Whether you spend your summer days on the trail or in the water, a quality pair of hiking sandals is likely on your must-have list. Designs run the gamut from backcountry-focused offerings that prioritize comfort, support, and grip to everyday-friendly models with attractive styling and affordable price points. To reflect the variety of designs and intentions, we break down our picks for the best hiking sandals of 2024 below into three categories: trail, water sports, and everyday wear. For more information on choosing the right sandal, see our comparison table and buying advice below the picks.

Our Team's Hiking Sandal Picks

Best Overall Hiking Sandal

1. Chaco Z/Cloud ($105)

Chaco Z Cloud sports sandalBest for: Trail/everyday wear
Closure: Strap (buckle)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 14 oz.
What we like: Excellent durability, support, and traction over a wide variety of surfaces.
What we don’t: A little heavy and bulky-feeling.

Chaco is one of the biggest names in adventure sandals, and their adjustable Z-strap models are legendary in the hiking and water sports markets. Their Z/Cloud has been a favorite of ours for years thanks to its comfortable and well-cushioned midsole, deep lugs for digging into softer surfaces like mud and sand, and thick straps that effectively secure the heel and forefoot. It’s on the heavier and bulkier end at 1 pound 14 ounces per pair, but the trade-off is great long-term durability and all-around support for most easy to moderate trails. In fact, we’ve had pairs withstand up to three full years of consistent use before needing to be resoled or replaced. And a final bonus: Chacos look the part for wearing around town, too—we wear ours so frequently each summer that the straps leave distinctive tan marks (affectionately referred to as the “Chaco tan”). 

As we touched on above, the Chaco Z/Cloud is far from a weight leader and can feel fairly bulky underfoot as a result. In other words, it wouldn’t be our first choice for strapping to the outside of a pack and lugging deep into the backcountry as a camp shoe, nor would we advise wearing it for long-distance day hikes (for reference, many hiking shoes weigh less). But in the end, if you like to hike in your sandals, the Z/Cloud is one of the most capable and hardwearing designs on the market. And should you run into any issues, Chaco offers an in-house repair service (called ReChaco) to fix or swap key components including straps, buckles, and even the outsole, which can be upgraded to Vibram rubber. For a little added support, we also like Chaco’s popular Z/1 Classic, which boasts an extra 5 millimeters of PU cushioning, as well as their Mega Z/Cloud that features thicker webbing but is otherwise identical to the standard version here.
See the Men's Chaco Z/Cloud  See the Women's Chaco Z/Cloud


A Close Second (That's Lighter and Grippier)

2. Bedrock Sandals Cairn Adventure ($115)

Bedrock Sandals Cairn Adventure sandalBest for: Everyday wear/trail
Closure: Strap (buckle/Velcro)
Weight per pair: 15 oz.
What we like: Light, easy to adjust, and very grippy with a premium Vibram outsole.
What we don’t: Lacking in arch support and Y-shaped strap takes some getting used to.

For many summer adventurers, the ideal pair of sports sandals is light, grippy, and looks the part for wearing both outside and around town. Bedrock Sandals’ Cairn Adventure checks all those boxes, combining a low weight (15 oz. per pair) with a flexible and low-profile design that’s easy to move in. You also get good all-around adjustability via a buckle at the front and Velcro at the rear, making it relatively easy to fine-tune the fit around different parts of the foot. But the real highlight is the premium Vibram outsole, which is reminiscent of a hiking shoe and grips extremely well on everything from packed dirt to slick rocks and blowdowns along the trail. All told, these sandals are top sellers year after year and a great all-around pick for everything from daily wear to light outdoor use. One editor even backpacked in the sandals for multiple days after getting blisters from her hiking boots and came away impressed by their all-day comfort and sturdiness.

That said, not everyone will love the Cairn’s thin, zero-drop design. The same editor who backpacked in the Cairn typically prefers a lot of padding but found it offered enough structure for her average-shaped feet, while another reviewer with wider feet experienced considerable soreness and aching after an 8-mile exploration around Mexico City. Bedrock does sell the Cairn 3D and 3D Pro II with beefier cushioning underfoot, but those with finicky feet or arch problems will likely want to upgrade to a more supportive option like Chaco’s Z/Cloud above or Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 below. Another potential downside is the Y-shaped strap at the front, which can cause irritation between the toes (this did get better for us with time) and uncomfortable rubbing where the foot meets the ankle. But if you like the more natural feel and can get a good fit with no pressure points, the Cairn offers a competitive mix of weight, flexibility, and grip, earning it a spot high on our list. Bonus: It's discounted considerably (to just $81) at the time of publishing.
See the Bedrock Cairn Adventure


Best Budget Hiking Sandal

3. Teva Original Universal ($55)

Teva Original UniversalBest for: Everyday wear
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 13 oz.
What we like: Great comfort and fun styling at a budget-friendly price.
What we don’t: Lacking in support, durability, and adjustability.

Best known for their eye-catching styling and vibrant designs, Teva’s Original Universal Sandals are one of the most ubiquitous models on the market today. At just $55, it’s around half the price of many of the more premium picks on this list but still reasonably capable for light outdoor uses like camping, paddleboarding, and short, easy day hikes. We especially love the well-cushioned EVA foam construction, which does a nice job at keeping weight low while offering good all-around comfort and durability. And unlike the buckle-equipped Bedrock and Chaco above, the Teva’s Velcro straps are a cinch to tighten and release, and we haven’t had any issues with them loosening or coming undone throughout the day.

