Hiking sandals are shoes designed specifically for hiking in hot, wet climates. They typically feature water-resistant materials; grippy, rubber outsoles; and quick-drying insoles.
For safety and health purposes, it’s important not to hike in walking shoes. “Since hiking is completely different from walking, there are certain demands placed upon the feet and legs that we may not normally experience—like dealing with uneven surfaces, inclines, and declines,” explains podiatrist Robert Kornfeld.
“It’s important to have hiking shoes that protect against impact (whether that be the action of jumping from low or high ledges, walking through slippery dirt, and potentially losing your footing on small movable rocks), keep debris out of the shoe, and can support the feet while they are placed under these stresses,” he adds.