Choosing hiking sandals for women with sensitive feet

Check out all our advice on choosing women's hiking sandals that are specifically designed for sensitive feet.

You love walking in the countryside or in the city, but your sensitive feet are ruining the experience? Hiking sandals could be what you need, so check out our tips for choosing a pair that's right for you.

Why choose hiking sandals if you have sensitive feet?

Women with sensitive feet choose hiking sandals over traditional hiking boots because sandals:

  • let your feet breathe
  • are more lightweight
  • do not irritate your feet from rubbing
  • provide more comfort.
However, before taking the plunge and swapping your traditional hiking boots for women's hiking sandals, it's important to really know your feet and assess the pros and cons of sandals.

Before you even start choosing your hiking sandals, you first of all need to identify what makes your feet sensitive. If you have not yet identified what is causing your foot pain, we recommend that you consult your doctor or a podiatrist. A doctor or podiatrist can help you understand the cause of the pain, as well as how to treat it. For example, you may need an orthopaedic insole that you put in all of your shoes.

If we look at customer reviews of hiking sandals, we can see that they are popular with people who have fractured toes, recurring foot pain, hallux valgus or feet that tend to swell.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiking sandals?

Now that you’ve got to know your feet a bit better and identified what makes them sensitive, let’s move on to the advantages and disadvantages of women’s hiking sandals.

What are the advantages of women’s hiking sandals?

They are lightweight

One of the main advantages of hiking sandals is how lightweight they are. This is because they require less material, as they cover less of your feet. If you make the switch from traditional hiking boots, you'll notice a big difference when you walk. You are picking up less weight with each step, so you’ll feel a lot lighter.


In the summer heat, it’s nice to wear breathable shoes to make you feel more comfortable while you’re walking. And what could be more breathable than hiking sandals?
So, the main advantage of hiking sandals is that they let your feet breathe. Your feet are more exposed to the open air, moisture and perspiration quickly dry out.
This breathability also means your feet will dry quickly if you walk through water.


Being so lightweight, you might think that hiking sandals would be uncomfortable – far from it. As a matter of fact, sandals with good cushioning, a good tightening system and, of course, good breathability will allow you to walk for several hours without feeling any pain in your feet. Reviews of our hiking sandals show that our customers say time and time again that their favourite thing about our sandals is how comfortable they are to wear.
In those same customer reviews, we can see that these sandals are popular with people who have sensitive feet, who suffer from plantar fasciitis, or who are recovering from a sprain.

What are the disadvantages of hiking sandals?

Bad weather

Hiking sandals are intended to be worn on hot summer days. If you're wearing them in bad weather (storms, heavy rain, etc.), you could quickly catch a cold. It's therefore a good idea to have a pair of hiking boots and a pair of hiking sandals at home, so you can choose the appropriate pair depending on the weather.

Rocky terrain

If you are hiking or walking on rocky terrain, stones can easily slip inside your sandals. Even though you can easily remove them because the sandals are very open, it is still an unpleasant feeling.

Ankle support

Hiking sandals do not provide anywhere near as much ankle support as hiking boots. However, to try and compensate for this lack of support, you can use hiking poles.
Please note that hiking sandals are NOT suitable for hikes with steep gradients (over 600 metres), even if they have good support.


Which sandals suit each activity?

  • hiking-walking-sandals

    Sandals for short walks

    Lightweight, open-toe sandals that don't require a stone guard. Leather or synthetic materials.

  • hiking-sandals-women-mountains

    Sandals for hikes in the mountains

    For gradual ascents up to 300 metres: open-toe sandals with a stone guard and several fastenings (ideally 3)
For gradual ascents up to 500 metres: closed-toe sandals or hiking "Sandal Shoes"

  • sandals-bivouac

    Women’s trekking sandals and bivouac sandals

    For trekking: women’s closed-toe hiking sandals or "Sandal Shoes" with good grip and good cushioning
    For bivouacking: ultra-light sandals that don't take up too much space

How to choose the right hiking sandals for sensitive feet?

Shock absorption

When you’re hiking, especially in the mountains, shoes with good cushioning are essential to avoid jolts that could weaken your feet. Cushioning absorbs shocks when you're walking, meaning your feet don’t get tired as quickly.
There are a number of ways to judge the quality of a shoe’s cushioning:

  • The thickness of the sole generally reflects the quality of the cushioning. It is generally agreed that the thicker the sole, the more cushioning it provides. However, certain materials provide good cushioning without having an overly thick sole.
  • In addition to thickness, some soles are known for their cushioning properties, such as EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate / soft thermoplastic) soles, which offer support, stability and insulation. This material is mainly chosen for its flexibility and shock-absorbing properties. It can be doubled up for extra cushioning.

Choosing hiking sandals for women with sensitive feet

Foot support

Beyond comfort and cushioning, good support is also an essential feature when you suffer from sensitive feet. Wearing shoes that support your feet will prevent your pain from getting worse, give you stability and avoid any unwelcome sprains.
The fastening system on hiking sandals therefore plays a vital role.
Common fastenings found on hiking sandals include hook and loop straps, buckles and elastic laces.

