5 Best Men’s Sandals for Walking: Open & Closed-Toe, Budget, & More

best men's sandals for walking

Few think of sandals when they think of the perfect footwear for taking a walk, but in truth, many sandals are just comfortable, supportive, and durable as a pair of shoes. Better still, they’re much more breathable, far lighter, and let’s face it, way less smelly than your average pair of hiking boots

Ok, maybe you won’t want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in sandals (but we’re not saying you won’t). For many hikes, though, the best men’s sandals for walking will more than suffice on trails far more strenuous than you might expect. They may even be a better choice if your day outdoors include fording any streams, or if you’re rafting, or fishing. 

For these reasons and more, you’ll want to keep reading. The 5 best walking sandals for men are coming up next.

Our Top Picks

Merrell-Kahuna-4-Step-SandalsBest Walking Sandals for Men Overall: Merrell Kahuna 4 Step Sandals
With exclusive air cushioning in the heel and neoprene lining, the best walking sandals for men are made by Merrell.
Chaco-Mens-Zvolv-2Best Open-Toe: Chaco Men’s Zvolv 2
For the comfort of an open-toe sandal out there on the trail, choose Zvolv 2 from Chaco.
KEEN-Newport-H2-SandalsBest Closed-Toe: KEEN Newport H2 Sandals
The Newport H2 sandals are as adventurous as you are. We also love Keen’s sustainable manufacturing practices.
Teva-Hurricane-XLT2-SandalsBest Budget: Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals
Nothing compares to Teva for the best walking sandals that are also affordable.
Brave-Soles-Mateo-Leather-SandalBest Slip-on: Brave Soles Mateo Leather Sandals
For dressier occasions, we like the sustainably-manufactured Matteo leather sandals from  Brave Soles.
 

A Closer Look: Best Men’s Sandals for Walking

Buckle up, here’s a closer look at the sandals in our ranking. Read through our summaries and slip on a pair!

1. Merrell Kahuna 4 Step Sandals

The best walking sandals for men overall

Merrell Kahuna 4 Step Sandals

Brand: Merrel | Colors: 3 | Upper Material: Suede | Sole Material: Vibram TC5+ | Price: 💰💰💰

Merrell is a leading brand in the footwear industry, and their Kahuna 4 Step sandals are our pick for best men’s sandals for walking. According to feedback, podiatrists agree.  

What makes them great are suede and mesh uppers. These sandals also come in three color choices, and the soles are TC5+ rubber, with an EVA foam midsole, and Merrell air cushioning in the heel.

For walking, these sandals are the perfect choice, fans report, with great fit and good-quality construction. 

The Vibram sole is particularly popular. Some even wear them daily: in rain or shine, and through dirt, sand, and even snow. And best of all, these sandals look great, while remaining versatile enough to wear both in and out of the water.

  • No half sizes
  • Velcro strap could be longer

Colors: 8 Upper: Polyester Jacquard Webbing Sole: Rubber Price: 💰💰

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2. Chaco Men’s Zvolv 2

The best open-toe men’s walking sandals

Chaco Men's Zvolv 2

Brand: Chaco | Colors: 8 | Upper Material: Polyester Jacquard Webbing | Sole Material: Rubber | Price: 💰💰💰

For the comfort and versatility of an open-toe sandal, we like the Zvolv 2 from Chaco. Things we like most about the sandals include the uppers made from polyester jacquard webbing and the rubber sole. 

And for comfort, there’s an Luvseat polyurethane midsole, made more luxurious by a plush polyurethane compound. Don’t miss the vegan-friendly construction and the 25% recycled rubber outsole, as well as the 3-millimeter z-inspired lugs.

Some were unsure about the toe loops and straps before wearing the sandals, but after trying them out, they had no complaints. The sole extends quite a ways around the foot, creating a buffer of sorts and protecting your foot from rocks and pebbles along the path or in the stream. 

They’re great for walking on even ground and rock terrain, and best of all, Chaco will re-web and re-sole their products for a longer life.

  • Comfy AF
  • Stable big toe trap
  • Good traction for day hikes, canoeing, and rafting
  • Bit heavy, some say
  • Too narrow for some
  • Straps hurt some feet

Best Closed-Toe Men’s Sandals for Walking: KEEN Newport H2 Sandals

Colors: 41 Upper: Washable Webbing Sole: Rubber Price: 💰💰💰💰

3. KEEN Newport H2 Sandals

The best closed-toe men’s walking sandals

KEEN Newport H2 Sandals

Brand: KEEN | Colors: 40+ | Upper Material: Washable Webbing | Sole Material: Rubber | Price: 💰💰💰💰

In some environments it’s safer to wear closed-toe sandals. For this purpose, we recommend the closed-toe Newport H2 sandals from Keen. What’s more, these sandals come in 41 color and design options, so you can certainly find a pair that suits your style. 

