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Ask Kristin

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?

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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.