Are Sandals Good For Hiking? (Guide 2023)

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When it comes to hiking, the right footwear can make all the difference. As outdoor enthusiasts gear up for their adventures in 2023, one common question emerges: “Are sandals good for hiking?” In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using sandals for your outdoor excursions.

We’ll break down the suitability of sandals for various hiking conditions and provide expert insights to help you choose the best hiking footwear. Let’s dive in to find out if sandals are the ideal choice for your hiking needs.

Why should I wear hiking sandals? Detailed guide

Wearing hiking sandals can offer several benefits, including:

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Hiking sandals typically feature open designs that allow your feet to breathe. This ventilation helps to prevent moisture buildup, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort during your hike.


Modern hiking sandals are designed with lightweight materials, making them easier on your feet during long treks. You’ll feel less fatigued compared to heavier hiking Boots.


Hiking sandals are versatile and suitable for various outdoor activities, from light trails to water-based adventures. Many designs offer excellent grip for slippery surfaces, and some even have toe protection for added safety.


Sandals are perfect for river crossings or rainy conditions. Their quick-drying nature means you won’t be walking with soggy feet for extended periods.


Many hiking sandals are ergonomically designed with cushioned soles, arch support, and adjustable straps for a snug fit. This ensures comfort during your hike.

Less Maintenance:

Unlike traditional boots, sandals are easier to clean and require less maintenance. After a muddy hike, a simple rinse can have them looking good as new.

Reduced Weight on Your Feet:

Lighter footwear places less strain on your leg muscles, reducing the risk of fatigue and allowing you to cover longer distances comfortably.


If you’re packing for a multi-day trip, sandals take up less space in your backpack compared to bulkier hiking boots, leaving room for other essential gear.

Connection with Nature:

Hiking sandals provide a closer connection to the environment, letting you feel the terrain underfoot and enjoy a more sensory experience.

However, it’s important to note that hiking sandals may not be suitable for all terrains or weather conditions. For challenging and rocky trails, hiking boots with ankle support are often a better choice. In colder weather, insulated footwear is essential. The choice between hiking sandals and other footwear largely depends on the specific conditions of your hike.

In summary, hiking sandals offer breathability, comfort, versatility, and many other benefits for hikers in 2023. Their suitability depends on your specific hiking plans and conditions, so it’s crucial to choose the right footwear for your adventure.

Read more : Can you use snow boots for hiking?

Why should I not wear hiking sandals? Detailed guide

There are several reasons why hiking sandals may not be the best choice for all types of hikes, including:

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Limited support: 

Hiking sandals typically offer less support than hiking boots, which can lead to foot pain and discomfort on longer hikes or over rugged terrain.

Reduced protection: 

Hiking sandals do not provide the same level of protection for your feet as hiking boots. They offer less protection from rocks, roots, and other sharp objects on the trail.

Inadequate insulation:

Hiking sandals do not provide insulation for your feet, which can be a problem in colder weather or during hikes at high elevations.

Limited stability:

Hiking sandals do not provide the same level of stability as hiking boots, which can be a problem on uneven or steep terrain.

Reduced durability: 

Hiking sandals may not be as durable as hiking boots and may not last as long with heavy use.

Inappropriate for certain trails: 

Hiking sandals may not be suitable for all types of trails, particularly those that are steep, rocky, or covered in mud.

It’s important to consider the type of trail, the weather conditions, and your personal needs and preferences when deciding whether to wear hiking sandals. In general, hiking sandals may not be the best choice for longer or more challenging hikes, or for trails that involve steep ascents or descents, rough terrain, or obstacles such as rocks or roots. 

If you are in doubt, it’s always a good idea to opt for a pair of hiking boots that provide more support, protection, and stability.

Now you know that hiking sandals are good for hiking or not, let’s have a look on some brand options

Leading Hiking Sandal Brands of 2023


KEEN is a popular brand for hiking sandals and offers a wide range of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Their sandals are known for their durable construction, comfortable fit, and versatile design. Some of the popular features of KEEN hiking sandals include waterproof materials, good traction, and adjustable straps for a secure fit.


Columbia is another well-known brand for hiking sandals and offers a range of options for all types of hikes. Their sandals are designed with comfort and performance in mind, featuring cushioned insoles, quick-drying materials, and non-marking soles.


Merrell is a respected brand in the hiking and outdoor industry and offers several high-quality hiking sandals. Their sandals are designed for maximum support and comfort, with features such as Vibram soles for improved traction, antimicrobial treatment for odor control, and cushioned insoles for added comfort.

