Anyone who has ever gone on a challenging hike or rocky riverside walk knows proper footwear is essential to a pleasant—and safe—experience. You should leave your flip flops at home, of course, but you can still stay footloose and blister free in a good pair of hiking sandals. Look for a pair with adjustable straps that offer shock absorption and traction, made of material that’s as tough as you are. After all, this won’t be a cake walk.
This style runs a half size smaller than a traditional sneaker, so make sure to size up. KEEN
If you are hiking over particularly rocky or hilly land, you need durable footwear. Rubber, leather and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) can take a beating, while polyester is washable and fast-drying. A pair with toe protection may add a bit of weight, but it’s an extra safeguard against stubbed toes and falling debris.
100 percent waterproof leather, with a grip that’s worthy of hiking boots. Teva
Cushioning and arch support will make your steps more comfortable when the ground is hard. Meanwhile, if you’re hiking in wet areas, water resistant shoes or ones made with hydrophobic material will keep you drier. And for those who are prone to slipping and falling, rubber soles will give your shoes a firm grip.
Classic design with velcro straps for an adjustable fit. Teva
After a hard day’s hiking, your feet might be a bit irritated. Adjustable straps allow you to lighten the pressure on the top of your feet. You can tighten them to make them more secure or open them up and put on a pair of socks if the weather becomes chilly—or if you just need a protective buffer between your feet and the shoes.