Hiking sandals are fast becoming a popular alternative to boots or shoes.
But like anything, there are good and bad eggs on the market.
Read on for a list of reputable models and a guide for choosing the best women’s hiking sandals 2021.
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- TOP 17 Best Women’s Hiking Sandals Reviewed 2021
- ECCO Women’s Yucatan Sandals
- KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandals
- Chaco Women’s Zcloud Sport Sandals
- Teva Women’s Tirra Athletic Sandals
- Chaco Women’s Zcloud X Athletic Sandals
- KEEN Women’s UNEEK Sandals
- Agowoo Women’s Athletic Hiking Sandals
- Clarks Women’s Tuvia Melon Fisherman Sandals
- Xero Shoes Z-Trek Women’s Barefoot-Inspired Sandals
- Keen Women’s Rose Sandals
- Keen Women’s Bali Strap Sandals
- Teva Women’s Hurricane XLT Sandals
- Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Sport Sandals
- Merrell Women’s Terran Lattice II Sandals
- Keen Women’s Clearwater CNX Sandals
- Chaco Women’s ZX/1 Unaweep Sandals
- Viakix Women’s Hiking Sandals
- How to Choose the Perfect Hiking Sandals
TOP 17 Best Women’s Hiking Sandals Reviewed 2021
ECCO Women’s Yucatan Sandals
Review: The Yucatan sandal comes in different color schemes and over a dozen different sizes, making it easy to find the right pair based on both style and fit.
The open design makes it easy to air out your feet, which is exactly what you want when you’re going on a long, sweaty hike.
- Outsole of omnidirectional rubber for maximum traction.
- Two simple hook and loop closures make it easy to get a snug fit.
- Padded sole provides additional support and cushioning.
- Versatile fits mean no half sizes, so you might need to order a size up.
KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandals
Review: The Whisper sandal comes in about two dozen different color combinations and thirteen different sizes, including half sizes.
These hiking sandals are easy to clean being machine washable, are comfortable, and very low maintenance.
- Bungee lace capture system means they’ll never come untied, and they’ll stay perfectly fitted to your foot.
- Plenty of vents while keeping you protected.
- Metatomical footbed designed to provide custom level support on both the soles and sides of the foot.
- Traction is best for rough terrain – may not be so comfortable walking on smooth surfaces.
Chaco Women’s Zcloud Sport Sandals
Review: The Zcloud Sport Sandal comes in a dozen sizes, including wide widths.
People with wide feet often have a difficult time finding sandals, because the narrower widths squash their toes or leave them to hang over the insole. These sport sandals solve that problem.
- The webbing straps strategically wrap around the foot, allowing you to tailor the fit.
- Textured interior sole is molded for superior support.
- The minimalist style keeps your feet feeling free.
- Ankle strap might cause blisters in new hikers who haven’t toughened up their heels yet.
Teva Women’s Tirra Athletic Sandals
Review: Teva’s sandals are so good, they’re almost luxury hiking sandals. The price is comparable to competitors, but in many cases, the quality is much better.
They’re innovatively designed to be both safe and comfortable, giving you the support you need to take the three-day hike you’ve always dreamed of.
With 20 different colors and dozens of styles, your options are nearly limitless.
- Adjusts at two points on the foot and one point around the ankle. Every part of the foot is equally secure.
- Spider directional tread on the sole offers superior traction.
- Designed to be safe to use in the water. Hike in the rain, hike in a swamp – it’s all up to you.
- These sandals don’t come in wide width.
Chaco Women’s Zcloud X Athletic Sandals
Review: The minimalist design of these sandals is exactly what makes them so appealing. Like the Zcloud Sport, they have thin straps, allowing as much air as possible to get to your feet.
You’ll stay cool while you hike or explore the trails.
- Treated with an antimicrobial treatment. These sandals won’t smell, even if you sweat up a storm in them.
- Rubber sole has deep 3mm tread and is non-marking. You can wear these inside or outside safely.
- Women’s specific midsole is extra comfortable.
- There are no half sizes. You’ll either need to go a size up or a size down.
KEEN Women’s UNEEK Sandals
Review: At first glance, these don’t look like sandals at all. They appear to be some kind of strange bungee contraption.
Their upper is constructed of flexible cording that is comfortable and allows for a custom fit while providing as much ventilation as possible.
- Unlike most sandals, these grip the whole foot. You’re getting maximum stability with no potential for slipping around inside of the shoe.
- Bungee lace system keeps you from having to tie the sandals.
- Microfiber on the heel and interior keeps these sandals from rubbing or chafing your feet.
- Even though they’re adjustable, they run small. Order half a size up.
Agowoo Women’s Athletic Hiking Sandals
Review: These closed toe sandals are specifically designed for hiking in sand. They prevent you from having to deal with shoes that fill with sand.
They come in three different colors and six different sizes, including the most popular half sizes.
Beach hike, anyone?
