So, you’re looking for a new hiking shoe? Before you decide on another pair of bulky hiking boots that are only going to make your feet sweat and give you blisters, why not try something different? Free your feet with a pair of Hiking Sandals.
Hiking sandals are an excellent alternative solution for outdoor footwear. They perform just as good on the trail as any hiking shoe, and they are also breathable. What separates hiking sandals from everyday sandals is how they are built. Hiking Sandals are made from durable materials—generally, a combination of heavy-duty nylon and paracord for the straps—and built for simplicity with easy-to-use closure systems.
The outsoles of the hiking sandal are similar to those of a hiking boot, with aggressive tread and grippy rubber. Because of the similarity in outsoles, hiking sandals perform very well in easy to moderate terrain. However, it is essential to know which style is going to help you the most on your adventure.
Image via Chaco
For the most part, hiking sandals come in two distinctive styles—open and closed-toed. An open-toed sandal like the Bedrock Cairn Adventure or the Chaco Z/1 Classic offers a lightweight alternative to traditional hiking shoes while still providing support. Personally, I love the Chaco Z/2 Classic sandal, and I use my pair all the time when out climbing in the summertime because it's super easy to change from my sandal into my climbing shoes. Apart from the sandal being lightweight, it’s also not bulky and much easier to pack than a full-on boot. However, the main drawback from the open-toed design is the lack of protection for your toes, which means you could end up with some seriously busted toes.
Cairn Bedrock. Image via Bedrock Sandals
The other style of hiking sandal is a closed-toed style sandal like the Keen Newport H2. Closed-toed sandals are awesome for when you are riding down the rapids, or traversing through rough terrain. Closed-toed sandals are heavier, bulkier and harder to pack but they are still breathable and protect your toes. These types of sandals fall somewhere in the middle of open-toed sandals and boots.
Image via Keen
Hiking sandals are going to run anywhere between $70 to $110, which is about the same price as a standard hiking shoe. Hiking sandals are a great piece of gear for anyone who spends a majority of their time outside. So, get out there, get some sun, have an adventure, and don’t forget to work on those sandal tan lines.