Best Hiking Sandals for Backpacking and Hiking 2024

Best Hiking Sandals

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This is a gear review about the best hiking sandals for backpacking and hiking 2024.

Some hikers love to use Hiking Sandals for backpacking, as a replacement for lightweight hiking boots, lightweight hiking shoes, or even minimalist shoes. Just add a pair of hiking socks and off you go. Backpacking with sandals places less of a burden on your feet compared with heavy boots.

While they are not my personal go-to footwear, they are awesome when at camp, traveling, and cycling in hot weather. Using a pair of ultralight hiking sandals for camp shoes gives the feet a chance to rest and recover after a long day of hiking. They also make a great pair of footwear for river crossings.

But which ones are the best hiking sandals for 2024, keep reading to find out.

How We Tested

All the Sandals in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has many years of experience in Thru-Hiking, Backpacking, and Hiking. Some of the Hiking Sandals were purchased by the author for this review. They have been rigorously tested by the author in all kinds of weather. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to come up with the best hiking sandals for 2024. Read the Review Policy for further details.

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Best Hiking Sandals 2024

The Best Hiking Sandals 2024 are:

Best Hiking Sandal 2024

Keen Newport H2

Weight per pair: 1 lb 12.4 oz / 805 grams

> Clever design means more traction.
> Very comfortable.
> Designed to last
> Can be used as a replacement for shoes or boots
> Heavy

The first thing we need to talk about is the grip. For any hiking shoe, traction is a necessity, and in the Keen Newport H2 they have it in spades. These are my current favorite hiking sandals and the ones I use on day hikes at the moment.

While using and testing these sandals, I was impressed with the soles on these sandals. They have good traction in all but muddy trails. It is also using non-marking rubber which means that no marks will be left should you go inside.

It has a soft insole and the soft polyester webbing means that your feet stay comfortable all day, no matter the length of your journey. 

The fit is super comfortable thanks to a wide toebox. And there is lots of toe protection thanks to the enclosed rubber toe box and closed toe design. They work very well as many water hiking shoes.

The Keen Newport H2 Sandal uses a hydrophobic mesh lining to prevent the sandal from becoming heavy when wet. It is a solid sandal that shouldn’t break, crack, or absorb water, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing a shoe on a trek, and they are even machine washable.

The one thing about these sandals, is they are heavy, almost as much as hiking shoes. Having said that I consider these to be great hiking footwear to take on light hikes or backpacking trips. You may just learn to love hiking sandals.

Overall, the Keen Newport H2 Sandal is the best sandal for backpacking and the best closed-toe sandal available at the moment.

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Best Lightweight Hiking Sandal

Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure

Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure Hiking Sandal

Weight per pair: 1 lb 1 oz / 482 grams

> Substantial grip.
> Minimal design keeps things comfortable.
> Easily repaired or to have parts replaced.
> Wears over time.

With a more minimalist design than competitors, you would think the Bedrock Cairn 3D Adventure would lose some edge. However, anything lost on top has been put into the grip of the shoe, allowing it to hold traction in muddy terrain.

Comfort is at a premium, as less material means less rubbing on your feet, so blisters and sensitive skin are kept to a minimum. They are closed-toe sandals so you need to be a little more careful not to kick a great big rock when hiking. A stubbed toe is not much fun.

While you would think this would mean that the Bedrock Sandals would be loose on your foot, the 3 adjustable straps on top keep it in place tightly and securely. 

The minimal nature of the Bedrock Sandals design can lead to wearing on the sole a little, but it takes an extremely long time for the sandals to reach that point. Even if the sole wears away, it is easily replaced by Bedrock Sandals.

Overall, these are the best ultralight hiking sandals, the best lightweight camp sandals, and a great pair of minimalist sandals.