However, while the Teva Original Universal is a fun and stylish pick for everyday wear and casual outdoor outings, it falls noticeably short for more demanding pursuits. Although soft and nicely cushioned, the EVA midsole is lacking in support and structure for covering long distances. Further, the outsole is pretty thin and cheap-feeling, and the shallow lugs lack the bite needed to dig into trickier surfaces like wet rocks and mud. For a sizable step up in traction, Teva does offer the Universal Trail Sandals, which boast a tacky Vibram Megagrip outsole with a more trail-ready tread pattern, although they’re a little too soft to take on rougher ground and will run you an additional $45. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an everyday sandal and care more about looks and price than hiking performance, the Original Universal has a lot of appeal.
See the Men's Teva Original Universal  See the Women's Teva Original Universal


Best Lightweight/Minimalist Hiking Sandal

4. Xero Z-Trail EV ($80)

Xero Z-Trail EV sports sandal_0Best for: Everyday wear/trail
Closure: Strap (buckle)
Weight per pair: 10.8 oz.
What we like: Feathery feel underfoot and great flexibility.
What we don’t: Noticeably loose and sloppy-feeling.

Inspired by the barefoot running movement, Xero Shoes offers a healthy selection of minimally padded sneakers, boots, and sandals for those that like the low-profile feel. One of the biggest benefits is weight: At a scant 10.8 ounces per pair, their Z-Trail EV is the lightest option on our list—great for rolling up or strapping to the outside of a pack and carrying in on backpacking adventures (there’s nothing worse than having to keep your sweaty hiking shoes on after a long day of walking). All the materials are supple and flexible, giving the sandals a barely-there feel, and the zero-drop shape means that your heel and forefoot are positioned the same distance from the ground to allow for a natural gait. And a final bonus: The sandals float, which makes them viable for wearing while kayaking or paddleboarding, too.

If it isn’t obvious from the specs, the Xero Z-Trail EV is decidedly less performance-oriented than designs like the Chaco Z/Cloud and Bedrock Cairn Adventure above (it even falls short of the Teva for light hiking). The streamlined build that makes these sandals so flexible and light translates to major compromises in areas like durability, support, and stability. They're noticeably looser and sloppier-feeling than the picks above, and after just a few months of relatively light use, our pair is already showing considerable wear along the thin midsole, and the lugs have started to deteriorate. In addition, the narrower straps don’t lock your foot down as well as Chaco’s thick Z-strap layout, and the TrailFoam midsole is basic and lacking in structure and all-day comfort. To be sure, the Z-Trail EV has its place for dedicated minimalists and barefoot enthusiasts, but the lack of support and longevity are undeniable drawbacks. For a slightly more robust and hiking-focused design from Xero, check out their 14-4-ounce Z-Trek
See the Men's Xero Z-Trail EV  See the Women's Xero Z-Trail EV


Best Closed-Toe Sandal for Water Sports

5. Keen Newport H2 ($125)

KEEN Newport H2 sports sandalBest for: Water sports/trail
Closure: Bungee lace
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 12 oz.
What we like: Generous toe coverage is great for water sports and river crossings.
What we don’t: Sizing can be tricky; less everyday-friendly than the options above.

If your ideal summer adventure involves being out on the water all day or hiking through brush and stream crossings, a closed-toe design like Keen’s Newport H2 makes a lot of sense. In contrast to the open-toe models above, the Newport sports a generous rubber toe cap that covers the front and top of the forefoot to guard against direct hits from rocks and roots. In addition, the polyester webbing upper and quick-dry lining don’t grow heavy when soaked, and the bungee laces make it easy and quick to snug things down with a single pull. Finally, as we’ve come to expect from Keen, the Newport H2 is comfortable enough to wear all day thanks to its well-cushioned build and good arch support.

What are the downsides? First, the Newport H2 runs notably small, and it’s best to try them on before buying (or purchase from a retailer with a good return policy). Further, despite the use of Keen’s Anti-Odor technology, we’ve found the Newport tends to hold onto a stink, especially if worn frequently during the hot summer months (they are machine-washable, which helps). Finally, some users have reported premature durability issues with the sole and stitching in particular, although we’ve had pairs last multiple years without issue. In the end, the Newports aren’t for everyone and lack the everyday appeal of many of the open-toe options. But for uses like fly fishing, kayaking, walking along rocky shorelines, or even riding your bike around town (the toe coverage is a big draw), it’s a winning recipe. For a slightly cheaper and lower-profile option from Keen, check out their Drift Creek H2. As a final alternative, Teva’s Outflow CT offers similar protection and coverage in a lighter package.
See the Men's Keen Newport H2  See the Women's Keen Newport H2


Best of the Rest

6. Teva Hurricane XLT2 ($75)

Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandalBest for: Trail/everyday wear
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 4 oz.
What we like: A viable competitor to the Z/Cloud above for $25 less.
What we don’t: Not quite as comfortable or secure.

The second Teva offering to make our list is their Hurricane XLT2, which is a sizable step up in performance from the Original Universal above and a direct competitor to Chaco’s Z-strap designs. Like the Z/Cloud above, the Hurricane is trail-ready with good cushioning for covering longer distances, a capable outsole and tread pattern for navigating variable terrain, and a strap layout that allows you to get an even fit around the foot. And despite costing $30 less than the Z/Cloud, Teva didn’t skimp on the details, including a nylon shank for added stability on uneven surfaces and small patch of soft fabric along the inside of the heel strap to cushion the back of the ankle (an area prone to blisters and hot spots). Taken together, the Hurricane is a thoughtfully built and well-executed hiking design at a great price.

