The Best Hiking Sandals for Women

Our favorites, the Chacos Z/Clouds, are unbelievably comfortable and stabilizing.

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Women's Hiking Sandals
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Certain types of trails and conditions require swapping traditional hiking boots for sandals. Treks through hot, humid, or particularly wet terrain are where they really shine. Whether you're wading into a lake, ambling across rocky shores, crossing a river, or just want to let your feet breathe while enjoying the great outdoors, hiking sandals are a great choice.

Sandals with grip that can easily go from trail to water make our outdoor lives safer and more comfortable. Our favorite hiking sandals are the extra-cushiony Chacos Z/Cloud. Their stability and traction serve several purposes, whether helping you traverse varied terrain, get closer to a waterfall, or slip your feet in for a bathroom run outside your tent. There are plenty of other great sandals to choose from, so we researched dozens of options that offer women's hiking enthusiasts the best in comfort, functionality, and quick-drying abilities. We also spoke to Trisha Bartels and Janie Welsh, Adventure Guides and Program Managers with Adventures in Good Company, for their recommendations.

These are the 10 best hiking sandals for women:

T+L's Top Picks

Best Overall: Chacos Z/Cloud Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI and Zappos

Why We Love It: These sandals are comfortable for almost any type of foot and foot issue.

What to Consider: The straps may require a short break-in period and should be worn around a bit before taking them to the trail.

We love the cushiony comfort that the Chacos Z/Cloud sandals offer — they provide all-day wear without complaints. An upgrade to the classic Chacos, this design has a softer footbed they will keep you happy on your feet for hours on end. Heel cups and arch support add to the allure of the already pillow-like cushioning in the well-designed soles. The straps allow for a customized fit and won't rub your feet raw on the trail either. The diamond tread pattern's excellent traction and stability will have you feeling like a goat on wet, dry, and rugged terrain. These sandals pack a lot of power while still managing to be lightweight so you can really go the distance in them.

For a solid pair of all-round sandals that can tackle longer hikes as well as a quick nature walk, look no further. Although the sole is on the thicker side, they're still flexible and bend when needed to accommodate varying terrain. The quick-drying polyester straps and antimicrobial odor control will have you even more prepared for any adventure that comes your way. Whether you're hiking, enjoying watersports, or camping, the Chacos Z/Cloud sandals are the perfect companion.

Available sizes: 6-12, including wide | Weight: 1.3 pounds | Closure type: Strap and ladder lock buckle

Best Overall, Runner-up: Chacos Z/1 Classic Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love It: We love the classic design of this sandal and their fantastic all-around use.

What to Consider: Adjusting the sandals to fit your feet might require a small learning curve, but once you get it, you're good to go.

We love the Chacos Z/1 Classic soles for their robust design and sheer ability to absorb shocks. They keep your feet from feeling rocks and anything else uncomfortable that you might tread over while making your way along the trail. We celebrate the Chaco Luvseat footbed for its continued support, whether in the backcountry, river rafting, or running errands in town. The footbed is a touch more firm on the brand's classic design than the Cloud version, but also excels in stability for that reason.

The continuous strap design means tailoring to your feet will take a bit of effort, but when it hugs them precisely the right way for extended wear, it'll be worth it. The open-toe design keeps your feet well-ventilated and quick-to-dry, perfect for tackling both wet and dry conditions as you explore the outdoors. These durable sandals are a classic for a reason, and they're ready to handle whatever your day presents.

Available sizes: 5-12, including wide | Weight: 1.3 pounds | Closure type: Strap and ladder lock buckle

Best Budget: Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love It: They're lightweight and versatile, in and out of the water.

What to Consider: If you wear a half size, it's recommended to size up for the best fit with these sandals.

The Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandals are a top pick because they're trail ready straight out of the box and a great value for the price. Their timeless three-strap design is user-friendly, and the cushioned heel strap is a welcome bonus for keeping the sandal in place when navigating the trail. The footbed is moderately stiff, but they are still equipped to handle most rocky terrain like pros.

These Tevas perform well for water sport ventures due to their quick-dry webbing, grip, and closed cell foam construction. Slipping these on and off is a breeze because of the simple hook and loop closures, making them ideal for sport activities or lounging at camp. For an affordable pair of hiking sandals, the Teva Hurricane XLT2s fit the bill quite nicely, and you won't have to skimp on quality or performance.

Available sizes: 5-13 | Weight: 1 pound | Closure type: Strap and hook and loop closure

Related: The Best Hiking Backpacks for Women

Best Closed-toe: Keen Newport H2

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of REI

Also available at Zappos

Why We Love It: We love that these hiking sandals are machine washable for easy cleaning.

What to Consider: They typically run about half a size small.

For hiking sandals that protect your toes on particularly rocky trails, the Keen Newport H2 is a top choice. The design offers a hearty barrier to stubbing your toes, helping to prevent injury while enjoying the outdoors. The style also provides the benefits of hiking sandals, with ventilation and quick-drying materials in the lining and upper webbing. Traction is exceptional, with multi-directional lugs and razor siping so you can feel confident on both wet and dry terrain.