These are just a few of the top brands for hiking sandals, and each brand offers different features to meet the specific needs of hikers.

When choosing a pair of hiking sandals, it’s important to consider factors such as the type of trail, the weather conditions, and your personal needs and preferences. This will help you select the right pair of sandals for your outdoor adventures.

Are Chaco Sandals Suitable for Hiking?

Chaco sandals have gained popularity as versatile outdoor footwear, but are they really up to the task when it comes to hiking? In this guide, we’ll explore the suitability of Chaco sandals for hiking in 2023. We’ll delve into their features and design to help you make an informed decision for your next adventure.

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Traction and Grip:

Chaco sandals are known for their excellent traction. The non-marking outsoles with deep lugs provide stability on various terrains, from rugged trails to slippery riverbanks.

Adjustable Straps:

Cha cos come with a unique adjustable strap system that allows for a customized fit. This not only enhances comfort but also ensures your feet stay secure during your hike.

Durable Construction:

Chaco sandals are built to last. They’re designed with durability in mind, using high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of hiking.

Arch Support:

Many Chaco models are equipped with excellent arch support, which is crucial for long hikes. This feature helps reduce fatigue and discomfort, making them suitable for extended treks.

Quick Drying:

If your hike involves water crossings or wet conditions, Chaco sandals are quick-drying. They won’t stay soaked for long, keeping your feet comfortable throughout your journey.


Chaco sandals are not only for hiking but also adaptable to a range of outdoor activities. Their versatile design makes them ideal for backpacking, kayaking, and more.

Toe Protection:

Some Chaco models include toe protection, which can be crucial for safeguarding your feet against accidental impacts with rocks or roots on the trail.

Variety of Styles:

Chaco offers a variety of styles and designs, ensuring that you can find a pair that matches your personal preferences and hiking needs.

While Chaco sandals are a popular choice among hikers, it’s essential to consider the specific terrain and weather conditions of your hike. For rugged terrains, extreme weather, or very technical trails, traditional hiking boots may still be the better option. However, for many outdoor enthusiasts, Chaco sandals are a reliable and comfortable choice for a wide range of hiking adventures.

Can hiking sandals be preferred over hiking boots?

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Hiking sandals can be a preferable option to hiking boots for certain hikers and specific types of hikes. They are lightweight, offer better breathability, and allow for greater freedom of movement, making them an excellent choice for shorter, less challenging hikes in warm weather.

Moreover, many hikers find the comfort and convenience of hiking sandals, such as Chacos, appealing in contrast to the bulk and rigidity of traditional hiking boots. The comfort they offer is a significant factor that deems Chacos suitable for hiking.

However, for longer and more demanding hikes, hiking boots are generally considered a superior choice. They provide enhanced support, protection, and stability when compared to hiking sandals. Deciding between hiking sandals and boots should take into account factors like the trail type, weather conditions, as well as your personal preferences and requirements.

For those interested in finding the best women’s hiking boots for wider feet, you can explore the options available by visiting the following link.

How much budget is required for hiking sandals?

The cost of high-quality hiking sandals can range from $70 to $200 or more. Factors that impact the price include the brand, materials used, and features such as waterproofing and additional support. It’s important to note that investing in a good pair of sandals can be worth it in the long run, as they provide better support for your feet during hikes and are typically more durable. 

When shopping for hiking sandals, consider your budget and specific needs, such as waterproofing and arch support, to find the best option for you.


In conclusion, sandals can be a suitable choice for hiking, offering comfort and breathability, ideal for warm-weather, less strenuous hikes. Brands like Chaco have gained popularity for their performance.

However, the choice between sandals and hiking boots ultimately depends on the terrain and personal preferences. Always consider the trail conditions and weather for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in 2023.


Are sandals good for long walks?

It depends on the type of sandal and the individual’s feet. Some sandals with good arch support and cushioning can be suitable for long walks, while others may not provide enough protection and support. It’s best to choose a sandal that fits well and provides adequate support for your feet.

Why you shouldn’t wear socks with sandals?

Wearing socks with sandals can create a bulky and uncomfortable appearance, as well as interfere with the breathability and ventilation that sandals are designed to provide. It’s best to go sockless or wear open-toe socks for a comfortable and stylish look when wearing sandals.

Do hiking sandals ruin your feet?

Hiking sandals, if used improperly or without proper support, can cause discomfort and foot problems. Improper fit, poor arch support, and insufficient protection can lead to conditions such as blisters, pain, and overuse injuries. It is important to choose a sandal that fits well and provides adequate support and protection for your feet, and to properly break in the sandals before going on a hike.

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