Hiking sandals can be a good replacement for hiking boots or shoes in many aspects, especially for summer. But improper use of these sandals brings trouble instead of benefits. Suitable fitting is the first and most important thing that you need to reassure. So, how should hiking sandals fit? Are there any tricks to follow?

Before and after buying, there are a few tips you should maintain to fit your sandals. The sizes, length, and open space are the core factors to make sure your hiking sandals fit properly. So, keep reading to know the all facts behind it.

When it comes to choosing the right hiking sandals, fit is crucial. Not only do ill-fitting sandals feel uncomfortable, but they can also cause blisters and other foot problems that can ruin your hike. On the other hand, sandals that fit well can provide much-needed support and comfort, helping you to enjoy your hike to the fullest. In this article, we’ll take a look at how hiking sandals should fit and what you should consider when trying on a new pair. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, following these guidelines can help you find the perfect fitting sandals for your next outdoor adventure.

What are hiking sandals?

Hiking sandals are a type of footwear that are designed specifically for hiking and outdoor activities. They are similar to regular sandals in that they have a open design that exposes the toes and top of the foot, but they are sturdier and more durable than regular sandals, and often have features such as a closed heel, padded footbed, and a treaded sole to provide support and traction on rough terrain. Hiking sandals can be a good choice for warm weather hikes or for crossing streams and rivers, as they allow water to drain and the feet to stay cool. They are also often more lightweight and breathable than hiking boots, making them a good option for hot weather or for hikers who want to travel light.

Things that Indicate Sandals are too Big or Small

Before fitting your sandals, you should have a clear idea of how to tell whether they wear too small or too big. Alright, let’s move on.

Signs to Tell If It is Too Big:

  • The sandal looks too loose while wearing.
  • The feet move around inside and can’t stay in place while walking.
  • By placing a finger behind your heel, you can determine it. If you can fit more than one finger then it is too large.
  • The slip-out walking also indicates it’s too big.
  • And simply, the overall size is much wider compared to your feet.

Signs to Tell If It is Too Small:

  • In the front, your toes extend beyond the sandal’s size or soles.
  • It will seem to you that the heel on the back goes out beyond the sole
  • The straps will hug your feet so tightly and you will have only the option to set the straps to the largest possible position.
  • Your feet hurt instead of feeling comfort.
  • The heel spurs, blister, etc as a result of the sandals being too small.

How Should Hiking Sandals Fit?

The hiking sandals fitting process isn’t straightforward. There are some steps that one should pay attention to. Let’s look at these factors below.

Ensure Proper Sole Size and Thickness

I start with the soles. So, what facts are hidden in it?

The size of the soles plays a crucial part there. If it is in the wrong zone then your wearing experience is also in danger. Mainly, you have to choose the sole size base on the width of your feet. If you want to know more specifically then pick the sole that crosses a little bit more than your feet. Large or small this size will be uncomfortable and make your feet feel cramped.

After that, the level of thickness also matters there. A thick sole does not only provide comfortable wear but also works as a good protector from uneven terrain etc.

Suitable Length and good fit of the Straps

Almost all hiking sandals come with straps and they are necessary to get the perfect fit. Moreover, there are different types of straps like the ankle, forefoot, and so on. In there, all of those have their purpose.

However, the length of the strap is variable with their types. But, to stay in the fit zone, measure the size depending on your feet, and ensure that it covers the feet properly.

The fitting of the strap is one of the essential things. Make sure that they are not too tight against your feet or legs. And also remember, there are adjustable options to make it tight or loose. Keep in mind, the straps help improve the fit as well as provide good stability.

Keep a Little space for Toes and Heel

Another tricky tip is to keep a half-size space for ideal fitting purposes. When choosing, it is an obvious thing to check whether there is space for your toes in the front. This will keep your walks comfortable.  However, in terms of large feet, you have to look for wide hiking sandals.

The same rule will be applicable to the heels. As I previously told you, to check the fitness level, do the finger test. If it shows half or one size then it is okay. In short, pay attention to not having too large or too small sizes. Just allow a bit of space for the heel in the back.

Try in the Afternoon

There is a matter of swelling in the human body. What’s that? It’s the reason that our feet tend to get bigger than normal in the afternoon. For that reason, a pair of sandals that fit earlier when you tried them, feel uncomfortable now.

To avoid this issue, you can try your sandal at end of the day. That helps you to get and understand the perfect size.

Test With and Without Socks

When you are in the shop, the best is to try them for a while. Just wear the sandals and have a walk. It will tell what the comfort and fitting level is.

And yeah, in terms of using socks with sandals, make sure you try the wear the sandals with socks. The adjustment can be calculated better by doing this. So, if possible, keep your favorite socks on while purchasing.

Take a Deep Research

And finally, researching also helps you in this regard whether it is offline or online.