Hug these to your feet with the 10-point fit and lace-lock bungee cord, which also helps when you want to easily slip them on and off. Those looking for arch support will find a friend in the removable PU insole, specifically designed for extra reinforcement in that area of your foot. For the optimal blend of hiking boot and sandal, the Keen Newport H2 is at the top of its class.

Available sizes: 5-11, including half sizes | Weight: 1.4 pounds | Closure type: Bungee lace

Best Eco-friendly: Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI and Teva

Why We Love It: Each pair of sandals saves four plastic bottles from being dumped in landfills.

What to Consider: If you wear a half size, try sizing down for the correct fit.

Teva is an iconic classic for a reason, with its timeless design and multi-use footwear styles. It's also one of the leading eco-friendly brands and uses recycled and plant-based vegan materials to aid in saving the environment and promote sustainability. The name "Teva" translates to "nature" in Hebrew, and the company does their part in preserving the very place these sandals were made to enjoy. Teva's pledge to use less water and reduce packaging are just some of the additional small steps making a big wave in the effort to protect our planet.

Although they are best used for lighter hikes and watersports versus longer, more challenging treks, the Teva Women's Original Universal sandals are the perfect everyday shoe for warm-weather activities.

Available sizes: 5-13 | Weight: .8 pounds | Closure type: Strap and hook and loop closure

Best for Wide Feet: Chacos Z/Cloud 2 Wide Width Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love It: The adjustable strap system allows for a more customized fit.

What to Consider: However, the strap adjustment also has a bit of a learning curve.

It's our favorite women's hiking sandal, but in wide widths. The durable and functional Chacos Z/Cloud 2 is the pillow-top bedding of the sandal world that will fit almost any type of foot, and it comes in wide and regular with straps that give a tailored fit. The toe loop provides extra control for hiking descents and wet terrain, enhancing the already impressive grip and traction.

The Cloud 2 has all the superior grip, long-lasting comfort, and arch support that the brand is known for, but was designed with hikers' diverse footwear needs in mind. "For people with wide feet (like myself) I LOVE Chacos Wide," hiking guide Janie Welsh shared.

Available sizes: 5-12, including wide sizes | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Closure type: Strap and ladder lock buckle

Related: The Best Tents for Every Camping Trip

Best for Water: Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of REI

Also available at Bedrock

Why We Love It: They have a minimalist and lightweight design.

What to Consider: The thong strap might take a little time for your feet to get used to wearing.

We love the three-point adjustment strap design of the Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals, specifically for the ability to tailor to your feet, which is what we crave when our expeditions throw wet conditions in the mix. Additionally, worries about slipping within the footbed are put to rest with "sole-hugger wings" and a geo-pattern design that works hard to keep your feet in place. Speaking of the footbed, each sandal offers a molded base with toe and arch support, making feet everywhere happy in the outdoors. Meanwhile, the Vibram sole keeps you gripped to whatever terrain your venture delivers.

Made from 100 percent vegan materials, these sandals are planet-friendly too. Whether hiking in the rain, canyoning, or venturing down the river, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals get the job done without weighing you down.

Available sizes: 6-15 | Weight: .5 pounds | Closure type: Strap and ladder lock buckle

Best for Trail to Town: Chaco Lowdown Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love It: Their versatility makes them a great choice for active travelers looking to pack light.

What to Consider: The stability offered from these sandals isn't necessarily ideal for more challenging or backcountry hikes.

Chaco took their original hiking sandal design and paired it down to gift us a lightweight version that can seamlessly go from trail to town and look good doing it. All day comfort makes these sandals a fantastic travel companion whether your plans include a day wandering the city, exploring nearby nature trails, strolling a botanical garden, a river rafting expedition, or all of the above.

The 3-millimeter lug design provides excellent traction on the outsole to keep you from slipping in wet or dry conditions, as does the grippy footbed. While they do offer arch support, their low-profile keeps them from being higher in the midfoot region than many other sandals. These are also wider than most, so even though they don't come in wide-width sizing, they'll accommodate most feet comfortably. Wear these with hiking shorts or to lunch in a sundress and be prepared for almost anything.

Available sizes: 5-12 | Weight: .7 pounds | Closure type: Strap and ladder lock buckle

Best Arch Support: Ecco Sport Yucatan Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Zappos and Ecco

Why We Love It: The arch support provides all-day comfort, particularly for those with foot issues like bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What to Consider: They're a little bulkier than the traditional hiking sandals.

Comfort level, support, and versatility make the Ecco Sport Yucatan Sandals a solid go-to for an all-around everyday shoe. The footbed materials feel luxurious against your feet, and they're ready to roll right out of the box. Three-strap adjustment allows for a more tailored fit, ideal for those also in need of arch support.