The uppers on these sandals are washable, helping them last longer, and the arch is contoured for comfort. We also like metatarsal ridge support. 

Otherwise, there’s a bungee lacing system with a rear pull-on loop, and they’re virtually indestructible, according to feedback. Some wear them both indoors and outdoors, and they are not only good for arch support, there’s nice heel cupping, and plenty of toe room. 

These sandals are even a good choice for those who have a difficult time finding sandals that fit, and one consumer with neuropathy wears them daily.

  • Great traction on wet rock
  • Lacing helps fit-tune the fit
  • Worn hiking and kayaking in the Colorado Rockies
  • Too tight, some say
  • Bit hard to get on at first
  • Stitching issues reported
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4. Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals

The best walking sandals for men on a budget

Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals

Brand: Teva | Colors: 7 | Upper Material: REPREVE Recycled Polyester | Sole Material: Durabrasion Rubber | Price: 💰

To get yourself into a pair of the best walking sandals for men without spending all your money, we recommend the Teva Hurricane XLT2. 

Not only is Teva a known and reputable brand in the footwear industry, the XLT2 sandals have REPREVE recycled polyester webbing uppers made from plastic bottles. Meaning, not only are the uppers sustainable, they’re highly durable and dry quickly when wet.

Otherwise, there’s an easy to use hook-and-loop closure, an EVA midsole, and an injection-molded strap. 

For added support on uneven terrain, we like the nylon shanks. And speaking of tough terrain, don’t miss the durabrasion rubber outsoles. Overall, these sandals are comfortable, offering support everywhere from city streets to trails, and even across a creek bed.

  • Not enough traction on outer sole
  • Too small and narrow for some feet
  • Other Tevas more comfortable, some say

Best Slip-on Men’s Sandals for Walking: Brave Soles Mateo Leather Sandal

Colors: 2 Upper: Locally-sourced Leather Sole: Upcycled Tires Price: 💰💰💰

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5. Brave Soles Mateo Leather Sandal

The best slip-on men’s sandals for walking

brave soles mateo leather sandal - best mens sandals for walking

Brand: Brave Soles | Colors: 2 | Upper Material: Locally-sourced Leather | Sole Material: Upcycled Tires | Price: 💰💰💰

Not all sandals are for backpacking. In some situations that require walking, like a destination wedding, sandals should be somewhat dressy. And for just these kinds of occasions, we recommend the Mateo leather sandals from Brave Soles. 

Constructed from locally-sourced leather with soles made from upcycled tires, these are a really nice looking pair of slide-ons. 

When it comes to the Mateo, however, It’s not just about the looks. For comfort, there’s a foam core midsole and a slightly raised heel absorbing impact. There’s also more than enough arch support, according to reports, and the break-in period is essentially nil. 

For a leather sandal, they’re also reasonably priced and available in two color choices.

  • Handmade
  • Look great
  • More comfy than average dressy shoes
  • Leather requires some TLC
  • Durable, but not a hiking sandal
  • Slide-on design not for everyone

How Should Walking Sandals Fit?

We’ll conclude this article on the best men’s sandals for walking with a few tips and pointers for finding the best fit in your new men’s sandals for walking:

1. Choose One Size Up

Unlike shoes and boots, when shopping for a pair of men’s sandals for walking or hiking you typically want to choose about one size larger than you might otherwise buy in a conventional pair of shoes. 

There should be about a thumbs-width of space between your foot and the edge of the sandal on all sides, and remember, the straps let you cinch down the sandals to further fine-tune the fit.

For breathability, walking sandals are meant to be worn without socks — that’s kind of the point. That’s not to say you can’t wear socks with them, but if you do, be sure to factor socks in the sizing of the sandal.

best mens sandals for walking

2. Walking Sandals Take Longer to Break-in

Another thing to realize about walking sandals is they have a longer break-in period than your average pair of hiking boots. 

For this reason, we recommend walking in your sandals for a while before heading out on the trail, helping you adjust to the feel of the sandal, and allowing the sandal to form around the shape of your foot.

From improved breathability to comfort and support, some men prefer walking, hiking, or even just going out to a fancy dinner in a nice pair of sandals. 

Furthermore, many prefer the lightweight feel of a walking sandal, with the freedom to dart into and out of water at will without changing your footwear.

For these reasons and more, we hope this ranking of the 5 best walking sandals for men helped you find the perfect pair for you. 

Our Process

For this guide on the the best men’s sandals for walking, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about 30+ user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each sandal. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 5 walking sandals on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.


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