Ask your nearby people who had experience with it. However, in online buying, it’s a must to research from all angles as much as possible.

You can read the reviews and questions on an e-commerce site, and on a blog and you can even ask for help on an online hiking community. All of those may bring you to the right decision.

So, those are the most important things to keep in mind to find the perfect size of sandals. For me, Chacos sandals are preferable when talking about hiking.

How to Try On Sandals

Applying the above task, now it’s time to try whether the sandals fit or not. For trying a sandal, the tricks are listed in this section:

  • Barefoot is needed in this testing. So, any fillings, socks, or else you should remove first.
  • Now, put it on and go for material flexibility testing. Slowly try to flex it, because it will let you know its durability and quality.
  • Untie the straps to ensure the suitable adjustment.
  • Do two times in and out of the sandal to know the relation between your foot shape and sandals. Make confirm that your heel and toe both are in right place without crossing the last line.
  • Finally, it’s time to go for a walk. The walking will confirm the comfort, stability, tightness, foot hurting, support, and so on. So, in this last part, you have to confirm that all those things are working perfectly.

Are hiking sandals better than hiking boots?

It really depends on the specific circumstances of your hike and your personal preferences. Hiking sandals can be a good choice for certain types of hikes, especially in warm weather or for crossing streams and rivers, as they allow water to drain and the feet to stay cool. They are also often more lightweight and breathable than hiking boots, which can be a plus for hot weather or for hikers who want to travel light.

However, hiking boots tend to offer more support and protection for the feet and ankles, which can be important for more strenuous hikes or for hikes on rough, rocky terrain. Hiking boots also generally provide better insulation and protection from the elements, such as cold temperatures, snow, and rain. So if you’re planning a hike that involves a lot of rough terrain, or if you’ll be hiking in cold or wet conditions, hiking boots may be a better choice.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on the specific conditions of your hike and your personal preferences. It’s a good idea to consider the type of terrain you’ll be hiking on, the weather conditions you’ll be facing, and your own comfort and support need when deciding whether to wear hiking sandals or boots.

Are sandals good for hiking?

Sandals can be good for hiking depending on the type of terrain and climate you are hiking in. Sandals are a great option for hikes that don’t involve a lot of rough terrain or water crossings, since they offer less protection than a shoe or boot. Sandals can also be great for hot weather, as they allow your feet to stay cool and dry.

On the other hand, sandals don’t provide the same support and protection as a shoe or boot. If you’re hiking on rough terrain, or in wet or cold conditions, sandals aren’t ideal. The lack of protection makes it easier for rocks, sticks, and other debris to get into your sandals and cause discomfort.

Additionally, sandals don’t provide the same ankle support as a shoe or boot, so if you’re going to be walking on uneven terrain, you may want to consider a more supportive option. The bottom line is that sandals can be a great option for certain types of hikes.

If you’re hiking in hot, dry conditions, and on relatively even terrain, sandals can be a great choice. However, if you’re going to be walking on rough terrain, in wet or cold conditions, or for longer distances, a shoe or boot is a better option.

Should sandals be tight or loose?

Sandals should be neither too tight nor too loose. They should fit snuggly, but not too tight. If the sandal is too tight, it can cause discomfort and even pain as your foot is forced into an unnatural position. On the other hand, if the sandal is too loose, it can cause instability and you may find yourself slipping out of the sandal.

When shopping for sandals, it is important to pay attention to the support that the sandals provide. You want to make sure that the sandal provides the right amount of arch and heel support while still being comfortable. When trying on a pair of sandals, make sure to walk around in them and pay attention to how they feel on your feet.

If you feel any discomfort, such as pinching, tightness, or rubbing, then you should try a different size or style. It is also important to consider the material of the sandal as different materials can affect the fit. Sandals made with leather or suede will stretch slightly over time, so they should fit slightly snug when you first try them on.

On the other hand, sandals made with synthetic materials will not stretch, so they should fit comfortably from the beginning. In summary, sandals should not be too tight or too loose. They should fit snuggly, but not too tight.

Pay attention to the support the sandal provides, and make sure to walk around in them when trying them on. Consider the material of the sandal and how it will affect the fit. With these tips, you should be able to find a pair of sandals that are comfortable and fit perfectly.


In conclusion, getting the right fit in a pair of hiking sandals is essential for your comfort and enjoyment on the trail. Make sure to try on several sizes and styles to find the best fit for your feet, and pay attention to the width, arch support, and overall fit of the sandals.

It’s also a good idea to wear the socks you’ll be wearing on your hike when trying on sandals, as this will give you a more accurate sense of how the sandals will feel during use. By following these guidelines and taking the time to find the perfect fitting sandals, you can ensure that your feet stay comfortable and supported throughout your hike, no matter how long or challenging the trail may be.

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Categories: Hiking