Best Sport Sandals for Women, Men & Kids
It’s summer, it’s hot, but you still want to hit the trails! Let your feet feel the breeze with these top hiking sandals. We’ll also share the best outdoor sandals for water sports and adventure travel.
Read on for the best sport sandals for men, women and kids too!
One thing that sometimes happens with sports sandals is that they can get quite smelly, especially the ones with closed toes like Keens. You can wash them or sprinkle with baking soda to keep them smelling fresher. But some are just too stinky and that doesn’t work for long. Luckily there is a special product designed to clean these sandals. You can find it here.
Women’s Sport Sandals
You may have to try a few different pairs of water sports or hiking sandals to find the best fit for your feet. Luckily now you can order online and test them out in the comfort of your own home, returning those you don’t like and keeping your favorite. Here are a few of my favorite hiking sandals for women.
My favorite hiking and water sports sandals are Teva. I’ve had a few pairs of these hiking and watersports shoes over many years and this pair are my favorite shoes! Or I guess I should say my most comfortable shoes, because let’s face it, they aren’t super cute and flattering.
I am currently loving the Teva Terra Fi Lite sandals. I have them in the “zipper” color which is a black with subtle gray zigzag. They are incredibly cushioned and comfortable and also have super grip soles. The padded straps are velcro and are adjustable in 4 places on the shoe, making it easy to find a good fit for your foot shape. Sometimes on long hikes or when going in and out of water I will adjust the straps on the go.
Tevas tend to be lighter in weight than their competitors, Chaco and Keen. So if you don’t like the heavy feeling of those shoes, try these!
Keen makes very popular sport sandals that are great if you prefer to have your toes protected. The soles are very sturdy and these make excellent hiking shoes or walking shoes for travel. I think they are quite unattractive but once you have them on and feel how comfortable they are you might not care either! 🙂
I have a pair of Keen Whispers that are excellent for walking in places where you need a bit more protection for your feet. I wore mine on a hike through the water up the Narrows in Zion. Other than not being able to feel my legs after being in the cold water for hours, they were great! The rubber bumpers on the front protected my toes from rocks underwater that I could not see. But the open structure of the shoe let water and sand drain out. They do take a while to dry after being completely soaked so keep that in mind. The squishy hike home felt kinda funny at first. But these are great women’s hiking sandals.
The pull cord at the top of the shoe allows you to loosen or tighten the sandal as needed.
The Keen Whisper comes in many colors to best suit your style.
Another popular pair of Teva sandals is the Hurricane. These shoes combine the classic Teva straps with a more grippy and heavy duty sole. They come in many colors, I like the purple! Somehow it still looks great even when your feet are dusty and dirty. Check out the Teva Hurricanes with patterned straps and even the shoes with white soles! Wouldn’t those look cool hiking at White Sands National Monument?
Teva makes some of the best water sports sandals. The sole on the Teva Hurricane is very comfortable and the straps are wide and don’t cut into your feet. I think this pair would suit wider and larger feet better. I debated between these and the Terra Fi Lite. Both were excellent but the footbed seemed a little too big for my small feet. Try them and see what you think. Check the reviews here.
Chaco is known for their supportive sturdy sandals that keep your feet comfortable on paddling trips and hikes. The X2 is one of their lighter models with straps that wrap securely all around your foot and still manage to look a bit fashionable. They come in several colors, so find your favorite!
Tevas use velcro to adjust the straps while Chaco employs plastic buckles instead. This is especially good for situations where velcro can eventually fail, like when you are in and out of the water a lot or sand and dirt gets into the fibers. That makes Chacos some of the best sports sandals for walking and hiking. If you are looking for women’s water sports sandals these are also an excellent option.
Chaco has many styles of sandals and these Zvolv X2 are on the lighter side with a slightly less molded footbed. I also like that the sole is partly made from recycled materials. Chaco sandals are some of the best hiking sandals with arch support and many people like to use them as all-around travel sandals too.
Men’s Sport Sandals
Lucky guys, you don’t have to worry so much about trying to find sport sandals that don’t make you look like Fred Flintstone. Because it is kind of cool if you look like Fred Flintstone, isn’t it?
