The Best Women’s Shoes and Sandals For An Incredible Trip To Costa Rica
If you’re looking for paradise on earth, there’s not much closer you can get than the scenic Central American country of Costa Rica. Not only does this lush and beautiful locale offer varied habitat destinations for just about every kind of traveler—we’re talking beach, rainforest, volcanoes, and hot springs—but there are also countless national parks to choose from for those who love to hike and explore.
In fact, hiking aficionados especially will be head-over-heels for this destination guide to the national parks of Costa Rica (although hopefully not literally). That’s where our selection of comfortable and cute sandals come in. Even better, our great options boast incredible arch support—because we all know how easy it is to take a tumble while hiking in unknown terrain!
Whether you’re still considering a vacation or already planning one in Costa Rica, we’ve got you covered! Below, we’re going to list some of our favorite national parks and hiking trails to explore while visiting.
But first, we want to make sure that you’re prepared for your trip. To do this, we’ll tell you exactly what shoes to bring along with you on your adventure — so that you’ll be trekking in both style and comfort.
Keep reading to discover some of the most incredible national parks Costa Rica has to offer, along with the best shoes for Costa Rica to pack for your trip—including sneakers, hiking sandals, and more.
Manuel Antonio National Park
It may be the smallest national park in Costa Rica, but Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most stunning in the world. Located just south of the small coastal city of Quepos, Puntarenas, the park has both rainforests and beaches and is home to all kinds of wildlife. Take, for example, the white-faced monkeys the region is famed for. These monkeys might look cute, but you should definitely be wary of them while hiking, as they’ve been known to steal food straight from the hands of tourists!
Visitors should know that four main beaches make up Manuel Antonio National Park; these include the eponymous Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Teloro, and Playita.
Plan on getting there bright and early, as it’s possibly the most visited national park in all of Costa Rica, and lines to get in tend to get long during the busy season.
Arenal Volcano National Park
Located within the enormous Arenal Conservation Area, the breathtaking Arenal Volcano National Park is the crown jewel of the region. It’s home to not one, but two, volcanoes, with the 5,357-foot Arenal Volcano remaining active today.
The park is also home to an incredible wealth of wildlife, including deer, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, sloths, parrots, and more.
Visitors to the park can take their pick from a variety of guided tours, including the Arenal Hanging Bridges hike; the El Silencio Mirador Trails and Hot Springs hike; and the Arenal Volcano hike. Truly something for everyone!
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Ready to feel as though you’re hiking through a mystical dream? Then you’ll want to be sure to cross the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve off your bucket list. Encompassing a whopping 26,000 acres of tropical cloud forest, this ecotourism destination is one of the most beautiful — and diverse — in the world.
So what exactly is a cloud forest? Go Visit Costa Rica tells us that this particular type of forest sets itself apart from the other rainforests of Costa Rica. Shrouded in mist that is produced by the humidity at its high elevation of 1,600 meters above sea level, the “clouds” create a protective upper layer, beneath which the forest ecosystem thrives.
Even more incredible, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve houses 2.5 percent of our planet’s biodiversity. Talk about a wow factor!
Los Angeles Cloud Forest Hike
Now onto the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Hike, which is adjacent to Monteverde. One of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets, this private park is located 13 miles from San Ramon on land that was once owned by former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo. Hikers are far more likely to see wildlife than other travelers while exploring the dense jungle trails here. We don’t know about you, but that sounds like the ideal hiking scenario to us!
Santa Rosa National Park Hike
Santa Rosa National Park is actually the first national park that was established in the country, back in 1971. Located in the hot, dry region of Guanacaste, the park is so large that it encompasses all of the Santa Elena Peninsula, meeting the Guanacaste National Park inland — and making it one of the largest national parks in all of Costa Rica.
Rio Celeste Waterfall & Tenorio Volcano National Park
A guided tour through Tenorio Volcano National Park will take you all day, but trust us when we say it’ll be worth it. Make sure to see the gorgeous blue hues of the Rio Celeste Waterfall and its adjoining river. The sky blue color of these waters is the result of a mixture of sulfur and carbonate, not Photoshop.
Located in Arenal, Costa Rica, hiking through the Tenorio Volcano National Park will undoubtedly feel like an otherworldly experience. According to the Arenal Travel Guide, the further uphill you travel, the deeper the blue gets. Seriously, is this real life?!
Rainmaker Forest And Reserve
Costa Rica is no stranger to parks and environmental reserves featuring hanging bridges, as is evidenced by the spectacular Rainmaker Forest and Reserve. We’re telling you — it’s like walking through Jurassic Park; you know, without the velociraptors. You can walk the hanging bridges high above the rainforest canopy, jump into the icy freshwater pools, and survey with open-mouthed awe the gushing waterfalls at the Rainmaker, one of which is even named the “Dinosaur Waterfall.” Hey, all in a day’s work!
