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As the temperatures rise and you start yearning to get out on the trails or into the water, a key necessity is pair of sandals. Not just any pair of sandals will do, though. You’ll need a pair that has long-lasting comfort and durability, plus the versatility to take you from the trail, to the boat and back to the streets. Need a little advice? Here are our recommendations for this season’s most stylish, functional and comfortable sandals.
Best Overall: Chaco ZX2 Classic
Chacos are often stated as the sandal that can do everything — hike a trail, explore the beach and hit the town afterward. The Chaco ZX2 Classics have adjustable double-strapped polyester upper wraps that tighten around the mid-foot, as well as a toe loop for extra security. The midsole is cushioned with an antimicrobial application to keep your sandals staying fresh after many uses. And the rubber sole is stocked with three-millimeter lugs to keep your traction on any surface. Numerous colors and patterns are available, including bright purples and blues, a fiery orange and a muted teal.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Teva Tirra
Great for moderate hikes or exploring a new town, the Teva Tirra’s are a lightweight sandal that offer plenty of support and traction, especially when playing around in the water. The sandals are breathable and stylish, plus offer good support in the arch. For the best fit, adjust the multiple hook-and-loop straps. The shoes have a 1.5-inch heel with a 1/2-inch sole. Colors available include a variety of blues, neutrals, as well as brighter colors such as orange and purple.
Best Budget: Sketchers Reggae-Rasta Thong Sandal
With a lower price point, but plenty of style and comfort points, the Sketchers Reggae-Rasta Thong Sandal is perfect for a day at the beach or cruising around town afterward. The shoes have a one-inch heel with a 1/2-inch sole. A soft upper and a cushioned footbed mean no hotspots from the first wear. The sole has decent traction for keeping you on your feet and the adjustable strap on top allows for a secure fit with no slippage. These sandals come in a variety of bright colors and patterns, as well as neutral colors.
Best Slip-Ons: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Suede Sandals
Ideal for campsites, out on the town and slipping on and off when working in the yard, the Birkenstock Arizona soft footbed suede sandals are a must-own. The slip-ons provide top arch support in the footbed, plus the sandals break-in even more for extreme comfort as you continue to wear them. The upper is made from a synthetic, tear-resistant material that is soft and easy to clean. The footbed is made from cork that is shaped to form most naturally to your foot with a deep heel cup and plenty of room for your toes. These sandals come in a variety of bright, funky and neutral colors.
Best Flip-Flop: Merrell Enoki Flip-Flop
An upgrade to the simple flip-flop, the Merrell Enoki Flip-Flop still has the ease-of-use factor, but is loaded with top qualities. For support, the sandal has dual straps to secure your foot in, plus a cushioned footbed with arch support for comfort throughout the day. On the bottom of the sandal, you’ll find a rubber sole with lugs to keep you upright in water, plus extra padding in the heel for shock absorption. Colors include light blue, black, brown, pink, green and light purple.
Best for Light Hiking: Keen Rose Sandals
The Keen Rose sandals have a low-key style, but are chock full of features to keep you comfortable and on your feet. The outsole uses a multi-directional lug pattern for optimal traction, while the cushioned midsole and hook-and-loop closure create top control. The lightweight shoes are easily washable and won’t get too stinky on the trail. The heel measures 1.5 inches with a one-inch platform. Colors include neutrals, as well as magenta, sky blue, purple and orange.
Best for Steep Terrain: Keen Newport H2 Sandal
The Keen Newport H2 sandal is built more like a hiking shoe, with a large toe-bumper for protection and thick rubber sole for traction. Ideal for hiking, the heavier sandal offers top comfort with a contoured footbed that provides supreme support, along with a quick-draw adjustment for easy removal when crossing streams or dipping toes in a nearby lake. The sandals fit snug and secure when trekking on steep terrain and perform well in water or on slippery slopes. Colors include a variety of neutrals, as well as brighter colors such as tie-dye purple and checkered red.
Best Style: Chaco Dorra Sandal
For a sturdy and durable sandal that will go with whatever is in your closet, opt for the Chaco Dorra Sandal. The sandal is made with all the good qualities that are normally found in a Chaco sandal, but is ready to match any nice outfit. Straps are made from full-grain leather with a pigskin lining for comfort; the footbed is made from a cushioned foam layer, while the outer sole is made from a recycled rubber compound. These sandals are available in a variety of neutral browns and blacks, as well as teal, orange and a muted purple.