Sports sandals are a must for avid adventures, especially during the summertime. Not only are they often light and breathable, but also water-friendly — meaning they’re able to traverse muddy or wet trails and wipe clean for easy maintenance. For casual hikes or even everyday wear, open-toed styles are a great choice. But, if you plan on encountering especially rocky terrain while river rafting or mountain climbing, you’ll want to opt for a closed-toed style with rubber toe caps to protect your feet from bumps and scrapes. Below, we’ve rounded up the best women’s sport sandals to add to your closet now. Read on to shop them all.
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1. Keen Whisper Sandals
This open cage design features an elastic closure for a super-secure fit both in and out of the water, plus a breathable mesh lining to keep feet cool.
Pros: Perfect for adventures from rafting to hiking, this Keen style also includes a shock-absorbing midsole for added comfort. A rubber toe guard helps protect feet, while a non-marking rubber outsole offers exceptional durability and traction on a range of surfaces. Meanwhile, the style comes in several neutral and summery colorways; the shoes are also available in half sizes.
Cons: This style tends to run narrow. It also offers minimal arch support, so it may not be an ideal pick for people with flat feet.
2. Teva Tirra Sandals
Teva’s Tirra sandals offer ample arch support for flat-footed folks. And while built for rough terrain, they’re stylish enough to be worn on city sidewalks, too.
Pros: Available in a range of colors, these sandals feature velcro hook and loop straps for a personalized fit and added security as well as a quick-drying upper and a lug sole with drainage ports to help water flow away from the shoe. They also feature a shock pad in the heel and compression-molded top sole and midsole for comfort in addition to a nylon shank for enhanced stability on rocky ground.
Cons: Although ultra-sturdy, these sandals feature an open toe design — which may pose a hazard to feet when traversing rocky terrain.
3. Chaco Z/Cloud 2 Sandals
Chaco’s sporty sandals have an adjustable polyester jacquard webbing strap system across the top of the foot.
Pros: These sandals have the brand’s ChacoGrip rubber outsole for added traction in addition to a top layer of ultra-soft underfoot cushioning. With LUVSEAT midsole for arch support and the brand’s Cloud cushioning for comfortable wear, these sandals are topped off with a toe loop silhouette for added forefront control.
Cons: The loop toe may irritate sensitive skin.
4. Northside Burke II Sandals
Northside’s sandal has a rugged neoprene upper with breathable mesh, lightweight webbing and abrasion-resistant toe for ultimate protection.
Pros: The multi-directional rubber outsole ensures reliable traction on both wet and dry surfaces. A lightweight EVA insole ensures extra cushioning and a bungee lacing system makes for secure closure.
Cons: This pair runs small.
5. Clarks Breeze Sea Flip-Flops
With an EVA midsole and a soft EVA footbed, Clarks’ sandals are cushioned and made with faux leather straps.
Pros: The hook and loop closure on the thong-style strap allows you to adjust the fit of the sandal.
Cons: As this is a slip-on style, there is no back strap meaning these may not be as secure for more treacherous situations like hikes.
6. Skechers Ultra Flex Sandals
Skechers’ sandals are made with a Yoga Foam cushioned comfort footbed and stretchy mesh straps to keep your feet cool.
Pros: The one-inch tall heel adds a touch of height for anyone who still likes a lifted look while staying comfortable. The midsole has shock-absorbing material to keep your step cushioned, while the heel sling strap has a padded interior to reduce the chances of rubbing and irritation.
Cons: The straps are non-adjustable so they may fit tighter or looser depending on your foot.
7. Crocs Swiftwater Sandals
Crocs’ slip-on sandals have flexible, comfortable straps to hug your feet across the whole top of the foot.
Pros: These waterproof sandals feature Croslite foam construction, the brand’s specialized cushioning that offers a lightweight softness and bouncy rebound. The flex grooves on the outsoles not only add traction but are designed to channel water away for convenient wear from the grocery store to the lake.
Cons: These sporty sandals are meant for more casual activity, not intensive outdoor excursions.