Best Hiking Sandals Women’s of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons
When it comes to what makes the best hiking sandals, women’s preferences are also aligned with practicality over flashy colors and other shallow features. Hiking sandals should be comfortable and protective and give you the traction you need to overcome steep slopes or treacherous terrain.
But for women, there are some very specific technical features that leave no room for error. A proper fit generally requires a narrower sandal design. Soft cushioning is also important as well as enough wiggle room in the toe area (with closed-toe sandals).
Here are the top five hiking sandals for women that are capable of handling days of rocky trails, gravel roads, rain, and even some light running to different degrees of success.
Women’s Hiking Sandals Reviews
1. ECCO Women’s Yucatan Hiking Sandals
The ECCO Yucatan sandals are available for both men and women. And, unlike other manufacturers, ECCO opted to use the same technical features, rugged quality, and high-end materials on the women’s model. The only minor differences would be the more stylish pattern variety and a design that molds well on a female foot frame.
The fit is predictable with these sandals. But base it on your sneakers size rather than your boots or heels size when you order.
The uppers are made of nubuck leather which has good water resistance and offers dynamic arch support. The hard rubber sole is surprisingly flexible given how well it negates the feel of pebbles and small debris often encountered on mountain trails.
ECCO also opted for an open-toe design in order to have the sandals more in line with women’s footwear. Still, the toes are covered slightly by a strap so they get some upper protection.
The upper section of the sandals is open with just a strap on the exterior and above the ankle. Those provide proper support on uneven terrain. They also work in unison with the footpad propulsion plate to give you extra climbing traction while minimizing the physical effort.
The heel is not too tall in order to maintain good stability on any type of terrain. And, the microfiber insole keeps the bottom of your feet comfortable regardless of weather and trail.
2.Keen Women’s Whisper Hiking Sandals
The Keen Whisper hiking sandals have a truly slimmer profile compared to the brand’s other hiking sandals. It also features a closed-toe design and a surprising level of ventilation given the design direction.
The Women’s Whisper sandals have good traction and off pushing power. Perhaps not ideal for muddy trails or slippery terrain, but the less aggressive lug pattern still does a good job of balancing comfort, shock absorption, and traction.
The sandals are also flexible enough for long hikes. The cushioning is spot-on and combined with the compression molded EVA midsole, it will allow you to wear the sandals even on a day-long trip.
The toe cap is slightly curved which provides more room on the inside and plenty of protection from your average bumps and bruises. However, what’s most interesting is the overall breathability.
Most of the time, a closed-toe design features ample coverage. In this case, the sides and the upper feature no mesh webbing which means that air circulation is totally unimpeded.
With chafing a non-factor, traction not an issue, and a bunch of stretchy straps holding your feet in place, the Whisper sandals are some of the most comfortable slim-profile hiking sandals that a woman can get her hands (or feet) on.
3. Teva Women’s Tirra Hiking Sandals
Teva nailed the profile and fit with the Tirra hiking sandals and earned bragging rights with their predictable fit. As you’ll notice, these sandals are all about comfort, breathability, and stability, and less about flashy graphics or fashionable material choices.
The Teva Tirra hiking sandals are 100% textile which makes them highly flexible. The fabric is stretchy but also helps maintain a slim fit to accommodate almost any woman’s feet. The size goes up to 11, well into men’s range. There are over 20 available finishes.
The rubber sole is rather thin but it does come with a 1.5” heel which will help to maintain a comfortable and familiar foot position.
The straps you can tighten or loosen with ease. After long hikes and much physical effort, the feet may swell up. That’s when the elasticity and strap adjustability become really useful.
Another interesting feature is the integrated shock pad in the heel. Combined with the extra heel height, this provides very good impact absorption.
The classic hook and loop closure has a quick release and can even withstand some exposure to water without loosening. It’s also strong enough to allow you to push hard into the ground while climbing.
The rubber outsole has a decent amount of traction. It’s not the best for all-terrain or all-weather, but on easy trails and light elevation slopes, it will do a competent job.
4. Northside Women’s Burke II Hiking Sandals
The Northside Burke II hiking sandals are a closed-toe design with ample foot coverage and solid ankle and arch support.
The Burke II looks almost like your basic hiking shoes. The toes are completely covered as is the upper section which features durable faux leather. There’s still enough breathability thanks to the lateral ventilation openings and some breathable inserts along the upper.
Of course, the heel is mostly uncovered. The rugged design and extension of the upper section provide ample arch support. The toe guard is curved but also very rigid. This helps maintain toe wiggle room on the inside and offers outstanding protection against common toe injuries resulted from hitting debris and rocks.
The material is quick-drying and water can’t hurt it. The cushioning is also good, not too soft but not too hard either. You can feel the ground when you go trail running.
The rubber sole is perhaps underrated in terms of traction and comfort. It’s more flexible than expected but it makes up for the lack of rigidity with its shock absorbing properties.
The platform is just 0.25”. It may not seem like much but due to the slim profile and molded EVA backing, it’s enough to ensure comfort on flat and elevated trails. Stability is not really an issue due to how well the sandals strap around the ankles.
5.Plaka Women’s Hiking Sandals
The Plaka Women’s Hiking Sandals present an interesting alternative if you’re looking for some sparkle and a simpler design for your next camping trip. These sandals work just as well in an urban environment as an off-road trail, provided of course you don’t plan on climbing steep mountain slopes or running along the trail with abandon.
It’s impressive how fashionable these sandals look. They feature rope-like buckle-free straps. The choice of nylon is great as it doesn’t promote chafing. The sole is anti-slip but not too textured. This facilitates a very natural sensation when walking on flat grounds.
Although the sandals look like they’re made of basic rope, they are in fact beach-ready should you want to explore more than just forests and hilltops.
The material dries quickly without altering its elasticity. This means you can maintain a constant foot pressure throughout the day. At least when camping or hiking, it should make it easier to keep up with an anxious group.
The sandals are available in many sizes but they are designed to be form-fitting. The fit/width is more like a pair of cleats or soccer shoes than a pair of sneakers.
The honors of the best hiking sandals women’s edition fall on the ECCO Yucatan hiking sandals. The unique combination of technical features, style, and high-end materials makes it hard for any other women’s hiking sandals to come close in terms of comfort and practicality.
Of course, if you want to keep things simple and you only want to invest in light hiking gear, then maybe the Plaka hiking sandals would be a better alternative. Not only can they handle some off-road action but they’re also affordable and work just as well in the city too. You can easily keep a pair of these in your camping backpack for spare.
On the other hand, if you’re more worried about injuries than overheating, you might want to give the Northside Burke II sandals a second look. The ample coverage and reliable arch and ankle support may be what you’ve been looking for all along.