Best walking sandals 2022 for men, women and children

The best walking sandals are cool, supportive, and perfect for warm weather activities

best walking sandals: Woman wearing Keen Astoria West sandals on a beach
(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)

For getting out and about in warm weather, a pair of the best walking sandals can be the perfect footwear choice. They'll come in handy for everything from warm days of gentle exploring, to letting your feet breathe around camp after a big day out. Many of the best walking sandals are quick-drying and designed to let water drain quickly, making them a great choice for watersports or coasteering-style adventures, too (although if that's your priority, you should head to our best water shoes guide instead).

The main selling point of a walking sandal is that it provides enormous breathability – especially welcome on hot days, or if your feet have spent several hours trapped in sweaty boots. Qualities you should be looking for in the best walking sandals include top-quality straps to keep the foot secure on uneven terrain – either comfy leather or fast-drying synthetic – as well as good traction and some foot protection. This last point varies from a minimalist, super-breathable simple underfoot shank through to more enclosed options that incorporate toe protection.

While sandals will provide more protection than today's best flip flops for walking, they're really for gentle strolls at most. For tricky terrain or anything more strenuous, you should opt for a pair of the best walking shoes or even the best hiking boots

Even in the rarefied world of walking sandals, there’s plenty of choice. Read on for our pick of the best walking sandals for a range of activities. 

The best walking sandals you can buy now

Teva Terra Fi Lite walking sandals on a dockT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)
The best walking sandal for most people

Specifications

Upper material: polyester webbing
Closure: velcro
Toe bumper: no

Reasons to buy

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Supportive, with adjustable straps
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Lightweight with cushioned sole
+
Webbing made from recycled plastic

Reasons to avoid

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No toe protection

An outstanding option in the lightweight walking sandal market is the Teva Terra Fi Lite. Available in men's and women's fits, as well as a leather alternative, this sandal features Teva's classic three-strap design, and adds a robust rubber sole and a comfy moulded footbed for general comfort and added arch protection. While there's no protection on your toes or heels, you do get maximum breathability and a light weight. Each of the three straps can be adjusted with velcro for a sung fit, and there's a 'Shoc Pad' feature in the heel that adds cushioning as you walk. These sandals are ideal for warm-weather walks or long days on your feet sightseeing. Head to our Teva Terra Fi Lite review for more info.

Keen Venice H2 walking sandalsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Keen)

2. Keen Venice H2

The best walking sandals for protection + breathability

Specifications

Upper material: polyester webbing
Closure: bungee
Toe bumper: yes

Reasons to buy

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Machine washable
+
Lugs designed to grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one (boring) colour

Walking a nice balance between airiness and protection, the Keen Venice H2 are next up in our ranking of the best walking sandals around. There's lots to recommend these for summertime strolls. A multidirectional tread pattern combines with razor sniping to deliver grip and traction on rough ground, while the bungee closure keeps your foot secure. The upper is made from washable polyester with a hydrophobic mesh lining, and the whole shoe can be chucked into the washing machine (on gentle) if it gets too grubby. The EVA footbed is moulded to provide arch support, too. A few people say these size up small. 

Ecco Offroad walking sandals on a rocky beachT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ecco)

3. Ecco Offroad walking sandals

Comfy and supportive walking sandals

Specifications

Upper material: nubuck leather with neoprene lining
Closure: velcro
Toe bumper: no

Reasons to buy

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Robust build quality
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Designed to reduce muscle fatigue
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Moulded EVA footbed

Reasons to avoid

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No toe protection

The Ecco Offroad Walking Sandals use something fancy called Receptor technology that means they constantly react to the motion of your feet, maximising stability and reducing muscle fatigue. This should help you walk comfortably for longer. Rubber outsoles are there to provide long-lasting grip and durability on dirt tracks and beyond. We’re also fans of the three-point adjustability on the leather uppers, boosting airflow and breathability to keep slippery foot sweat to a minimum. Ecco has also added a neoprene liner to the upper, for extra cushioning and comfort.