- Closed and protected front keeps you from stubbing your toes on rocks or logs.
- Sole is very thick to eliminate shock and provide excellent postural support while you hike.
- Closures are reinforced with leather, adding strength to the sandal.
- Limited size and color selection – they only have the most popular sizes and neutral colors to pick from.
Clarks Women’s Tuvia Melon Fisherman Sandals
Review: Clarks is known specifically for their comfort footwear, so you can expect any hiking sandal they make to be just as comfortable as the rest of their line.
The fisherman sandal fares just as well on boats as in the woods, especially if you’re likely to get wet feet. If you have a very long hike, you’ll want a sandal just like this one to keep you company.
They come in four colors and over a dozen sizes – including wide and narrow fits.
- Bungee lacing gives you a great fit.
- Contoured memory foam on the sole makes every step feel soft.
- Versatile traction is perfect for any kind of hiking environment.
- Will cope well with getting repeatedly wet.
- Not designed for flat feet.
Xero Shoes Z-Trek Women’s Barefoot-Inspired Sandals
Review: Similar to the two Chaco Zcloud sandals listed above, these sandals are minimalist in design. But these are the real deal, with zero drop and a genuine barefoot feel.
They are designed to provide you with just enough protection to stop you from cutting your foot on an unseen hazard while allowing your foot to move in the most natural, unrestricted way possible.
- Durable FeelTrue rubber soles provide excellent traction and many, many miles of protection before they start wearing out.
- Designed to mimic barefoot walking, the sole lets you feel the ground without hurting you.
- Truly lightweight, 70% lighter than most hiking sandals.
- SO thin and flexible that you can roll them up and stuff them in the bottom of your bag.
- You can’t move from supportive shoes or sandals to these sandals without building up the muscle strength in your feet.
- Not ideal for really rugged terrain like the lava fields of Hawaii.
Keen Women’s Rose Sandals
Review: Another winner from Keen, these Rose sandals are made with soft webbing material that is very comfortable for your feet, and rubber outsoles ideal for rugged hiking terrain.
Unfortunately, the ankle strap isn’t very adjustable so people with wider ankles will have trouble with this sandal, but the Bali strap alternative may provide a solution.
- Rubber toe bumper for protection against rocks and obstacles.
- Machine washable for easy cleaning.
- Comfortable and supportive EVA foam footbed.
- Durable rubber sole with excellent tread.
- Ankle straps are on the tight side so unless you have slim ankles, you might have to look elsewhere.
Keen Women’s Bali Strap Sandals
Review: The sister sandal to the Rose above, the Bali Strap sandal offers a similar but slightly different package.
The material of the straps and the sole is slightly stiffer and a less cushioned, more contoured feel which would be well suited to rock scrambling and more rugged hikes, or places where your feet are likely to get wet.
- Well suited to people with wider feet or thicker ankles due to the adjustable straps.
- Supportive, contoured synthetic sole provides good protection against rocky terrain.
- Hydrophobic mesh straps are well suited to wet environments.
- Not as cushioned as some hiking sandals and could be slippery on smooth surfaces.
- Depending on the shape of your foot, you may have problems with your pinky toe escaping between the straps.
Teva Women’s Hurricane XLT Sandals
Review: Another great option from Teva, these sandals have fewer straps than the Tirra, using the classic Teva strap design with one strap over the toes and one strap linking the toe and the ankle strap.
They have a durable, supportive sole and come in a range of sizes and colors.
- Heel shock pads keep your joints cushioned on hard terrain.
- Durabrasion rubber outsole is rugged and grippy.
- Adjustable Velcro ankle strap.
- Very comfortable in wet and dry conditions.
- Not as feminine looking as some other options. May feel/look chunky.
Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve Sport Sandals
Review: These sandals are strictly speaking more water shoes with holes in them… but they behave like sandals when you’re hiking, being well ventilated, quick-drying and very comfortable without needing socks.
So, if you’re going to be doing a hike with lots of river crossings and don’t want to bother with socks, these could be your go-to shoe.
- The closed design will keep rocks, sticks, and debris out while you’re hiking while still allowing for plenty of ventilation.
- Waterproof Nubuk leather and webbing upper.
- Durable Vibram outsole with excellent traction.
- Bungee closure provides a snug, sock-like fit.
- May not be as cool as some of the more open style sandals in hot conditions.
Merrell Women’s Terran Lattice II Sandals
Review: These sandals are a little different from most on the market with Nubuk leather straps and a microfiber footbed.
They are more designed for travel and light day hikes than serious multi-day hike and they won’t be ideal for river crossings or lots of rain, but, they are definitely comfortable.
- Delicate and feminine looking while actually being rugged and durable.
- Extremely comfortable with a soft footbed and well-designed straps.
- Reasonably cushioned footbed.
- Microfiber foot bed will not be ideal in wet conditions.