Why do we have the Hurricane XLT2 ranked below the Chaco Z/Cloud? In contrast to the Chaco’s Z-shaped strap design that effectively locks the entire foot in place, the Teva’s layout leaves a large portion of the midfoot exposed, which can make a big difference on trickier terrain when you want a locked-in feel. In addition, the Velcro straps are a little less confidence-inspiring than buckles and more prone to coming loose throughout the day. They also give the Teva a fairly stiff feel overall, and some users have experienced uncomfortable rubbing at the front of the sandal where a small piece of plastic connects the straps (this has not been a problem for us). But these are relatively small gripes for an otherwise capable all-around design, and you’d be hard-pressed to find better hiking performance for less.
See the Men's Teva Hurricane XLT2  See the Women's Teva Hurricane XLT2


7. Keen Targhee III Open-Toe Sandals ($125)

KEEN Targhee III sports sandalBest for: Trail/water sports
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
What we like: A summer-ready take on one of our favorite hiking boots.
What we don’t: Leather build takes some time to break in.

Keen makes some of our favorite hiking boots and shoes on the market, and their flagship Targhee has been near the top of our rankings for years. Taking cues from that boot’s burly construction, their Targhee III Open-Toe Sandals retain the excellent out-of-the-box comfort and tough design that we love in a summer-ready package. The premium leather upper is hardwearing and confidence-inspiring for long-term outdoor use, while the EVA footbed and midsole offer great padding underfoot for long days on the trail or in the water. Coverage is another highlight, with thick leather straps protecting a good portion of the outside of the foot where you might come into contact with rocks or branches. And the straps are all lined with a soft neoprene fabric, minimizing the risk of blisters or problem areas.

The most notable drawback to the Keen’s leather design is a longer break-in period. In general, leather is much stiffer and less malleable than more commonly used synthetic materials (especially out of the box), but the good news is that it will conform to your foot better over time. Due to the amount of coverage, the Targhee is also less breathable than more open designs like the Bedrock Cairn, Chaco Z sandals, and Teva picks above, but the trade-off is better protection against scrapes and scratches. All in all, if you prioritize long-term durability and coverage and don’t mind the initial break-in, the Targhee is a decidedly premium and classy option for everything from hiking to paddleboarding and wearing around town.
See the Keen Targhee III Open-Toe Sandals


8. Ecco Yucatan ($140)

Ecco YuccatanBest for: Trail
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 4 oz.
What we like: Highly adjustable, comfortable footbed, and excellent support for hiking.
What we don’t: Decidedly dated looks and the priciest sandal on our list.

Taking the Targhee III’s high-coverage leather design to the next level is Ecco’s Yucatan. Right off the bat, we’ll note that this sandal is the priciest option on our list at $140 and overkill for many. But for hikers that value top-notch protection and a supportive fit, there’s a lot to like. Similar to the Keen, the Ecco boasts a soft nubuck leather upper with a neoprene lining that give it a very comfortable and fine-tuned feel, while the molded footbed and cushy midsole nicely isolate your foot from harsh impacts on the trail. And with three easy-to-adjust Velcro straps, it’s quick and simple to get a locked-in and confidence-inspiring fit around the entire foot.

Unfortunately, however, the Ecco Yucatan looks a lot like hiking sandals of old, with a decidedly dated design that’s far from sleek or streamlined. Unless you need the added coverage and protection, we’d prefer to stick with a more breathable and open design like the Chaco models or Teva Hurricane XLT2 above, which provide similar hiking performance and security in a more minimalist and everyday-friendly package. But looks are just one part of the equation, and the Yucatan’s effective combination of comfort, support, and coverage continue to make it popular year after year.
See the Men's Ecco Yucatan  See the Women's Ecco Yucatan


9. Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal ($110)

Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal sports sandalBest for: Trail/everyday wear
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 12.5 oz.
What we like: Soft and comfortable underfoot, solid grip, and rugged construction.
What we don’t: Less stable and secure than Chaco’s Z/Cloud above.

Choosing the right sports sandal is an exercise in prioritization, and Teva’s Terra Fi 5 Universal is a nice option for those looking for an effective balance of weight, comfort, and long-term durability. For reference, at 1 pound 12.5 ounces, the Terra Fi undercuts options like Chaco’s Z/Cloud (1 lb. 14 oz.) but checks in considerably heavier than designs like Ecco’s Yucatan and Teva’s own Hurricane XLT2 above (both 1 lb. 4 oz.). However, with the added heft come upgrades in all-around quality and hiking capabilities, including a molded PU midsole with a notch at the back to keep your heel in place (and provide a touch of protection), a thick and tacky rubber outsole with deep lugs, and a TPU shank for added stability and support while hiking over uneven terrain. And a final bonus: These sandals are recyclable via Teva’s TevaForever program, which ensures they don’t end up in a landfill.

Overall, the Terra Fi 5 Universal is a well-rounded option for summer hiking with good arch support and a nicely padded build, hardwearing construction, and effective strap layout that’s lined for added comfort and blister prevention. That said, the large bracket that connects the straps on the outside of the ankle can cause some pinching and rubbing (this will certainly vary based on foot and ankle shape). And from a value perspective, we have a hard time recommending the Teva over Chaco’s Z/Cloud, which costs $5 less, does a better job locking the entire foot down (the Teva leaves much of the midfoot exposed), and comes in a wider assortment of colorways. But the Teva is no slouch, and if you like the styling or prefer Velcro over buckle adjustments, it’s a perfectly viable alternative.
See the Men's Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal  See the Women's Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal


10. Keen Solr ($125)

KEEN SOLR sport sandalBest for: Water sports
Closure: Bungee lace
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 4 oz.
What we like: A capable and comfortable all-rounder for water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.
What we don’t: It’s easy for sand and debris to get inside.

Keen’s Newport is their flagship offering and brought the company to the forefront of the water sports market at its release in the early 2000s. However, the H2 model above is on the heavier end at 1 pound 12 ounces and arguably over-built for many. Enter their Solr, which is lighter by a significant 8 ounces per pair and noticeably more flexible and forgiving, which is largely due to the thinner PET upper and detuned outsole. From a performance perspective, there’s still a lot to like: The Aquagrip tread, while not particularly aggressive, should be adequately grippy for walking along slick surfaces like boat decks and boardwalks or even portaging your rig on land. Further, the drainage cutouts are large enough to shed moisture, the materials are known to dry out quickly, and the stretchy neoprene lining gives the sandals a supple feel and helps with the on and off process.

