5 Of the Best Hiking Sandals Review and Buying Guide
If you’re like me who has gotten tired of the usual fitness activities like yoga, cycling, and jogging. Then why not try hiking? Hiking is more than just a fitness activity for your body. It’s actually a total workout even for the mind. There’s more to hiking than meets the eye, and if you want to be part of this fitness trend, there are a few things to prepare — starting with the right footwear. While a lot of hikers, beginners or pros, would recommend hiking shoes, I highly recommend hiking sandals. Before I give you a detailed review of the best hiking sandals I’ve tried, here’s all you need to know about the what’s, the ifs, the how’s, and the why’s on hiking footgear.
5 of the Top-Rated Cycling Shoes This 2018
What Are Hiking Sandals?
- 1 5 Of the Best Hiking Sandals Review and Buying Guide
- 1.1 5 of the Top-Rated Cycling Shoes This 2018
- 1.2 What Are Hiking Sandals?
- 1.3 How Do These Compare to Boots or Shoes in Hiking?
- 1.4 What to Look for in Hiking Boots?
- 1.5 Do You Have to Wear Hiking Boots?
- 1.6 What Are the Best Hiking Sandals?
- 1.7 5 Of The Best Hiking Sandals Review
- 1.7.1 1. Teva Terra Fi 4
- 1.7.2 1. Teva Terra Fi 4
- 1.7.3 2. Keen Newport H2
- 1.7.4 2. Keen Newport H2
- 1.7.5 3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible
- 1.7.6 3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible
- 1.7.7 4. LOUECHY Men’s Ponrea Mesh Hiking
- 1.7.8 4. LOUECHY Men’s Ponrea Mesh
- 1.7.9 5. Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal
- 1.7.10 5. Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal
- 1.8 Conclusion
Hiking sandals are now considered as the go-to and must-have item when going hiking or when participating in any sport that’s held outdoors. It mostly has an open-toe construction which makes it highly airy and breathable. This feature makes hiking sandals suitable for use in warm weather conditions such as in the summer.
How Do These Compare to Boots or Shoes in Hiking?
At first glance, you can easily tell the main difference between a hiking sandal to shoes and boots. For one, hiking sandals are more open concerning design. When it comes to hiking, using an open-designed footgear can be a little tricky. There is no ankle support in sandals that would keep your feet from slipping when hiking through high lands and inclined terrains. Hiking sandals also come with simple strapping systems which might be enough as is, but still quite less safe compared to the overall protection of closed footgear like the best cycling shoes or boots. However, newer designs of hiking sandals already make up for most of its disadvantages. For one, there are hiking sandals that feature additional ankle support that serves as extra protection when hiking on steep terrains. There are also a lot of advantages in using the best hiking sandals compared to hiking shoes and boots. These include:
- More Ventilation
One of the most obvious advantages of using hiking sandals is that it can provide more ventilation compared to shoes and boots. It is specially designed to achieve utmost comfort and coolness, which is excellent during hiking in dry and hot conditions.
Whether worn or packed inside the bag, hiking sandals are lighter compared to hiking shoes and boots. They are designed to be small and easy to take around wherever you go. Plus, because it is lightweight, it’s also more comfortable to use especially when hiking for long hours.
- More Versatility
Aside from being lightweight and airy, hiking sandals are built with several technical features. It means that hiking sandals can be used in various hiking conditions. Add that to its lightweight build, and you have an all-around footgear.
- Fit for Stream and River Crossings
It can be a total pain when crossing wet or watery trails using shoes and boots. Though some footwear is water repellent, some aren’t as repellent as they claim to be and still absorb a lot of water. This can make it difficult and lengthy to dry. Try using hiking sandals in crossing rivers and streams – it certainly won’t be an issue anymore. Sandals are quick-drying. Plus, a good hiking sandal can keep you protected and your feet dry and well ventilated in a long day hike. Forget the fuss of sweaty socks when hiking during the summer.
What to Look for in Hiking Boots?