Keen Women’s Clearwater CNX Sandals
Review: Like the Merrell All Out Blaze, these sandals are more water shoes than hiking sandals, but they fit the bill perfectly.
They have a closed rubber toe to keep your toes protected, with stretchy webbing straps and a comfortably cushioned midsole.
- Perfect for hikes with lots of river crossings.
- Bungee closure keeps the whole sandal snug and secure.
- Sleek, non-bulky profile.
- Not suitable for wide feet.
Chaco Women’s ZX/1 Unaweep Sandals
Review: Another excellent minimalist style sandal from Chaco, the Unaweep wins top points for being comfortable and supportive for suffers from flat feet and plantar fasciitis.
- Good arch support makes these a great option for pronators.
- Slip-resistant footbed keeps your feet more secure inside the sandal.
- Uses a buckle as a durable alternative Velcro.
- Vibram outsole.
- Need to be broken in and need to fit your feet perfectly so try before you buy!
Viakix Women’s Hiking Sandals
Review: These water-resistant sandals are ideal for hiking, with a lightweight design, quick dry webbing straps, and a cushioned EVA foam midsole.
The rubber outsole has a good amount of tread and all four cross straps are adjustable with Velcro closures making them ideal for wider feet.
- Excellent for wide feet.
- Durable sole with good traction and cushioning.
- Able to get wet repeatedly and dry out quickly.
- Likely to be less durable in the long run than some of the more high-end options above.
How to Choose the Perfect Hiking Sandals
So, why sandals?
Well, it’s probably easier to ask the question “why not?”
There was a time when no one would consider hiking in anything less than the best high top women’s hiking boots. Ankle support was thought to be essential.
Similarly, there was a time when arch support was thought to be essential, but the move towards barefoot running and walking has quashed that theory.
We’ve seen the market expand to incorporate more hiking shoes, and now hiking sandals are the latest hot option.
If you don’t have excessively weak ankles, and you’re not hiking in alpine or winter conditions, sandals could be a great alternative to closed shoes.
- You don’t need to worry about socks.
- You don’t need to worry about blisters (provided they fit you properly and suit your foot shape).
- Your feet will stay cool and ventilated and not get excessively sweaty.
- You can cross rivers without having to take your boots off or worry about having wet boots for the next 3 days.
- Sandals are lightweight and can pack away in your hiking backpack easily when you’re traveling.
- You won’t have the same level of ankle or arch support that you may have become dependent on if you have weak ankles and feet.
- There could be an opportunity for stones and sand to get caught in your sandals.
- You’ll need to take a little extra care as your feet won’t be encased in a protective shell.
- You need to be ok with getting wet if it rains. If you’re thinking more in terms of keeping dry and kitting yourself out with waterproof pants and the like, sandals probably aren’t for you.
Sold? I am!
So what do you need to consider when choosing the best women’s hiking sandals?
You need sandals with proper ankle and heel straps.
You can’t safely walk uphill in any shoe with an open back or a flimsy strap. Your foot will end up working excessively hard to grip to the sandal rather than using its energy to carry you up to the hill.
You want something with a thick, adjustable strap that securely closes around your ankle in order to keep the sandal from sliding off.
Hiking is a lot harder on the body than walking. That’s part of the reason it’s so good for you.
You’re going to build muscle and burn calories while hiking, but your back and legs will hate you for it if your foot type requires arch support and you aren’t getting it from your sandals.
Since you can’t use inserts or custom orthotics in sandals, you’re going to need to buy a model that already provides you with enough support.
Of course, if you have a neutral foot or strong feet, this won’t be of concern. But for those with flat feet or issues such as plantar fasciitis, you won’t want to be forced to end the hike early because you’re so sore.
Open or Closed Toe
This depends on the kind of terrain you’ll be hiking through.
If you’ll be dealing with lots of rocks and obstacles or scree slopes and sand, you’ll probably want to opt for a closed toe to help protect your digits and keep excess debris out of your sandals.
The best hiking sandals for women will have the best possible traction.
Nobody wants to be slipping and sliding their way along their hike. Aside from not being enjoyable, it could be really dangerous.
Good traction is essential for allowing you to boulder hop over wet rocks and navigate icy patches on frosty mornings.
Hiking is even harder on shoes than running. The terrain is constantly changing, and the shoes will have to deal with the constant redistribution of your weight as you scale new heights.
Cheap sneakers might be good enough for running once in a while, as long as you don’t mind replacing them every few months.
This isn’t the case with hiking sandals.
You’re going to want to spend a little more on hiking sandals than you would on any other kind of footwear.
Cheap hiking sandals will wear out after a single hike. They aren’t a good investment.
It’s worth spending a little more money on something you know is going to last you.
To sum it up, the best women’s hiking sandals will be comfortable, fit securely on your foot, have good traction and be nice and durable.
If you’re a keen traveler, why not check my articles on why you should consider traveling solo as a woman and the best travel destinations for solo female travelers.
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