Best Hiking Sandals – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024

To be honest, I only use hiking sandals as camp shoes. As a mountain trekker, there is rarely an opportunity to trek in sandals - sadly too many rocks. But they are excellent for camping and changing from hiking boots into camp shoes to give my feet a proper breather. 

Best Hiking Sandals (Top Picks)

Best Overall

ECCO Men's Yucatan Sport Sandal, Black/Mole/Black Oil Nubuck, 9-9.5

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Chaco Mens Z/1 Classic, Outdoor Sandal, Black 10 M

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Best Comfort

KEEN Newport

KEEN men's Newport Closed Toe Leather Sandals, 10, Bison

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Top Sandals For Hiking (Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 10 hiking sandals for this article. Below are the best hiking sandals that made our short list.

  1. Ecco Yucatan - Best Overall
  2. KEEN Whisper Sandal
  3. Crocs™ Swiftwater
  4. KEEN Newport - Best Comfort
  5. Chaco Z1 Classic Athletic - Best Value

Read our complete buyers guide for hiking sandals.

Best Overall Hiking Sandals

1. Ecco Yucatan

ECCO Men's Yucatan Sport Sandal, Black/Mole/Black Oil Nubuck, 9-9.5

5/5 Overall Rating

If you’re looking for something versatile, the Ecco Yucatan comes highly rated. This sandal will take you on and off the trail in cushy comfort. 

With a traditional open toe sandal design, your feet will remain cool, while not compromising on support.

The Yucatan has a microfiber-covered EVA footbed that cushions and acts as a shock absorber. The entire foot is supported with a full-length EVA shank and traction is provided by strong rubber outsoles.

An added benefit is that the footbed is AgION™ treated. This is an industry leading odor control product that combats odor-causing bacteria, so your feet and your sandals stay fresher for longer.

The Yucatan also carries the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)

Main Features
  • Comfort and support provided by the Microfiber covered EVA foot bed
  • Soft neoprene lining making it water resistant
  • Long lasting support from the direct-injected polyurethane midsole
  • Solid grip and traction on all sorts of terrain thanks to a durable rubber outsole
  • RECEPTOR Technology that provides additional support and stability to the foot during push off and on ground impact
What we like
  • Excellent arch support
  • Very comfortable
  • Flexible sole
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Durable
  • Light and agile
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
What we dislike
  • Takes very long to dry
  • Non-adjustable front strap
  • Some users have found the shoe to be smelly despite frequent washing
Key Takeaway

The Ecco Yucatan is super comfortable with exceptional traction thanks to Ecco’s revolutionary sole design. However, without the ability to adjust the front strap, fit may be an issue in terms of stability and support. It could be a good idea to try them out in store for a fit before ordering.

2. KEEN Whisper Sandal

KEEN Women's Whisper Closed Toe Sport Sandals, Citadel/Blue Mirage, 8

5/5 Overall Rating

This lightweight KEEN Whisper from KEEN is our favorite of the women’s hiking sandals. With a closed toe design and 100% polyester webbing, this sandal is fully machine washable.

The sole is made of non-marking rubber and it features a multi directional lug pattern, ensuring you feel sure-footed no matter the terrain.

The Whisper uses all natural probiotic technology to control odors. The thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shank and its metatomical footbed design provide exceptional arch support.

With the anatomically engineered design that emulates the natural curves of the foot, your feet will love you. Weighing in at only 8.7oz (246.6g) these sandals are also incredible light, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air.

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Main Features
  • 100% polyester upper
  • Cleansport NXT™ odor control
  • Strong rubber sole featuring multi directional lug pattern for superior traction
  • TPU stability shank
  • Anatomically engineered footbed design
  • Elastic bungee cord system for secure fit
  • Hydrophobic mesh lining
What we like
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Quick drying
  • Wide arrange of colors
  • Fully machine washable
  • Good traction
What we dislike
  • Some construction issues around stitching coming undone
  • Runs small / narrow
Key Takeaway

Strong and rugged but still aesthetically pleasing, the KEEN Whisper is an exceptionally capable hiking sandal. The midsole is comfortable and offers incredible support. With the fully adjustable bungee cord system, the Whisper sandal can be adjusted to fit to your individual requirements and they stay firmly on your foot.

3. Crocs Swiftwater Mesh

Crocs Men's Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandals, Black, 13

4/5 Overall Rating

While the Crocs Swiftwater is called Fisherman, this robust outdoor sandal is most definitely not just limited to fishing activities.

With its rugged good looks, this sandal can take you from normal daywear, to the trails and anything in between.

The Swiftwater is water friendly, with siped outsoles that act as channels funneling water out. The large ports also ensures that no water collects inside the sandal, thus preventing an uncomfortable squishy environment.

The bolstered toe cap provides extra protection for the toes, while the fully adjustable straps ensure a customized and secure fit.  Lightweight and flexible, the Swiftwater is a rugged and durable sandal to have in your arsenal.