Choosing hiking boots is like a matchmaking process. It has to be in-sync of where and how rugged you hike. Also, they should be a perfect fit. If you’re still adamant about choosing sandals over shoes for hiking, I’ve listed down a few things you should look for when buying hiking boots.
There are different types of hiking boots, and they have different purposes as well. These are day hiking boots, hiking shoes, and backpacking boots. It’s best to find out exactly what kind of hike you’ll be venturing on so that you’ll be well prepared.
The materials used to make a boot impact its weight, durability, breathability, and resistance to water as well as wear and tear. Hiking boot uppers can be made from full-grain leather, split-grain leather, nubuck leather, waterproof membranes, and synthetic materials like synthetic leather, nylon, and polyester.
The midsole of a hiking boot provides its cushioning which protects the feet from the shock. It also determines how stiff a boot can be. Hiking boot midsoles can either be polyurethane or EVA. Polyurethane makes more durable and firmer midsoles which makes it ideal for mountaineering and backpacking boots. EVA midsoles, on the other hand, are lighter and cushier.
- Internal Support
The internal support of a hiking booth can be a shank or a plate or both. They act as support for the feet from getting bruised due to uneven rocks. Internal supports are usually placed in between the outsole and midsole of the boot.
All hiking boots use rubber outsoles, but sometimes carbon is added to harden the sole. When choosing outsoles, it is important to consider the lug patterns and the heel brake. The lug pattern serves as the bumps that create traction on the outsole. Lugs that are widely spaced offer the best traction.
Hiking boots should be able to snug around the feet perfectly while still giving enough room for the toes to wiggle. Consider whether you plan to wear socks or not in choosing the size of the hiking boots.
Do You Have to Wear Hiking Boots?
Again, what you choose to wear during a hike mainly depends on your preference. Hiking shoes, boots, and sandals have their advantages and drawbacks. However, if you want to be more flexible and comfortable in your all-day hiking, you can opt to wear an excellent quality hiking sandal instead of boots. There are a lot of hiking sandals that would give you the protection that you want. Not to mention, they are the most lightweight and most flexible footgear you can find. There’s no need to wear bulky and heavy boots when you hike anymore.
What Are the Best Hiking Sandals?
Finding the best sandals for hiking instead of simply using what is readily available is an investment in your hiking experience as well as your safety. The ideal footgear in a hike can protect you from any possible injuries while on the trail. There is quite a range of factors you have to consider when buying hiking sandals. Here are some factors I find vital when choosing sandals for a hike.
Open Design vs. Closed Design
Arch Support and Cushioning
5 Of The Best Hiking Sandals Review
1. Teva Terra Fi 4
The Teva Terra Fi 4 is a multi-sport hiking sandal offered for both men and women. It has now a newer version that includes several additional features. The new Terra Fi 4 now comes with a molded midsole to provide the best cushioning in a hiking sandal. While there are lesser grooves in the top sole, it can still effectively function as underfoot water drainage.
Size and Fit
2. Keen Newport H2
The Keen Newport H2 is another multi-sport sandal that packs some excellent features. It is made of perfluorinated compound-free or PFC-free materials. PFC is a harmful substance and doesn’t degrade once released in the environment. I love that this pair is lightweight and fast-drying.
Size and Fit
3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible
For those hikes where the trail and the weather can be so unpredictable, I highly recommend the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible. Apart from this pair being rugged and durable, it’s built for the wettest environments.
Size and Fit
4. LOUECHY Men’s Ponrea Mesh Hiking
4. LOUECHY Men’s Ponrea Mesh
LOUECHY has designed its Men’s Ponrea Mesh Hiking to be best in terms of breathability even with its closed-toe and shoe-like design. They got creative with the materials to create a shoe that offers great ventilation while still being snug and custom-fit.
Size and Fit
5. Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal
The Keen Whisper sandal is mainly built for both mobility and comfort especially with its polyester webbing that also comes with hydrophobic lining. In addition, the design also comes with several vent holes to offer extreme breathability during use.
Size and Fit
Choosing high-quality hiking sandals is not as difficult and tricky as you think it is. Hopefully, the reviews I’ve listed here will help you a great deal in choosing the best hiking sandals.