Why do we rank the Newport H2 higher? Despite the added heft and bulk, the Newport’s beefier and grippier outsole is better equipped for mixed use on dry ground and in the water, and the even larger cutouts along the upper make it easier for sand, pebbles, and other debris to escape without having to remove the shoes and shake them out. On the flip side, the Solr uses softer materials and has a cushier feel that’s great for comfort-seekers. In the end, these advantages aren’t enough to dethrone the Newport H2 as our favorite closed-toe design, but the Solr nevertheless is another high-quality option from the Oregon-based brand. Note: Like the Newport, the Solr runs small, so it’s best to try it on before buying.
See the Men's Keen Solr


11. Teva Zymic ($80)

Teva ZymicBest for: Trail/everyday wear
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 1.6 oz.
What we like: Standout cushioning and low weight at a great value.
What we don’t: A step down in durability and grip from the brand’s Strata Universal.

Teva’s Original Universal above put the brand on the map, but the thin midsole is decidedly lacking in support and structure for covering longer distances. Enter their Zymic, which offers a noticeable step up in padding compared to their Original, Hurricane XLT2, and Terra Fi 5 models above. In taking a quick look at the sandal, it’s immediately obvious that the EVA midsole is thick and well cushioned, providing a very responsive and bouncy feel with great isolation from rocks and roots below. Price and weight are also very competitive: At $80 and 1 pound 1.6 ounces per pair, the Zymic undercuts similarly intentioned options like the Chaco Z/Cloud ($105 and 1 lb. 14 oz.) and aforementioned Terra Fi 5 ($110 and 1 lb. 12.5 oz.) above while still managing to hold its own on the trail.

It’s worth noting that we previously had Teva’s Strata Universal ranked here, which bears a very strong resemblance to the Zymic. In parsing out the differences, the Zymic is lighter by around 5 ounces per pair, has a more breathable upper, and costs $40 less. On the flip side, the Strata gets the edge in long-term durability with more robust synthetic materials and tacks on a premium Vibram MegaGrip outsole (similar to the Bedrock Cairn above) with deeper lugs for a sizable upgrade in traction. That said, both sandals use Teva’s Velcro system, which is noticeably bulkier than Chaco’s Z-strap layout and plagued by reports of pressure points around the ankle (similar to the Hurricane and Terra Fi 5 above). Their foam-heavy builds likely also won’t last as long, although the midsoles are considerably softer and cushier than Chaco’s burly PU designs. But both Tevas are very trail-worthy, and the Zymic’s competitive mix of comfort, weight, and price is hard to beat.
See the Men's Teva Zymic  See the Women's Teva Zymic


12. Luna Sandals Mono Winged Edition ($110)

Luna Sandals Mono Winged EditionBest for: Everyday wear/trail
Closure: Strap (buckle)
Weight per pair: 11.8 oz.
What we like: Excellent grip and noticeably more stable than the Xero Z-Trail EV above.
What we don’t: Those who prioritize support and structure will want to look elsewhere.

Luna Sandals has a loyal following among minimalist hikers and backpackers, and the Mono is their bestselling design and a true standout in its weight class. For just an ounce more than Xero’s also-minimalist Z-Trail EV above, the Mono offers a nice boost in support and durability thanks to its slightly thicker and more rigid construction. It’s also one of only two models here (along with Bedrock’s 15-0z. Cairn Adventure above) to feature a Vibram outsole, which is considered the gold standard for grip and versatility. And as far as fit and comfort go, the Luna again performs better than its weight would suggest thanks to the brand’s well-executed harness system, moveable buckles, and padded heel (if you've tried the Cairn and had issues with rubbing, the Mono is a great alternative).

Why didn’t the Luna Mono Winged Edition earn our vote as the best lightweight/minimalist hiking sandal? In addition to being a little heavier than the Z-Trail EV mentioned previously, the Mono doesn’t pack down as small (a downside for ultralight backpackers) and costs a substantial $30 more. The Vibram sole and more robust build are certainly positives, and the Mono makes fewer compromises than many other UL designs, but it’s still a minimalist sandal that’s noticeably lacking in support compared to the Chacos and Tevas on this list. If weight is a top consideration, however, Luna sandals are impressively capable for how light they are (some folks even run in them). And for the most discerning of ULers, Luna’s own Leadville Pacer is even lighter at 8.9 ounces per pair, while Earth Runners’ Alpha Sandals weigh just 7.6 ounces (and both use premium Vibram rubber). 
See the Luna Sandals Mono Winged Edition


13. Hoka Hopara ($135)

Hoka One One Hopara sports sandalBest for: Water sports/trail
Closure: Bungee lace
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 9 oz.
What we like: Typical Hoka comfort and max cushioning in a summer-ready build.
What we don’t: Not everyone will like the thick padding; heel is prone to durability issues.

Hoka is best known for their wild-looking, max-cushioned running shoes, and that influence comes across clearly in their Hopara sandals. Like many of their tried-and-true running and hiking models, the Hopara boasts the brand’s signature thick padding with a generous (5mm) heel-to-toe drop, giving the sandal a noticeably bouncy and energetic feel. Inside, the neoprene collar limits friction and is soft and flexible enough for all-day wear, while a thick rubber toe cap protects against direct hits to the front of your foot. A final highlight is the outsole, which sports deep, multidirectional lugs that are designed to bite into most surfaces, from packed dirt and slippery rocks to thick mud and sand. All told, the Hopara has appeal for activities from easy to moderate day hikes to water sports like fly fishing and navigating slot canyons, where you’re frequently alternating between wet and dry conditions.