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Best Ultralight Hiking Sandals

Xero Z-Trail EV

Xero Z-Trail EV Hiking Sandals

Weight: 10.8 oz / 306 grams

> Flexible design gives grip.
> Soft foam for maximum comfort.
> Flexible design also makes it durable
> Not as durable as some of the other sandals in this review.

The Xero Z-trail is made by well-known minimalist shoe company Xero. This sandal offers a hardened rubber outer sole that will cling to rocks or trails with ease, while also remaining remarkably flexible, able to bend to the shape of your foot and object underneath.

The sole of the sandal is made up of three layers with the top one being foam, which adds a level of comfort. Not only that, but the straps cross your foot, meaning less pressure and therefore less likelihood of sore skin or blisters. 

The flexibility and contouring of the shoe, mean that no matter the situation the Xero Z-trail will still be strong and sturdy, showing no hints of cracks or tears that other sandals may get.

This level of durability is even more impressive when you realize the open-toe sandals are 100% vegan.

Overall, these are a very well-made pair of lightweight hiking sandals.

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Most Durable Backpacking Sandal

Teva Hurricane XLT2

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandal

Weight per pair: 1 lb 4.5 oz / 581 grams

> Increase in outsole equals an increase in traction.
> Extra cushions for comfort.
> Strong material added for extra durability.
> Can get smelly

Teva is one of the original and best-known brands for hiking sandals. I’ve been wearing them since the 90s and think they make one of the toughest hiking sandals. The Teva Hurricane XLT2 is similar to the Universal with added benefits, designed more for sporting events than casual camping.

In the Teva Hurricane, they increased the depth of the outsole with further rubber attachments. While this allows for greater traction on slippery surfaces, it maintains a good amount of flexibility keeping you stable on uneven surfaces.

Not only does the Hurricane have a cushioned insole for comfort, but it also has a cushioned heel. Taking pressure away from the heel on long or difficult journeys increases comfort exponentially and lets you enjoy yourself more.

Overall, the Teva Hurricane XLT2 is a solid pair of hiking sandals.

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More Hiking Sandals to Consider

Chaco Z/2 Classic

Chaco Z/2 Classic Sandal

Weight: 1 lb 7 oz / 652 grams

> Stable with good traction
> Durable
> Might take a while to get used to the fit.

Their flagship products always include adjustable outdoor sandals and have always focussed on practicality above all things.

Having a hard-plastic outsole, the Z/2 utilizes Siping to increase traction on the sandal, while having a wide base with secure straps means that this sandal is incredibly stable underfoot.

Unfortunately, it is the comfort on the Z/2 that lets it down, as the sole is hard and offers little comfort to new feet. Over time, the comfort level increases, but it is not something you want to worry about when paddling down a river or using them as camp shoes only. 

Some people find the toe loop or toe strap that slips around the big toe a little uncomfortable, even though it does a good job of keeping your feet nicely inside the sandals.

What the Z/2 loses in comfort, it more than makes up for in durability, with the hard shell of the shoe incredibly resistant to any form of damage, which is very useful when you are miles away from any kind of help.

Overall, these strong hiking sandals are best suited as camp sandals or for use on shorter hiking trails.

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Chaco Z/Cloud 2

Chaco Z/Cloud 2 sandal

Weight: 1 lb 14 oz / 850 grams

> Good grippy sole
> Very durable
> Not comfortable for everyone, might take a while to get used to.
> Heavy

Moving onto the second entrant from Chaco now, with the Z Cloud 2. Designed to be as sturdy as the Z/2 Classic, but with added comfort for ease of wearing and for more casual hikers.

As before, the grip on the Cloud 2 is fantastic, the wide base providing ample support to the hard plastic sole and, even with adjustments made to the shoe, it still has great traction.

Now we come to comfort and although a lot of improvement has been made to the Chaco Z Cloud 2, it still suffers from having to wear them in overtime that other sandals do not. However, with the added cushion on top, this time is dramatically reduced.

Once again, Chaco shows outstanding dedication to durable footwear, with the cloud 2 losing very little in the way of durability, despite the added comfort.

