Should You Really Hike In Sandals?

Though I love the way my hiking boots keep my feet dry when it rains and warm when it’s cold outside, sometimes I wish I wasn’t wearing them. When I’m out in the summer heat and doing a lot of sweating, I really start to curse my boots for keeping my feet too warm and sweaty. And whenever I pass someone on the trail wearing a pair of those hiking sandals, I get a little jealous because their feet have to be cooler than mine.

After a particular warm day of hiking in the Colorado mountains, I decided to investigate hiking sandals and see if I could make the switch. My biggest concern when it comes to them is if it is safe to hike in sandals. My boots are tall and offer a lot of great protection for my ankles and none of the sandals are tall.

I did a bit of research and picked the brains of people more familiar with hiking shoes. Here’s what I found out.

Is It Safe To Hike In Sandals?

If you are using a pair of genuine hiking sandal, like Keens or something similar, then it is perfectly safe for you to hike in them. Of course, you should never hike in flip flops or sandals that are not designed for hiking as you can slip or injure or foot.

Likewise, if you have ankle problems or concerns about keeping your ankles safe, then you are probably better off not wearing a pair of the sandals for hiking.

Though trail sandals won’t keep your ankles from getting injured, they do work well for hikes. Just keep in mind that rocks and other small debris can get in the sides of the sandals and under your feet. Also, you have exposed flesh that can leave you prey to snake encounters or roughing up your toes. Of course, you could wear a thin pair of hiking socks with them and eliminate some of these issues.

One important reason that you might want to get a pair of hiking sandals is if you plan on going through some creeks as they will dry much quicker than a pair of boots.

For me though, I think I’ll stick to hot, sweaty feet in my hiking boots because I do not want to have to worry about twisting my ankle in a pair of sandals just because I wanted my feet to be a bit cooler on my treks.