When to Go for Hiking Sandals?

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Summertime is the perfect time of the year for camping adventures, hiking trips, and lounging around the campsite with your family and friends. And while most people using boots for hiking, camping and other outdoor excursions, a solid pair of hiking sandals can still offer you the same amount of traction and protection that you need. During the hot summer weather, traditional hiking boots tend to become sweaty and uncomfortable. But with sandals, you will enjoy greater ventilation as well as freedom of movement. Also, if you will be crossing rivers, streams or creeks during your hiking trip, a great pair of hiking sandals will drain easily and dry faster than most of the conventional hiking footwear. If you still need further convincing, here are some situations where you might opt for hiking sandals instead of hiking with boots.

Lightweight Hiking

During a hike, weight on your feet will consume approximately 5 times more energy than what you are carrying on your back. Therefore, the heavier the hiking shoes, the more energy you will expend. Also, heavy hiking footwear will lead to fatigue, thus slowing down while reducing the distance you can cover. But with hiking sandals, you can avoid all these problems. Modern hiking sandals are made of lightweight but sturdy materials. Therefore, they will offer almost the same level of protection as boots, while keeping you light on your feet. If you have a long hiking day, you will notice that you will hike faster and cover more ground when you are wearing hiking sandals, as opposed to boots. And this means that you will have more time to explore and enjoy your surroundings.

You are Prone to Hotspots and Blisters

You can still enjoy hiking trips and adventures without worrying about blisters, hotspots and other similar discomforts, thanks to hiking sandals. Some hiking boots tend to be rigid, meaning they will not flex with the feet or even allow the toes to breathe. On the other hand, sandals will not cram your toes together. They will give them the freedom to relax, wiggle and breathe comfortably. Also, when you are hiking during the hot weather, it’s highly likely that your feet will sweat. If there is too much build-up of sweat, you might end up with blisters. The good news is that hiking sandals are designed and built for maximum ventilation. Some are also equipped with moisture-wicking footbeds, which ensure that your feet remain dry at all times. Furthermore, most hiking sandals come with adjustable straps. Therefore, if your feet expand during hot weather, you simply need to loosen the straps and vice versa. If you’ve been avoiding going for a hike for fear of blisters, then you now have a solution to your problems.


During winter, you probably spend most of your time wrapped up in layers of clothing. But when summer comes around, it’s time to ditch those layers and switch to fun summer clothing. However, ordinary winter shoes or tennis shoes don’t always go well with summer clothing. And this is where hiking sandals come in. They match perfectly with almost anything. From shorts to pants, dresses to leggings, you can wear hiking sandals with almost anything in your wardrobe. If you want to maintain a stylish look during your summer hiking trips, then sandals are an ideal option. You simply need to purchase several pairs and then switch them up as you wish. But even a single pair is enough for all your summer outdoor adventures. Apart from style versatility, hiking sandals are also compatible with various outdoor activities. From hiking to fishing, kayaking to swimming, sandals are compatible with almost any outdoor activity. And they are easy to slip on and off. Due to this reason, they are perfect approach shoes for the trailhead or crag. If you are looking for hiking shoes that will give you a seamless transition during your hiking trip, then sandals are a perfect choice.

Compact Packing

Another reason why outdoor enthusiasts choose hiking sandals instead of boots is their ease of packing. Sandals are usually made of a rubber outsole and some few straps. When it’s time to travel, you simply fold them and toss them inside your backpack. And if you don’t have any space left in your backpack, you just need to attach them to your bag’s gear loops or daisy chains. Also, their weight is almost negligible. In fact, you will barely notice that you are carrying them until it’s time to make the switch.


If you are an outdoor enthusiast who values convenience over anything else, then hiking sandals will be your best friend. Apart from being expensive, boots take a longer period to break in, compared to sandals. Besides that, they have higher maintenance demands. On the other hand, some hiking sandals are machine washable, which means their maintenance needs are minimal. Also, sandals don’t use a conventional lacing system, meaning there is nothing that will fray and break. It also means there are no chances of the laces becoming loose or untied and tripping you during your hike. Some people will argue that hiking sandals are not durable. However, that is not always the case. Modern hiking sandals are constructed with sturdy materials, from the sole unit to the upper. In short, they are not your ordinary flip-flops or crocs but they are reliably built to last through many hiking seasons.

Hiking in Wet Terrains and Conditions

Planning your hiking course to avoid water streams, rivers, or creeks is possible. However, it’s not always the most viable solution, especially if want to fully enjoy your adventure in the wilderness. If you happen to come across a creek or a stream during your hike, there is a high chance that your hiking boots will remain wet throughout the hike. And this can be quite uncomfortable. Apart from being heavy, wet hiking boots might leave you with blisters, thus slowing you down. By nature, hiking sandals offer plenty of ventilation. Therefore, as much as your feet might become wet as you cross, rivers, streams or creeks, they are going to dry quite fast, if you are hiking in sandals. Their open design allows air to circulate easily around the shoe and the foot, which means that you don’t have to hike with soggy socks all day. While most hiking sandals will enclose your foot, they will also allow water to drain out easily, leaving your feet dry and breathable. As you can see, they will protect your feet while making sure you remain comfortable throughout the trip.

Backpacking in Mixed Terrain

As noted above, hiking sandals are lightweight and easy to pack. Therefore, if you are likely to encounter both wet and dry conditions, then you should bring along your hiking sandals. If you happen to come across streams, puddles or creeks, then you simply need to slip on your hiking sandals and proceed with your journey. Also, sandals are a great option to wear around the campsite, after a long hiking day. They will allow your feet to relax and enjoy some cool, fresh air. Giving your hiking boots a chance to air out as you relax at the campsite means that you will not end up with smelly feet. It will also give your hiking boots an opportunity to dry, in case they had become wet during the hike. As much as you cannot hiking sandals are not ideal for all situations, you should not write them off as impractical. They are made of sturdy and durable materials, meaning they can withstand the demands of hiking or a backpacking trip.

Closing Remarks

When the sun is shining and the weather is hot, a traditional, fully closed boot might not be the best choice to trek in. You might want to choose something that allows your feet to relax and breathe comfortably, without adding too much weight to your feet. And this is where hiking sandals come in. Whether you want an open-toe model or a closed-toe design, you will definitely find a style on the market that suits your needs.

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About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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