While the sole is very stable, it does lack some flexibility and grip that more challenging hiking trails require. Suited for more casual hiking and general outdoor activities or traveling, they might not be the top choice for technical hiking. The Ecco Sport Yucatan is a true walker's shoe that will allow you to keep going for miles and miles, as long as you stick to less demanding terrain.

Available sizes: 4-14, including half sizes | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Closure type: Velcro

Related: The Best Reef-safe Sunscreen

Best Lightweight: Xero Shoes Z-trail EV Sandals

Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI and Zappos

Why We Love It: They are ultralight and packable.

What to Consider: Their design offers less support for those with high arches or other foot issues.

We love the slim, minimalist, and "barefoot-like" design of the Xero Shoes Z-trail EV Sandals. They're supremely flexible as well; in fact, they can roll right up to fit in a pocket of your pack or pants. The vegan, planet-friendly design is crafted from recycled water bottles, making them a sustainable choice as well. The dual chevron tread will keep you from slipping and sliding during your venture's activities, whether hiking, river rafting, or kayaking. They're also water-resistant and can float, making them pretty much perfect for any water-fueled endeavor.

The multi-point adjustments will have these sandals tailored to your feet in no time, and despite being minimalist shoes, these sandals are comfortable and supportive thanks to their three-layer, 10-millimeter FeelLite™ soles and BareFoam™ footbeds. If you're looking for a high-quality pair of sandals that can handle outdoor activities without taking up too much room, the Xero Shoes Z-trail EV Sandals are an excellent choice.

Available sizes: 5-12, including wide sizes | Weight: .5 pounds | Closure type: strap and ladder lock buckle

Tips for Buying Women's Hiking Sandals

Look for a pair with excellent traction

Good traction is one of the most important things to look for in any hiking footwear, especially sandals, since they're often used in wet or potentially slippery conditions. In a sandal, it's important to have good traction both on the sole as well as some sort of grip in the footbed to keep your feet from slipping inside the shoe.

"For traction, I think it's important to look out for soles that have grooves in multiple directions. Preferably with grooves that aren't too wide, which would hold onto gear or rocks. Not ideal," Trisha Bartels from Adventures in Good Company shared.

Prioritize comfort and support

A hiking sandal should offer a good balance of comfort and support for tackling a wide array of trails and outdoor activities. Ideally, you'll purchase a sandal that you can wear all day without any discomfort. Look for padded EVA/foam insoles for extra support and shock absorbency.

"When looking for comfort and support I often look at the build of the shoe. Does it have arch support? Is it flat? How comfortable is the footbed? Do the straps rub? Sometimes these things can lead to chafing and can be crucial to your experiences on trail," Bartels shared.

Prepare for the climate

"Believe it or not, sandals do not work in all climates! I think sandals often work best in the desert (sandy areas) or on packed soil. Having sandals on loose gravel or variable rocky terrain could lead to injury or getting your foot stuck. Sometimes, too, they may not be functional if it's downpouring or in certain chilly immersive water climates — this can really freeze your feet!" Bartels explained.

Adjustable straps that are easy to change while enjoying the outdoors are key as well, since feet tend to swell in hot or humid temperatures. Additionally, since you'll likely be using them in water at some point, make sure they are quick-to-dry.

Consider toe straps

"Buy the shoes with the toe straps! I know there's a debate about this in terms of comfort, but I wholeheartedly believe those toe straps will come in handy on the descent of your hike later!" Bartels said.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should hiking sandals fit?

"Comfortably snug, with some variability in the straps so that your feet can adjust to differences in terrain," Bartels suggested.

Make sure you have a thumbs width between your toes and the end of your sandal. You certainly don't want them loosely falling off or, alternatively, your toes to hang out over the edge, as you'll be more susceptible to blisters and injuries.

Should I wear socks with hiking sandals?

The great socks and sandals debate mostly comes down to preference. Though it might not be the most fashionable choice, having a pair of socks in your pack for a longer hiking trip is smart, particularly in places where the weather can change quickly. Then, at least you have the option.

"Only if you're at camp. I think this takes away from the grip of your feet to the sandal and could lead to your foot slipping around on the shoe while hiking," Bartles said.

When should I wear hiking sandals instead of boots?

Hiking sandals are a great option for when you need to transition from wet to dry conditions, are doing water-based activities, or are just popping around town. They typically dry quickly, are easy to slip on and off, and provide solid grip and traction for hiking trails in climates where you need your feet to breathe. Usually boots are required for more technical trails, though there's solid competition with some of these sandals.

"I think hiking sandals are most appropriate when your feet are submerged in water or when doing water sports (i.e. kayaking). These come in handy to be able to be submerged, dry off quickly, and protect from the bottom of the water source. I also think they're handy in the desert, where it's hot and you want something lighter on your feet. Folks also like to use sandals as a good camp shoe too!" Bartels said.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A hiking enthusiast herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right pair of hiking sandals to curate this list. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best sandals for each type of hiker, and interviewed expert guides Trisha Bartels and Janie Welsh from Adventures in Good Company.

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