The 10 Best Men's Hiking Sandals

Updated August 03, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Men's Hiking Sandals
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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 paddle boarding and spelunking, and will give you that free feeling of being barefoot without compromising on foot protection.
  • roll up compactly
  • zero-drop non-elevated heel
  • sizes tend to run long
Brand Xero Shoes
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Teva Men's Katavi Outdoor

The Teva Men's Katavi Outdoor is 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 sole over time.
  • easily adjusted for comfort
  • superb breathability
  • not much arch support
Brand Teva
Model Katavi
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Chaco Z/2 Unaweeps

If you like the simplicity of traditional sandals but want something that straps on a little more securely, consider a pair of Chaco Z/2 Unaweeps. They have that same tried and true design, but feature criss-crossed straps and a toe loop to prevent any sliding around.
  • high traction outsoles
  • supportive underfoot platform
  • adjustments are cumbersome
Brand Chaco
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Northside Burke II

A pair of Northside Burke II costs less than many similar options, yet they offer a thick and durable sole that provides much the same shock absorption as a pair of trail running sneakers. They have pull loops at both the heel and tongue for putting on easily.
  • multidirectional flex grooves
  • contoured eva midsoles
  • heel straps can cause irritation
Brand Northside
Model Burke II-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. New Balance Men's Appalachian Closed-Toe

The New Balance Men's 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.
  • easy to tighten or loosen on the go
  • handsome deep brown exterior
  • run a little narrow
Brand New Balance
Model Men's Appalachian Sanda
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Crocs Men's Swiftwater

The Crocs Men's 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 toe bumper
  • lightweight croslite foam
  • stitching frays over time
Brand crocs
Model crocs 202111
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Sazzi Digit Hiking

The Sazzi Digit Hiking incorporate a four post upper that naturally connects you to the footbed with no need to clench your toes, resulting in less fatigue when walking long distances. They also have a closed-cell construction that resists moisture and bacteria buildup.
  • arches good for plantar fasciitis
  • eco-friendly and fully recyclable
  • float if dropped in water
Brand Sazzi
Model WT55044A
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Merrell All Out Blaze

These Merrell All Out Blaze boast a durable 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 an easy on and off when you're in a rush.
  • hollow lugs for lightness
  • uni-fly impact absorption system
  • sizing runs a bit big
Brand Merrell
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Teva Omnium Closed-Toe

The Teva Omnium Closed-Toe have all the support and protection of a shoe, but with the added ventilation and lighter weight of a sandal. They feature an elastic lacing system, a quick-release buckle, and an adjustable hook-and-loop heel strap for the perfect fit.
  • shock-absorbing heels
  • non-marking outsoles
  • durable waterproofed leather
Brand Teva
Model 6148
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

1. Keen Newport H2

The Keen Newport H2 provide a high level of traction, support, and comfort, so you're 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
  • washable polyester webbing
  • odor-reducing aegis microbe shield
Brand Keen
Model Newport H2-M
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 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 August 03, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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