The 10 Best Men's Hiking Sandals

Updated May 10, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When the temperature starts to heat up, men's hiking sandals give you both the performance to go wherever you want coupled with enhanced breathability and comfort. Our selection includes casual models good for urban use through to more rugged and robust pairs that can stand up to the rigors of just about any terrain and environment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best men's hiking sandal on Amazon.

10. Xero Z-Trek Sport

The minimalist Xero Z-Trek Sport are perfect for anyone who likes to travel light. They'll work for everything from hiking and jogging to paddleboarding and spelunking, and will give you that free feeling of being barefoot without compromising on protection.
  • roll up compactly
  • provide a natural foot posture
  • sizes tend to run large
Brand Xero Shoes
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Teva Katavi

The Teva Katavi are a basic but reliable option from a brand that's known for just this type of footwear. They are good for everyday use, but might not be suitable for repeated trekking on rugged terrain, as the glue begins to come off the soles over time.
  • easily adjusted for comfort
  • open-toe design
  • not much arch support
Brand Teva
Model Katavi
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. New Balance Appalachian Closed-Toe

The New Balance Appalachian Closed-Toe have a thick and supportive rubber sole and an upper that's made from a blend of synthetic polyurethane and Lycra materials, making it pliant and durable at the same time. A fixed rear strap provides added comfort and stability.
  • vibrant accent colors
  • provide a nice snug fit
  • too narrow for those with wide feet
Brand New Balance
Model Men's Appalachian Sanda
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Sazzi Digit

The Sazzi Digit come with a love it or hate it design with four straps that connect the top to the bottom, each of which sites between a toe. This makes for less fatigue with long periods of use as you don't have to clench your toes to keep them in place.
  • nice supportive arches
  • eco-friendly and fully recyclable
  • bacteria resistant
Brand Sazzi
Model WT55044A
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Keen Clearwater CNX

The Keen Clearwater CNX have a thick rubber sole that provides a good amount of traction while also thoroughly protecting that foot from any sharp protrusions in the ground. Their bungee-style lacing system ensures they stay tight on the foot through extreme adventures.
  • helpful rear pull-on loop
  • flex nicely as you walk
  • float if dropped in water
Brand KEEN
Model Clearwater CNX-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Columbia Ventero

The Columbia Ventero are affordable but look and feel like a premium brand, so you are definitely getting value for your money with these. They feature strategic perforations throughout to ensure your foot stays cool during all day use.
  • soft suede-like interior
  • high-quality velcro
  • hold up well to lots of use
Brand Columbia
Model 1584101
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Merrell All Out Blaze

These Merrell All Out Blaze boast a hard-wearing Vibram synthetic sole that will survive years of use. They are available in multiple color options and have a waxy waterproof leather and neoprene stretch collar for a quick on and off when you're in a rush.
  • feel extremely lightweight
  • dry quickly after getting wet
  • comfortable right out of the box
Brand Merrell
Model J65243
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Crocs Swiftwater

The Crocs Swiftwater look like a shoe, but wear like a sandal, offering a large amount of support with excellent breathability. They drain fast if you take them into water and do a great job of protecting feet from jagged rocks, sharp shells, and other debris.
  • protective closed-toe bumper
  • a lot of cushioning
  • allow for a customized fit
Brand Crocs
Model crocs 202111
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2 provide a high level of traction, support, and comfort, so you'll be ready for your next adventure. They have a unique hydrophobic mesh lining that actually repels water, so they dry quickly, plus a secure lace system that keeps them firmly in place.
  • razor-siped outsole
  • stain-resistant polyester webbing
  • designed to reduce odors
Brand KEEN
Model Newport H2-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Teva Omnium Closed-Toe

The Teva Omnium Closed-Toe deliver nearly all the support and protection of a shoe in a lightweight and ventilated design. They feature an elastic lacing system, a quick-release buckle, and a hook-and-loop heel strap that is easy to adjust for the perfect fit.
  • good shock absorption
  • don't create scuff marks
  • durable leather exterior
Brand Teva
Model 6148
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Why Wear Hiking Sandals Instead of Hiking Boots?

