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  1. #1
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    Default Do you HIKE in sandals?

    What is your preferred sandal for hiking?

    I'm not talking about just as a camp/shower/fording shoe....I'm talking about hiking a trail. No particular trail in mind really, so let's say most of the AT as an example.....

    I wear rainbow flip flops most of the time when I'm not working or barefoot, and I've even hiked a few trail miles in them on day hikes...but obviously not the shoe of choice for hiking.

    Which style do you prefer.....thong between the toes type strap or strap over the top?

    The chacos and the like seem awfully heavy. I have a pair of Keens with a closed toe, but I find them heavy too and not the most comfortable....xero, I wonder about them....maybe a bit too minimal for me?. I'm just not sure what I want to try.... Bedrocks maybe? Luna?
    I think'd prefer the strap over the top for the option of wearing with socks, but then maybe these aren't the best for trails....

    Just looking for some experienced input....

  2. #2

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    3 0f my 4 thruhikes i wore Chaco sandels. Sometimes without socks, some times socks, sometimes socks with my waterproof socks over that. My first pair of chacos did have the big toe strap i did not like that, i actually flattened it out and had my big toe on top of it. the older chacos had the vibram sole which clung to the rocks very well, this is when they were still made in the good ole U.S.A. in Colorado. its been a few years, i remember sending in a pair to have them resoled, talked to the rep. and he was talking about the newer chaco, he called them college campus chacos, they started to make the bottom soles that would not mark up the gym floors and what not,but they were more plastic type soles and were slippery,the quality on them went way down especially when they started making them overseas. they might of seemed heavy at first, but i remember climbing the hills right after Hawk Mtn. shelter and realized i was much happier than my first hike when i wore Montrail Moraine heavy-middle weight boots. i ways catching sticks in between my sandals and feet sometimes and that was annoying. I don't remember any blisters like when i wore boots but the dust and dirt would really dry out and crack the skin, and that can be as painful as blisters. i really loved my seal skin waterproof socks! i would wear smartwool socks with the waterproof sock over that and then a low cut gaiter. i could literally stand in a creek cooling off my feet without them getting wet. i never had to carry camp shoes when i hiked in sandals, my feet were so happy and comfortable especially with all foot layers on. even on dry clear days if my feet were dry or cracked i would put on socks and waterproof socks that would make my feet sweat just enough to put some moister back in them. people would ask if i ever stubbed my toes with open toe sandals on? i hardly ever did, but quite a few times after stepping over logs or rocks i would hit my back heal on things.
    Last edited by CrumbSnatcher; 02-18-2018 at 21:41.

  3. #3
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    Default Do you HIKE in sandals?

    I like to hike in my Tevas, but they don't seem to dry out as quickly as I would like. Water gets trapped in the arch and just stays there. I have read that some people drill drain holes in the sole. I have thought about it but have not tried it. Without socks your feet can get pretty grungy and funny too. Same problem, sweat trapped in the arch.

    I will say that I almost never stub my toes in sandals. Maybe because my steps are lighter. Maybe because I'm more conscious of my exposed toes.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  4. #4
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    Depends on the hike and if it's just hiking, as in a day hike, or backpacking. Generally, I like Keen Newport H2's for their protection to toes and forefoot, outstanding durability, arch support to my high arches, firm fit that keeps a sandal from falling off, and their cush. I have never chosen a sandal based on wt alone. IMO doing that is being stupid light.

  5. #5

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    i couldn't find any other sandal wide enough other than my Chacos, never tried too hard to look
    I have never really did anything other than thruhiking. i did a few slack packs in my day, usually carried my pack all the time, especially my first thruhike, i had offers to slack but just never took it off.
    i hiked in a Kelty Super Tioga external frame(loved it) and always carried my dogs gear,treats,food,toy,blanket & her sleeping pad(air mattress) i had a z-rest foam pad. some nights she had both
    scared a couple times rolling my ankle, but never got injured wearing sandals. i carried telescoping trekking poles, used both usually, sometimes one, sometimes they were in my pack
    Last edited by CrumbSnatcher; 02-18-2018 at 22:44.

  6. #6

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    I hike in tevas just about year round. Tried Chacos but they didn't fit right on my flat feet. Have zeros for around town, love them until they get wet just too slippery on the top of the footbed. No toe strap. Sometimes when it's cold I put my wool socks on. And no rubbing between toes that way. In all but the coldest of southern temps. My feet sweat like crazy. Even in sandals. Any sock becomes stiff and rank in half a days hike. I like being able to adjust the straps individually so I can loosen or thing ten as necessary. My zeros don't have that sort of adjustability, don't remember if the Chacos did or not. And yes feet get nasty. Wash em it's good for them. And socks to bed are nice too.

  7. #7
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    +1 on Chacos. Shoes made the balls of my feet hurt. The cushioning of the Chacos eliminated that.

    Using them did bring some strap blisters and such which waned over time. Also the openess allowed some potential for grit and pebbles underfoot and occasional ground twig poking.

    One does have to beware of drying skin, so lubrication is needed.

    Those things aside, I prefer them even in winter with socks, inside of a pair of Neos. No more sore feet.

    I do, however, wonder about some of the highly cushioned shoes on the market. Have yet to try them as I am not interested in plunking doen the cash and then find they do not work as hoped.

    There you have my 2 pennies.
    Last edited by UncleAir; 02-19-2018 at 06:42.

