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If you hike in the summer, you know the importance of staying as cool as possible during your trek -- and how difficult that can be to achieve. Although summer is one of the best times to catch the most vibrant fauna and flora on your trek, it's also the time you'll end up covered in sweat and missing the comforts of your air conditioner. Of course, there are sweat-wicking fabrics to wear, sunglasses to adorn yourself in, and water bottles to chug, but there's another important addition to your hiking gear that will keep you comfortable: sandals. The best hiking sandals for women will function the same way your favorite hiking boots do, but they'll keep you breezier and cooler in the summer months. They also do better in wet conditions since they'll dry faster. Hiking sandals may seem like they won't protect your feet from rough terrain, but we promise you, we rounded up the absolute best options that will.
A good pair of hiking sandals needs to feature a few important specs. They require slip-resistant soles that can easily handle rocks, grass, sand, mud, and any other type of rough outdoor surface with security and ease. The soles also need to have grip and traction to keep you safe on steeper inclines. Additionally, the best hiking sandals for women have to be heavily adjustable -- because the best hiking shoes fit snugly, we made sure the sandals listed would have a secure fit you could tailor in a number of ways. Finally, the shoe needs to have some cushion. Whether you're hiking for a short period of time or wearing them all day long, we wanted a supportive cushion that felt good and wouldn't tire out your feet quickly. With all of these functions in mind, we rounded up our favorite hiking sandals below:
1. Our Top Pick
Teva sandals are pretty much the OG hiking and outdoor summer shoe -- and like most long-lasting popular products, there's a good reason for it. These Hurricane XLT2 sandals check off all of our boxes, making them an easy top pick. A newer and improved model of the original sandals, they've upgraded them to add more traction on the soles and cushion on the back straps, making them even more comfortable and durable than before. The hook-and-loop closures allow for the perfect amount of adjustability to ensure a secure fit, the foam midsoles offer light cushioning, the shanks add support on uneven terrain, and the rubber outsoles offer superior traction. They also have additional features that make them stand out: they dry quickly when wet, they're made from recyclable vegan materials, and each pair saves up to five plastic bottles from heading to a landfill. I personally love these sandals: I take frequent rocky hikes and find them comfortable and, when paired with a blister stick (I'm prone to blisters and recommend them strongly for every shoe worn without socks), I've always been comfortable on long treks. These also have the largest size range and come in a nice range of colors, too. Available Sizes: 5-14
2. A More Affordable Sandal With Similar Features
Most of the time people are hesitant to purchase the Tevas or Chacos, it's because of their construction: there's a lot of connecting straps that can take time to learn how to adjust to fit perfectly for your foot. These Merrell Bravada sandals solve that issue: while the back is similar to those brands, the front is easier to slip on and adjust with a thick, easy strap. The mesh upper on this vegan shoe is breathable, and it has a rubber outsole that the brand calls "mountain-grade" (ie: good for hiking!). Another reason people are hesitant to purchase the other, more well-known brands? They're expensive. These are 30 dollars cheaper but still made from high-quality, recyclable materials. We think the pastel and earthy color combos are really on-trend and gorgeous, too. Available Sizes: 5-11
3. The Best Option for Waterfall or Beach Hikes
If you love long summer treks in rainy weather, by waterfalls (and wet rocks), or on beaches, the best women's hiking sandal for you is going to be one that can also double as a water shoe. This waterproof option from Camel Crown can withstand all type of elements, but thrive the best in wet conditions. These have shock pads to absorb impact, as well as adjustable hooks at the toes, insteps, and heels. The rubber outsoles are made to have traction anywhere, and the tilted toe cap protect your toes from rocks or the reef. Reviewers note they have excellent arch support and even function as great water shoes around the pool. Available Sizes: 6-10
4. The Best Option for Wide Feet
There are people who are Team Tevas and there are people who are Team Chacos -- and while I do tend to reach for the Teva sandal more often, Chacos are another top-tier sandal for hiking. They have many of the same features (rubber soles for superior traction, multiple straps for a perfect fit), too. However, the points go to Team Chacos if you're looking for a wider sandal: these Z/1 shoes are a wide-fit model of their beloved sandal. It's a must-have for people who don't fit into narrow- or medium-width shoes, which are the specs of most hiking sandals on the market. Not only is the mid- and outsole of these sandals wider, but the straps are longer to create a more comfortable fit for your foot. One enthusiastic reviewer wrote: "I walked 500 miles across Spain in my last pair....thought I'd get a second pair!" Available Sizes: 5-10
5. A Leather Option for Everyday Wear
These are the leather versions of the classic Chacos Z/1 sandals, and are an elevated version made for hiking -- but also can be worn when traveling, exploring a city, or going out to dinner. Think of them as the only shoes you need on a summer vacation. These Chaco Wayfairers are pre-broken in for immediate comfort, have a cushion-y suede midsole, and a sturdy rubber outsole. Additionally, the outsoles are made to have optimal traction when wet, and the footbed is approved by podiatrists for all day wear. Available Sizes: 5-12.
6. The Best Closed-Toe Women's Sandal for Hiking
If you're a little bit clumsy and have been hesitant to buy hiking sandals because of the risk to your precious toes, never fear: there's a closed-toe option that will still keep you cooler than a sneaker and socks will but offer a bit more protection than traditional sandals. Instead of straps, these feature lace-lock bungee chords that help you customize your fit, and the compression-fit midsole provides cushion all day long. It's great in wet or dry conditions, and here's a bonus: they are machine-washable. Available Sizes: 5-12
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