Hiking scratches an itch for freedom. Weekend warriors eschew cramped, stuffy office combines on their days off in favor of wooded trails high in the mountains, or saltwater mist on rocky ocean shorelines. Like you, your feet crave freedom on an adventure, too. Don’t shove them into cramped, stuffy shoes. They need ventilation that only hiking sandals have to offer.
But before you start your sandal-shopping excursion, check out this helpful guide. We will ensure you select the best sandals available for your next adventurous outing.
It’s All About Sole
When it comes to hiking, you need shoes that have a sturdy sole that provides your feet with a firm grip. If you walk over rough terrain or trails that have an incline, you can’t afford to slip and fall.
Look for hiking sandals that have a sturdy sole that also flexes with your natural foot movement. The sole of the sandals should have a textured bottom so they can easily grip a variety of surfaces.
Be on the lookout for a decent amount of tread, similar to what you’d look for in car tires. The more tread or thicker the sole, the better the amount of support you’ll get.
Rocks and cactus spikes can penetrate soles that are thin, so veer toward sandals with a rugged, thicker sole whenever possible. You need something with good traction so you don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding on an assortment of natural terrain.
Your Hiking Sandals Should Stay in Place
Before you head out on the trail, you need to be sure that your footwear can tackle the task. Try a pair of sandals that have a firm grip on your feet and won’t slide off whenever you move.
Sandals that feature adjustable straps with a Velcro closure are ideal. These shoes can easily adjust to your feet as needed, and they won’t slip off while you climb and explore.
Another bonus to having adjustable straps? You can wear socks with your sandals on chilly days since the shoes can adjust to your desired size.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your sandals offer you the right amount of ankle support, too. Try a pair that have a strap that goes behind your heel as well as straps that fit around the side and connect to the sole of the shoe for a secure fit.
An adjustable backstrap will give you the ankle support you need. Try to stay away from sandals with laces since they can easily become untied and cause you to lose your footing. If you don’t find a pair of sandals with Velcro straps that you like, straps with a buckle will work just fine.
Lightweight Sandals Equal More Comfort
Lightweight sandals will minimize the weight you need to carry, and less weight is ideal when planning to camp overnight after a long hike. Heavy, bulky footwear can weigh you down. Your backpack and other gear are enough to worry about! However, heed this tip before choosing your lightweight sandal: avoid sandals that reduce weight by skimping on quality materials. A thick, reliable sole can be supportive and safe without being too heavy. A few extra ounces of weight on your feet is worth it if you require durable, high-quality sandals.
Sandals with closed toes offer you excellent protection for rugged trails but they may be a bit heavier. If you plan to hike on an open trail that’s easy with a clear path, open-toed sandals are the superior option for comfort. Easy maintenance is also a feature to have, so make sure they’re not only comfy but also clean without fuss. Research your hike before you reach the trailhead so you can select a safe, comfortable hiking sandal that meets your needs. Some manufacturers also list the weight so you know if they’ll be light or heavy on your feet.
Be on the Lookout for Breathability and Waterproof Materials
As stated above, closed-toe sandals are great for rugged hikes, and open-toe sandals are more comfortable. Along the same lines, if you’re going to be hiking near water, make sure your sandals are waterproof.
If you’re planning to run through streams and other shallow bodies of water, make sure your sandals can handle the task. Waterproof sandals are made of fast-drying materials so your feet won’t feel soaked as you explore the great outdoors. The majority of sandals are naturally quick-drying. As long as you don’t wear socks, you won’t even need to take them off after you get your feet wet.
For many adventurers, the main feature of sandals is that they allow your feet to breathe and the air to flow. Make sure you select a pair that offer your feet the airflow they need to stay cool and comfy. Some materials like mesh are excellent at offering your feet some protection while still allowing air to flow between your toes. Stay away from all-leather sandals that cover most of your feet because durable leather used for footwear doesn’t breathe.
Check the labels or product information for any hiking sandals you’re interested in to find out if they’re labeled as waterproof or quick-drying.
Hike Safely with Sandals
No matter where you roam, it’s easy to find a high-quality pair of hiking sandals that offer you just about everything you need. Look for features like quality tread, adjustable straps, and waterproof properties for best results. Remember that sandals can be a versatile choice for footwear whether you’re hiking overnight, or just getting out of the house. As long as you choose a pair of sandals that will stay on your feet and offer you support, hiking sandals will be there with you as you adventure through any hiking excursion.
Visit our website for an awesome selection of stylish sandals for men, women, and kids and check out our blog for the latest footwear trends.