Summer is here, and unlike those women at the mall, you need sandals that will protect your feet and go wherever you need to go, mall or not. Active sandals are excellent additions to your gear because they help reduce the impact of running or hiking whether on rocky terrain or concrete. Closed toes are great for all-purpose hiking, and open toes are suitable for water activities and traveling.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite sandals to help you get started. They’re all made for multiple types of terrain and weather conditions, and they should offer good protection from impact and obstacles in the path. Let’s upgrade those cheap flipflops to something that won’t break the first time you walk outside.
Keen’s Whisper is a washable, polyester blend sandal with the Aegis Microbe Shield lining. It resists water and helps prevent odor, allowing you to wear the sandals with or without socks without creating a stinky situation.
It uses a molded footbed and a secure fit lace capture system to create a more perfect fit for your feet. It prevents your heel from slipping, so you have a more secure grip even on uneven or rocky terrain. It has good arch support, and the quick draw elastic cord allows for quick, on the fly adjustments.
Merrell’s water shoe is a blend of synthetic materials and a waxy leather-like upper. Both resist water and prevent your feet from slipping around in wet conditions. These sandals are supportive and durable, and they come with an easily adjustable, drawstring lace system that stays close to your foot, so there’s no risk of loose shoelaces.
There’s plenty of cushioning on the sole, with about one inch between your heel and the ground. The toe is closed, but there are holes for ventilation all along the sole of the foot, giving the shoe more breathability. It has good tread for hiking and for walking in wet conditions.
This is a synthetic sandal with a textile upper a rubber sole. It’s an open toe with a simple toe strap and ankle strap to secure it into place. It’s quick to slip your foot into place and get going. It’s a clean look for day to day travel or for light walks where there isn’t much underbrush.
The Verra has a contoured EVA midsole for better support and pressure relief as well as an antibacterial coating to help prevent odor and bacteria. It has a shock pad in the heel to avoid impacts and reduce tearing and injury to the heel. The Verra is suitable for light travelers and those who need a day to day sandal with a little more support.
Keen’s Newport sandals are durable, rubber, leather, and synthetic sandals with excellent tread and good cushioning. They feature Keen’s trademark drawstring lace system that’s easy and fast to adjust on the fly. It’s rugged and useful for a variety of hiking and weather conditions.
It has a metatomical sole that helps prevent slipping and offers support. The sole itself is about an inch and a half, providing plenty of cushion between your foot and the surrounding terrain. Breathable mesh lining helps keep your feet cooler and allows the shoe to dry out in wet conditions.
The Newport Hydro is a textile and synthetic sandal with a closed toe and plenty of cushioning. It has a compression molded EVA sandal that helps reduce pressure and impact while giving you arch support. They’re well-made and a step up for those who need a shoe that can handle a lot of wet conditions.
It’s highly water friendly and has open sections to allow air to flow through freely. The design helps the shoe dry out completely, but it will still protect your toes as you’re out hiking. The soul is high traction for excellent grip even in very wet conditions.
The All Out Blaze water shoe is a leather and synthetic upper with plenty of ventilation holes and a rubber sole. It’s suitable for a variety of weather conditions and terrains. It has a waxy leather upper to help slough off water and moisture while the closed toe protects the front of your foot as you’re hiking.
It has excellent tread that grips the ground in rocky terrain or wet conditions. You can adjust the laces quickly and efficiently thanks to a low profile, drawstring lacing system. They’re secure and prevent slipping through the heel or toe.
Teva’s Katavi sandal is an open-toed design that’s good to slip on and off for light hiking conditions or when traveling. It has a rubber sole, but a nylon shank adds stability. It has three adjustable hook and loop closures for quick adjustments.
The heel measures just over an inch, ensuring plenty of cushioning between your feet and the ground. It gives you stability and reduces impact from walking whether on rocky terrain or concrete. Durabrasion rubber is durable enough to withstand months or even years of heavy use without collapsing or losing tread.
The Omnium is one step down from a full-sized shoe. It has a synthetic sole and with just over an inch of sole to help prevent impact and reduce pressure. It’s a great, heavy duty sandal with plenty of ventilation along the sides. The toe is closed to protect your foot when doing big hikes or just as an everyday shoe.
The lining is a quick dry mesh, and there are no laces to worry about. The entire shoe stretches around your foot so that you can just slip them on and off fuss-free. No laces to come lose and no fumbling around in the dark. A quick release buckle makes removal a snap.
This one is an all fabric upper with a synthetic sole. It features a quick adjust strap at the angle with a toe loop that loops around to stabilize your foot. It has a flexible sole that rises to meet your arch and offer support and protect against impacts. It also has an antimicrobial coating to protect against nasty smells developing inside the shoe.
It has a non-marking rubber sole with jacquard straps for durability and water resistance. They dry quickly and are great for walking around during your day to day activities. They have excellent grip on a variety of surfaces including wet surfaces.
Vibram’s shoes are an all-polyester design that’s intended to feel like wearing nothing at all. The rubber sole has excellent grip and works well in a variety of conditions. Its primary intent is a trail running shoe for better balance and control.
The molded midsole provides cushioning against uneven terrain and helps reduce the impact as you run. It allows your foot and toes to curl and flex freely while providing maximum feedback from the ground. Vibram shoes may take some getting used to, but the company believes that genuine feedback from the textures of the earth is a vital part of your running and walking experience.