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Best Walking Sandals 2024

Heading for warmer climes for your adventures? Take on land and sea with our roundup of the best walking sandals for 2024

Now might be a good time to get a pair of the best walking sandals. With summery adventures beckoning on the hazy horizon, the versatility offered by the finest adventure sandals will come into its own. Whether you’ve got your eyes on rocky scrambles or are planning to embark on some water sports, you’ll be surprised at just how well a walking sandal performs across a range of demanding activities.

The best walking sandals are designed to give you the breathability and good looks of a casual beachwear sandal, with the grip and comfort of a hiking shoe. This makes them extremely versatile products that are just as at home on boulder-hopping expeditions as they are exploring rock pools on the beach.

What To Look For When Buying Walking Sandals

As walking sandals are often employed for amphibious outings, they need to be crafted from quick-drying materials that also grip well when wet and won’t wear out after only a few adventures. The excellent traction offered by Vibram rubber soles is used in some of the best models, while padded neoprene and leather are also sandal mainstays thanks to their comfort and durability. The quality of the materials is the main reason that you’ll have to fork out a little more dough for a pair of decent walking sandals – cheaper models sold to everyday holidaymakers simply don’t stack up.

The best walking sandals differ in terms of the protection they give your feet. Minimalist models may just feature a grippy sole and a y-strap to hold your foot in place, while some sandals resemble hiking shoes that look oddly unfinished, giving you the breathability and freedom of a sandal with the protective shield and toe box of a trail shoe. If you’re off on rugged scrambles, you’ll want a more maximalist sandal than people who are merely gallivanting around on the beach.

One final note: If you’re looking for some footwear for longer distances and/or trips over challenging terrain, you might also be interested in our best walking shoes round up, or our top 10 guide to the best walking boots.

The Best Walking Sandals We’ve Tested

We’ve gathered together the very best walking sandals. These are firm favourites that, over countless adventures, haven’t let the team at Outdoors Magic down:

  • Best Walking Sandals Tested: Lizard Super Trek
  • Best Value Walking Sandals: Columbia Globetrotter
  • Best Sandals for Water: Keen Newport
  • Best Lightweight Sandals: Bedrock Cairn Pro
  • Best Closed Toe Sandals: Keen Uneek NXIS

Lizard Super Trek

Chosen as our best all-round hiking sandal

Grip: 8/10 | Stability: 9/10 | Comfort: 9/10 | Packability: 7/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 41/50

Price: 255g
Weight: £120

When choosing sandals for hiking you want them to be lightweight but sturdy, cushioned and comfortable. You want them to be grippy, you want them to be fresh-feeling and you want them to be quick drying too. These tick all those boxes. We used them, most notably, during a week of hiking in the mountains of Albania and their performance was very good – and over a variety of terrain.

OM editor Will using the Super Trek in Scotland. Photo: Michael Drummond.

Lizard Super Trek has three-point adjustment, with a snap buckle on the top and then velcro tabs around the ankle and at the toes, and this means you can get a really precise, custom fit from these. The strap has a neoprene lining too, which feels comfortable against the skin.

Underfoot, there’s an EVA foam in the midsole which is made from 30 per cent recycled content. Overall the stack height is 25mm at the heel and 17mm at the toes – fairly big then. This gives these sandals a nice, somewhat springy feel to them. The grip is decent enough, though there are grippier sandals in this round up.

Read our full Lizard Super Trek Sandals review.



Meindl Capri

Grip: 8/10 | Stability: 9/10 | Comfort: 9/10 | Packability: 4/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 38/50.

Price: £120
Weight: 610g

Meindl began making footwear 300 years ago in Germany’s beautiful Bavaria region. Eleven generations on, their products still maintain the same handcrafted quality, and this of course extends to the unisex Capri sandals.

Well named after the rugged yet beautiful Italian island that’s renowned for its quality leather sandals, it’s no surprise that the Capris are designed to take on jagged, watery terrain and, in the spirit of the island, are crafted from high-quality nubuck leather themselves.

The uppers are lined with padded neoprene that, in tandem with the nubuck, gives you an extremely comfortable feel, even after many hours on the trail. Both materials are also ultra quick drying, which is vital for treks that involve the occasional splash in the sea. The chunky outer sole’s tread achieves great grip, while the Capri’s breathable straps are fully adjustable, giving you a customisable fit.




Merrell Kahuna III

Grip: 9/10 | Stability: 9/10 | Comfort: 9/10 | Packability: 3/10 |  Drying time: 7/10 | Total score: 37/50.

