Now that the summertime is fast approaching between the wetter weather we’re currently having it’s time to start finding the right footwear for when you just fancy slipping into lightweight and breathable shoe walking your favourite treks, trails and routes in the sunshine. Each year we put together our Guide to help you find the Top Walking Sandals from the bestselling and most actively performing ones so you can do just that.
If you haven’t worn a pair of Walking Sandals before or are still unsure about how they could work on anything other than level ground this guide will tell you everything you need to know. These are in no way the stigmatised flip-flops you will find near the ocean or by the swimming pool as many have technical features that rival some of the highest rated performance sporting footwear all to ensure everyone can enjoy sandals that keep you cool but give unrelenting support on fairly tough ground.
Like all footwear walking and hiking sandals can be found in a number of different models from multiple brands so choosing the most suitable pair for not only yourself but the type of route you are walking is important and many of the factors to consider include having the right tread, midsole support, water resistance and lasting comfort so this guide will help you find the right pair.
Top 5 Walking Sandals Guide
We’ve chosen the best five walking sandals from the last twelve months and taken everything from performance and comfort to price and style into consideration to try and provide as many options as possible to cater to all needs and tastes.
Merrell Kahuna III Sandals
Frequently on our top lists; this pair of walking sandals still in its third version is made for just about any trail you’re likely to find yourself on. The Merrell Kahuna III Walking Sandals are packed with technical features for complete comfort and support like a Lycra neoprene padded liner; a hook and loop closure system for adjustment to easily get the right secure fit and Vibram Chameleon sport sandal outsoles that provide a lot of grip even on wet uneven ground, plus they have been treated with an anti-microbial coating ensuring that they stop any odours before they can start. These are one of the most versatile pairs of sandals available. More info here
Teva Tirra Womens Sandals
These Teva Tirra sandals are perfect for exploring areas of the outdoors where things get a little wetter than usual like walking routes near water. When it comes to footwear for use in the wettest climates Teva certainly know a thing or two with their TIDE technologies specifically working to give the best possible performance when moisture makes terrain the most unpredictable. Being made with such technologies means the Teva Tirra walking sandals are quick drying, with heel shock absorbing pads and have a TIDE comfort system that allows it to comfortably fit all kinds of feet shapes. These also feature the impressive TIDE Grip Spider original soles that expertly work to grip on the most slippery ground very effectively. More info here
Salomon RX Break Sandals
An unsuspecting flip-flop style sandal has been engineered for something different than your average pair with these particular Salomon RX Breaks. If you have been trail running or hiking these are perfect for helping your feet recover afterwards during light walking activities thanks to various technical features like an EVA shaped footbed and 360 degree Sensifit plus OS Tendons and Muscle that allows for supported natural movement that will make each foot feel comfy. Each pair of the RX Break sandals even has the famous Salomon Non-Marking Contagrip for incredible traction with each step. More info here
Columbia Ridgeway Sandals
Similar to the Kahuna sandals; the Columbia Ridgeway has the handy duel strap hook and loop closure system for a comfortable fit that lasts but they feature the brands’ own Techlite technology midsole which provide a lot of comfort, plus much needed support and so much so that they do feel like you’re wearing highly technical hiking footwear rather than sandals. These come with Omni-Grip outsoles which besides giving high traction for unrelenting grip add a lot of stability as well making them reassuring as well as reliable on your treks. As the upper is constructed from both nubuck leather and suede it is fairly durable too. More info here
Merrell Jarcadia Sandals
If you want the best technical features but with a little more style the Merrell Jarcadia ladies sandals are perfect. The Q-Form Comfort footbed has an air cushion located in the heel so they have plenty of impact absorption and stability resulting in pretty good comfort plus it has a microfibre wrapping with a lovely soft feel to it. The upper and straps are made from nubuck leather but also feature a nylon webbing and a breathable mesh liner which actively work to keep your feet cool while an M-FRESH coating keeps odours from developing. The overall design of the Jarcadia sandals is very fashionable so at first glance you wouldn’t think of them as a tough outdoor sandal. More info here
Whichever type of route you’re planning on walking or hiking during the warmer weather this year you should find the right one for you with our this top five walking sandals 2014 guide. So if you want comfort and style or incredible support and relentless grip these will do the trick but in case you haven’t made up your mind we have also put three of them into separate award categories to help make things even clearer.
Best Value – Columbia Ridgeway Sandals
Somehow Columbia have managed to pack in their own versions of technical performance features to take on the other brands into a pair of sandals for in some cases half of the price of the rest. You really do get incredible quality with the Columbia Ridgeway Sandals with all the comfort, support, grip and stability you need for all kinds of walking routes for an price affordable if you have a limited budget.
Best Performance – Teva Tirra Sandals
While all of these are certainly packed with features the Teva Tirra sandals certainly have the edge. Not only do they have all of the technical fabrics and features to ensure that your feet stay comfy and feeling supported even on the toughest trails you’re likely to go on in walking sandals they are also designed to get wet by being fast drying and extremely grippy. This means you can enjoy all the routes and treks and not worry if the weather or the trail gets wetter.
Best Looks – Merrell Jarcadia Sandals
The Merrell Jarcadia sandals win the best looks category as they have been given both a fashionable design that would allow them to be worn for just about any occasion with a sublime attention to detail but also happen to be one of the hardest wearing walking sandals available while actively working to keep your feet comfy and cool making it easy to enjoy your walks.
It’s easy to find these and more walking sandals at Fitness Footwear today.