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The Best Hiking Sandals for Women in 2018: The Ultimate Hiking Sandal Guide

The Best Hiking Sandals for Women in 2018:  The Ultimate Hiking Sandal Guide

 The Best Hiking Sandals for Women in 2018

The Ultimate Hiking Sandal Guide

Hiking is an exhilarating past-time that can take you to some amazing places.  The feeling of freedom you experience when exploring a new trail is hard to beat!

To make the most of your hiking experiences, it’s important to have the right equipment.  This includes sun protection, a water bottle, first aid equipment and most importantly — high quality footwear.

So what options are available for female hikers?  Traditionally, you would simply buy a pair of women’s hiking boots that fully enclose the foot.  While they will protect your feet well, they also weigh a ton, make your feet hot and sweaty, and aren’t particularly attractive to look at.  Sound appealing?

Another option is to buy a pair of high-quality women’s hiking sandals.  Hiking or walking sandals will provide your feet with plenty of protection while being lighter and more comfortable than a traditional hiking boot.  Hiking sandals are also more stylish than most brands of hiking boots.  You will be able to wear them to the beach or local cafe without looking like you are about to go on a safari!

Wearing a pair of well-made women’s athletic sandals will give you the freedom to hike wherever you want to go — you can traverse difficult terrain, have traction up hills, and be able to walk across those slippery rocks.

If you are interested in learning more about hiking sandals for women, you’ve reached the right place.  This guide is going to share some essential tips for choosing a pair of hiking sandals and showcase a few of the best hiking sandals on the market.  Let’s get started!

 

  1. Quality is essential

Hiking sandals are designed to be much tougher than a standard pair of sandals.  They are built this way to withstand the stresses that occur when you are moving across the uneven and rough terrain in the wilderness.

Because you will often be walking on sloping terrain, quality hiking sandals need to handle a lot of lateral movement — which stresses the glue or stitching holding the sandal together.  That’s why it is important to choose sandals that use high quality glue or double stitching to reinforce each layer.

Another important difference between standard sandals and quality hiking sandals is how much cushioning they have.  Well-made women’s walking sandals will have a thicker midsole, which provides more cushioning.  This reduces stresses on your joints and will helps you remain comfortable on long hikes.

The final key difference between sandals and quality hiking sandals is how they handle water.  A quality pair of outdoor sandals will maintain their traction when walking over slippery surfaces thanks to their superior grip.  They will also dry quickly after being immersed in the water.  This is thanks to the water-impervious synthetic materials they are normally used for the footbed of hiking sandals.

To deal with the rigors of the trail, most hiking sandals will be made from a combination of traditional and synthetic materials.  These materials often include rip-resistant nylon, rubber, and hard-wearing synthetic plastics.  They are stitched or glued together in a way that ensures durability and a long lifespan.

When choosing a new pair of women’s hiking sandals, look closely at the materials that are used to make them.  If it is a high-quality product, the manufacturer will be very upfront about the kinds of materials they use. 

Also, look at how the hiking sandals are put together.  If they are stitched, how strong is the stitching?  Does the manufacturer specifically mention any techniques they used when manufacturing the sandals?  How long are they guaranteed for?

Having a pair of hiking sandals made from high quality materials will ensure they last a long time, are comfortable to wear and will perform well on your hikes — regardless of how rough the terrain is.

Viakix always uses high quality materials for our women’s hiking sandals.  This makes them very sturdy, lightweight and comfortable.

  1. Comfort is crucial

Having comfortable footwear is essential when hiking for long distances.  Not only will it make your hike more enjoyable, having comfortable sandals will prevent the development of blisters and bruises on your feet.

Fortunately, there is no tradeoff between functionality and comfort when it comes to hiking sandals.  Well-built hiking sandals will have a number of features that increase your comfort.  You should look for:

  • An insole that feels comfortable against your skin
    The insole is the part of the sandal that the bottom of your feet rest against. Most hiking sandal insoles are made from a comfortable, grippy synthetic material.  Some older styles will be made from leather.  These materials feel great against your skin and won’t cause blisters by rubbing at your skin with each step.  The insole on most quality hiking sandals will also be curved to follow the natural shape of your foot.
  • Arch support
    Some women’s hiking sandals have arch support. It is a lifted section on the insole that matches in with arch in your foot.  This additional support can make the sandal more comfortable and reduce the risk of injuries to your feet.  Look for a hiking sandal with the appropriate level of arch support for your feet.