Here are some of the most comfortable and best performing hiking sandals for men. These shoes can be used for water sports sandals, hiking sandals or all around adventure travel sandals.
These popular sport sandals are great for hiking, travel and water activities like kayaking or fishing. The waterproof sandals are easily adjustable with a center pull cord and offer lots of support with the sturdy sole. Good news, they’ll make you 1.5″ taller too.
The rubber bumper in front will protect your feet when hiking and wading in rocky water. Keep in mind this also means that dirt can get inside and you might need to swish them in the water to clean them out. Check out the variety of colors here for the Keen Newport H2.
The classic Teva straps with a super strength footbed, these sandals are excellent for summer sports or just walking around town. The straps easily adjust at the front back and ankle with velcro so you can get the perfect fit. I often adjust mine before and after going into the water just to make sure my feet don’t slip around.
These are great men’s sports sandals for any activity and come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can choose the right one for you. Some of the other hiking sandals can be very sporty looking – these a bit less so.
Somehow these sandals look sporty and still rather stylish. I think it is the color combo and the more sleek sole.
Chaco sandals are popular with adventurers and outdoor sports enthusiasts. They are known for being excellent hiking sandals with arch support. The shoes are durable and comfortable and the Updraft even has a partly recycled sole. Not only can you wear them on hikes or canoe trips but they are also great shoes for summer city trips. The supportive sole cradles the foot for long days on your feet while sightseeing.
Are you a fan of minimalist footwear? Then check out the Xero Z-Trail sandals for your summer adventures. The shoes have a super flexible sole and snug straps that cradle your foot. The sole is grippy but thin, allowing your feet to better feel the surface of the ground. The webbing straps are fast drying and are easy to get off and on quickly.
If you are looking for hiking sandals with arch support these are not for you. But some believe that minimalist shoes improve the muscles in your feet and legs, eliminating the need for arch support in shoes.
Best of all the Z-Trails are not only light on your feet but perfect for packing in a backpack as they only weigh a few ounces and roll up small. Check out the colors and read reviews here.
Sports Sandals for Kids
My nephews live in their sports sandals all summer long and well into the fall. They are comfortable, practical and sturdy. Perfect for kids that are on the move, splashing in streams, playing in the sand, running on all kinds of surfaces and getting dirty.
Here are some of the best sports sandals for kids from toddlers to pre-teens.
These sturdy sandals come in sizes from tiny toddler to 12 years old. The robust rubber bumper and thick sole protect their feet from bumps and scrapes and the straps are adjustable but easily slip on without a lot of fuss.
Keen Newports are waterproof and are great for hiking, the beach, boating and every day use. They are adjustable with velcro straps and cord loops making it easy for kids to take them on and off by themselves.
If your kids find the Newports a little too heavy, check out the Seacamp. These Keens still have a protective rubber toe cap to prevent stubbing but have open straps on the side to keep feet cool. These shoes are lighter, more flexible, and may be more comfortable for narrow feet. They come in a range of colors and are ideal for kids who will be in and out of the water on summer vacations.
Are you looking for something with a more open style for those super hot days? Check out the Teva Hurricane for kids. They have a sturdy, supportive sole and adjustable velcro straps for custom comfort. Plus kids can easily get them on and off by themselves.
I love that the straps come in a variety of colors and patterns. I’ll be honest, I’m considering the strawberry ones for myself. Check here for more colors in the Teva Hurricane for kids.
If your kids are really active and love to go on long adventures, the Merrell Hydro may be the perfect shoe. It is open on the side like a sandal but offers rugged protection for hiking and running on dirt, grass, sand and mud. Notice the mesh between the gaps in the straps? This is ideal for keeping pebbles and twigs out of the shoe while still letting water drain out and air circulate. See reviews of the Merrell Hydro for kids here.
I hope this overview of some of the best hiking sandals and water shoes has helped you find the perfect summer footwear!
To keep those sandals smelling fresh don’t forget to check out the enzyme cleaner as well. You can find it here.
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