirt ... Overall I highly recommend these if you are outdoors a lot hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking ... Most definitely worth the price."
- Available sizes: 5 - 12 (available in wide)
2. The Runner-Up
What's great about them: Another classic pair of outdoor shoes, these tough Tevas women's hiking sandals are similar to the Chacos but with a straight-across design instead of the "Z." The only thing that landed these as a runner-up, in fact, is that the Chacos are offered in more sizing options and styles. However, the Tevas boast similar polyester webbing and tough rubber soles. They have exceptional traction and a great fit, staying securely in place without chafing. The cushioned shock pad in the heel helps ensure your feet won't tire quickly, and the hook-and-loop closure makes it easy to get these sandals on and off.
What fans say: "They are incredible!!! I brought them to hike The Grand Canyon!! I tried them out on a mountain that has similar step downs on South Kaibab and step ups on Bright Angel Trail and they held up exceptionally well!!! Really comfortable with a great grip on the bottom!!"
- Available sizes: 5 - 12
3. The Best Leather Sandals
What's great about them: These leather hiking sandals are hugely popular on Amazon, boasting more than 2,400 reviews and 4.5 stars. Reviewers say they love how comfortable they are, as well as how many sizes and colors are available. They're made with 100-percent Nubuck leather, as well as a rugged, omni-directional rubber sole and molded EVA footbed. Polyurethane foam in the midsole provides comfort and shock absorption, while the neoprene lining keeps these sandals soft so your feet stay blister-free. As a bonus, they're a great pick for smaller feet since they start at size 4.
What fans say: "Great for hiking in - don't even feel rocks through the sole. Very comfortable. There are three adjustable straps: front, top by ankle, and back of ankle, so one can definitely custom fit the sandal, and the straps are also lined with a soft material so no rubbing at all! I am very happy with them."
- Available sizes: 4 - 12.5
4. The Best Budget Option
What's great about them: If you don't hike that often and want a simple pair of shoes that don't cost a fortune, these affordable women's hiking sandals are a wonderful budget option. The soles are made with a rubber-phylon blend, which isn't quite as durable as pure rubber but is still great for offering traction and stability. The webbing is constructed with fast-drying material, so if you get them wet, they won't stay damp all day. Most importantly, reviewers say the footbed is soft and comfy. Just note that these probably won't hold up for multi-day trips or super technical terrain — they're best suited for more casual day-hikes.
What fans say: "Wanted something with an open toe to easily shake out debris when hiking. The foot bed is comfortable also. These even handled a 6 mile hike with a mix of rocky/gravel footing!"
- Available sizes: 5.5 - 10
5. The Best Flip Flops For Hiking
What's great about them: If you're someone who hates the back-strap on sandals, these flip-flop-style sandals are a great alternative. They offer thick, rugged straps that won't snap under pressure, as well as plenty of traction and shock absorption. On top of that, the material is quick-drying, so your feet won't feel soggy if they get wet. I personally have these shoes and use them regularly on a steep, rocky incline that goes down to the beach. They feel comfortable and have held up well.
What fans say: "Love these sandals!! The color is beautiful, the size was right-on and they are so comfortable. I bought them for the support and my feet are happy. The quality is very good and I expect them to last for quite a while."
- Available sizes: 5 - 11
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