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Whether you’re an experienced hiker gravitating towards ultra-light backpacking or simply want alternate footwear to use in the campsite, leather hiking sandals are a good addition to your gear.
There is no denying that leather is one of the best materials for footwear products. It’s durable, water-resistant, stylish, and comfortable. No wonder why many premium brands make not only leather hiking boots but also sandals.
If you’re not sure where to start your search for the best leather hiking sandals, here are some of the popular brands to consider:
Manufacturers of the best leather hiking sandals
This brand is popular for its fitness and walking sandals. They make town-to-trail sandals, water sandals, and casual sandals. And like typical hiking shoes, some of them have removal insoles for maximum customization. The Keen Newport Sandal, which is one of their top-selling products, is made of waterproof leather so you can wear them in any conditions. It also comes with a hydrophobic mesh lining for fit and comfort. Unlike other brands that feature slim and sleek sandals, Keen sandals offer extra coverage for the feet, making them ideal for moderately rough terrain.
Teva has been manufacturing fashionable active sandals since 1984. They are known for their signature straps which are made from 100% recycled plastic. Meanwhile, Teva leather hiking sandals are made from premium leather sourced from tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG) for sustainability.
Ecco sandals appeal to those looking for multipurpose, highly breathable footwear. They make different styles of leather hiking sandals, such as the Yucatan which is touted for its lightness and super soft footbed. What sets Ecco sandals apart from their major competitors is that they have midsoles attached to the upper and sole through a direct injection process for enhanced durability and fit.
Men's and women's leather hiking sandals: tips before you buy
Now that you have an idea where to look, it’s time to dig deeper into the details and ask yourself the ultimate question: what’s the best leather hiking sandal for me?
Here are some things to consider:
Type of sandal
Hiking sandals vary in styles and makes. If you’re traversing well-established trails in the summer, an open-toe sandal will keep your feet cool and comfortable. If you need more protection, you can opt for closed-toe sandals that offer extra coverage for your feet.
Just like hiking shoes, you want your hiking sandals to fit perfectly. Sandals with adjustable straps are a life-saver in the middle of your hike when your feet start to swell. Hiking sandals make use of different closures, including velcro straps, bungee cord laces, and clasps.
Some sandals are specifically designed for water hiking while others are only used for dry conditions. There are also hybrid sandals that can be used for both. However, note that these multipurpose hikers may not provide the best of both worlds. Always consider the terrain you will use your sandals for. If there won’t be much water activities, it’s best to buy the more appropriate type of hiking sandals.
When not to use leather hiking sandals
While hiking sandals are highly breathable, lightweight, and comfortable, they aren't a substitute for hiking shoes. Only use sandals for mild climates and well-established trails. If you're using sandals for ultralight backpacking, the rest of your gear should be lightweight as well. Otherwise, you could end up putting unnecessary pressure on your joints, which can cause injury.