As we touched on above, Hoka is known for going against the grain and bucking modern style trends. The Hopara is no exception, with unique drainage cutouts along the upper and a busy-looking design overall, especially in the brighter colorways. Another polarizing feature is the beefy heel, which many like for the added cushion underfoot but does translate to less of a natural, connected feel on the trail (you’re pretty isolated from the ground). And some users have reported durability issues with the heel, which is only connected with a thin layer of stitching that’s prone to tearing over time. But if you treat them well and don’t mind standing out, the Hopara’s running shoe-like personality and generous coverage are undeniably enticing. For a cheaper but similarly intentioned option for days on the water (minus the max cushioning), check out Merrell’s popular Hydro Moc Shoes
See the Men's Hoka Hopara  See the Women's Hoka Hopara


14. Chaco Bodhi Sandals ($100)

Chaco BodhiBest for: Everyday wear/trail
Closure: Strap (buckle)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 3 oz.
What we like: Light and streamlined without being overly compromised.
What we don’t: New and unproven compared to the competition; toe strap caused some discomfort.

Chaco makes some of the most capable hiking sandals on the market, but they’re not known for being particularly light or minimalist. The Bodhi Sandals buck that trend, combining the secure fit and capable ChacoGrip outsole that the brand is known for in a competitively light, 1-pound-3-ounce package. Shaving weight typically comes with sacrifices in durability and support, but Chaco managed to retain a reasonably thick midsole that’s noticeably more cushioned than what you get with the Bedrock Cairn or Xero Z-Trail EV above. Security is also a step up with an additional loop at the front for locking down your big toe, and the fit is highly customizable since the straps are all connected within the sandal.

Released last year, the Chaco Bodhi is relatively new and unproven compared to the picks above, but it’s certainly a promising design. As we mentioned previously, many of Chaco’s signature features are still there, although the components are thinner and more streamlined, including the straps, buckle, midsole, and outsole. In other words, we don’t expect the Bodhi to have as long of a lifespan as other pairs of Chacos we own (we’ve been wearing the same Z/Clouds for three summers with no issues to date). During some early-season testing, one editor also experienced a pressure point where the toe and forefoot straps connect, although the issue has gotten better over time (and never led to blisters). But everyone’s foot is different, and the Bodhi nevertheless fills a nice gap in the market: It’s considerably lighter than most other Chacos while offering better support and stability than true minimalist designs like the Z-Trail EV above.
See the Men's Chaco Bodhi Sandals  See the Women's Chaco Bodhi Sandals


15. Teva Tirra ($85)

Teva Tirra sandalBest for: Trail/water sports
Closure: Strap (Velcro)
Weight per pair: 1 lb. 2 oz.
What we like: Unique strap layout maximizes comfort and makes it easy to dial in a precise fit.
What we don’t: Only sold in a women’s version; subpar traction on wet surfaces. 

The fifth and final Teva pick to make our list is their women’s-specific Tirra. Our favorite feature is the strap design, which consists of overlapping horizontal straps at the front for locking down the forefoot and a beefier strap at the rear that secures the heel and ankle in place. We also like the generous pull tab at the back, which is a small but thoughtful touch for making the on/off process quick and easy. And all of the straps are backed by a cushy neoprene lining, which does a great job at minimizing friction and preventing hot spots from the straps rubbing against your foot throughout the day. All in all, it’s a well-rounded outdoor sandal with a highly effective fit system.

Why do we have the Teva Tirra ranked here? In addition to only being offered in a women’s model, the Tirra’s sole is a little underbuilt for hiking over slippery surfaces like wet rocks and logs. The grippiest rubber is concentrated at the center of the outsole directly underneath the heel and ball of the foot, while the lugs along the sides are noticeably less pronounced and prone to slippage if your foot placement isn’t precise. We also found that the high arch made us feel a little tippy and off-balance while hiking (almost like wearing a pair of heels). Finally, with a recent update to the footbed, some users have noted that sizing has changed (many have needed to size up a half to full size compared to past models). To be clear, the Teva has its place for easy hikes and casual days on the water, but the subpar grip, lack of availability in a men’s version, and fit intricacies are enough to push it toward the bottom of our list. 
See the Women's Teva Tirra


16. Birkenstock Milano ($130)

Birkenstock Milano sandalBest for: Everyday wear
Closure: Strap (buckle)
What we like: Birkenstock’s typical quality and comfort with a heel strap for added security on the trail. 
What we don’t: Pricey for what you get and underbuilt for most outdoor adventures.

Birkenstocks are a bit of a status symbol among outdoor enthusiasts, but the flagship Arizona is decidedly underbuilt for wearing on outdoor adventures. Enter the Milano, which tacks on a heel strap for added security on casual day hikes and other light outdoor pursuits. The rest of the design is nearly identical to the Arizona, which is high praise: The oiled nubuck leather upper has a high-end look that ages well over time, the cork footbed molds nicely to your foot with minimal break-in required, and the sandals have a decidedly light and barely-there feel underfoot (Birkenstock unfortunately doesn’t list their exact weight). Taken together, the Milano is a premium and stylish option for around-town wear, beach days, and other casual summer outings. 