  8. #8
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    Not drying....I've had similar experiences with my Keens, and come to think of it with an old pair of Teva's that I had.... I guess I see that potential with the chacos now that you all mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleAir View Post
    + Have yet to try them as I am not interested in plunking doen the cash and then find they do not work as hoped.
    There you have my 2 pennies.
    you know, that's my major motivation for fishing for input with this thread. Just hate to plop down cash for another pair of sandals to go into my show bin next to those keens...(the ones that took the spot from those tevas years ago....)

    Those Bedrocks and Lunas look like they may not have the drying problem, with their more minimal strapping, but that between the toe strap makes socks just weird.....yeah I know, socks with sandals ARE weird....but...

  9. #9
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    Dry times I would think is lower on the list of priorities why one should want to opt for a specific hiking sandal. If that concerned WP them with a spray.

    The thong between the toe type sandal can generally lead to foot problems on a long multi day multi wk hike. Wear a sock with such a sandal expect to go through a greater number of socks.

    There already exists so many potential hazards to hikes number one being slips, trips, and falls. This is compunded being a Newbie with flip flop type sandals, less protective sandal designs, and designs that don't firmly have sandals on feet.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post

    The thong between the toe type sandal can generally lead to foot problems on a long multi day multi wk hike. Wear a sock with such a sandal expect to go through a greater number of socks.
    I can't see those being comfortable either, but if someone prefers that style and needs socks for warmth, go with Injinji.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    I can't see those being comfortable either, but if someone prefers that style and needs socks for warmth, go with Injinji.
    Yup.....

    Or you look like a Bennie on the beach in Seaside NJ.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_(slang)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Dry times I would think is lower on the list of priorities why one should want to opt for a specific hiking sandal. If that concerned WP them with a spray.

    The thong between the toe type sandal can generally lead to foot problems on a long multi day multi wk hike. Wear a sock with such a sandal expect to go through a greater number of socks.

    There already exists so many potential hazards to hikes number one being slips, trips, and falls. This is compunded being a Newbie with flip flop type sandals, less protective sandal designs, and designs that don't firmly have sandals on feet.
    well actually dry time is a factor. Hiking in sandals that stay wet is, at least in some ways worse than trail runners or boots. With those you have socks as a buffer....
    You say the thong type can lead to foot problems. Do you have first hand experience? What sort of problems? Which sandals?
    Regarding your last paragraph, I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that but I'll take it as an unconstructive dig.... but I'll point out that I have walked many miles over many years in real flip flops....and many off road miles.... and what I am asking about are not flip flops. Flips, yeah sure tripping and sliding are potential issues, but these sandals are attached to the foot much better.

  13. #13
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    I hiked the northern half of the AT in Sandals. And half the Florida Trail. In wet conditions they dry quickly. Not great for sticks and rocks etc.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    I hiked the northern half of the AT in Sandals. And half the Florida Trail. In wet conditions they dry quickly. Not great for sticks and rocks etc.
    Which kind? likes, dislikes?

  15. #15

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    I did a couple of overnights and do almost all my day hikes in sandals. I plan to test hike a pair of Mexican tire sandals in April.

  16. #16
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    Spontaneous, ambling day hikes only.

    I am of an age I am beginning to regret some of the abuse I might have spared my body. I have recurrent aches that I can trace back to specific injuries. One of those is a recurrent plantar fasciitis. I love my Tevas but, if I am hiking with purpose I choose better foot protection.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
    well actually dry time is a factor. Hiking in sandals that stay wet is, at least in some ways worse than trail runners or boots. With those you have socks as a buffer....
    You say the thong type can lead to foot problems. Do you have first hand experience? What sort of problems? Which sandals?
    Regarding your last paragraph, I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that but I'll take it as an unconstructive dig.... but I'll point out that I have walked many miles over many years in real flip flops....and many off road miles.... and what I am asking about are not flip flops. Flips, yeah sure tripping and sliding are potential issues, but these sandals are attached to the foot much better.
    I did not reply in a contentious manner. There is no need for coming back in that manner.

    I did not say dry times is not a factor. Look again at what was said. If I thought it wasn't a factor why would I have suggested a WPing spray?

    I have had problems with blisters, abrasions, and sore spots between toes where the thong is even on day hikes so yes I was replying based on those personal experiences. I've seen this happen with others using this type of sandal as well.

    We agree on the last pargraph. It was not meant as an unconstructive dig. We're both saying a sandal that firmly stays on the foot is a better hiking sandal.

  18. #18
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    Default Do you HIKE in sandals?

    My issue with Tevas on a wet trail is not the fabric of the straps. That's minimal so not a big deal if it's wet. The part that does not drain is the foot bed under the arch. Not much to do about that except buy sandals with drain holes (I don't believe Teva has a model with drain holes anymore), drill some holes (Not sure about how the sole will hold up or how it will effect pressure points), or suck it up and have another option for hikes that are likely to be a sloshfest
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  19. #19

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    It only took about 200 miles to fracture my Distal Metatarsal wearing keen minimalist sandals. I never got a good boot and now it has healed and I can feel it on occasion. With the light weight options for trail runners, I can only see someone hiking in sandals out of ignorance. I can say this bc then I put another 200 miles on a pair of crocs, loved it but a thread on here pretty much put a kibosh on wearing those thus is how I learned about Altras.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  20. #20
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    “ I can only see someone hiking in sandals out of ignorance.”

    wierdest post of the day so far.

    thom

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