Best Hiking Sandals for Women back of sandal

View of arch support from the back of our Napali hiking sandal
  • A thick midsole
    The layer beneath the insole is called the midsole. Most pairs of high-quality Women’s hiking sandals will have a thick midsole that helps to cushion your feet and legs when walking on rough terrain.  The midsole should have a moderate amount of responsiveness to give you a tiny bounce when you put pressure on the ground.  This reduces the "jarring” response felt when stepping on rough terrain.
  • A strong outsole
    The outsole is the bottom of the sandal. Hiking sandals must have a tough outsole that will not be punctured easily by sharp rocks, sticks, and other objects you might encounter while hiking.
  • Adjustable straps
    Well made hiking sandals will have highly adjustable straps that allow you to keep the sandal strapped tightly to your foot. This keeps the sandal nice and snug, so it doesn’t slip off or have excessive movement that can cause blisters.
  • Quality materials
    As mentioned previously, the quality of the materials used will affect how comfortable your hiking sandal is. A high quality synthetic material or leather is usually the best option for long term comfort.
  • Weight
    Many women are opting to wear hiking sandals instead of hiking shoes simply because sandals weigh less. This can improve your comfort levels when hiking.

At Viakix, we always design our women’s hiking sandals for comfort.  We use high-quality materials in every section of the sandal to ensure they feel great during long hikes. 

The soles of our sandals use an ultra tough synthetic material that is puncture resistant.  This helps you walk on sticks, sharp rocks and other potentially dangerous materials in complete safety. 

best womens hiking sandals outdoor walking sandals

 Durable rubber outsole on the Napali sandal

Our hiking sandals are also water resistant.  This means you can walk through streams and puddles without worrying about doing damage to your sandals.  It also means that your sandals will dry quickly, which improves your comfort levels — no more walking around with soggy feet!

The Napali Hiking Sandals come with four adjustable straps per sandal.  This will allow you to make the sandal snugly fit the unique shape of your foot.  You won’t have to worry about the sandal being dropped or tripping you up by being too loose on your foot.

Viakix sandals are also quite lightweight, which makes them a real pleasure to walk in.  You will be surprised by how much longer you can comfortably hike when wearing Viakix hiking sandals!

  1. Buy hiking sandals that deal with water well

Hiking can often be unpredictable.  You don’t always know if you will encounter a stream that you need to cross or a puddle that you mistakenly step in.  If you are kayaking or rowing a boat, you might find your feet (and much more) completely immersed in water by accident!

If you are wearing a normal pair of running shoes when your feet get wet, it can be extremely annoying.  You will end up walking around with waterlogged shoes that weigh a ton.  The skin on your feet will become shriveled and very soft.  If you are walking for a long distance this can lead to your feet becoming blistered and swollen.

Avoid these issues by choosing a pair of walking sandals that are water resistant.  Any water you step in will simply slide off the sandal.  That means you won’t have waterlogged footwear and your feet will dry much faster.

  1. Where will you be hiking?

It’s important to think about the kinds of conditions that you normally hike in.  In simple terms — the more dangerous or inhospitable the conditions are, the more protection you will need for your feet.

If you are hiking in locations where there are many rocks or trip hazards, you might be best off purchasing hiking sandals that have a toe cap.  They will keep your toes (and toenails) safe if you happen to stumble or kick a huge rock.

Also, if you are hiking in very slippery conditions, buy a pair of hiking sandals with a more robust outer sole.  Ideally, the outer soul should be made from natural rubber or a high quality synthetic material and have a deep tread.

  1. "You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." — Edith Head.

After you have weighed up a product’s durability, weight, tread pattern and water-resistance, think about its design.  It’s important to find a pair of hiking sandals that you love the appearance of — otherwise, you might not wear them as often as you had expected!

A few years ago, there were only a handful of companies making women’s hiking sandals.  They were making sandals that looked similar to hiking boots — big and bland.  While many of these products were comfortable, they made women wearing them look like Linda Hamilton from Terminator (mean and ready to kick Arnold Schwarzenegger in the face).

hiking sandals for women

Fortunately, that has changed with many manufacturers now offering more feminine walking sandals.  They have attractive, slimline designs that come in a variety of colors options.