In addition to their undeniable everyday appeal, the Birkenstock Milano sandals also make for a surprisingly great belay and camp shoe: They’re incredibly quick to get on and off and easy to pair with thick socks on cooler days. That said, it’s important not to mistake the Milano for a true hiking sandal: While comfortable, the cork footbed is prone to abrasion from trail obstacles like rocks and branches and lacks support for covering longer distances. The foam outsole is similarly basic with shallow tread that provides decent grip on well-maintained trails but doesn’t bite well on softer and more variable surfaces (e.g., rocks and wet logs). For a step up in traction, Birkenstock’s Milano CT Rugged has a dual-density outsole with deeper lugs and a TPU layer for added protection underfoot, although it still falls short of hiking designs from brands like Chaco and Teva. For $40 less, we prefer the standard Milano’s lower-profile feel and around town-friendly styling, although it's still expensive considering the limited performance.
See the Men's Birkenstock Milano  See the Women's Birkenstock Milano


17. Keen Uneek ($130)

Keen UneekBest for: Everyday wear
Closure: Bungee lace
What we like: Braided construction promotes a foot-hugging fit and slipper-like comfort.
What we don’t’: As the name suggests, these sandals certainly are unique (you’ll either love or hate the styling).

In stark contrast to Keen’s traditional-looking Targhee III sandals above is their Uneek, which very clearly isn’t built to blend in. Rather than standard straps, the Uneek utilizes an innovative braided nylon construction that weaves in and out throughout the upper, giving the sandals a very flexible, stretchy feel. It also promotes a close, foot-hugging fit, while a single bungee cord at the top of the foot allows you to snug things down with a single pull. It doesn’t have the same locked-in feel of many of the strap-equipped models above, but for wearing casually, the trade-offs in suppleness and all-around comfort might be worth it.

That said, we hesitate to recommend the Keen Uneek for anything more intensive than light day hikes on well-maintained trails. In addition to the less secure fit and feel due to the braided construction and bungee laces, the Uneek’s outsole is fairly basic with shallow tread that won’t bite well on trickier surfaces like wet rocks, mud, or steep inclines. Again, it’s a fun option for wearing casually, but you can get better breathability in a less polarizing package by opting for a design like Teva’s Original Universal. And at $130, you’re paying a steep premium for the unique styling and materials (for reference, the Teva is a considerable $75 cheaper). But if you like the looks and don’t mind the lack of versatility, the Uneek certainly pumps some flavor into the sandal market.
See the Men's Keen Uneek  See the Women's Keen Uneek


Hiking Sandal Comparison Table

Sandal Price Best For Closure Weight Closed Toe?
Chaco Z/Cloud $105 Trail/everyday wear Strap (buckle) 1 lb. 14 oz. No
Bedrock Cairn Adventure $115 Everyday wear/trail Strap (buckle/Velcro) 15 oz. No
Teva Original Universal $55 Everyday wear Strap (Velcro) 13 oz. No
Xero Z-Trail EV $80 Everyday wear/trail Strap (buckle) 10.8 oz. No
Keen Newport H2 $125 Water sports/trail Bungee lace 1 lb. 12 oz. Yes
Teva Hurricane XLT2 $75 Trail/everyday wear Strap (Velcro) 1 lb. 4 oz. No
Keen Targhee III $125 Trail/water sports Strap (Velcro) Unavailable No
Ecco Yucatan $140 Trail Strap (Velcro) 1 lb. 4 oz. No
Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal $110 Trail/everyday wear Strap (Velcro) 1 lb. 12.5 oz. No
Keen Solr $125 Water sports Bungee lace 1 lb. 4 oz. Yes
Teva Zymic $80 Trail/everyday wear Strap (Velcro) 1 lb. 1.6 oz. No
Luna Mono Winged Edition $110 Everyday wear/trail Strap (buckle) 11.8 oz. No
Hoka Hopara $135 Water sports/Trail Bungee lace 1 lb. 9 oz. Yes
Chaco Bodhi Sandals $100 Everyday wear/trail Strap (buckle) 1 lb. 3 oz. No
Teva Tirra $85 Trail/water sports Strap (Velcro) 1 lb. 2 oz. No
Birkenstock Milano $130 Everyday wear Strap (buckle) Unavailable No
Keen Uneek $130 Everyday wear Bungee lace Unavailable Yes


Hiking Sandal Buying Advice

Best Uses: Trail, Water Sports, and Everyday Wear

The first and most important question to answer when choosing a pair of sports sandals is how you intend to use them. For hiking on trails, we look for designs with well-cushioned midsoles for all-day comfort, effective and secure fit systems for locking your foot in place, and capable and grippy outsoles with deeper tread for navigating variable surfaces from hardpack dirt to wet rocks and logs. Some also boast features to maximize stability, including TPU or nylon shanks that provide additional structure for your foot. Our top pick in this category is Chaco’s venerable Z/Cloud, which checks most of those boxes and is a great match for covering longer distances. Other favorites include Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 and Zymic, which are lighter and less bulky but still fully capable for trail use.

Sports sandals (Xero%2C Chaco%2C and Teva lineup)
Testing some of our favorite hiking sandals from Xero, Chaco, and Teva

Water Sports
If you typically spend your summer days out on the water or hiking along coastal beaches, a water sports-specific sandal might be a better bet. Models like Keen’s Newport H2 and Solr are purpose-built for the job, with drainage ports along the upper for dumping water, flatter soles for maintaining grip on slippery surfaces like boat and paddleboard decks, and closed-toe constructions that protect the front of your foot against impacts from rocks and other obstacles. Some of the picks above can also pull double duty for both extended hikes and water activities, including Keen’s open-toe Targhee III and Hoka's Hopara, which boasts toe coverage but has a hiking boot-like outsole for maintaining grip on both wet and dry surfaces. To be clear, you can likely get away with wearing any of the sandals above while out on the water, but for committed kayakers, paddlers, fishermen, and rafters, the added protection and specialized features can be very helpful.

