7 Best Water Hiking Sandals in 2022

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
7 Best Water Hiking Sandals in 2022

There are times when taking a plunge is far more rewarding than skipping the drench on our daily hikes. In such cases, you are far better off sporting a pair of water hiking sandals.

Having tested 50+ of these incredible water-ready hikers, we are proud to share with you our top picks. So, whether you need a well-rounded sandal or a barefoot kick to make your day around streams, you are in the right place.

How we test hiking sandals

Unbiased reviews are getting harder and harder to come by these days. This is not the case on RunRepeat, where reviews are objective and professionally written. Here is our approach to reviews:

  • We buy water hiking sandals using our own money.
  • We test every pair for days, paying close attention to each sandal’s performance in and around water, as well as on regular trails.
  • Our honest reviews reflect opinions from hundreds of experts and regular trail-goers alike.

With all that factored in, we give every reviewed sandal a CoreScore. This proprietary scoring system plays a significant part in determining the best water hiking sandals in a handful of categories.

Best water hiking sandals overall

KEEN Newport H2
KEEN Newport H2

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 196,074 users
87 / 100 from 22 experts

Pros

  • Exceptionally plush
  • Incredible grip level
  • Supportive
  • Stabilizing
  • Breaks in quickly
  • Light
  • Quick-drying
  • Stink-proof

Cons

  • Frail threads
  • Debris-trapping confines
  • Sweat-magnet

Verdict

After encountering streams, creeks, and rivers in over 50 pairs of water hiking sandals from KEEN, we’ve crowned the Newport H2 as the king of the wetlands!

This water-ready doozy refused to slip both on wet surfaces and dry terrain. It gave us cat-like traction on slick rock and pebbles. It also made our traversals on mossy logs quite reassuring.

On the comfort front, the Newport H2 was a giver from the get-go. We felt no rubbing (only plushness) around the heel, and its footbed was impressively cushy without giving off that irritating squeaky sound when wet!

The Newport H2 stunned us in the area of stability, as well. Not once did we lose footing on uneven terrain, where there was a combination of mulch, sharp rocks, and twigs. We weren’t let down by the sandal’s footbed, either, which gave us enough arch support on all our riverside hikes.

And while it can be likened to a hiking shoe weight-wise, the Newport H2 felt light though and through. We were especially floored by its weightlessness in the water. Awesome!

So grab one now. You won’t be disappointed with the Newport H2, considering that it’s just $110 (MSRP) a pop!

See our full review and facts

Best minimalist water hiking sandals

Xero Shoes Z-Trek
Xero Shoes Z-Trek

Corescore

85
Great!
4.1 / 5 from 1,152 users
90 / 100 from 21 experts

Pros

  • Amazing multisurface grip 
  • Quite flexible
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent performance-price ratio
  • Great flip-flops replacement
  • Easy to adjust straps
  • For wide-footed wearers

Cons

  • Mediocre quality
  • Heel cup traps debris
  • Straps won't stay tight

Verdict

Now this—the Z-Trek from Xero Shoes—is what we call the most incredible minimalist hiking sandal that definitely thrives in the water!

Extremely light at 187 g per sandal (wow!), the Z-Trek didn’t beat around the bush with its slipper-like comfort. Its straps, while not lined, didn’t rub against our feet. Also, its slip-free footbed felt dreamy straight from the box!

This barefoot experience proved to us its amphibious performance like a boss. We mounted on mini boulders in this one river, and we didn’t lose footing in the Z-Trek. The sandal also made our boggy traversals safe without getting its grippy outsole caked with muck. How awesome is that!?

Now, the Z-Trek is a mover. While you won’t get any arch support out of it, the sandal in question can up your technical prowess, giving you the freedom to get creative with your step. We highly appreciated its responsiveness, too, which allowed us to get familiar with the terrain faster than usual.

And have we mentioned that the Z-Trek is among the budget-friendliest out there yet? Yes, with an MSRP of $60, this minimalist water beast sealed the deal for us. Don’t miss out!