Viakix is one of the manufacturers leading the way with our range of stylish women’s walking sandals.  In fact, the entire reason we started this company was to create America’s most fashionable outdoor footwear! 

Our products have a strong emphasis on both pragmatic and aesthetic factors.  We create footwear that is versatile, durable, and functional — while retaining a beautiful and attractive form factor. 

You will have no problem wearing our hiking sandals to a local cafe or movie theater after you go on a hike, because they look so damn good!

  1. How the sandal attaches to your foot

Women’s hiking sandals use a variety of different mechanisms for securing the sandal to your foot, including:

  • Single loop designs
    These sandals will have a single loop that runs over your toes and around your ankle. You can tighten this loop to attach the sandal more securely to your foot.  This is a very basic design that is more likely to become loose while hiking.
  • Velcro fasteners
    Other sandals use one or more velcro fasteners to secure the sandal to your foot. In some cases, this will be a single fastener for the ankle and the another for the toe section.  Viakix’s most popular hiking sandal for women uses four separate velcro fasteners, which allows you to tighten the sandal to match the unique shape of your foot.

best hiking sandals for women

  • Laces
    Some high-end hiking sandals start to resemble shoes and often use complete uppers. The upper often have holes for laces to be added, so you can secure it like a normal shoe.

Each type of fastening option has different pros and cons.  Single loop designs are usually a poor choice for hiking as they become loose.  Hiking sandals with velcro tend to work well, but mud and water can impair the effectiveness of the velcro sections.  Laces are also great and usually the choice of hardcore hikers.  However, they can be snagged while hiking and make putting your sandals on much slower.

  1. The Price Is Right

The last consideration you should keep in mind when purchasing hiking sandals is the price! Opting for the cheapest pair on the market is usually a recipe for disaster.  The best option is to balance the need for quality with your budget.

The price of hiking sandals can vary greatly.  They typically start at around $20 and go all the way up to $250.  The more expensive hiking sandals tend to have more protection, with a thicker midsole, large toe protector and heal protector. 

Affordable hiking sandals for women

So how much should you spend?  It really depends on how often you go hiking and how strenuous your hikes are.  If a 10 or 20-mile hike every weekend is the “norm” for you, perhaps you should spend a bit extra to get a really well made pair of hiking sandals.  If you only go on 5 or 10 mile hike every month, a more affordable pair is more appropriate.

The conditions that you hike in are also a factor.  If you regularly walk across abrasive rocky outcrops, spend a little extra to ensure your sandals can deal with rough terrain.  If you usually walk on paths at national parks, you won’t need ultra-rugged hiking sandals.

If you like to run when hiking, you should also opt for a more expensive pair of cross-country sneakers.  That’s because moving at a higher speed will result in more stress upon your feet.

We want to deliver exceptional value, and we do so by selling directly to our customers without wholesalers and retailers jacking up the price.  As a result, we are able to keep most of the hiking sandals in the $30 to $50 range.  Which is an exceptional value.  They are very durable sandals perfect for people who are very keen about hiking, and go on short or day-long hikes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before showcasing a few of the best hiking sandals for women in 2018, we are going to answer a few frequently asked questions.  The answers to these questions will hopefully give you a better idea of what hiking sandals are capable of!

Q: Why should I buy a pair of hiking sandals instead of hiking shoes?

A:  There are plenty of reasons why you might opt for hiking sandals instead of hiking shoes, including:

  • Hiking sandals are lighter than hiking shoes
    Hiking sandals can weight between 50 to 75% less than a pair of hiking boots. This means you won’t have very heavy footwear attached to your feet when walking — allowing you to comfortably hike for longer distances.
  • Your feet won’t get as hot
    If you like to go hiking in the warmer months, you know how sweaty a pair of enclosed hiking boots can be. You can avoid this issue by wearing hiking sandals.  You will be much more comfortable, sweat less, and quite frankly, your feet will smell better.

Best hiking sandals for women

  • Walking through water is less of a hassle
    When you walk through water while wearing shoes and socks, you will be worried about water drenching your socks and making walking uncomfortable. You can avoid this issue by wearing hiking sandals.  Water will not permeate the sandal and your feet will dry within a few minutes on a hot summer day.

Q:  Can I wear my hiking sandals in the water?