There's no mystery surrounding why people have traditionally worn boots whenever hiking. Boots provide deep tread and resilient layers of support. A boot's design minimizes the risk of rolling over on one's ankle, or brushing low against poison ivy or jagged rocks. But the reality is that hiking boots can feel suffocating, and these boots may also put a hiker at a disadvantage, especially when traveling over several miles of flat terrain.

This is where the hiking sandal comes in. The majority of hiking sandals are designed to provide great traction, while also allowing your feet to breathe. Hiking sandals are obviously lighter than boots, which renders them preferable for any hiking that doesn't incorporate scaling rocks, or hopping crevices (AKA landing on one's feet). The majority of hiking sandals are also waterproof, which means they can be used for wading in rock-filled rivers or streams, as well.

On average, hiking sandals are less expensive than hiking boots. This makes an even bigger difference when you consider that a hiking sandal may actually provide you with more opportunities for use. Most hiking sandals appear sleek, which makes them perfect for wearing to any informal gatherings and/or outdoor parties. Additionally, a hiking sandal's open-air design effectively eliminates any risk of blistering from sweat, or acquiring any type of odor from not wearing socks on your feet.

When and Where to Strap On Hiking Sandals

Ultralight backpacking refers to a form of recreation that prioritizes cardiovascular enjoyment over jagged climbing and tight ledges. Ultralight enthusiasts are out to make the most of the open air, while taking in some spectacular views. Minimalism is the name of the game here, which explains why shorts are preferable to pants in the same way that hiking sandals are preferable to boots. You want to travel light and travel fast, while communing with the great outdoors.

Of course, backpacking isn't the only way to stay active while enjoying nature. Kayaking, whitewater rafting, and fly fishing are a lot of fun, as well. These activities are ideal for hiking sandals, almost all of which are not only waterproof, but designed to dry quickly, so you won't be swishing around.

Hiking sandals are open-toed, which means they can double as a set of footwear for the beach. These sandals are also comfortable enough that they can be worn to summer barbecues and other warm-weather outings. Whenever possible, hiking sandals should be worn as a substitute for flip-flops, which offer zero support, and can actually cause a great deal of pain throughout the back.

As a precaution, you may want to switch out of sandals if you're facing a long drive. Certain people enjoy driving in sandals, as they keep your feet cool. But depending on the vehicle (and the driver), you could encounter certain awkward situations in which the lip of the sandal gets caught underneath a pedal, forcing you to pull your foot back before you can properly brake or hit the gas.

A Brief History of The Hiking Sandal

People have been hiking, in one form or another, since the dawn of man. And given that sandals are the oldest-known form of footwear - with the most archaic pair dating back to at least 7500 BC - it's safe to say that the hiking sandal may have existed eons before people actually understood it as such.

All irony aside, most cultures gravitated toward wearing some form of hiking boot (as opposed to a hiking sandal) straight up until the early 2000s. The groundwork for this shift began during the 1970s, when a fitness craze took hold in Venice Beach, California. This craze eventually opened the door for countless sub-genres of physical conditioning. Around the turn of the 21st century, athletic apparel companies like Patagonia and The North Face shifted their attention toward footwear. Within a few years, a marketable interest in the hiking sandal was born.

By 2010, hiking wasn't only a popular pastime, it was spurred forth by sleeker gear and broader options. Hiking no longer meant that one had to rely on a granola diet, while growing long hair and behaving like an animal. Hiking become a social activity. People of all ages and skill levels got involved.

Today, hiking has branched out to include trail walking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, backpacking, trekking, rambling, scrambling, waterfalling, snowshoeing, and more. Hiking sandals remain resigned to the easy stuff. They're made for long walks on open paths in warmer climates with the possibility of encountering a little bit of water in between.

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Last updated on May 10, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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