Keen Astoria West sandalson a sandy beachT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis / T3)
The best women's walking sandals

Specifications

Upper material: webbing
Closure: bungee
Toe bumper: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Machine washable
+
Good protection
+
Easy to adjust

Reasons to avoid

-
Narrow fit
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Sole may be too chunky for technical terrain

The Keen Astoria West sits combines the breathability of a sandal with some of the extra protection you'd find in a shoe (note, if you want something more minimalist, this style also comes in an open-toed variant). These shoes are designed to take you comfortably and securely from water to dry land, with wide straps are adjusted easily using the bungee chord to ensure a snug fit. The thick, bouncy sole – not unlike the kind you might find on a pair of trainers –provides plenty of comfort and grip, although it might be a bit bulky for technical trails. Head to our Keen Astoria West sandal review to find out more. The Keen Newport sandals (opens in new tab) are very similar. 

Clarks Tri Walk sandalsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Clarks)

5. Clarks Tri Walk Sandals

The best walking sandals for city to countryside

Specifications

Upper material: suede
Closure: velcro
Toe bumper: no

Reasons to buy

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Supportive yet minimalist
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Optimises your foot's natural movement
+
Easy riptape fastening

Reasons to avoid

-
No men's version
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No toe protection

Sporty walking sandals are having a moment on the runway as well as the trail, and the Tri Walk is Clarks' answer to stylish summer walking sandals with an outdoors-friendly performance. The sandals use Clarks' Trigenic System, designed to optimise the natural movement of your feet to make walking more enjoyable, easier and better supported. One of the main benefits of wearing these walking sandals are the sheer ease of use – thanks to a riptape fastening they’re easy to pull on and off. The design is multi-adjustable too, so you can play around with the fit to make it work for you. This is handy towards the end of the day when feet naturally swell in size.

Clarks knows how to make comfy shoes, so it's no surprises to hear that these were a delight straight out of the box. The grip doesn’t have a patch on some of the other shoes featured elsewhere in this best walking sandals guide, but it’s plenty enough for hitting the park, countryside pathways and less challenging trails. We wouldn’t be brave enough to wear the White Combi version on the trail, though.

Keen SOLR walking sandalsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: KEEN)

6. Keen SOLR sandals

The best walking sandals for coastal strolls

Specifications

Upper material: TPU
Closure: bungee cord
Toe bumper: yes

Reasons to buy

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Water-ready
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Recycled bottle webbing
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Machine washable

Reasons to avoid

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Very water-focused tread pattern

The Keen SOLR  (Sea. Ocean. Lake. River.) is all about the water, as the name suggests. Designed with stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers in mind, the result is a great all-round sandal with plenty of protection for taking on the rough stuff. The sole unit not only protects the toes almost as much as a pair of walking shoes, but also is non-marking, and has key contact areas fore and aft designed for gripping wet decks or paddleboards. A slight down-side is that this focus on water-based activities does hinder land performance just a little. The webbing is fabricated from recycled plastic bottles, and gives good wrap-around support and protection too, while a simple bungee fastener locks your foot in place without fuss – we particularly like the retaining strap that keeps the end of the bungee in place. 

Merrell Choprock walking sandalsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Merrell)

7. Merrell Choprock Shandal

The best walking sandals for grip

Specifications

Upper material: synthetic mesh and webbing
Closure: bungee
Toe bumper: yes

Reasons to buy

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Water-friendly
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Vibram Megagrip keeps you steady
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Webbing loops aid a secure fit

Reasons to avoid

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Quite warmer to wear 
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Almost a walking shoe, really

These Merrell Choprock Shandals have visible 'cut-out' ports on the sides of the shoes that allow water to drain out and to boost airflow around your feet, making them ideal for splashing through streams or pools when you're out walking (we've tested the Choprock Shandals by clambouring in rock pools and traipsing through shallow streams). We were impressed by the level of grip dished out by the Vibram Megagrip tech and 5mm lugs, and they didn’t take an age to dry out either. Word of warning: if you plan on wearing them to the beach, sand will get into those drainage ports and build up on the bed of the sandals, but rinsing the shoes in the ocean gets rid of any residue. 

The rubber toe bumper adds extra toe protection to make these a little more suited to hiking when compared to a traditional open-toed sandal style. They were comfy to wear from the first hike and have webbing loops to help you adjust the fit to your foot. These shandals still feel hot compared to walking sandals with a more open design, but that’s the trade-off if you want a super-protective sandal-type summer shoe on the trail. Check our Merrell discount codes page before you buy to make sure you don't miss a bargain.

