Verdict from 2 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The Merrell Kahuna III black hiking sandals are among the most comfortable hiking footwear there is, according to the majority of reviewers.
  • Many customers give it high ratings in terms of quality. 
  • Unlike most sandals, the Kahuna III shoe is lined with soft fabric so it doesn't cause blisters, according to several happy hikers.
  • Some are truly impressed with how this lightweight hiking sandal fits them nicely.
  • Several users love the grippy soles that perform well on varying terrain.
  • A handful of reviewers say that it offers good arch support.

1 reason not to buy

  • The Velcro adjustment can't be extended far enough, according to a few customers.

Bottom line

A super comfortable, open-toed hiking sandal that you can use for land and water adventures, the Merrell Kahuna III gets high marks for its top-notch performance. It ticks the box for durability, breathability, support, and traction. Many wearers love that they can wear it right from the box without worrying about getting blisters. Thanks to the super soft and comfortable interior lining.

Overall, this shoe has impressed so many hikers out there looking for lightweight sandals they can use for hiking in warm climates.

Tip: see the best hiking sandals.

Good to know

  • The new and improved Merrell Kahuna III is even more comfortable. Thanks to the suede upper with a neoprene-like lining that is foot-conforming, soft, and durable.
  • A sandal built for hiking, it comes with a grippy Vibram outsole for enhanced traction on wet and dry surfaces, and the Merrell air cushion in the heel that promotes shock absorption and stability. Furthermore, the hook and loop closure is so convenient to use and promotes a snug fit.

The Kahuna III is an open-toed hiking sandal available in medium widths. While the toe is open, it has a contoured footbed that is slightly tipped up, giving a small amount of coverage for the toes. There's a suede strap hugging the heel for support and protection, a hook and loop closure with a Velcro strap at the ankle, and a small plastic buckle at the forefoot for a secure fit. 

Like many other Merrell hiking shoes, the Kahuna III is powered by a Vibram outsole. This particular model has the Chameleon Sport Sandal Sole/TC5+ Rubber sole that features oval-shaped lugs in different sizes. It's made of high-quality rubber compounds so you can expect that the sole is durable and long-wearing.

The Kahuna III sandals are designed for water hiking so it has shallow lugs that perform well on hard and slick surfaces, such as rocks. 

The Kahuna III features an air cushioning in the midsole that promotes comfort and helps absorb shock or impact. This is a very helpful feature because hiking can put so much strain on your feet. The footbed is also contoured to the shape of the foot so it feels very comfortable.

This hiking sandal from Merrell features an upper made of suede. What makes it more interesting is the Lycra neoprene lining attached to the upper for a cozy feel. This lining is treated with Aegis antimicrobial solution to prevent smelly and sweaty feet. Another unique feature of the Kahuna III is the external TPU heel stability arm that encourages stability when walking. Securing the foot is the hook and loop closure system that makes adjusting the fit easy. 

-Merrell offers a wide selection of hiking sandals. Apart from the open-toed models, they also have close-toe sandals that provide extra coverage and support, such as the Merrell Choprock.

Rankings

How Merrell Kahuna III ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 24% hiking sandals
All hiking sandals
Top 13% Merrell hiking sandals
All Merrell hiking sandals
Top 27% multi-sport hiking sandals
All multi-sport hiking sandals

Popularity

The current trend of Merrell Kahuna III.
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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.