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Summer Women Hiking Sandals - A Comfort or a Danger?

Updated on July 2, 2017

Hiking

Are Women's Hiking Sandals a Comfortable Summer alternative to Boots or a Dangerous Addition to be Avoided?

Summer hiking in the hills or country roads needs great footwear. Women's hiking sandals are a great alternative to hiking boots or shoes however they are not for everyone and used in the wrong circumstances can be dangerous.

So what makes a great women's hiking sandal that is both comfortable and safe?

I love my hiking sandals as they are a practical alternative to hiking shoes or boots. My sister however hates them and says they look ugly and masculine.

I think the manufacturers do a great job with the look of women's hiking sandals yet realistically they are meant (unlike most of women's clothing) to be practical and usable as opposed to fashionable.

Summer Sandals or Not?

This is a very personal choice. I have seen programmes on TV where people have chosen to wear hiking sandals for extreme walking conditions that have resulted in injury as they do not support the ankle yet have also seen two youngsters walk the Milford Trek in nothing more than normal flip flops! They were carrying full sized back packs and very fit. So what is the answer? I think it best to consider as many of the variables as possible then decide what is right for you based on your experience and abilities. Below are a few things to consider.

Comfort Keen Sandal

KEEN Women's Venice Sandal
KEEN Women's Venice Sandal

These are a really impressive sandal. They are extremely comfortable and no breaking in which is great. They are also very strong and sturdy with great tread. They are also great in water which is good where I live has plenty of that.

 

  1. Comfort

    Comfort is key when walking any distance and the times I have seen people wear stupid shoes amazes me. They are totally unprepared for the conditions. It is easy to do and even on a day where not going you can have the wrong shoes or boots on and slip - I know I have done it and believe me you do not! The irony is that when hiking I am really very careful with footwear.

  2. Cushioning

    Cushioning of the foot is important especially when hiking as it eases the stress on the joints and the amount of jarring your body receives. Most sandals wont cater for this as they tend to be flat.

  3. Ankle support

    When walking up or down hills ankle support is very important to help with preventing slipping and ankle injury. As you won't have this with sandals you need to take this into consideration when deciding if this is something that should concern you or not.

  4. Weather Conditions or Change thereof

    Depending on where you are in the world will determine on how reliable the weather is. Where I live you can go all four seasons in a day or even an hour so choosing the right footwear is crucial. Some people won't mind the extra weight of carrying boots and others will. The general idea is to make certain you have everything you need but never to carry too much. I have seen too many people overload their sacks and then struggle.

  5. Terrain

    As terrain can make a huge difference to the type of footwear you choose and as some people are happy with wearing lighter footwear when others may want more support it is difficult to determine what is best. However make certain that safety comes first when hiking.

  6. Personal Fitness or Preferences

    Personal fitness makes a huge difference when walking. If you have sustained injury and weakened your foot you may need more support than a sandal will offer.

  7. Tread

    There should be a good deep tread on any hiking footwear. Sandals with little or no tread are a fashion statement and not much good for summer hiking.

Women's Hiking Sandals

Women's Hiking Sandals
Women's Hiking Sandals

Great Women Hiking Sandals on Amazon

Other Considerations

  • Unseen dangers

    Unseen dangers is a difficult one as they vary from place to place where every you may be in the world. Things to consider might be things that are while not directly related to walking may affect your hiking experience.

    For example I love to walk on the moors which are fairly rough uneven terrain. Even if that was not a concern for me I would not consider walking in either sandals or shorts because although here in the UK we do not have poisonous animals like in other countries we do have ticks and adders. Adders are quite a shy snake buy will attack if startled and an unprotected ankle or foot would get a nasty bite. Ticks would find it easy to attach themselves to you and that can be quite dangerous.

    However I also walk the trails of the woodland where the paths are cleared and flat here would make a great opportunity for wearing hiking sandals. Wearing boots on these trails is overkill.

