In today’s article, I’m going to be talking about the best hiking sandals in 2022.
Since it’s practically summer, it would be a good time to talk about sandals but not just any sandals.
We’re going to talk about specifically hiking sandals or maybe you would like to call them adventure sandals.
We’re going to be talking about:
- Xero Shoes
Best Hiking Sandals
I was introduced to the concept of adventure sandals by a very good friend of mine many years ago.
He wore a pair of Chacos on a trip and I was super jealous that he was hiking, ziplining, and wandering around town in them and my feet were crammed into hot sweaty shoes because the only sandals I owned were flip-flops.
I took the first opportunity I could to try out a pair for myself because honestly, I have always hated putting my feet into bulky shoes.
So, if you also hate cramming your feet into hot, sweaty, non-breathable hiking boots and shoes, hiking sandals may just be the thing for you.
Fortunately, we’ve rounded up the best hiking sandals for hiking, kayaking, ziplining, fishing, flyfishing, whitewater rafting, etc.
Or, maybe you’re just looking for some camp shoes and maybe you just want a better pair of sandals to wear around town or the beach.
Let’s dive right into it…
Chaco Z/Cloud 2
#Best for Long Distance Treks
Pairing high-end support with stability and comfort, these sandals will keep on performing mile after mile.
Upper, Footbed, Outsole
The signature big toe loop on most Chacos is not only stylish but offers better control of your foot placements while you’re moving through the backcountry.
A podiatrist-certified Luvseat cushioning system provides for all-day comfort, which makes the sandals serve as your go-to camp shoes after a long day hiking in addition to being your hiking sandals.
An antimicrobial coating helps keep your sandals and your feet fresher for longer, which is a nice perk when you’re hiking through hot and humid conditions.
The straps are adjustable through the footbed so that you can dial in the perfect fit and more lateral support without having to finagle with too many different straps and buckles.
A unique tread design with beefy three-millimeter lugs offers superior traction in either wet or dry conditions.
One other thing I love about them is Chaco has a repair program. So, if you damaged some of the straps or webbing or the buckle breaks or your soles get worn out and need to be repaired, they’ll fix it for you or replace it.
I think paying to get a nice pair of sandals resoled is still way cheaper than buying a new pair, which is one way they’re helping keep stuff out of the landfill.
Chaco also offer some sandals that use an eDye Waterless Color System that conserves water while dyeing straps and webbings.
While many Chaco enthusiasts do appreciate the big toe loop feature, others can’t stand it.
Luckily, the brand does offer a toe loop-free model as well. So, if you’re interested in looking for that, it’s also available.
One other downside to the Z/Clouds is that they are quite heavy. They won’t make great camp shoes if you’re strapping them on to the outside of your pack to go backpacking.
They’re pretty chunky so they take up a fair amount of room in a bag if you’re traveling, but most of the time, I’m willing to make that trade-off because these sandals are literally good for everything.
The Z/Clouds have gone everywhere with me. I’ve taken them on super long-day hikes, I’ve gone kayaking, river rafting, and traveling. They’re supportive, they’re super comfortable, and they’re very secure on your feet.
- Great for summer hiking & adventures to the beach
- Great for walking on cement sidewalks & cobblestone streets
- Great cushion and comfort for all-day wear
- Great arch support for flat feet
- Great fit
- Might take some time getting used to the strap system
Our next choice is the best hiking sandal for trekking and comfort…
Hoka One One Hopara
#Best Hiking Sandals for Trekking and Max Cushioning
When you need the best full-coverage protection and comfort you can find, slip into the Hoparas before your next adventure.
These multi-sport sandals take comfort to another level
A thick multi-layered foam sole provides for the ultimate support against underfoot impacts with rocks and branches.
A rubberized toe cap with a neoprene upper protects your foot from trail debris and won’t rub when wet either.
Strategic cutouts along the base of the upper allow for fast drainage making these a suitable choice for wearing during river crossings.
What I like most about these sandals is the elastic strap which tucks neatly away into the drawstring clip while hiking.
- Great cushion, fit, & incredible arch support
- Very comfortable to wear all day
- You can wear them all day with no foot/leg fatigue
- Offers great toe protection & wet-surface traction
- Great for waterfall hikes to walking and shopping
- Needs break-in time
Our next hiking sandal selection is the best choice for those hikers on a budget…
Teva Hurricane XLT 2
#2. Best Budget Pick
If you’re looking for a quality hiking sandal with features like grippy soles and adequate underfoot support without the hefty price tag, look no further.
Piggybacking off the classic hiking sandal design, the Teva Hurricanes feature increased cushioning and quality support for far less than the competition.
A recycled polyester upper ensures these sandals remain comfy against the skin and dry quickly when wet.
A simple tread design with Teva’s own Dermabrasion rubber gives you the grip you need without wearing down quickly.
Teva added two nylon shanks through the sole to increase rigidity and stability for when the going gets rough.
What I like most about these sandals is the padded heel incorporated into the rear strap making these sandals comfortable enough for all-day wear.
