3 Best Closed Toe Hiking Sandals in 2023

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
3 Best Closed Toe Hiking Sandals in 2023
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For anyone who loves to spend their summer days on the beach or on the trails, a quality pair of closed-toe hiking sandals are definitely great to have. Footwear brands KEEN, Teva, and Hoka, to name a few, offer superb designs that prioritize comfort, support, and protection.

Whether you’re into trail adventures or water sports, wearing the right hiking-ready sandals is a great alternative to traditional hiking shoes, especially for particularly hot or wet climates. They are not only lightweight, breathable, and waterproof but can also do a lot more.

With plenty of amazing options available in the market, choosing the right pair can be confusing. To help you pick the perfect fit for your next summer escapades, we’ve rounded up and tested the best closed-toe hiking sandals out there. We even singled out the ones that truly shine on our conducted tests. Check out our recommendations.

Best closed-toe hiking sandals overall

KEEN Newport H2

What makes it the best?

In a combination of lab tests and hiking, the KEEN Newport H2 is a cut above the rest when it comes to the best closed-toe hiking sandal overall. We experienced first-rate stability and amazing traction, all while keeping our toes well-protected from sharp objects.

The Newport H2 takes protection seriously, and it’s not just about the rubber-coated toe cap. We measured the stack height at the heel at an incredible 29.4 mm. It’s 6.7 mm thicker than average, and we experienced unmatched protection from sharp rocks underfoot.

In our stability tests, the KEEN Newport H2 passed with flying colors. Its stability is, in part, due to the width of the platform. Our calipers registered 121.1 mm at the forefoot and 88.8 mm at the heel. This is as wide as some of our winter hiking boots and 4.2 mm and 3.6 mm wider than the average for hiking sandals! It’s no surprise then that we felt so supported underfoot.

We hiked confidently on wet rock and dry gravel, and this sandal tackled it all without problems. We measured the depth of the lugs, finding them to be 4.1 mm deep. That’s almost in line with hiking shoes which average 4.3 mm, and it explains why we could trust the sandal on any terrain.

This is not the most flexible sandal, as we discovered in our lab. We bent the sandal to 90° and our force gauge measured 36.2N. Since the average is 21.9 for hiking sandals, this is certainly a stiffer ride. We don’t recommend it to hikers who prefer a more natural flex to their footwear.


  • Versatile for various hikes
  • Exceptionally plush
  • Incredible grip level
  • Stable and supportive
  • Day-one comfort
  • Easy and fast to lace up
  • Quick-drying
  • Stink-proof


  • Heavier than average
  • Traps debris
Full review of KEEN Newport H2

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Any color
Groovy Orange Navy (1026348)
Smokey Bear/Military Olive (1027452)
Smokey Bear/Smores (1027453)
Black (1001907)
new york at night (1024316)
Banyan Baum Banyan Baum (1024318)
Blue (1001938)
Brown (1001931)
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Best versatile closed-toe hiking sandals

What makes it the best?

The KEEN CNX is a great shoe for regular beachgoers who enjoy activities like beach walking, kayaking, and investigating tidepools. It is also decent for light hiking, especially if you need to follow a trail to the shore. However, I would not recommend buying the KEEN Clearwater CNX for use as a day hiker unless you prefer a minimal shoe without a whole lot of support.


  • True to size
  • Lightweight
  • Durable, waterproof upper
  • Excellent fit
  • Good arch support
  • Grips well on wet rocks


  • Too thin for hiking
  • Expensive
Full review of KEEN Clearwater CNX

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Sky Captain Black (1027407)
Grey (1014456)
Black/Gargoyle (1008660)
Steel Grey/Evening Primrose (1025122)
Black (1008770)
Forest Night/Black (1022961)
Blue/Steel Grey (1022962)

Best value closed-toe hiking sandals

KEEN Uneek

What makes it the best?

Its comfortable feel, versatility, and breathability were just some of the features that made the KEEN Uneek a likable sandal. A general-purpose hiking sandal, the Uneek works incredibly for short hikes, daily wear, and water sports. Not meant for technical terrain, the KEEN Uneek is still worth checking out as it seems able to tick all the basics, performance-wise.


  • Breathable
  • Excellent grip
  • Very supportive
  • Durable
  • Comfortable fit


  • Needs break-in
  • Not for long hikes or technical terrain
Full review of KEEN Uneek

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Any color
Grey (1027434)
Black/Indigo (1027436)
new york at night (1024310)
banyan tree (1024309)
Original Tie Dye Birch (1025633)
Timberwolf Plaza Taupe (1025169)
Black Plaza Taupe (1027437)
Magnet/Black (1026335)
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Comparison of the 3 best closed toe hiking sandals

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How we test hiking sandals

To pick our top favorites, we subject each pair of closed-toe hiking kicks to our meticulous wear-testing process. We also bring all the models to our RunRepeat lab for closer inspection of the quality materials used in the sandals. Here’s how we approach our selection process

  • We purchase closed-toe hiking sandals from various brands. This allows us to be 100% objective and unbiased in our reviews.
  • We wear the sandals on actual hiking adventures covering substantial distances. We test the sandals’ traction, comfort, and overall performance on a variety of terrains. The goal is to get the best sense of their durability, comfort, water resistance, and many more.
  • After clocking up at least 20 miles or more, we go back to our lab and take note of the shoe's parameters assessed and measured using our tools and equipment. We also crack them open to basically leave no stone unturned. We then give our assessments about their overall value.
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run 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 analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.