Best Overall Women's Sandals
Fits many foot types
Testing left no doubts about which product deserved our Editors' Choice Award: the Teva Tirra
. It performed at the top in nearly every metric. Not only was it ridiculously comfortable, lightweight, and affordable, we also found it to be one of the most versatile models that we tested. It excelled on wet and dry terrain, was comfortable to hike in all day, and yet was still stylish to wear out at night. Testers overwhelmingly favored the Tirra to the Teva Hurricane, the iconic Teva
. Its footbed was just as supportive as many of the hiking shoes our testers have used in the past, but it still felt light and flexible like a sandal. It has a distinctive feminine design with thin, flattering toe straps and an array of color options. If you are looking to buy one model to fill all of your needs this summer, the Teva Tirra is it.
Best Bang for the Buck
High water performance
Not ideal for all-day wear
For $50, we couldn't pass up the comfort and performance of the Columbia Sunbreeze as our Best Buy pick
. Testers loved its feather-light feel and all-around comfort. It has sticky tread and dries super fast. Some testers praised is "minimalist" fit, which is a result of its sensitive sole and low drop. Others wished it had more arch support and stability. The only other real critique of the Sunbreeze was its style. It doesn't have any flattering features and testers felt it simply appeared too dated or dull to want to wear it anywhere other than the trail. This product would best fit feet of moderate width and volume as its straps have a limited amount of Velcro and inhibit its adjustability.
Top Pick for Adventure Travel
Keen Newport H2 - Women's
Fits a wide variety of foot shapes
Slow to dry
Hard to get on
We had a special spot in our hearts for the Keen Newport H2 - Women's
, which is why we named it our Top Pick for Adventure Travel. This shoe embodies all of the necessary qualities of summer: casual, comfortable, water compatible, and great on any terrain. Its close-toed construction improved foot protection and stability, two factors which you will appreciate when you take this shoe everywhere. The Newport was our lead tester's preferred option for trail use thanks to its unique construction and easy adjustability. It kept out debris slightly better than its open-toed competitors. The Newport has a very featured footbed that really redefined our expectations of summer footwear. Our Top Pick winner has a well-defined arch and a soft heel cup that effectively secures the back of the foot.
Analysis and Test Results
A sandal is a rather unusual piece of footwear. Its utility lies somewhere in that rather large gray area between flip-flop and hiking shoe. Unlike flip-flops, which slip on and off and don't offer as much all-around performance, all the products in this review are designed to strap securely to the foot. These products also offer better ventilation and water performance than a hiking shoe
. If a flip-flop (without a heel strap) is what you're in the market for, read up on our women's flip-flop review
. If you're still leaning towards the sandal market, next you should identify the uses you need the shoe for. We always recommend checking out our Buying Advice
article to help with this process. Will you spend a significant amount of time in water? If so, make sure to search for a product that dries fast and has good traction on wet surfaces. Are you looking for something to put a lot of miles on? Check out the products rated with the most comfort and stability. Is it important to you to have a shoe that you can wear (without shame) to dinner as well as on short outdoor outings? If so, don't miss our photo gallery.
Summer is sandal season. Whether you want some shoes to hike, skip, boat, or hang, we found a pair that is right for you. Here, we're testing the Enoki (left) and the Unaweep (right).
For this review, we tested eight different shoes from five different brands. And since we take these reviews pretty seriously over here at OutdoorGearLab, we don't just choose any products for our testing. The review process really begins with the selection of the product. We chose products that have consistently high online reviews and products we continuously saw out in the field. Read on to see how all of the competitors fared against each other. Did we mention that we have also covered the summer footwear needs of your special man in our Men's Sandal Review
? That's right, we've got all your feet covered.
Types of Sandals
The market is divided into two different categories: close-toed design models and open-toed design models. Keen was the only brand of close-toed models that we reviewed. Both the Newport and the Whisper fit into this category. Testing confirmed that these models really excelled on more adventurous terrain than their open design counterparts. Since they leave less of the foot exposed, they also offer better foot protection and stability. They still allow water to drain easily if the foot is submerged, but do so at a price; the increased quantity of synthetic fabric on both of these shoes becomes quite heavy once saturated.
The rest of the six models fit in to the open-toed category. These models were all lighter, better ventilated, and dried faster. Stability and adjustability varied from model to model. Most testers preferred the look of these shoes, especially if they were hoping to to wear them from an outdoor setting straight into town for dinner.
The open-toed Enoki on the left and the close-toed Keen Newport on the right.
Criteria for Evaluation
The overall score (shown in the table below) of each product is a result of its combined performance in every metric, weighted appropriately, within a range of 1-100.