No matter how great these parks sound, however, you won’t be able to enjoy them without the right pair of shoes. Take it from us—nothing spoils a hike faster than unbearable foot pain. And besides, we all know a proper vacation wouldn’t be complete without the right kicks! We’re talking walking and hiking sandals, lightweight and durable sneakers, rugged and long-lasting hiking boots, and more. Keep reading for the best shoes with arch support to pack for your Costa Rican vacation.
What to Look for in a Hiking Shoe
With this information in mind, it’s time to identify what type of shoe is best equipped to handle these amazing hiking destinations. Typically, a hiking shoe (or sandal) necessitates different components than a standard option. For this reason, this section will explore some of the necessities of a good hiking shoe for Costa Rica so that you can get the most out of your upcoming trip:
Here’s the deal: you don’t want your shoes to give out while you’re hiking unknown terrain in a foreign land. For this reason, it’s best to come prepared. The best way to do this is to get a pair of hiking shoes or sandals that comes with thick outsoles and a firm build so that it can survive the wear and tear of your Costa Rican vacation.
Durability is only part of the equation. You’ll also want to get a pair that’s comfortable. Trust us: foot pain can put a serious damper on your trip, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. You can do this by purchasing an option with cushioned in- and mid-soles that help absorb shock and keep your feet from feeling any unwanted impact. Look for options with a shank stabilizer to keep your feet even more protected from jarring force and heavy footfalls.
If you’re prone to foot pain (and even if you’re not), you also want to make sure that your shoe offers the proper degree of arch support. This will help keep you comfortable with all-day wear and also ensure that you don’t get any long-term negative side effects from the exertion of your travel.
Last but not least, you’ll want to purchase an option that provides added traction for heightened safety. Simply put, you never know when it will rain or when you will be traveling across treacherous surfaces. For this reason, it’s best to come with a pair of shoes that gives you more protection when climbing or hiking slippery terrain.
Understanding these details can help you get the pair of Costa Rica hiking shoes that will truly elevate your trip. In the next section, we’ll present some of the best shoes on the market to make your selection even easier.
Best Shoes for Costa Rica
So which options deserve your attention? In this section, we take a deep look at the best shoes and sandals for Costa Rica so that you can spend less time worrying about what you will wear and more time planning what you will do. All the options on this list are high-quality, affordable, and stylish, making them ideal options for your looming vacation.
Specifically, we recommend:
1. The Siena Sport Sandal
The latest athletic sandal from Viakix, the Siena sandal is proof that not all walking sandals are made alike! With a superior, ultra-comfortable fit and soft, stretchable straps that will feel like a literal hug for your feet, this sport sandal is both chic and durable. It’s also lightweight, with the signature thick EVA foam midsole the brand is so well known for, as well as an ergonomic outsole with prime arch support.
The Siena sandal even has an adjustable strap for easy tightening or loosening around your ankles — which is, frankly, a must when quickly donning or removing shoes while adventuring in tropical terrain!
Purchase the Siena Sport Sandal here.
2. Merrell Sandspur Flat Walking Sandals
With over 260 customer reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say these Merrell walking sandals with arch support are top quality. Not only that, but they’re stylish, too! One thing’s for sure: these are one pair of shoes you won’t be ashamed to wear in front of any crowd! To make things better, the leather strap design is flexible, adjustable, and eco-friendly.
It should also be noted that these lightweight sandals offer maximum comfort and arch support, with an EVA cushioned midsole and rubber outsole. Whether you’re long distance walking through the rainforest or traversing a volcano, you’ll be good to go with these waterproof walking sandals. Oh, and did we mention you can choose from a whole host of colors? Simply put, these sandals are the ultimate and style and should be a part of any serious wardrobe.
3. The Napali Sandal
It’s important to pack sandals with the right arch support for your trek. That’s where the Viakix Napali Hiking Sandal comes in: this sleek sports sandal was named after the Na’Pali coast in Kauai, Hawaii, which makes it all-too-appropriate for adventurers like yourself.
Not only are these quality hiking sandals durable and lightweight, but they feature customizable straps in the front that provide a comfortable fit for just about any width. With a cushioned EVA foam midsole and ergonomic arch support, they’re also guaranteed to be the most supportive shoe you bring along on this trip — or on any trip!
Plus, with fast-drying webbing, this sandal can easily be worn in either a tropical rainforest setting or during a stroll along one of the white sand beaches Costa Rica is so famous for.