A:  Most high-quality pairs of hiking sandals are water resistant.  That means you can walk through water without damaging the sandals.  They will dry quickly and won’t become waterlogged.  Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can go swimming in them or leave them in the water.  They may eventually degrade from being placed in the water for long periods.

Q: What kinds of hiking can I use hiking sandals for?

A:  Hiking sandals can be used for virtually any type of hiking.  However, they may not be a good choice if you are walking in very cold conditions.  Hiking shoes may also me inappropriate in environments where there are hazards at ground level.  For example, if you know there are many dangerous snakes in the location where you are hiking, opt for hiking boots with high ankle protection.

Speaking of ankle protection, many hikers prefer hiking boots when they are often traversing steep hills during a hike.  Boots will help prevent damage to the ankle during a fall.

Q: Can I wear women’s hiking sandals in public?

A:  Yes you can!  Women’s walking sandals are quite stylish and can be worn in most public settings.  To most people, they will look like a standard pair of sandals, with a slightly chunkier design.

Q: What other activities are hiking sandals useful for?

A:  Hiking sandals are often called “outdoor sandals” because they can be used for virtually any outdoor activity.  Many people wear hiking sandals when they are kayaking, beach combing, boating, rafting, rowing, and running.  In fact, hiking sandals are also the perfect choice for backpacking or traveling because they are comfortable when you are walking long distances.

Q: Can you wear socks with women’s hiking sandals?

A:  Ahh the old conundrum, should you wear socks with sandals?!?  While you might look a bit silly, it will improve the comfort of your sandals and keep your toes warm. However, if you are trying to score any style points, we highly recommend that you leave the socks at home.       

 

The Best Women’s Hiking Sandals for 2018

Thanks for reading our tips on choosing the best pair of women’s hiking sandals!  Now we are getting to the bottom line — the best women’s hiking sandals for 2018.

We have spent many hours researching and testing the best women’s hiking sandals on the market.  Our team decided to place the hiking shoes into one of three categories:

  • The Basics
    Simple hiking sandals that look great and will handle some casual hikes
  • The Stylish
    Hiking sandals with a bit more style to them
  • Heavy duty hiking sandals
    For the ladies who eat trail miles for breakfast! If you often run or hike more than 10-15 miles in a day, these are for you.

Each product was tested in three key areas — durability, comfort, and aesthetics.    Let’s check them out.

 

CATEGORY:  THE BASICS (I JUST WANT A SIMPLE PAIR!)

  The Winner 

 Best Hiking Sandals for Women

Teva Classic Sandal

What’s to Love: Lightweight and affordable
What’s not to Love:  Basic design, not appropriate for long hikes

The Teva Classic Sandal is a no-frills hiking sandal made from a combination of textile and synthetic materials.  The main reason we like this sandal is it’s construction quality and durability — it’s very well made considering its affordable price.

The Classic Sandal is secured with a velcro ankle strap and adjustable toe loop which does a great job of holding the sandal to the foot.  It is easy to slip on and you probably won’t lose it unless you are walking through thick mud.

The synthetic outsole is fairly grippy and fine for short walks. However, hikers looking to go beyond a mile or so probably would enjoy a bit more traction and comfort.  They are water resistant, which makes them a great choice for beach combing.  This is a pretty decent pair of sandals that will serve you well during the warmer months.  The main downside is that they are not appropriate for longer hikes and have a basic design.

[Purchase Price: $40.00-$112.99]

 

  The Runner up

 

Khombu Ladies' River Sandals For Women

What’s to Love: Cheap, comfortable, sturdy
What’s not to Love:  Generic appearance

We were quite surprised by the durability and comfort provided by the Khombu Ladies' River Sandals.  They have a chunky midsole which cushions the heel remarkably well and curved insole which is snug against the foot. 

The sandal is secured by two velcro loops around the ankle and toes. They do a great job of keeping your foot secure.  The upper is made from rubber, which is comfortable against the skin during longer hikes.  The outsole is also rubber, which provides excellent traction. 

While we love what this sandal can do, we don’t love how it looks.  A more elegant design would be appropriate for a pair of women’s sandals.  However, if you are looking for something cheap, comfortable, and durable — the Khombu Ladies' River Sandals could be a great choice.   

