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Hiking is, by and large, the easiest outdoor activity to form into a hobby. At its foundation, it's simply taking a walk in the woods, and aside from water and a map, the most important thing you'll need to start hiking is the right footwear. But the best shoes are imperative to a successful trek -- from boots to men's hiking sandals, almost all experienced hikers will tell you to invest in your feet. You'll want to keep them comfortable, dry, and supported. Having the proper footwear can mean the difference between having a great day on the trail or a miserable one.
It might seem like sandals would be a strange option for hiking enthusiasts, after all it means your feet would be exposed to the elements risking cuts, dampness, slipping, etc. But given the right circumstances and conditions, a good pair of hiking sandals are just as worthy - if not better - than a pair of hiking boots. Modern hiking sandals are lighter than ever, crafted with the same traction-obsessed outsoles and midsoles used in hiking boots, and are way easier to dry if you find yourself in wet conditions or river trekking. And you don't have to stop wearing your hiking boots either, because these lightweight sandals will easily clip on your pack, with most clocking in at under one pound. We're going to present you with some great options for hiking sandals, whether you're first-timer or planning your next Appalachian Trail trip. These are all open-toed hiking sandals that offer superior durability and comfort, as well as unique strap systems and quick-dry technologies. Here are five of the best men's hiking sandals available right now.
1. Our Top Pick
If you happen to pass a hiker wearing sandals, there's a good chance they're donning a pair of Chacos. The Z/Cloud series feature a fully customizable adjustable strap system, so you'll get the perfect fit for your foot. Atop the durable rubber outsole, there's a layer of soft PU (polyurethane) that'll help your foot mold to the sandals. The sandals also boast a no-slip grip, making these a go-to for water-related activities or summer trail hiking.
2. Our Pick For Day Hikes to the Swimming Hole
Fans of Teva's iconic XLT sandals will love the upgraded XLT2s, now with a soft-heel padding to protect against blisters, upgraded straps, and better traction - thanks to a rugged rubber outsole. Just above that, you'll get a lightweight EVA-foam midsole for cushioning and comfort, all secured by quick-dry straps. You wouldn't want to hike the AT in these, but for light hikes or walking to the river, these are perfect.
3. The Best Leather Men's Hiking Sandals
KEEN makes durable and affordable hiking shoes, hiking boots, and work boots, so it only makes sense they'd produce a great sandal. The KEEN Targhee 3 features an all-terrain rubber outsole for excellent grip and traction, and the straps are 100% leather - just wait until you break them in. The sandals lean a bit to the wider side, so minimalists should look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for an everyday sandal that'll dry quickly and won't smell, these KEENs are a great option.
4. The Best Budget Hiking Sandals
These sandals from atika are essentially the weekend warriors of hiking sandals. You wouldn't want to wear them on a full day hike, but having them around for jaunts to the water or woods is ideal. The sandals have a durable rubber outsole that's topped with a lightweight foam midsole. The straps are padded to help prevent blisters and come in multiple styles - a bonus if you want a little personality in your footwear.
5. Best for River Rafting and Kayaking
The Z1 sandals from Chaco were made in the late 1980s for whitewater rafting, which meant they needed to be sturdy enough to walk over rocky river banks, but also have enough traction to secure your footing, should you find yourself out of the raft and downriver. Today, the sandals feature Chaco's best tech - upgraded rubber outsole optimized for wet conditions, adjustable quick dry straps, and Chaco's podiatrist-certified LUVSEAT platform with arch support. Choose from over 20 different patterns.
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