- Great if you can’t withstand toe posts
- Comfortable & offers decent arch support and metatarsal support
- Dries out quickly
- Great fit
- Great for hiking and even paddle boarding, walking, biking…
- When muddy, it rinses off without taking it off
- Sturdy construction
- Runs a bit large
Teva Universal Trail Sandals
The Universal Trail sandal is very comfortable and squishy. The footbed isn’t quite as squishy as their normal flip-flops, but it still has quite a lot of give to it.
The straps are adjustable with Velcro instead of slide-through buckle straps.
The bottom tread is pretty aggressive so it can handle varying terrain and they’re equally good in the water.
Actually, the upper straps are made of 100% recycled plastic from water bottles and they’re quick-drying. So, if you do go for a swim in your sandals, they should be dried out in no time.
These sandals kind of have the 90s dad vibe going on, but they do come in lots of colors and are comfortable and fun and moderately supportive as well.
They strike a nice middle balance because they’re chunkier than the Xero shoes but not as heavy as Chacos.
- Very comfortable and squishy
- Bottom grips really well
- Offers decent arch support
- Straps are made of recycled materials
- Dries quickly
- Solid value
- Average stability
Bedrock Cairn Adventure
# Top Overall Pick
Our top selection for the best overall hiking sandals is the Bedrock Cairn adventures.
Whether the sandal is fitted on your feet or strapped to your pack, you won’t notice you’re carrying them making for the perfect companion on your next hiking adventure.
The Bedrocks are slightly more in between style-wise, a hiking sandal, and just a regular sandal that you might wear to the beach or running around downtown with your friends, which will make them appealing to some.
These simple thong-style sandals are incredibly lightweight weighing in at only a pound.
But don’t let the featherweight fool you though because these sandals will go the distance thanks to the integration of a Vibram XS Trek outsole that won’t wither away after the first hike or 50.
This is a great sandal for those who are looking to adjust to a more minimalist style of footwear as they offer little support underfoot and more flexible soles promoting a natural midfoot gait.
The soles are a little thicker than on the Xero shoes (above), but they also have a more aggressive tread.
The three-point adjustment system allows you to easily secure your foot without any buckles to rub against your skin and potentially cause chafing or hot spots.
What I like most about these sandals is how durable they are thanks mostly to the beefy nylon straps and rubber outsoles.
- Super lightweight & flexible
- Strike a nice balance between a hiking sandal and a regular sandal
- Great for hiking, beach, around downtown…
- Sturdy Vibram outsole
- No buckles to rub against your skin
What I don’t care for about the Bedrock Cairn Adventure sandals is that you can’t wear them with socks due to the nature of the toe strap, which is quite a nice option to have when the temperature starts to fall.
Another thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that they are more of a thong sandal.
That might bother a few people who aren’t huge fan of flip-flop style shoes, and to be honest, they may not feel quite as secure on your feet as the other sandals that really strap in your foot.
But if you’re looking for real freedom of movement here and a lightweight very flexible shoe that also looks less outdoorsy, this might be the sandal for you.
Our last selection is a minimalist style hiking sandal best suited for ultralight adventures…
Xero Shoes Z-Trail EV
# Top Ultralight Pick
There’s also a Z Trek if you like a slightly thinner sole and both shoes are much more minimalistic than the Chacos.
Super Lightweight & Minimal
Featuring fully adjustable straps, these Xero Z shoes are purposefully designed for people who are into the barefoot movement because these offer a serious barefoot type feel to them which helps you feel more connected to the ground you’re walking on.
If you’re looking for the lightest sandals you can find that still provide for adequate foot protection, the updated version of the classic Ultralight Z-Trails are worth your consideration.
The Z Trail is a good all-around shoe that’s going to take up almost no space in your pack. You just have to trade off a little bit of comfort and support if you’re used to that.
Using a triple-layered 11mm FeelLite sole with a middle layer of TrailFoam, these sandals provide surprising comfort and protection while remaining incredibly flexible to boot.
The updated dual chevron lug tread offers superb traction whether you’re traveling uphill, downhill, or doing a bit of both.
A subtle heel cup and soft recycled tubular webbing helps keep your foot secure and keep the debris out too.
What I like most about the Z Trails is the fact that they float making them a great addition for water sports.
These sandals also have a 5000-mile warranty on their soles.
I’m not sure how you measure 5000 miles unless you literally track your steps every moment that you walk in them, but suffice it to say that they will help replace the sole if something happens to them and you wear through them faster than you think you should.
- Great if you want to go barefoot without the added safety
- Great for hiking, trails, beaches, around camp, stream crossing…
- Super lightweight & comfortable
- Packs very small or straps to your pack easily
What I don’t care for so much about these is that if you’re not familiar with zero-drop soles, these may require some effort to get used to. So, plan on spending some time wearing them around town before you hit the trail.
- Slippery on wet slopes
- Lacks support
- Not very durable
Other online shops to buy these hiking sandals…
Chaco Z/Cloud 2
Teva Hurricane XLT
This pretty much wraps up this best hiking sandals list.
If there’s a sandal you think we missed or you love and/or hate any of the options that we listed, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Until then, stay safe and see you in the next one 🙂