See our full review and facts

Best closed toe water hiking sandals

KEEN Solr
KEEN Solr

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 5,597 users
100 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Delightfully comfy
  • Amazing underfoot support
  • Provides grip on slippery terrain
  • Dries quickly
  • Non-existent break-in period

Cons

  • Hard to wear
  • Narrow toe box
  • Lack of stitching durability

Verdict

Individuals who deem comfort and support as must-haves during a water hike may find joy with this KEEN sandal. Indeed, its grippy outsole and lightness may also add to the satisfaction of using this footgear. However, there are some who detest it for offering such a small opening, causing annoyance when getting in and out of this sandal.
See our full review and facts

Best Teva water hiking sandals

Teva Universal Trail
Teva Universal Trail

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 3,982 users
99 / 100 from 3 experts

Pros

  • Comfortable from straps to sole
  • Excellent grip
  • Amazing arch support
  • Easy to fasten and adjust
  • Provides a good amount of stability
  • Super lightweight
  • Quick dry

Cons

  • Lack of color options

Verdict

The Teva Universal Trail has gotten tons of positive feedback for its top-notch comfort. The grippy Vibram sole, adjustable straps, and soft footbed are just among the qualities that have caught the attention of hikers and outdoorsy folks. And if these are not enough, this hiking sandal from Teva is touted for its amazing arch support and quick-drying uppers which make them a great footwear choice for your summer adventures and long days on your feet.
See our full review and facts

Best protection water hiking sandals

Hoka One One Hopara
Hoka One One Hopara

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 1,767 users
93 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Incredible arch support
  • High level of comfort
  • Incredible wet-surface traction
  • Great stability
  • Rock-solid build 

Cons

  • Challenging to put on
  • Expensive

Verdict

Do you want a bombastic water hiker? Well, look no further than the hulking Hoka One One Hopara!

The name of the game in the Hopara is tank-like protection underfoot. Once you lay your eyes on and slip your feet in it, you’ll understand that it means serious business on trails and around rivers.

Despite its super-stout sole unit, the Hopara didn’t relent wherever it was slippery. Its lugs kept us surefooted on mud, pebbly tracks, and mossy steps. We give its treaded forefoot section extra credit for giving us additional control on light low-level climbs (where we had to scramble a bit).

Did we ever lose balance in the Hopara? That’s a big NO. Its cushy, stocky midsole did a mighty fine job keeping us stable on uneven terrain and twiggy bogs.

As for the sandal’s arch, we have no complaints. It gave us a combination of springiness and support, leaving our tootsies smiling (a.k.a. pain-free) long after our tests were over!

As for comfort, the Hoka One One Hopara was superb through and through. Its shielding upper didn’t give us hotspots, nor did it rub, while the sandal’s imposing sole unit mesmerized us with plushness with every step!

See our full review and facts

Best value sandal water hiking sandals

Teva Hurricane Drift
Teva Hurricane Drift

Corescore

85
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 13,816 users
95 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Immensely pampering
  • Sticky
  • Featherweight
  • Stable
  • Quick-drying
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Too roomy (women’s version)
  • Adjustability issues

Verdict

Now, we need you to settle down because coming your way is the king of the budget-friendly hill—the Hurricane Drift by Teva!

It’s true. This water hiking sandal beats out 50+ other pairs price-wise with its MSRP of $40! And no, there’s no extra zero in there.

Equally adorable is the Hurricane Drift’s lightness. Yes, at around 185 g per kick, this water hiking sandal gives the term “featherweight” justice!

Slippery rocks? Mulchy slopes? Sandy banks? Don’t let these obstacles scare you away, as the Hurricane Drift means business on such terrain. We also tested the sandal on a lightly rugged trail, and it got us to the end without slipping once.

On pebbly water, the Hurricane Drift afforded us more than enough stability. Its protective sole unit adapted to whatever was underneath the sandal, making us avoid hitting the water butt-first completely!

The seamlessness of its construction made the Hurricane Drift feel quite solid around our feet. Because of this, we got a heightened sense of control throughout our water adventures.

And the Hurricane Drift wouldn’t be as stellar if it didn’t dry quickly. We got the sandal soaked as often as we could, and it dried almost instantly!

See our full review and facts

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What are the cheapest water hiking sandals in 2022?

  1. Teva Hurricane Drift - from $15
  2. Teva Mid Universal - from $44
  3. Teva Winsted - from $55
  4. Teva Forebay - from $55
  5. Columbia Columbia Sandal - from $60
  6. KEEN Rapids H2 - from $130
  7. Hoka One One Hopara - from $135

See all water hiking sandals sorted by lowest price

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.