Overall, these are the best Chaco Hiking Sandals for day hiking or for use as a camp sandals.

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Best Budget Hiking Sandals

Teva Universal

Teva Universal Trail Sandal

Weight: 1 lb 4 oz / 567 grams

> Strong base for traction.
> Designed for comfort.
> Designed to endure multiple environments.
> Can get smelly.

Teva is a very hard candidate to ignore when looking at any kind of hiking sandals and with the Teva Universal available everywhere, it became very hard to ignore them for this list.

Being one of the first of Teva’s sandals made, it has very quickly gone from outback to high street with part of the reason being the strong rubber base providing great support and not slipping easily on any surface.

I have been wearing and using these sandals for more than 12 years. That is how durable they are, they just work and last a long time.

The robust insole with its slightly spring texture is designed to be worn all day every day in any kind of environment. Hiking, kayaking down the river, or as camp shoes, these sandals have you covered. These sandals are perfect for the modern outdoors.           

Thanks to the good design and rubber outsole, these sandals are designed to last and have endured blistering sidewalk heat and muddy trails without issue.

 Overall, these are the most durable hiking sandals on the market and are designed to last a very long time.

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Teva Terra Fi5 Universal

Teva FI 5 Universal Sandal

Weight per pair: 1 lb 12.5 oz / 808 grams

> Traction even in heavy conditions.
> Retained its comfort.
> Sturdy enough to last
> Can get a bit smelly if you sweat too much.

With the last of 3 whole entries on this list, Teva comes to us with what has been described as the ultimate all-terrain sandal, the Teva Terra Fi5 Universal seems an upgrade to the universal, and considering how good that sandal is this should pique your interest.

Increasing the strong foundation the Universal sandal gave us, the Fi5 increases the size of the outsole for more aggressive sporting or trekking activities.

This is done to improve traction and give you the support you need without worrying about breakages or cracks.

As before, these sandals have the same springy insole, allowing for all-day comfort. They also capitalize on the material used, with molded insole cushions for added comfort.

Made with water-friendly polymer and added rubber outsole, these sandals are resistant to water damage and slippery or uneven terrain, making them less likely to break under stress.

Overall, the Teva Terra Fi5 Universal would make a great pair of travel sandals or

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Keen Clearwater CNX

Keen Clearwater CNX Hiking Sadal

Weight per pair: 1 lb 4 oz / 567 grams

> Slim, but grip heavy.
> Comfortable with adjustments.
> Still as durable as the Newport.
> Requires adjustment.

Going full circle now back to the first company on our list with Keen, this time though they have a new and lighter sandal. The CNX sacrifices some material with the intent to make a more streamlined sandal.

With the sacrificed material you would worry that the CNX would lose some grip, since most of the material taken away was from the straps and the toe area, the outsole is still very robust and gives a good grip.

There is a little problem with comfort in that these sandals appear slightly tighter and narrower than the Newport Sandals.

With the streamlined design, these sandals are durable and should last as long as the Newport.

Overall, these are a lighter version of the Keen Newport and one of the best lightweight hiking sandals.

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Backpacking Sandals Buyers Guide

BrandWeight (per pair)Closed Toe
Keen Newport H21 lb 12.4 ozYes
Bedrock Sandals Cairn 3D Adventure1 lb 1 ozNo
Xero Z-Trail10.8 ozNo
Teva Hurricane XLT21 lb 4.5 ozNo
Chaco Z/2 Classic1 lb 7 ozNo
Chaco Z/Cloud 21 lb 14 ozNo
Teva Universal1 lb 4 ozNo
Teva Terra Fi5 Universal1 lb 12.5 ozNo
Keen Clearwater CNX1 lb 4 ozYes
Source: Manufacturers


Traction is incredibly important. If you are hiking in the rain, on slippery rocks, on a muddy trail, or over unstable ground, you want your sandals to grip the surface well. All the sandals in this gear review handle rocky terrain and loose rocks very well.

