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Is it Unsafe to Hike in Sandals?

I have found hiking in the sandals works for me because I can also use them as camp shoes, they dry fast, and they're so much lighter than my boots. Do you see any safety issues with do this?

Question:

I’ve been doing more hiking in sandals vs. my hiking boots. I have found hiking in the sandals good because I can also use them as camp shoes, they dry fast, and they’re so much lighter than my boots. Do you see any safety issues with do this?

Submitted by - Brad - Suwanee, GA

Answer:

As long as you’re a careful hiker—and not prone to ankle twists, toe bashing, or snake encounters—go for it. If I were to hike regularly in sandals, not only would my pedicure bills skyrocket, I’d probably sprain both ankles and lose all my toenails. That’s because I like to go off trail and constantly find myself in kicking matches with boulders and trail debris.

I’d stay away from flip-flops because they offer zero in the way of support. If you’re a diehard sandal-hiker, check out some more supportive models like the Chaco Pro Sandals or the Keen Venice. Or if you want something even a bit more protective, consider the Keen Hood River Boots, which are great for frequent stream crossings or paddlers.

1 Comment

  1. Cal 20 Sailor

    The Greeks and Romans conquered the known world, marchings thousands of miles in primitive leather sandals. Long before that, Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens migrated barefoot from Central Africa to all corners of the Eurasian continent, Indonesia and Australia. Amercan Indians crossed the Bering landbridge and migrated to all corners of North and South America barefoot or in primitive footwear, made of leather, rushes, grass or other local materials.

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