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During the summer months, when the days are long and the sun heats up the land around us, it may not be practical to wear the same tough, thick boots as you do throughout the autumn and winter months.
Summer is the season of practical, comfortable and hard-wearing walking sandals – and with the warm weather we’ve been having looking set to continue, now’s a great time to start thinking about ditching those hefty, cumbersome walking boots.
What type of sandal should I buy?
If you’re looking for sandals that work as good walking or hiking options then there are a few things to consider. Firstly, look at the type of straps – three secure straps and no fewer are recommended, with a good amount of cushioning or support and adjustability.
Good Vibram soles are also suggested, as well as some degree of cushioning or molding in the midsole to provide structural support for your foot when navigating difficult terrain. There are also closed-toe options out there if you’d like the security of toe protection when hiking on uneven terrain – but also worth bearing in mind that these options provide slightly less breathability whilst on the move.
We’d also suggest looking for webbed polyester or similar for the straps – this means that they’re usable in the water and are quick drying – very useful when you’re out and about and have the option of a swim.
Of course if you prefer walking shoes we have that covered in our round-up here.
Keen Tareghee III Closed Toe Sandal
To offer maximum protection when hiking, it’s worth considering a closed toe option, and we think that Keen are amongst the best in the business when it comes to creating this kind of footwear.
The Targhee III sandal is a bit of a favourite and offers the breathability and comfort of a sandal at the same time as providing excellent durability and toughness when on the trail.
We like the fact they can readily be used in water too – they provide a great companion to wild swimming adventures.
Teva XLT 2 Hurricane Sandals
These Teva sandals have become somewhat iconic in terms of both colour and shape, and are still in our opinion the best go-to, non-nonsense sandals on the market at the moment.
A ‘comfort upgrade’ recently in terms of a bit of heel strap padding and a new sole have helped bring them along and provide excellent value for money for £65.
They’re simple, durable and dry super quickly when wet.
Columbia Santiam 3 Strap Sandal
A sandal option which we thought represented great value for money, the Columbia Santiam 3 Strap sandals have a hefty, rugged appearance, with a suede leather upper section and well thought out midsole cushioning for walking comfort.
One of the gripper sandals we tested too, as the lugs on the rubber sole offer good levels of stability and sturdiness when hiking on uneven or loose terrain.
Merrell Kahuna Web
Currently on sale, these Merrell options are a great bet for walking – we found they provided excellent levels of grip across a wide variety of terrain.
The design has been inspired by the Merrell archives – updating an old favourite with a new sole, new nylon webbing with a mesh upper and an air cushion in the heel which importantly absorbs shock when walking for a period of time.
Ecco Offroad Sandals
If you often struggle with the fit and comfort of standard walking sandals, we’d recommend giving these options from Ecco a go.
Soft leather uppers with a neoprene lining aid fit, and three straps with a number of different adjustable settings adds to their versatility.
They’re not recommended for use in the water, however.
Teva Terra FI 5 Universal
Described as the ‘ultimate all terrain vehicle,’ this is another option from Teva that impressed us with its lightweight capabilities and good protection from the most difficult of terrain.
It’s more rugged and lighter than any of the Terra products to date and the water-friendly polyester webbing is both supportive and quick drying.
We found that the molded soles take a bit of getting used to on flat ground but really come into their own on rocky on unsealed terrain.
Nike Canyon Sandal
A rugged hiker sandal from the sports brand, with a generous outsole and a foam midsole for extra comfort whilst on the move.
With a name like Canyon you’d expect good hiking performance, and we found these sandals to be sturdy and confidence inspiring whilst on the move.
They sit quite tall, so also provide decent ankle support and strap adjustability, improving their versatility and comfort across different terrains.