Olukai Ulele flip flops on a tree stumpT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Olukai)

8. Olukai Ulele

The best flip flops for walking

Specifications

Upper material: synthetic with microfibre lining
Closure: none
Toe bumper : no

Reasons to buy

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Anatomically shaped footbed
+
Extremely breathable
+
Microfibre-lined straps

Reasons to avoid

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No foot protection
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May be on the narrow side

If you want something you can kick on and off for strolls around the campsite, you might consider the Olukai Ulele. We have a separate guide to flip flops for walking, although note here that we mean short walks – the complete lack of ankle support, foot protection and the fact they can just fall off at any moment means that this style of sandal is not built for anything remotely strenuous. The Uleles are billed as the  brand's most technical sandal, with a padded footbed that's moulded to provide arch support and a snug fit, and razor sniping (those thin cuts all along the rubber) along the sole to improve traction. They're water-resistant (actually, they float!), and have microfibre-lined straps and a soft nylon toe post to minimise between-toe chafing (the worst kind). Of course, because there's very little to them, there's loads of room for air to circulate, too.

The best walking sandals for kids

Keen Moxie Older Kids sandals in silver and white

(Image credit: Keen)

1. Keen Kids Moxie Sandals

Cool walking sandals for kids who love to adventure

Reasons to buy

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Cushioned footbed
+
Protected toe box
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Natural odour control

Reasons to avoid

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Some found the fit narrow

Your little one will love running, jumping, climbing and walking in these adventure-ready walking sandals from Keen. The Moxie Sandals for older kids have a protective toe bumper, and sport a secure fit lace capture system to prevent any trip ups. They’re comfy to wear too, thanks to a cushioned footbed, and boast Keen’s Cleansport NXT natural odour control. So even if your little one is wearing these all summer long, they should smell fresher for longer.

Crocs Kids' classic clog in blue

(Image credit: Crocs)

2. Crocs Kids' classic clog

The best slip-on kids sandals

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight and flexible
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Easy to clean
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Can be personalised with charms

Reasons to avoid

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Can fall off

You can pick up your classic Crocs in kids and even toddler versions (opens in new tab). Whatever you think about the look for adults, these clog-style sandals have plenty going for them: they're lightweight, flexible and easy to clean. There's also a huge range of colours to choose from, plus the possibility of further customisation via rubbery charms that pop into the holes – a way for your kid to express themself, as well as being good for easy identification. 

Keen Seacamp II CNX Kids walking sandals

3. Keen Seacamp II CNX Kids Sandals

Cute walking sandals for kids who love the water

Reasons to buy

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Sturdy and supportive
+
Easy-pull velcro straps
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Fun colour options

If you're embarking on a big family walk, you'll need to protect your little one’s feet too. Keen has managed to cram an impressive amount of features into its super cute walking sandals for kids, which is why they’ve made this list. First up, metatomical footbeds are there to cradle the natural contours of your kid’s feet, working to keep them steady and in true comfort as they walk, run and climb. These hybrid water sandals also have non-marking rubber outsoles, so they won’t ruin floors. Even better, they feature an environmentally friendly water-repellent treatment and eco-friendly anti-odour insoles that don’t use heavy metals or hazardous chemicals. Kids being kids, though, they’ll probably be much more interested in the crazy-cool colour options.

How to choose the best walking sandals

Are you getting excited about owning some dedicated walking sandals? Well, you should be, because they’re an absolute revelation for enhancing your walking joy outdoors during the spring and summer. If you're planning on a big hike, especially a multi-day hike where you're carrying a heavy load, choose proper hiking boots. For something in between, where you need more support and full foot coverage than these sandals offer, go for walking shoes. Unsure as to which of those you need? Take a look at our guide to walking boots vs walking shoes, and discover how they differ.

However, if you want a highly breathable open shoe for walking, and preferably one that can cope with some water (sea or rain) every now and then, go for one of the best walking sandals we’ve rounded up below.

When choosing a pair, consider the type of fabric they are made from. Yes leather can take longer to break in compared to synthetic materials, but both materials can cause blisters if they start to rub. Leather feels cool on hot days, but synthetic materials are faster-drying, making them a better choice for those who regularly hit the beach.

Also think about what kind of terrain you'll likely be traversing on the regular, and how much grip you'll need as a result. You may find that a pair of sports walking sandals are the best option for you, as these promote fast and light walking but have great grip to keep you steady. Ready to set your feet free? Then let’s take a look at the best walking sandals that are available now and discover which are the ideal pair for you…

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is T3's Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. To counter all that effort, she also runs the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.

With contributions from