  • Slippage

    One of the problems with some of the popular brands that I can see is that some people have problems with them being slippery in water conditions like rocks or swimming pools. This is something that concerns me greatly after having injured myself quite badly on wet grass when wearing trainers. I wasn't out hiking but experiences like that make you pay more attention to these issues. I have seen many comments that certain hiking sandals have caused injury due to slipping. In the sandals defence I have worn my hiking boots into town and have slipped on dry shop floors as they are not meant for that. If this is a particular concern for you (as it is for me) double check the likely-hood of them slipping or opt for hiking shoes. Not all footwear are made from non slip materials. Just be aware that even sandals with great tread may slip from time to time.

Hiking Sandals or Not Debate

Would you Wear hiking sandals for hiking and trekking?

Summer Evening Hiking

There is nothing quite like hiking in the summer late in the day when the shadows are long, the deep smell of earth mingled with the faint smell of distant sea salt clings to the warm air. You pause to watch as a heard of moorland ponies gallop past. Midges rise in clusters of golden bursts. All is right in the world. You know that soon you must return before the sun dips below the Tors and darkness descends on this ancient realm.

Which Brand Should I Buy?

Brand choice is a very personal one. Some people love Reebok, some people love Scetchers and some don't like to pay over the odds for named brands. I am the latter. I see little point in paying for the name of something for some designer who I don't know anyway. I prefer to pay for something that is quality.

However there is one name I will pay for because I believe and experience has shown that their products are quality and that is Karrimor. Unfortunately Amazon.com does not seem to stock them so if you would have to either go to Amazon.co.uk or Karrimors own site.

There are some great choices on the US site. Keen are very popular with lots of people but the reason I have not spotlighted them is that many customers have stated they have a slippage issue and some people have had quite bad falls. To me a shoe for hiking should not slip.

Teva Women's Omnium Sandal Spotlight Review

After much consideration and taking into account the criteria and the views of other women hiking sandal wearers I have chosen a couple of sandals that I think will do the job.

Teva Women's Omnium Sandal,Chocolate Chip,8.5 M
Teva Women's Omnium Sandal,Chocolate Chip,8.5 M

The Teva Women's Omnium Sandal fits most of the criteria for a great women's hiking sandal. They are comfortable with a Shoc Pad heel to absorb shock thus reducing stress on joints and making walking easier and reducing energy used by you.

The tread is fair and they are great for hiking up and down steep hills. No one seems to have slipped with them which would indicate a firm tread.

They are also great for adjusting the fit to you personally which is important for both safety and comfort. They also have a toe area for helping to prevent toe stubbing.

With he breath-ability of a sandal and the support of a shoe they give the wearer the best of both worlds.

Although they are recommended for amphibious hiking some people like them in the water and others find that they dry too slowly. Their price is in the higher range however you are paying for quality.

 

Why I love My Hiking Sandals

  1. They are comfy
  2. They are much cooler than wearing boots
  3. They are easy to slip on and off
  4. They are great for the beach or the woods
  5. They have enough tread to be safe when walking
  6. They are fantastic when travelling in hot and dusty countries.

Summer Women's Hiking SandalsGuestbook Comments

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    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I'm unlikely to wear sandals for off-road hiking, but I do think they are a very practical walking shoe for summer time. You've made me curious to look into the Karrimors brand you mention as well as the Teva.

    • markadamdouglass profile image

      markadamdouglass 5 years ago

      I could never wear sandals whilst hiking. Way too scary for me.

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      I love my Teva's! They are a long lasting great product worth the money.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Feel free to DELETE as this is a Rocket Squid Critique. This is a wonderful article and you have made some very valid points both pro and con for hiking sandals. I would like to see you use some keywords in your Custom Bio that would tie in with this article. Remember as well to give attribution to your photos - even if they are your own. You might also try asking a question in the header of your Guestbook that will encourage people to comment on this lovely article. :)