Price: £100
Weight: 400g

This is a hiking sandal that’s made for big mileage on the trail. It has a stable and supportive upper that is very high on comfort and its midsole cushions well, particularly under the heel, while it capably blocks out sharp stuff like rocks and roots underfoot.

During our tests, we appreciated the comfort of the neoprene lining on the straps and we also really liked the amount of arch support too. 

OM editor will using the Kahuna III

For water usage, the drying time is pretty good and we found the straps and platform kept our feet from slipping around Still, we’d say this is best used as a hiking sandal for long trail hikes in hot conditions. If you want a sandal from Merrell to use in or on water, you’d be better off opting for the Merrell Speed Fusion.




Teva Hurricane XLT2

Grip: 6/10 | Stability: 7/10 | Comfort: 8/10 | Packability: 7/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 36/50.

Price: £70
Weight: 255g

Hiking is at the heart and soul (or should that be sole?) of Teva’s Hurricane XLT2s. With a sole forged and shaped specifically with the trails in mind, they’re an excellent choice for summer adventures and are reasonably priced too. A heel height of 3cm is enough to absorb all the shock of a day spent trekking, as well as protecting your feet from any spiky encounters.

The Tevas pictured during our Outdoor 100 test trip. Photo: Chris Johnson

All of this would be academic if the sandals didn’t grip properly or weren’t durable enough to keep you going for many trips. It’s a good job, then, that the Hurricanes are crafted from Teva’s proprietary Durabrasion Rubber, which is impressively grippy and gives you traction even on wet rock. The sandals hold up very well over time, with next to no loss of cushioning or wear and tear.

Read our full Teva Hirrcane XLT 2 review.



Hoka Sky Hopara

Grip: 8/10 | Stability: 7/10 | Comfort: 8/10 | Packability: 4/10 |  Drying time: 6/10 | Total score: 33/50.

Price: £105
Weight: 680g

This is a walking sandal on steroids, with an aggressively-rugged and striking design. Described by Hoka as a “true outdoor explorer…that easily navigates through any terrain, wet or dry” and a sandal that will “blow other mountain sandals out of the water”, the Sky Hopara definitely adds a unique approach to the adventure sandals market.

The sandal features a synthetic upper with strategic cutouts for drainage while still providing a secure lockdown. It includes a gusseted neoprene collar for flexibility and comfort with reduced friction when wet. There’s also a quick-lace system, and the rubberised EVA midsole provides a responsive yet cushioned feel.

You also get a rubberised toe cap for protection against debris, and a sticky rubber outsole featuring 4mm multi-directional lugs (in a broad pattern) for first-rate traction in a variety of conditions.

This is on the bulky and heavy side, so it’s not really the kind of sandal we’d want to carry on our backpack to wear at night around camp. It’s more of a wear-all-day sandal, and a good one at that.



Merrell Speed Fusion Web

Grip: 9/10 | Stability: 7/10 | Comfort: 8/10 | Packability: 8/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 40/50.

Price: £80
Weight: 290g

Grippy, reasonably light, well-cushioned and quick-drying, in our tests, the Merrell Speed Fusion Web proved to be a useful sandal for trail hiking in hot conditions. 

In our tests, the outsole provided good grip on a range of surfaces, including on grit, mud and rock. We also liked the amount of cushioning and shock absorption, particularly under the heel. 

Our team testing the Merrell Speed Fusion Web on the coast of Wales

The straps are easy to operate and create a close, comfortable fit. The toggle on the back works well, though it does feel a little flimsy. The drying time was excellent and the platform stayed grippy even when it was wet – those are two aspects that make these great sandals for use on hikes alongside water sources or for things like kayaking or SUPing. 

Merrell deserve credit for using a large proportion of recycled materials in the production of this sandal too.




Bedrock Cairn Pro

This was chosen as the best lightweight sandal in our tests.

Grip: 6/10 | Stability: 6/10 | Comfort: 6/10 | Packability: 9/10 |  Drying time: 9/10 | Total score: 36/50.

Price: $130
Weight: 240g

This minimalist offering from Californian brand Bedrock does everything you need an adventure sandal to do, and it does it with assured, understated confidence.

Simplicity is the key here: a high-quality y-strap attached to a Vibram sole gives you a product that’s perfect for wild and wet outings. However, don’t confuse simple with basic; the Cairn Pro has been refined over a period of eight years to arrive at the durable, capable sandal it is today.