The Best Sandals for Backpacking will have a good grip in all but the muddiest terrain.


If you are wandering the trails all day, miles from home in the middle of nowhere, or out on the river or ocean, the very last thing you want is a blister, soreness, or cramp in your foot.

Discomfort from your backpacking sandals sours your enjoyment and leaves you in pain throughout, with a worst-case scenario leaving you unable to continue and potentially stranded. This makes comfort essential if you want to wear sandals for hiking.

When using these as camp shoes most people wear socks to add comfort and warmth. Many minimalist sandals are well suited to using socks when hiking and many people have completed long distance thru-hikes with sandals and socks. They have replaced traditional hiking footwear with ultralight sandals. To prevent cold feet most people just add socks when thru hiking with minimalist sandals.

If you use sandals for everyday wear you definitely want comfort.

The Best Sandals for Hiking will be comfortable for short day hikes and long multi-day backpacking trips


This is perhaps the most important factor in deciding on hiking footwear. Loss of traction makes you slower and more careful, lack of comfort can slow you down and sometimes stops you, and the loss of your footwear through breakage can leave you stranded.

If you are climbing or walking through thick undergrowth in the forest, a broken shoe is the worst possible outcome. Any continuation would mean injuring yourself and leaving you vulnerable, it also might mean you can’t turn around depending on how far you have come.

The author testing the Teva Universal Sandals
Using and testing the Teva Universal Sandals in Hot Weather

Stability and Support

Let’s get this out in the open. Supportive Hiking Sandals do not really exist. If you need ankle support then a good pair of hiking boots might be what you need. You could use sandals as camp shoes when you have covered your miles for the day.

If you have flat feet and need arch support then it is not always as easy to find sandals that can offer everything. Having said that, I suffer from flat feet and have used orthotics in the past to provide arch support. And even though most don’t offer much I find them to be super comfortable and supportive.

Closed-toe hiking sandals do a great job of protecting the toe from damage. There is nothing worse than kicking a rock while hiking. Having kicked a rock with closed toe hiking sandals I found them to be very good for toe protection. I prefer a closed toe hiking sandal over an open toe sandal.

Some of the sandals have a toe loop to keep the feet from sliding through the sole. Others do not.

Most have a very good heel strap and do a reasonable job at preventing blisters.

Hiking Sandal Weight

The weight of the hiking sandals can be a big reason to use them. There are many ultralight thru-hikers that use ultralight sandals such as the Xero and Bedrock sandals. As they are much lighter than Trail Runners, Hiking Shoes, and Boots they are an option for the minimalist hiker. With weights under 1 pound per pair, they are an option for some to consider.

Most people would not consider something a little more sturdy, and possibly with toe protection. That is where the mid to heavyweight sandals come in. They all weigh less than 2 pounds and average out around 1.5 pounds per pair. I regularly use these midweight sandals for day hikes, especially in warm weather.

Women’s Hiking Sandals

Women’s Hiking Sandals and Men’s Hiking Sandals are similar. All the best sandals for hiking that are in this have either unisex or women’s versions.


Here are all the best hiking sandals for 2024:

Another one of the Best Hiking Footwear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which are better: hiking boots or hiking sandals?

This question is dependent on your circumstances. If you are hiking through boggy terrain with a high chance of objects injuring unprotected feet, then a boot is the obvious choice.
However, if you are hiking through coastal areas with open ground, then sandals are probably a better choice. It is about weighing up your options and choosing appropriately.

Are hiking sandals only for hiking?

No, you can use them however you wish! The comfort and ease at which they are put on means many people use them in lieu of regular shoes, especially at hotter times of year.
In fact, many people have them as a kind of outdoor slipper, allowing the indoor pair to remain intact. The durability of the sandal as well means they can last no matter what you are using them for.

Best Hiking Sandals for Backpacking

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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