With summer officially here it is about time to start taking off the hiking boots and trade them in for a good pair of sandals. Personally, I wear sandals all year long, but I’m sure that has something to do with the fact that I have been a whitewater raft guide for the past 6 years. Regardless, I love the idea of hiking in sandals or shoes designed to handle water. Its no nice to be able to walk in shallow creek beds, go swimming, and encounter stream crossings without really having to worry about your shoes and feet. If you still think the ultimate pair of adventure sandals is a pair of old school Tevas, you are sadly mistaken my friend. Today, there are a wide variety of sandals and water shoes designed in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for any kind of adventure.
When it comes to my pick in the best sandals category, I would have to go with a pair of the basic Chaco sandals. Hands down, these are the best pair of sandals I have ever owned. I have said this in every review of Chaco sandals I have written, but I’ll say it again; the soles on these sandals are jut amazing. I have had mine for 3 years now and wear them everywhere, everyday and the bottom of my shoes look like they are brand new. The Vibram soles that these Chaco sandals feature is just amazing. It grips well and is seemingly impossible to wear down. Other nice features about Chaco sandals is that they come in a variety of styles. Some people just cant get over the toe loop, so there are a variety of of sandals that don’t feature the toe loop. They also make a Keen style shoe and basic flip flops with a cinch down strap.
As much as I love Chacos now, I wasn’t always a Chaco guy. In fact I used to be a Teva guy. That said, I was never really fond of the basic Velcro strap sandals that made Teva so popular. They had a small series of Teva Guide sandals that are kind of the Teva equivalent to Chaco sandals. These are what I used to wear. While they do have some nice sandals out there, I am not all that impressed with Teva. They tend to stink a lot more than other sandals, the soles wear out and go out way more than other brands, and they are a bit pricey to have so many flaws. but, there are plenty of people who swear by them, so who am I to say differently.
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Check out our favorite sandals:
- Ahnu Reyes Sandals
- Merrell Saugatuck Sandals
- Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandals
- Popular Keen and Teva Sandals
- Teva Omnium Leather Multisport Sandals
- Keen Venice H2 Sandals
If you like the idea of not having to worry about water while hiking and exploring, but want or need a little more protection than a pair of sandals can offer, don’t worry. There are plenty of modern “water shoes” on the market these days as well. I’m not talking about those crappy water sock things that became popular in the 80’s. No, these are pretty much trail hiking shoes, but with less materials and more apt to handle water. Brands like Keen and Merrel have created quite a name for themselves in this area of shoes. If you want something like this, you should really check out the above brands.