You can directly purchase your Napali Sandal here.
4. Clarks Saylie Jade Leather Sandals
High-quality yet waterproof leather sandals for hiking? We’ll believe it when we see it — oh wait! Clark’s Saylie Jade offers exactly that with their open-toed women’s leather sandal for hiking. The soft and comfortable high-quality leather on this sandal is to-die-for; plus, it’s breathable, which is the most important thing when you’re out on the trail.
With hook-and-loop closure, quick-dry material, and an adjustable fit, this is a fantastic warm weather sandal.
5.Teva Women's W Voya Flip Flop
The Teva Women's W Voya Flip Flop has excellent arch support, a thick cushioned sole and rugged footbed, and great traction for long walks on the beach. They’re non-slip, crafted with a synthetic rubber outsole that provides good skid and wear resistance — meaning your feet won’t be slipping around like crazy in them while you walk. Plus, they’re easy on the eyes, too! This cute pair of sandals makes the perfect model for your Costa Rica vacation, not least because they’ll have you turning head on the street.
6.The Viakix Samara Walking Sandal
Another ultra-comfortable and chic walking sandal, the Viakix Samara Walking Sandal for Women features elastic webbing that stretches and easily adjusts to your foot size. In addition, it’s got excellent arch support and shock absorption, which makes it an ideal pick for all your hiking and exploring needs.
This is no regular sandal! Not only is it made for long-lasting wear, the Samara also comes with a rugged rubber outsole, which makes it super durable, and fast-drying webbing, like the Napali Sandal. What’s not to love?
Purchase the Samara Walking Sandal directly here.
7. Vionic Women’s Brisk Alma Lace-Up Sneakers
Not only are the Brisk Alma Lace-Up Sneakers from Vionic durable and lightweight, but these chic trainers have got polka-dot laces, raised eyelets, and distinctive eyelets. With Vionic’s signature podiatrist-designed footbed, they’re also breathable and ultra-comfortable, with an adjustable fit that makes them the perfect pick for all your Central American adventuring.
Featuring neoprene at the ankle for a glorious and glove-like fit, and plenty of support, these everyday athletic shoes will definitely last you for the long haul. Adding all this together, we can say for certain that the Brisk Alma Lace-Up Sneakers will get the job done (plus some) while you see the sites in Costa Rica.
8. Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex CMTK Walking Shoe
These women’s walking sneakers from Adidas come highly-rated — to no one’s surprise! Combining the best in both style and comfort, this one-of-a-kind option is something you’ll want to check out for yourself. It’s no wonder, considering the shoe was co-developed with the Continental Mountain Biking Division, making them quite literally made for trails and hiking. What this means, in a nutshell, is that this shoe has everything you need for that extra-duty protection.
Built with a soft EVA midsole and gripping outsole, this Adidas Terrex sneaker is ideal for all kinds of terrain, and made to last besides. One thing is for sure, you won’t even want to take these babies off! There’s simply no better option for your next Costa Rican vacation, so make sure to give this stellar choice from Adidas a hard look.
9. Adidas Women’s Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoe
You’ll be raring to go in these streamlined light hiking shoes from Adidas. The Women’s Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoe features a clean design, abrasion-resistant upper, and rugged outsoles for grip on any kind of terrain. Even better, these Terrex hiking shoes are great in about any kind of weather condition — including extreme ones.
Hikers have worn the Terrex trail running shoe in obstacle course races, on hiking trails, at the gym, and more. The Terrex is rugged without being bulky, comfortable, and overall an excellent choice for all of your hiking and adventuring needs!
10.Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Shoe
Are you ready for the women’s hiking boot to end all hiking boot? Us, too. The Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe comes at a more expensive price point, but for good reason. It features a performance a mesh upper, molded heel counter for stability, quality traction, and a super-supportive footbed.
To specify, with a EVA contoured footbed, zonal arch and heel support, and an air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and adds stability for those long hikes. It’s a best seller from Merrell, with its comfortable fit and great arch support. Oh, and there’s the little fact that they look totally badass!
You can purchase Merrell’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Shoe directly here.
The Bottom Line
Costa Rica has a lot to offer—so make sure you’re ready for it. From miles of Pacific and Caribbean coastline to lush jungles you’ll have to see to believe, this Central American nation is home to some of the best hiking destinations in the Americas. With the wrong pair of shoes, however, you may find yourself sitting much of the fun out.
Never fear, however. In this guide, we went over several of the best hiking shoes for Costa Rica so that you can get the most out of your next vacation. With the information contained here, you can make a smarter purchase and guarantee that your next vacation is your best one yet. So don’t wait! Check out the options in this piece and get your pair of high-quality hiking shoes today!