  • If you want shoes that fit your feet properly, it is important to look at the number of fastenings on a pair of shoes (normally 1–3). The fastenings are located in three places: 1 : at the front of the foot, 2: next to the ankle, 3: behind the heel. These fastenings enable you to adjust the sandals to fit your feet, giving you good support.
  • Hook and loop straps are ideal because they’re really easy to use. They can be tightened quickly and easily, which is ideal if you need to adjust your straps on the go. They are the most common fastening for open-toe hiking sandals.
  • Elasticated laces provide a more precise and secure fit. This type of fastening is recommended if you’re on more difficult terrain or if you’re doing a longer hike.

Overall comfort

It’s really important that a pair of sandals are comfortable to wear so that you can be free of pain and enjoy your hiking experience. Various factors contribute to this overall comfort:

  • The shape of the sandals should fit the shape of your feet. Sandals that are too narrow or too wide can cause pain and blisters.
  • Padding in the insole provides extra cushioning and can help reduce pain in the soles of the feet. A microfibre covering (also known as peach skin) gives a pleasant texture underfoot.
  • Feet come in all different shapes and sizes, so make sure you adjust the straps so that the sandals aren’t rubbing and causing you pain. Pay particular attention to the straps around your ankle bone.
  • The lining of the sandals, which is in direct contact with your skin, must be soft and breathable to prevent chafing and excessive sweating.
  • Finally, the fastening system must enable you to get a precise, personalised fit so that your feet are properly supported, without any pressure points.
It's also important to choose sandals that are suited to the activity you're planning to do and the kind of terrain you'll be walking on.

Compatibility with your orthopaedic insoles

If you have orthopaedic insoles, it's important to be able to insert them into your hiking sandals. However, not all hiking sandals are compatible with orthopaedic insoles. Your insoles might slide about in open-toe sandals. We therefore recommend that you opt for closed-toe hiking sandals or "shoe-sandals" for better compatibility with your insoles.
When you try a pair of sandals on, remember to try them with your orthopaedic insoles in to make sure they fit properly.


It’s easy to slip when you’re hiking. To reduce the risk of injuring yourself, it’s essential you wear hiking sandals with good grip.

  • The composition of the sole determines how much grip a pair of sandals will have. Soles must be able to withstand wear and tear while retaining their non-slip properties. Grip also depends on the surface area of the crampons and how they are arranged. We talk about grip when it comes to hiking on hard surfaces.
  • Deep, sculpted and well-spaced crampons provide good grip. In general, you should use deeper crampons on muddy or wet terrain.

Choosing hiking sandals for women with sensitive feet

The best women's hiking sandals for your activity

Open-toe or closed-toe sandals?

When it comes to sandals, there are two main categories: open-toe sandals and closed-toe sandals. But how do you choose between the two? Here are a few tips to help you decide which type best suits your needs.

A fairly simple way of deciding whether you need open- or closed-toe sandals is to determine the type of terrain you'll be walking or hiking on:

  • open-toe-sandals

    Open-toe sandals

    For well-marked, obstacle-free trails with a gentle gradient.

  • closed-toe-hiking-sandals-women

    Closed-toe hiking sandals

    For hikes with an elevation gain of 300 metres or more and for uneven terrain.

What are the most popular models of women's sandals?

  • hiking-sandals-women-NH100

    Women's hiking sandals - NH100

    Rubber sole for good grip
    EVA midsole for good cushioning
    Microfibre outsole for a pleasant feel on the feet

  • hiking-sandals-sensitive-feet

    Women's hiking sandals - NH500

    Rubber sole for a better grip
    Double EVA midsole for good cushioning
    Two hook and loop straps and an additional buckle for good support

  • Choosing hiking sandals for women with sensitive feet

    Women's hiking sandals - NH900

    Rubber sole for a better grip
    4.5mm crampons for good grip
    Adjustable with three hook and loop straps for a secure fit
    5mm foam under the leather insole for added comfort

Do you still have questions? 

Can I wear my hiking sandals to the beach?

If you want to wear your hiking sandals to the beach, you absolutely can.
However, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Avoid leather sandals because if they get wet, they take a long time to dry, and the salt water may damage them. So opt for sandals in a synthetic material instead.
  • Hiking sandals are not intended for the beach, so be aware that sand may get into the sandals and rub against your skin.

Is it a bad idea to wear socks with sandals?

Contrary to what we’ve been told, socks and sandals aren’t such a bad match.
Here are just a few of the advantages of wearing socks with your hiking sandals:

  • Your feet are exposed, meaning they can burn quickly on sunny days. If you want to avoid having to reapply sun cream every hour, you could wear anti-UV hiking socks.
  • Depending on where you’re hiking, you may encounter insects, such as mosquitoes. In this situation, socks will provide good protection for your feet.
  • To avoid blisters on long hikes, you can wear socks.

You now have all the information you need to choose the hiking sandals that are best suited to your feet and your activity. We hope you have a good time hiking in your sandals, letting your sensitive feet breathe and freeing them of any pain.

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