Laughing at dads in sandals must be up there alongside walking off a Sunday roast with the family, betting on the Grand National and shouting the wrong answers during University Challenge, as one of our nation's favourite past times.

Sandals in the context of hiking? Nothing wrong with that in our books. 

A good pair can be a very, very useful choice of footwear for any hiking in hot and dry conditions. The same goes for any warm weather hiking that might involve regular river crossings – because no one likes having to keep taking their walking boots off and putting them back on again. 

With the multitude of styles and designs out there, one pair of hiking sandals might be good for one type of activity but terrible for another so it's important to bear this in mind when you're looking to buy. Some might be well ventilated but unprotective, while others might be very sturdy and secure but not breathable enough for hot conditions. When looking for the best hiking sandals, there's also things like grip, cushioning and drying time to consider.

The hiking sandals below are each suited to different types of trails and demands, with specific options for easy trails, tough trails and activities that involve water. 

Columbia Techsun

Best Hiking Sandals | Top 5

The tread on the Columbia Techsun's outsole is almost as aggressive as the kind you'd find on some the technical trail shoes out there, so if you're looking for something with plenty of grip then this might be the sandal for you. With its two hook and loop straps it'll provide a secure fit as well. It's currently available at prices between £20 and £30, so it's a bit of a steal we'd say. 

Best suited to: hot conditions, trail hikes, water sports, casual wear.
Sizes: 6-14 (men's). See the Santiam for a women's equivalent. 
Price: £25
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Teva Terra-Float 2

Best Hiking Sandals | Top 5

Teva were in fact behind the first sports sandal ever released. The story goes that its founder, Mark Thatcher, realised while working as a rafting guide that there wasn't any appropriate footwear for him to wear in the water, and so he decided to fill the gap. With its quick dry webbing straps and foam sole that grips on wet ground, this new release, the Terra-Float 2, certainly stays true to Teva's origins. Overall, a good, reliable sandal – good enough to make it into our most recent edition of the Outdoors Magic 100. You'll find it in a number of different designs for both men and women. 

Best suited to: hot conditions, trail hikes, water sports, casual wear.
Price: £35 - £70
Sizes: 3-11 (men's and women's)
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Keen EvoFit One

Best Hiking Sandals | Top 5

This award-winning sandal from Keen is like no other. It fits just like a sock, with a stretchy synthetic upper that gives a close and comfortable wrapping feel right around the foot. Underfoot, there's an anatomically shaped footbed (which can be removed and replaced if needed), PU midsole and sturdy outsole that'll grip on wet surfaces. The big bumper on the toes will be useful for hikes on technical, rocky trails, while the overall quick drying and water resistant properties also make it perfect for water sports. 

Best suited to: trail hikes, casual wear, water sports.
Sizes: 6-16 (men's), 2.5-8.5 (women's)
Price: £59.99
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Merrell Terran Cross II

Best Hiking Sandals | Top 5

With its Nubuck leather, memory foam footbed and breathable mesh lining, this is a very nicely made women's sandal from Merrell. It's got a good bit of grip to it as well. It's only got the one hook and loop Velcro strap though, and this does limit it a little in the context of technical trail hiking as it means you're not going to get as secure a hold as some of the other sandals featured here. It's a bit more casual. 

Best suited to: casual wear, easy walks. 
Sizes: 3-9 (women's)
Price: £70
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Muck Boot Wanderer

Best Hiking Sandals | Top 5

Only a couple of pieces of leather short of being classed as a shoe, the Wanderer by Muck Boot won't be as ventilating as the other options featured in this round-up, but you can count on it being sturdy and durable – one to wear on fairly rocky paths when you need a bit of protection. At £30, this is very good value.

Best suited to: casual wear, trail hikes. 
Sizes: 6-14 (men's), 3-9 (women's)
Price: £30
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