Ready to hit the trails? Sometimes, your old pair of hiking boots just won’t cut it. When it’s hot outside or you know your feet are likely to get wet, a hiking sandal is a great choice. They’re lighter, cooler, and dry much more quickly than a boot. Some models have sturdy soles that provide just as much stability as a boot.
There are some factors to consider before buying a pair of hiking sandals. First, budget. Hiking sandals can range from $20 to $150. Consider what kind of hiker you are. If you’re an occasional hiker and tend to stick to smooth terrain, a budget-friendly pair will most likely suit your needs. But if you often go on long hikes and pick the roads less traveled, the higher end shoes are worth the splurge. (Trust us, your feet will thank you!) Some of the lightweight sandals have a thinner sole and really aren’t cut out for rough terrain.
Next, think about where you hike. Are you splashing through creeks or sticking to dry land? If your feet are likely to get wet, a waterproof option is essential. There’s nothing worse than chafing sandals. Do you prefer a closed toe or an open toe? This is a personal choice, but if the trails you frequent are rocky, you don’t want to get pebbles under your foot. So a closed toe is likely the best choice for you. Now, once you decide on a pair, take them for a spin! If you’re accustomed to boots, hiking in sandals can get a bit of getting used to. Hit a short, easy trail first and see how they feel, then adjust the straps for comfort before heading on a longer hike.