Friday, February 27, 2015

Hiking sandals work for water crossings

High quality hiking sandals are good for short hikes on groomed trails and
for water crossings. Photo courtesy of Photoree.
Q: Are sandals okay to wear on a hike? – SDHiker92

Run-of-the-mill sandals are ill advised for a hike. They leave too much of the foot exposed to rocks, brush and sunlight, increasing the chances of scratches, cuts, stubbed toes, and sunburn. Sandals also lack cushioning on the soles, meaning the foot likely will suffer blisters for any walk of extended endurance.

On dry, flat, groomed especially over short distances where you won’t be lugging a backpack, sandals made specifically for hiking are feasible. Because sandals are lighter than hiking boots, your legs do not have to work as hard, making for a more comfortable walk. If you carry a backpack or a child carrier, however, even these high quality sandals should be eschewed, as they lack ankle and foot support. In addition, if wearing hiking sandals, always stay on the trail.

Any hiking sandals you wear should feature strong straps that are sewn rather than glued, sturdy tread, a tough sole, cushioned footpad, and molded arch supports.

A hiking sandal is a good idea to bring along if you plan to make any water crossings during your trek. They will protect your feet from sharp rocks and other debris at the bottom of a creek or low river, which going barefoot won’t do. If staying overnight on your hiking trip, hiking sandals also can make a good camp shoe.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.