Everyday Wear
A final category is sandals that excel for everyday and around-town wear. These designs generally are less specialized and more well rounded than hiking and water sports-specific options and put more of a premium on styling over functionality. Some of our top picks include Teva's Original Universal, Keen’s Uneek, and Birkenstock’s Milano. You don’t get the all-out grip, support, or protection of models tailormade for hiking or water use, but most of these designs are perfectly serviceable for light outdoor use and look the part for wearing casually and around town. In the end, if you’re looking for a sandal in this category, a decision will likely come down to preferences on styling and fit over performance and technical features.

Sports sandal (Bedrock Adventures Cairn 3D Adventure on beach)
Enjoying some beach time in Bedrock's Cairn Adventure sandals

Closure Systems: Straps (Velcro or Buckles) and Bungee Laces

In terms of closure systems, sandals typically fall into one of two categories: designs that secure with straps or bungee laces. Straps are the most common closure type and sport Velcro and/or buckles for dialing in fit. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but we’ve found that buckles tend to be the most effective and secure option for customizing fit and locking your foot in place. Velcro closures are often quicker and easier to tweak but can fray, lose their stickiness, and are more prone to loosening over time.

Sports sandal (adjusting buckle on Chaco Z Cloud)
We prefer buckles for maximizing security while hiking

Finally, sandals equipped with bungee laces are often (but not always) designed for water sports where Velcro or buckles might deteriorate over time from the exposure, including Keen’s Newport H2 and Solr and Hoka's Hopara. Keen’s everyday-friendly Uneek also has a bungee system, which makes it easy to get a snug all-around fit with a single pull. However, keep in mind that bungees don’t keep your foot as snugly in place as straps, which is why we typically don’t recommend them for hiking, where you’ll want your foot as secure and locked-in as possible.

Toe Protection: Closed-Toe vs. Open-Toe Sandals

A decision between a closed-toe or open-toe sandal comes down to your objectives and how you prioritize protection and coverage. Most closed-toe designs on our list are built for water sports or river crossings, including Keen’s Newport H2 and Solr and Hoka's Hopara that boast rubber patches at the front for guarding against direct hits. This is because spending time around water often involves navigating rocky creeks, riverbeds, or shorelines, where stubbed toes are par for the course if the front of your foot is exposed. Open-toe designs are more common for hiking and everyday use, but they’re a considerable step down in protection and leave your toes vulnerable to scratches and scrapes. In the end, many people choose sandals for the added breathability and flexibility and don’t mind this trade-off on more casual outings. But for serious outdoor use and covering long distances, it may be best to leave your sandals behind and don true hiking shoes or boots for the additional coverage at the front (we cover this in more detail below).

Sports sandals (hiking in Xero Z Trail EV)
Open-toe designs like Xero's Z-Trail EV leave your foot exposed to rocks and other obstacles

Fit and Sizing

As with any pair of footwear, getting a good all-around fit is key to maximizing your sandals’ performance and comfort. Whenever possible, we advise trying on before you buy, as sizing can vary considerably between brands and models. For instance, Keen’s Solr and Newport H2 are known to run on the smaller end, and many users need to size down a half or full size. Straps can also cause pressure points and hotspots, and the only surefire way to ensure a comfortable fit is to try them on first. Whether the sandal has strap or lace adjustments, make sure you can get a snug (but not overly tight) fit around the entire foot with little to no movement inside the shoe as you walk. And those with flat feet or conditions like plantar fasciitis will want to pay particularly close attention to the overall feel of the shoe—if it feels a little unsupportive the first time you try it on, comfort will likely only deteriorate as you wear it for longer periods.

Sports sandal (putting on Teva Original Universal in van)
As with all footwear, it's important to get a good overall fit with your sandals

Hiking Sandal Weight

Outdoor sandals run the gamut from minimalist designs with basic feature sets to purpose-built options for hiking and water sports, and weight varies considerably as a result. For reference, the lightest option on our list is Xero’s Z-Trail EV, which checks in at a scant 10.8 ounces per pair but has very limited support and padding and wears down much quicker than heavier options. At the beefy end of the spectrum are models like Chaco’s Z/Cloud (1 lb. 14 oz.), Keen’s Newport H2 (1 lb. 12 oz.), and Teva’s Terra Fi 5 Universal (1 lb. 12.5 oz.), which sport thick cushioning for all-day comfort on the trail or in the water and offer a major step up in areas like protection, durability, and stability for more demanding outdoor use. In general, we’ve found the sweet spot to be around 1 to 1.5 pounds, including designs like Bedrock’s Cairn Adventure (15 oz.) and Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 (1 lb. 4 oz.) and women’s-specific Tirra (1 lb. 2 oz.), which combine a reasonable weight with well-rounded builds for light hiking and general outdoor use.

Hiking sandals (holidng up minimalist Luna Leadville Pacer)
Luna Sandals' minimalist Leadville Pacer (8.9 oz. per pair) is competitively light for bringing into the backcountry

Outsoles and Traction

In addition to weight, traction varies considerably between sports sandals and largely depends on your objectives. For hiking, we look for deep and multi-directional lugs for biting into softer surfaces and variable terrain, with Vibram rubber at the forefront of the market in terms of all-out grip and capability. From our list above, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure and Luna Mono Winged Edition feature Vibram outsoles that perform well whether you’re hiking over packed dirt, crossing slick stream beds, or navigating slippery blowdowns on the trail. Chaco’s in-house rubber compounds have also proven to be impressively capable. Chaco does offer the option to resole their sandals with Vibram rubber should you have any issues, but we’ve worn several variations of their Z/Cloud for years and found them to be very confidence-inspiring over nearly any type of terrain, from boulder-hopping through streams in Hawaii to hiking on dry and rocky trails back home in Colorado.

