The 10 Best Hiking Sandals for WomenPublished on 03/29/2023 · 8 min readHiking sandals offer a great alternative to hiking boots for warm-weather hikes and wet hikes! Check out the top recommended hiking sandals on the list below!
Photo by Emma Frances Logan
Sick of the heavy, warm feeling of trudging around in your sweaty hiking socks and hiking boots? You’re not alone—and the solution is hiking sandals!
Hiking sandals are designed to provide a balance of comfort, durability, and protection while allowing the feet to breathe and stay cool in warm weather. Unlike classic hiking boots, hiking sandals offer an open design that allows air to circulate around the feet, reducing the risk of overheating and blisters. They are often made with lightweight and quick-drying materials, making them ideal for water crossings and other wet conditions. Overall, hiking sandals are a great alternative for those who prioritize comfort and agility while still needing adequate support and protection during their outdoor adventures.
Types of Hiking Sandals
These sandals feature an open-toe design that allows for better breathability and ventilation, making them ideal for hot and humid weather. However, they offer less protection and are not suitable for rocky or uneven terrain.
These sandals have a closed-toe design that provides better protection for the toes and foot, making them suitable for rugged terrain. They also offer more stability and support compared to open-toe sandals.
Designed to be used in and around water, amphibious sandals are made from materials that dry quickly, and have a non-slip sole that provides adequate traction on wet surfaces.
Designed specifically for use on trails, these sandals typically feature a durable sole with good traction and adjustable straps for a secure fit.
These sandals are designed for extended backpacking or hiking trips which last multiple days. They often feature more support and cushioning for added comfort on long hikes.
The minimalist design on these sandals emphasizes flexibility and natural movement. They are often lightweight and have a thin sole that allows for better ground feel and traction. However, they offer less protection and support than other types of hiking sandals.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation, check out my Expert Guide to Hiking Sandals, which really dives into these different types of hiking sandals, and covers various features and considerations to make when buying your own pair! But for the purposes of this article, we’ll be covering the top hiking sandals for women.
The 10 Best Hiking Sandals for Women
If you’re after a minimalist hiking sandal that can handle more rugged terrain, look no further than the Bedrock Carin 3D. It features a Vibram EcoTread sole with 3D-molded lugs for traction on various surfaces, and a secure strap system made of durable webbing with an adjustable buckle for a customized fit. The sandal also has a LUVSEAT footbed that provides support and cushioning for all-day comfort, and a toe loop for added security on technical terrain.
The Cairn 3D is a good choice for hikers who prefer a minimalist design and want to feel connected to the ground, but may not be as suitable for users who require more arch support or cushioning. It’s worth noting that Bedrock sandals make unisex products, so this is not a women’s-specific sandal—as the others on this list are.
2. Chaco Z/Cloud
The Chaco Z/Cloud is one of the most popular hiking sandals out there. Known for its comfort and durability, it features a polyester jacquard webbing upper that is adjustable in several different spots for a secure and customized fit. The sandal also has a LUVSEAT footbed, which is contoured to provide arch support and cushioning for all-day comfort. The outsole is made of non-marking ChacoGrip rubber, which offers excellent traction on various surfaces.
The Z/Cloud is a great choice for hiking, water activities, and everyday wear. While it does not feature a toe loop, the Z/Cloud 2 is the exact same sandal with that feature included!
The KEEN Clearwater CNX is lightweight and breathable, making it great for warm-weather adventures. It features a water-resistant polyester webbing upper that is durable and quick-drying, with a bungee cord lacing system for a secure and adjustable fit. The sandal also has a proprietary lightweight midsole that provides cushioning and support, a protective toe cap, and a non-marking rubber outsole with multidirectional flex grooves for traction on various surfaces. The Clearwater CNX is a safe choice for hiking, water activities, and everyday wear. However, these sandals run a bit narrow, so they’re not a good option for those with wider feet!
4. KEEN Newport
The Keen Newport sandal is a versatile hiking sandal which features a washable and water-resistant leather upper that is easy to clean and maintain. It features a velcro strap for easy and secure entry. The sandal also has a patented toe protection design that provides added durability and protection. The footbed is made of a compression-molded EVA midsole that provides cushioning and support, while the outsole is made of non-marking rubber with multi-directional lugs for traction on various surfaces.
