The 11 Most Comfortable Hiking Sandals Ever

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Comfortable hiking sandals—every hiker’s Holy Grail. We’ve all been there, after a long and grueling hike, you wish you had invested in a pair. Fear not, we’ve done the legwork for you. Stick with us as we explore the top sandals that promise to make every step a joy.

Comfort in hiking sandals largely hinges on factors like cushioning, a good fit, and arch support—although more minimalist models can also be comfy with stronger feet. While all hiking sandals are designed for long treks, models like the Keen Newport H2, Source Classic&Gobi, and Chaco Z/Cloud series are particularly lauded for their comfort and design. Brands like Source and Chaco offer high-quality sandals that mix comfort and durability, with standout features such as padded heel straps and contoured footbeds.

There are some incredibly comfortable hiking sandals.

Looking for the perfect pair of comfortable hiking sandals can feel like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack—until now. Our comprehensive guide sifts through the multitude of options, to present the cream of the crop when it comes to balancing comfort, style, and durability.

Comfortable Hiking Sandals—What’s the secret sauce?

Comfort, when it comes to hiking sandals, is a synthesis of various design and material elements.

The perfect fit – it’s non-negotiable, folks! Your feet should feel like they’re shaking hands with your sandals (not getting into a wrestling match). The sandal should match your foot’s contours and provide ample support, particularly at the arch and heel.

Adjustable straps are your buddies here—they allow you to find a customized fit (much more easily that would be the case with hiking boots), which is vital to avoid chafing, blisters, and other such discomforts. High-quality hiking sandals typically feature adjustable straps at the heel, instep, and toe area to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes and sizes.

Next up is cushioning. Think of it as a mini shock absorber for your feet. It soaks up the impact of every step and lightens the load on your feet and lower legs—essential for long hikes! Some sandals offer extra cushioning in the heel sections for added shock absorption, while others provide a uniformly padded footbed.

But, more padding doesn’t nessecarily mean more comfort. Did you know that some hard-core hikers dig ‘zero-drop’ sandals? These guys aim to recreate the feeling of going barefoot, promoting a more natural foot movement.

But fair warning: they’re not beginner-friendly, requiring a certain foot strength and resilience. That’s why, here, we’ll focus on the comfort of classic, well-cushioned hiking sandals. But if you are interested in the minimalist options, check out our guide on barefoot sandals!

Material quality also influences comfort. We want the uppers (the top part of the sandal) to be soft, breathable, and quick-drying—particularly if you’ll be hiking in wet conditions or crossing streams. As for the footbed, EVA (that’s short for ethylene vinyl acetate) is a popular pick for cushioning and support.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the outsole (the bottom bit of your sandal). A good outsole isn’t just about grip—it’s about serving as an extra shock absorber. High-quality rubber is the way to go here. It ticks all the boxes: durability, grip, and yep, comfort!

Are Hiking Sandals Comfortable for Long Hikes?

Hiking sandals can be incredibly comfortable on long hikes, especially if they have all the right design elements as discussed above—a good fit, adequate cushioning, quality materials, and a supportive outsole—and suit your feet well enough that you can find that perfect fit.

What’s more, hiking sandals have the added benefit of being breathable and lightweight—which means they allow you to trek further, since you won’t get tired as quickly! They also keep your feet cooler on hot days and are quicker to dry if they get wet, which significantly enhances overall comfort on long hikes in hot weather and wet terrain.

It’s also worth noting that the “breaking in” period for hiking sandals is typically much shorter than for hiking boots—typically less than two weeks. So if you’ve got a long hike planned, like, this weekend, and have yet to find some footwear—that’s a good reason to look into sandals.

But there’s a caveat—terrain matters in the decision of whether to wear hiking sandals or boots, and what kind of hiking sandals to choose. And of course, feet are all different, and a hiking sandal that fits your feet well will be a lot more comfy than one that doesn’t—it’s worth some experimenting.

That all being said—let’s look into the most comfortable hiking sandals! All of them are the soft and cushioned types—if you are looking for comfortable minimalist and zero-drop options, our article about the best barefoot hiking sandals is for you.

We’ve sorted them into two categories—the most comfortable closed-toe hiking sandals (which offer extra protection, but are less adjustable), and the most comfortable over-the-foot-strap hiking sandals:

What are the most comfortable hiking sandals with toe caps?

Keen Newport H2

Think of the Keen Newport H2 as the hiking sandal equivalent of a utility belt – packed with practical features! It boasts a durable polyester webbing upper that’s ready to take on both water and rough trails, a cushy EVA midsole for comfort, and an adjustable strap for a snug fit. But the real deal-clincher here is the protective rubber toe bumper—no more stubbing your toes on unexpected rocks! Plus, its non-marking rubber outsole offers top-tier traction, whether you’re strolling on a river bank or scrambling up a steep trail.