The Bedrocks during our Outdoor 100 selection process

Performance wise, the Cairn Pros are reassuringly grippy, with superb traction achieved thanks to their triangular lugs. The minimal footbed is surprisingly comfortable and conforms to your feet with each step. Finally, though they are relatively expensive compared to some, we consider them an excellent investment and, if they do eventually wear out, they are fully re-soleable. Oh, and did we also mention they are 100% vegan friendly.

Read our full Bedrock Cairn Pro review




Keen Newport

Selected as the best quick-drying sandal for water use

Grip: 8/10 | Stability: 9/10 | Comfort: 9/10 | Packability: 5/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 38/50.

Price: £120
Weight: 431g

If you’re eager to give your toes more protection than they get with the average adventure sandal, a pair of Newports from American brand Keen might be just the trick.

The leading closed-toe sandal, the Newport is the standard by which other such products are judged, giving you the breathability of a sandal with robust support and toe box protection akin to a hiking shoe. It’s a trendsetter too – the sandal that pretty much invented the genre of adventure sandals, so it has a stellar heritage.

The Newports are lightweight, breathable, fast-drying and impressively grippy, making them a go-to for those who like to add a little water to their adventures, as well as for those looking to hit the trails.

The only disadvantage of the closed-toe design is the tendency for sand and other debris to gather in the toe box, which then has to be frequently removed. However, these are a great option for those who still want the freedom of a sandal but are looking to head out on rougher terrain.

One thing that Keen have noted is that customers often find the style running about ½ a size small, so it’s worth considering ordering a ½ size larger than your usual.




Keen Uneek NXIS

Our pick as the best closed-toe hiking sandal

Grip: 9/10 | Stability: 8/10 | Comfort: 10/10 | Packability: 4/10 | Drying time: 6/10 | Total score: 37/50. 

Price: €130
Weight: 328g

These are supremely comfortable sandals. We love the sponginess of the midsole, the roomy toe box and the fact that the stretchy upper makes it fit like a sock.

Granted the UNEEK design is unashamedly a bit love it or hate it, but it does make for a very ergonomic hiking sandal that combines comfort and hiking performance well.

OM editor Will testing the feel of the Keen Uneek NXIS in water.

It has a solid, protective toe bumper, making it excellent on uneven trails, and it scored well on the grip front due to its combination of a tacky rubber compound with 4mm lugs.

It’s not so good as a sandal for water sports as the drying time isn’t that quick and the materials become heavy when saturated. It’s also on the heavy and bulky side overall, so it’s not really a sandal to carry in a backpack for river crossings. It’s more of a wear-all-day sandal.




Columbia Globetrot

This was selected as our pick for the best value walking sandal

Grip: 9/10 | Stability: 7/10 | Comfort: 8/10 | Packability: 8/10 |  Drying time: 8/10 | Total score: 40/50

Price: £55
Weight: 200g

We found the Globetrot to be a great packable sandal that serves well as an option to carry in your pack on any hikes where you might be expecting some river crossings. It’s also useful as a wear–all-day, providing the comfort, grip and support that you want from a sandal for light trail hiking. 

Putting the Columbia Globetrotter to the test on the Welsh coast.

It offers good arch support and cushioning, the platform is stable even when wet and the lugs and rubber compound provide grip on a range of different surfaces. 

It’s very similar to the Merrell Speed Fusion Web, which is also in this round up. The Speed Fusion Web is a little more expensive but it does have the better eco credentials.




Quechua NH900

Grip: 7/10 | Stability: 7/10 | Comfort: 7/10 | Packability: 3/10 |  Drying time: 3/10 | Total score: 27/50

Price: £45
Weight: 360g

The Quechua NH900 is a reasonably priced sandal that combines a trail shoe-like sole and closed toe with an upper that mixes mesh and open panels for a nice amount of ventilation and sweat wicking. 

The Quechua NH900 during our tests. We quickly realised that they’re not ideal for use in water.

There’s a good amount of padding around the ankle cuff and the toggled lace creates a comfortable, precise fit. The sole unit is robust and blocks out roots and rocks well while there’s a bit of cushioning and shock absorption too. We found it to be quite light on arch support; if you like that in a shoe then the Keen Uneek NXIS (also reviewed here), would be a good bet. 

The sole, which has 3mm lugs, grips well. We felt confident hiking in these on slightly muddy trails and on boulders too. The insole is quite thin and basic, but it is at least removable, so you can swap it for something more technical if you need to. 

We found that these sandals aren’t well-suited to water-based activities or for river crossings as the insole and upper materials aren’t really designed for getting wet. As a shoe for hot weather hiking and casual wear, however, it’s a decent offering, especially given the price.




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