The Newport is a good choice for hiking, water activities, and travel. Though it's important to note that, more so than others, this sandal requires a break-in period—so make sure to take it on a few short hikes before any all-day treks!
The Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve is one of the best hiking sandals when it comes to traction on rugged terrain thanks to its Vibram TC5+ outsole with 3mm lugs, and UniFly midsole which provides cushioning and stability. It features a water-resistant leather and mesh upper that is durable and breathable, with a bungee cord lacing system for a secure and adjustable fit. The All Out Blaze Sieve is a solid choice for hiking, water activities, and rocky terrain. Though the sizing on this model runs a bit small—so go half a size larger than what you would normally get!
6. OluKai Upena
Another minimalist option is the OluKai Upena sandal. It is a stylish and comfortable hiking sandal that is designed for warm-weather adventures. It features a full-grain leather upper with adjustable ankle straps for a customized and secure fit. The sandal also offers a microfiber footbed that provides cushioning and support, and a non-marking rubber outsole with traction pods for grip on various surfaces.
While the Upena is a good choice for hiking, walking, and travel, hikers who find themselves trekking through water, or on long hikes with a lot of rugged terrain, should check out a different pair from this list. Unfortunately, the Upena offers almost no cushioning, and the upper leather is not as breathable as polyester or nylon uppers found on other sandals.
7. Teva Hurricane XLT2
The Teva Hurricane XLT2 is a versatile hiking sandal that is designed for both water and land activities. It features a durable and water-resistant polyester webbing upper that is adjustable to provide a secure and comfortable fit. The sandal also has a cushioned heel strap and a contoured footbed with arch support for added comfort. The outsole is made of Durabrasion Rubber, which offers excellent traction and durability, especially on wet surfaces. It also has an anti-microbial technology on the footbed to prevent odor.
The Hurricane XLT2 is a solid choice for casual hikes, water activities, and traveling. Though it’s not the best choice for more strenuous hikes or long-distance treks, since it doesn’t offer as much support as some of the other sandals on this list!
8. Teva Terra Fi 5
The Teva Terra Fi 5 is a rugged hiking sandal that is designed for any type of outdoor adventure. It features a water-resistant and quick-drying polyester webbing upper that is adjustable with a hook-and-loop closure system. The sandal also has a contoured footbed with arch support and a heel-capture system for added stability and comfort. The outsole is made of non-marking rubber with multi-directional lugs that provide excellent traction on various surfaces. In all, the Terra Fi 5 is an excellent choice for areas where you might encounter water.
9. Teva Women’s Tirra Sandal
The Teva Women's Tirra is a comfortable and versatile hiking sandal which features a water-ready synthetic and webbing upper that is adjustable with multiple hook-and-loop closures for a secure and customizable fit. It also offers a contoured EVA foam midsole footbed that provides cushioning and support, and a Spider Rubber outsole that provides excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces. The Tirra is a great choice for mellow hiking, water activities, and everyday wear—though it doesn’t provide as much protection and support on rugged terrain.
For those looking for a minimalist and lightweight hiking sandal, the Xero Shoes Z-Trek is a great option. Designed for natural movement and flexibility, it features a stretchy and durable polyester webbing upper that is adjustable with a buckle and a toe strap for a customized fit.
The sandal also has a BareFoam footbed that provides cushioning and support without sacrificing ground feel. The outsole is made of a 5.5mm FeelTrue rubber soles that provides excellent traction and durability.
All this makes the Z-Trek a solid choice for hiking, water activities, and everyday wear. However, the minimalist design may not be suitable for hikers who require more support or cushioning.
Chat With a Real Expert
Having the right gear is essential to any outdoor adventure. Hiking and adventure sandals have come a long way, and there are now many options available that provide both comfort and functionality. So whether you're looking for a sandal that can handle rugged terrain, one perfect for water activities, or something else entirely…there's certainly a pair out there for you.
And if you’d like help narrowing down the perfect pair for your needs, or have any questions about any other outdoor gear, don't hesitate to reach out to a Curated Camping and Hiking Expert for free, customized advice. Happy hiking!