However, the Newport H2 isn’t perfect. Some users feel that it’s a bit heavier compared to other sandals, and it can take some time to dry. But overall, this sandal’s popularity among outdoor enthusiasts speaks for itself—it’s a durable, versatile, and, yes, comfy pick!

Keen Whisper

A close cousin to the Newport H2, the Keen Whisper, is a firm favorite among the hiking community, particularly among women. It mirrors many of the Newport’s top features but with a more female-friendly design. Like its counterpart, it also has the toe bumper (a Keen signature feature), an adjustable fit, and an excellent rubber outsole.

What makes the Whisper stand out is its lighter weight and sleeker silhouette, making it a bit more city-friendly than the more rugged-looking Newport H2. However, a common critique is that it lacks the arch support some hikers look for in a sandal. If you’ve got a foot with a high arch, you might want to try them on before committing.

Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve

Merrell is a trusted name in the outdoor footwear arena, and the All Out Blaze Sieve is a testament to why. This hybrid shoe-sandal combines the breathability and lightness of a sandal with the protection of a hiking shoe, thanks to its waxy leather fabric and protective toe bumper. With its UniFly midsole, it strikes a good balance between comfort and stability, offering shock absorption and weight distribution.

The All Out Blaze Sieve’s Vibram outsole is a standout feature, known for its high-performance traction even in wet conditions. On the flip side, some users find the fit a bit narrow and recommend sizing up, especially if you have wider feet. However, for those seeking a hiking sandal that doesn’t compromise on ruggedness or comfort, the All Out Blaze Sieve fits the bill.

What are the most comfortable hiking sandals with over-the-foot straps?

Source Classic

The Source Classic has a certain ‘classic’ appeal that has managed to withstand the test of time. These sandals feature a unique triple-layered sole, and are designed to offer supreme comfort, even on the toughest terrains. What we love about the Classic is the adjustable strap system that offers a custom and secure fit, as well as the antimicrobial agent integrated into the sandals to keep the funk away after a long hike.

A gripe some users have, though, is the minimalist arch support that might not suit everyone’s needs, particularly those who require more support.

Source Gobi

Next in line, we have the Source Gobi—a personal favourite among the Trail Dweller team! This sandal is a step up from the Classic, adding a few premium features that make it even more hike-ready.

The standout feature is its padded heel strap, which boosts the comfort level, making it an excellent choice for long-distance hiking. Its sturdy construction also earns it brownie points among hiking enthusiasts.

However, they’re a bit on the pricey side, so budget-conscious hikers might have to think twice.

Chaco Z/Cloud series

Chaco Z/Cloud series have earned their stripes as comfortable and durable hiking sandals. Their claim to fame is the LUVSEAT footbed—an innovation that provides contoured arch support for all-day comfort, ideal for those long, demanding hikes. And let’s not forget the adjustable strap system that ensures a secure fit.

Some users, though, find the breaking-in period a bit challenging due to the robust material, but once they’re worn in, they’re said to be a dream to hike in.

Chaco Mega Z/Cloud

Bigger and bolder, the Chaco Mega Z/Cloud takes the comfort factor to the next level with a 28mm wide strap for a more secure feel. Like the Z/Cloud series, it features the LUVSEAT footbed, providing fantastic support, but with a much softer top layer for added comfort.

While its weight is a common concern (it’s heavier than the regular Z/Cloud), most of us feel that the exceptional comfort and support make the extra ounces worth it.

Teva Original Universal

The Teva Original Universal is a staple in the world of outdoor sandals, blending comfort, simplicity, and durability in one package. Its EVA foam footbed offers a plush feel underfoot, while the Universal Strapping System ensures a secure fit. It’s not without its faults, though. Some users feel the lack of substantial arch support can be a bit of a letdown, especially for long-distance hikes.

Teva Hurricane XLT2

Take everything you love about the Original Universal, and level it up—that’s the Hurricane XLT2 for you. Its added heel padding provides superior comfort, while the Durabrasion Rubber outsole offers improved traction. The webbing is quick-drying, which makes it excellent for water-based activities. Despite its many features, some people find the footbed a bit stiff initially, but this usually resolves after a breaking-in period.

Ecco Yucatan

The Ecco Yucatan is designed for comfort, support, and stability. The highlight is its EVA-molded footbed and RECEPTOR technology, which provide exceptional arch support and shock absorption. The Yucatan also offers adjustable straps for a customizable fit. However, they run on the expensive side, which can be a deterrent for some.

Merrell Kahuna III

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Merrell Kahuna III. This sandal features a pigskin upper for durability and a neoprene lining for comfort. The Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, making it great for hiking. However, it’s worth noting that some users findthe Kahuna III runs small, so you might want to consider sizing up for the best fit. But once you find your perfect size, you’re in for a treat—these sandals are known for their fantastic blend of comfort and durability, making them an excellent choice for any hike.

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