[Purchase Price: $35.00 - $44.95]

 

CATEGORY:  STYLISH HIKING SANDALS

  The Winner 

best hiking sandal for women walking sandals

VIAKIX — THE NAPALI HIKING SANDALS FOR WOMEN

What’s to Love: Very stylish, comfortable, durable, and affordable
What’s not to Love:  Only available in four colors 

Yes, we are plugging our own hiking sandals and why not — they are one of the best pairs of women’s hiking sandals on the market!  We have designed these sandals from the ground up to be rugged, comfortable, and practical.

The Napali Hiking Sandals For Women excel at a wide range of activities, including hiking, backpacking, traveling, camping, and water sports.  Whenever you are heading into the great outdoors, you will find yourself putting these sandals on.

We have also designed them to look great!  You can easily wear these sandals down to the local cafe, restaurant or movie theater.  The top of the sandal looks like a simple and stylish sandal, while the outer sole has the tread required to handle some seriously tough environments.  These hiking sandals are extremely comfortable and we know you will just love them!

There are currently 4 different color choices available (more coming in the future).  [Purchase on Viakix.com]

 

  The Runner up 

 

Merrell Women's Jacardia Sandal

What’s to Love:  Elegant strap design, lightweight
What’s not to Love:  Limited adjustability, expensive

The Merrell Women's Jacardia Sandal comes in second on our list for the most fashionable hiking sandal.  We just love the sleek strap design on this sandal.

Of course there are some downsides to this design, including a lack of adjustability.  You might not be able to adjust the sandal to be completely snug to your foot (depending on your foot shape). 

This sandal is extremely lightweight and well made.  It’s a great choice for walking along the beach or for short trailers without too many hazards.  The Jacardia’s attractive appearance means you will probably wear it to the shopping mall and for various errands — so it ends up being a regularly worn pair of sandals that can handle some short distance hiking.  While it is a durable product, we would recommend something a little heavier for long hikes.  [Purchase Price:  $69.95]

 

CATEGORY:  HEAVY DUTY HIKING SANDALS (AKA “I AM A BEAST”)

These sandals are perfect for women who are strong hikers and need a pair of sandals that can take on virtually anything!

  The Winner 

 best walking sandal for women

Teva Women's Omnium Sandal

What’s to Love:  Excellent durability, foot protection and comfort
What’s not to Love:  Heavy, the price

If you are a very keen hiker who often hikes 10 or 20 miles in a day, you should consider a more robust hiking sandal like the Teva Women's Omnium Sandal. 

This product features excellent toe and heel protection, along with a partially sealed upper.  The rubber outsole is excellent and provides incredible traction in most conditions.  Comfort is also a major feature of the Teva Women's Omnium Sandal.  It feels great to walk in and will make your hikes enjoyable.

Of course, there are a few downsides.  It is an expensive walking sandal at $85 and up.  It isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing sandal either, resembling a shoe more than a traditional sandal.  It also weighs 25-40% more than a normal hiking sandal, so you will feel some additional weight.  That being said, this is a great product for women who really love the great outdoors.  

[Purchase Price: $85.00- $125.00]

 

  The Runner up

womens walking sandals

Keen Women's Whisper Sandal

What’s to Love: Affordable, good quality
What’s not to Love:  Less durability than the Omnium

If you can’t afford the Omnium, you can opt for something more affordable, like the Keen Women's Whisper Sandal (which starts at $52.95).  Made from polyester and rubber, this sandal is designed for longer hikes that might feature rough terrain.

These sandals have excellent toe and heel protection, along with a thick midsole for comfort.  The rubber outsole provides great traction, even on slippery surfaces.  It is also available in a wide range of attractive colors!

 [Purchase Price:  $52.95- $74.95]

 

The Final Wrap

Well, there you have it – the best hiking sandals for women in 2018!  Now that you have read this guide, you are one of the most informed consumers around when it comes to hiking sandals.  We hope that you feel more confident about selecting a walking sandal that meets your needs. 

Remember — look for sandals that are durable, attractive, comfortable, and have enough traction for the surfaces you will be walking on.  Hiking sandals are one of the best products you can purchase because they will help you make the most of your life.  You will wear them while traveling, hiking, kayaking, rafting, and exploring the world.  You will love your new hiking sandals!  

 

To get you completely excited about purchasing the best hiking sandals, here's a quick video on the Top 10 Most Beautiful Hikes in the World!



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