In recent years Walking Sandals have become increasingly popular footwear on treks and trails in warmer climates as gone are the stigmatised stereotypes and in their place an extensive selection of multi-sport Sandals and technical Flip-Flop styles that look fashionable but are also very functional to a level of quality similar to premium technical footwear. As with any type of shoe or boot, Walking Sandals are designed to be practical so that they offer a lot of comfort and support on a number of terrain types through factors like cushioning and grip plus have various styles to suit numerous different tastes. Certain brands and designs are better suited to particular conditions so if you just want a comfortable pair of sandals to slip on around the campsite or find yourself in need of control and traction in wetter but warm conditions then there is a pair to suit the conditions.
Our Top 5 Walking Sandals guide for 2015 has brought together all of the new styles from the past year along with some of the bestselling favourites and we have chosen what we feel is the best performing five of them all across a range of factors to help you be more informed on the technologies and materials utilised in every pair and their significance they have, plus the benefits along with which climate and terrain conditions they are most suited for.
Merrell Terran Convertible Walking Sandals
The Merrell Terran Walking Sandals, previously known as the immensely popular Merrell Siena Sandals, are a womens specific style of footwear that offer a lot of support and style for an all-round use sandal. The upper is practical as well as being fashionable as not only does the durable double-stitched Nubuck Leather with Lycra lining allow for a secure and comfortable fit with adjustable Hook and Loop straps on the instep and heel, though the heel one is removable should you prefer to wear the Merrell Terran Convertible Sandals like a flip-flop style sandal. An EVA footframe that includes triple density compression, Q-Form stride alignment and a shock absorbing Merrell Air Cushion along with a Nylon 6.6 inch Moulded Arch Shank for incredible comfort and support. M-Select technologies like Fresh prevents odour causing microbes from growing while Move is a microfibre finish that gives some breathability. The outsole is a Merrell Sunflower Stick Rubber with M-Select Grip so on most terrain they will give you plenty of control over each foot strike.
Salomon RX Break Walking Sandals
Despite being packed with a lot of technical features and the flip-flop design style the Salomon RX Break Walking Sandals are different from the other Top 5 Walking Sandals for this year as they have been specially designed to aid with recovery after trail running or a long days hike or work as a decent day to day footwear. The Salomon RX Break is supportive, cushioning and extremely comfortable due to OS Tendon and Muscle technologies, injected EVA midsole, EVA Shaped footbed and even Bi-Density EVA foam with 360 degree Sensifit so wear well after a long distance run. These Salomon Flip-Flops also have Non-Marking Contagrip on the outsoles so besides giving essential traction, any mud or debris won’t clump in the lugs and are easier to clean.
Keen Newport H2 Walking Sandals
If you want to brave more difficult terrain then the Keen Newport H2 Sandals offer a surprising amount of protection and grip than you would expect typically from this kind of footwear. This particular pair uses the patented Keen Toe Protection which sees the outsole wrap up over the toe box to prevent impacts from causing damage and the outsole itself is Non-marking rubber with razor siping and multi-directional lugs for unrelenting traction on most terrain. The Keen Newport H2 Walking Sandals feature a Metatomical EVA footbed that conforms to the natural contours of the foot so is very comfortable and supportive, which is accentuated with a TPU stability shanks and a compression moulded EVA midsole as well. The upper while obviously allowing for airflow and water to pass through also features a Hydrophobic mesh liner and a fully washable polyester webbing upper to help prevent water pooling in the footbed so keeps dry quite well.
North Face Base Camp Flip Flop Walking Sandals
Much like the rest of the Base Camp range, these North Face Flip-flop style walking Sandals are built to be functional and durable while being lightweight so they can be worn just about anywhere during warmer conditions. The upper uses PVC-free in the Hypalon strap plus Polyurethane binding with a jersey lining so not only is it pretty tough, but soft against the skin and surprisingly supportive. The footbed looks like an egg box and houses EVA foam with anatomically shaped arch support, plus a lot of cushioning so the North Face Base Camp Flip Flop Walking Sandals have plenty of lasting comfort.
Teva Hurricane XLT Walking Sandals
Like all Teva footwear the Hurricane XLT Walking Sandals are built for enjoying the wetter conditions by employing technologies that support and promote comfort with every step. The Teva Hurricane has a simple but effective style with an upper that consists of hook and loop straps and three-point adjustment system for a reliable and secure fit that lasts. As they are meant to get wet the Hurricane XLT Sandal has Microban zinc-based antimicrobial treatment so prevents odours from occurring whilst the footbed shape expertly channels water out to stop pooling, plus a Nylon arch shank ensures it all keeps stable. A heel ShocPad absorbs impacts from the ground underfoot for greater comfort and the outsole sees both Durabrasion and Spider rubber for lasting hard-wear and a lot of continual grip that extends to wet surfaces.