Hiking sandals (traction comparison shot)
Traction varies widely and depends on the type of rubber used, lug shape and depth, and more

At the other end of the spectrum are sandals designed for water sports, which trade aggressive tread patterns for flatter and less pronounced lugs for maximizing grip on wet and slippery surfaces like boat decks, water crossings, and boardwalks. For instance, Keen’s Solr has a smooth patch of rubber under the forefoot with tiny, low-profile cubes covering the rest of the sole. While they don’t bite into dry or muddy terrain nearly as well, these models do an excellent job at keeping you stable on hard, slick, and glossy surfaces that are prone to getting wet. And most of the everyday-friendly models on our list fall somewhere in the middle, with lower-profile tread designs that are a step up from water sports sandals but less aggressive than hiking offerings.

Sports sandal (Teva Original Universal outsole)
The outsole on Teva's budget-friendly Original Universal sandals

Stability and Support

Regardless of their intention, sports sandals inherently offer limited stability and support compared to beefier hiking shoes or boots. That said, there still is a wide range between models, with hiking-focused designs like Chaco’s Z/Cloud and Ecco’s Yucatan at the front of the pack. These sandals are fairly thick and bulky, but the trade-off is great arch support and a confidence-inspiring feel while navigating variable terrain. Some designs also incorporate TPU or nylon shanks for additional structure and stability on uneven ground, including Teva’s Hurricane XLT2 and Terra Fi 5 Universal. At the light and more minimalist end of the spectrum, options like Bedrocks’ Cairn Adventure and Xero’s Z-Trail EV are thinner and noticeably less supportive for all-day wear and covering longer distances. Whether or not you need the added support of a beefier design is up to you, but if you anticipate doing a lot of walking or hiking in your sandals, it’s a good thing to consider.

Hiking sandals (Teva Fi 5 Universal and Strata Universal)
The Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal (left) and Strata Universal (right) have good cushioning for all-day wear

Build Quality and Durability

All the picks on our list are made by reputable brands and use quality materials that should stand up well to regular use. That said, some will fare better than others, and weight can be a good place to start. Light and minimalist offerings like the Xero Z-Trail EV are inherently less durable and more tear-prone than thicker and more hardwearing sandals like Chaco’s Z/Cloud and Teva’s hiking-focused designs. For reference, after just a few months of use, our pair of Z-Trails are already showing considerable wear along the footbed and outsole, while our 3+ year-old Chacos are still going strong with just a few cosmetic scuffs and lightly worn tread (and others on our team have had Chacos last 10+ years). Price can be another good indicator of longevity, with more expensive offerings typically boasting higher-quality materials and more robust constructions that will stand up better to long-term outdoor use. Budget picks like Teva’s Original Universal are a great example: While they cost just $55, the basic foam build will wear down much more readily than their $100 Terra Fi 5 Universal.

Hiking sandals (wearing Chacos at overlook in Utah desert)
We've found Chacos to be very durable and long-lasting (the pair shown is more than three years old)

Wearing Socks with Sandals

Taking fashion out of the equation, wearing socks with sandals can be a great way to boost warmth on chilly evenings at camp or after a long day on the water. However, some models are better equipped for the job than others. For example, Chaco’s Bodhi has a toe loop that makes it nearly impossible to pair with traditional socks. Injinji does make designs that separate each toe, like their popular Trail Midweight Mini-Crew, but not everyone will like the looks or effort required to put them on.

Hiking sandals (wearing the Chaco Bodhi)
Sandals with toe loops—like the Chaco Bodhi—are tough to pair with socks

On the flip side, simple slip-on designs like Birkenstock’s Arizona Essentials EVA (not included here) are very easy to wear even with thick, heavyweight socks. Strap-equipped models without a toe loop, like Birkenstock’s Milano, Chaco’s Z/Cloud, Xero’s Z-Trail EV, and Teva’s Original Universal can also accommodate socks, but you might need to loosen the straps to get a good fit. This likely won’t be a major consideration for many, but if you’re prone to cold feet or know you’ll want to wear socks on occasion, it’s a good idea to think about compatibility before making a purchase.

Hiking sandals (wearing with socks)
For extra warmth, pair your sandals with some wool socks


The outdoor gear market has seen a big uptick in the use of sustainable practices over the past several years, and hiking sandals are no exception. Recycled materials are one of the most common measures, with brands like Teva and Keen at the forefront. For reference, Teva’s Repreve polyester webbing is used in all of their designs we listed above and made from recycled plastic bottles. They also have a dedicated program (called TevaForever) for repurposing your old sandals—simply print a free shipping label, box them up, and send them in to be reused in other products. You’ll also see some models listed as “vegan-friendly,” which indicates they were made without the use of animal products. Finally, we appreciate when brands make an effort to extend the lifespan of their products, including Chaco’s ReChaco program that allows you to send in your old pair of sandals and get the straps, buckles, and soles fixed or swapped.

Hiking sandals (worn down outsoles)
We love the option to resole to extend the life of our Chacos

Hiking Sandals vs. Trail Runners and Hiking Shoes

As we covered above, sandals inherently offer very limited support, protection, and stability, especially when stacked up against trail runners and hiking shoes. In other words, if you anticipate covering a lot of miles in a day or venturing on multi-day outings into the backcountry, the vast majority of people should leaving their sandals behind (or throw them in a pack to wear at camp later). Covering rough and rocky terrain with a pack is already enough of a challenge, and sandals—even hiking-focused models like Chaco’s Z/Cloud—are simply underbuilt for those sorts of objectives. Not only will your feet likely grow sore and achy from the lack of support underfoot, but your toes will also be exposed to obstacles like rocks and roots, and the potential for rolling an ankle is high. To be clear, many people hike in Chacos all summer (ourselves included), but only on well-maintained trail networks and shorter day trips. For anything more intense, we throw on our trail runners or hiking shoes. 
Back to Our Top Hiking Sandal Picks  Back to Our Hiking Sandal Comparison Table

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