Main Features
  • Croslite™ foam foot bed that provides shock absorbing cushioning and comfort
  • Open Fisherman style allowing breathability and water drainage while providing good foot coverage
  • Adjustable hook and loop closures for a snug, comfortable fit
  • Quick drying leather and mesh uppers
  • Available in walnut / khaki or espresso / walnut
What we like
  • Durable
  • Flexible sole with great support
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Very light
  • Soft internal padding
What we dislike
  • Shoe is narrow at the top
Key Takeaway

If you’re out on a long day, the Crocs Swiftwater will give you all you need in terms of comfort and durability. Make sure to size the shoe correctly, and then let the Crocs comfort technology get to work, while you get on with your adventure.

4. KEEN Newport

KEEN men's Newport Closed Toe Leather Sandals, 10, Bison

4.5/5 Overall Rating

This closed toe sandal from Keen is a great hybrid, offering a mash up between sandals and closed hiking shoe. With its good looks and the massive color range on offer, you’re bound to find a pair that works for you.

The KEEN Newport is branded as a water shoe, and it features a razor-siped outsole, which gives superior traction and support on both dry and wet surfaces.

The antibacterial food bed is biologically treated to control odor and moisture, keeping your feet drier and fresher, for longer.

KEEN embraces a PFC free philosophy, so they use alternative technologies to provide the same water repellent properties without using environmentally damaging carcinogens.

Weighing only 14.2 oz. / 402.6 g, we like the Newport as the most comfortable hiking sandals available.

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Main Features
  • Multi directional lug pattern provides increased traction
  • Elastic closure and cord lock ensures quick and snug fit
  • Fully washable polyester webbing
  • Compression molded EVA midsole for first rate support and comfort
  • PFC Free
  • 3M Reflective pull tab for visibility for after sunset activities
What we like
  • Versatile
  • Very comfortable with a roomy toe box
  • Fully machine washable
  • Light
What we dislike
  • Some loosening of stitching noticed after a while
Key Takeaway

The KEEN Newport is the kind of footwear that can take you anywhere. You won’t feel out of place popping in to the store or trekking through some desolate mountain passes. With the closed toe construction, your toes are protected, yet the open sides allow breathability, and water drainage.

5. Chaco Z1 Classic Athletic

Chaco Mens Z/1 Classic, Outdoor Sandal, Black 10 M

3.5/5 Overall Rating

This versatile sandal will take the avid adventurer from water to trail with ease. With the ChacoGrip™ rubber outsole that is optimized for wet conditions, you can be sure you’ll stay upright on any sandal-appropriate terrain.

With a simple minimalist yet timeless design, the Chaco Z1 Classic Athletic is durable, and rugged, offering good arch support.

With a foot bed called the LUVSEAT ™ PU, you know it’s going to be comfy.

We loved the webbing straps that are woven directly through the sole of the shoe increasing their durability. These are fully adjustable, ensuring a custom snug and comfortable fit.

The soles have 3.5mm lugs for added traction, making the Z1 a solid and affordable package.

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Main Features
  • Fully adjustable and high-tensile webbing that is threaded through the sole of the shoe
  • LUVSEAT ™ PU midsole
  • Injection-molded ladder lock buckle to ensure the sandal stays on your foot as intended
  • Antimicrobial treatment for odor prevention
  • Non-marking soles with 3.5mm lugs
What we like
  • Excellent support
  • Durable
  • Stability
  • Comfortable
  • Thick soles with great shock adsorption
What we dislike
  • Heavy
  • Straps can be finicky
Key Takeaway

The best way to describe the Chaco Z1 is to call it a workhorse. Rugged, solid and dependable, your feet will quickly love it, and with Chacco’s tendencies to change up their color choices, you can grab yourself a pair in each option.

Sandals - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

With so many options in the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There are a number of key features that we recommend you consider when out shopping.


After a long hard day, your feet may swell. Having adjustable straps or buckles allows you to adjust the fit accordingly. Bear in mind you may want to put on a pair of socks when the temperatures drop. 

Arch Support and Cushioning

Support and cushioning will ensure you can go about your day in comfort.

Shock Resistance

If you’re planning to tackle more technical terrain, this is especially important. A good midsole to absorb the bumps on the trail, ensuring minimal injury is key.


Traction will make sure you stay upright when you need to be. Look at the pattern of the sole as well as the shape of the sole. For snow and muddy conditions, look for a lugged sole. A tacky rubber sole will serve you better on smooth rocks and wet surfaces.


While a sandal is traditionally open by design, some closed toe options, and the popular fisherman style sandal is available, providing good coverage for the top of the foot. We find this is useful if you’re trekking through dense foliage or loose terrain.


You want a pair of sandals that will not only hold up in general bad weather, but also wet terrain like stream crossings. Due to the open design of a sandal, your feet will still get wet, but you want a sandal that will shrug off the water and not be bogged down and squishy. Look for synthetic uppers and a good rubber sole.


About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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