Woman in mid toss with her hiking sandals.

Your ideal water shoes or sports sandals should have a few different features. One of the most important features that a good rubber sole sandal will provide is overall comfort and support. If the sandal doesn’t protect your feet and feel comfortable throughout the day, then it is not the best choice for you. Another important factor is durability. While some sandals might serve their purpose well enough, what makes a truly good sandal is how long it will last before the soles crack or the straps fray. Here are some more key features to keep in mind when shopping for women’s sandals

Tread

Orange tread from the underside of a Chaco sandal.

If you will be navigating sharp rocks or slippery ground, be sure you have rubber sole shoes. Rubber soles will give you the best grip while still maintaining flexibility and precision. The most reliable outsole is Vibram. Several brands use these soles in their shoes, like Merrell and Chaco.

Toe Hold

A woman in her sandals standing on a rock.

If you want more security, look for women’s sandals that loop around the big toe and the back of the heel. The toe-loop helps to keep your foot in place to avoid slipping or rubbing. Chaco offers an excellent toe-loop sandal. Some brands, like Keen, also have close-toed sandals that will provide a more protective shell. Close-toed sandals better suit activities that include kicking at or navigating through rocks because they provide a protective layer for your toes.

Brands

Woman in her sandals standing atop a blue padded cooler.

The sandal you choose depends entirely upon your personal preference. Do you want a more minimal feel, or do you want your feet to feel secure? Do you want tight, adjustable straps, or do you prefer to slip your sandals on and off with ease? Here are some specific brands that might work for you and whatever adventures you want to pursue.

Chaco

Women seeking superior forefoot control in their water shoes should consider the Chaco Women’s Z/2 Sandals. The pull-through strap system on these Chaco women’s sandals is made of quick-drying polyester webbing for a snug fit and overall comfort. The outsoles of Chaco are known for their durability and excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.

Keen

Women looking for a more protective sandal might try the Keen Women's Newport Sandals. These sandals have good outsoles that can take on any type of terrain while still functioning as excellent water shoes. The closed-toe design will keep your toes protected from harm while you adventure. Keen offers other women’s sandals with similar benefits as well.

Teva

A final sandal brand to consider is the Teva Women’s Tirra sandal. The contoured footbed, heel shock pad, and quick-drying straps ensure that your feet will be comfortableduring any activity. These sandals have straps that wrap around the heel and the top of the foot, leaving the toes freer than other sandal brands.

Several features of these women’s sandals make them an excellent choice for kayaking, canoeing, hiking, hanging out around the campsite, or walking around town. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop to try on a variety of women’s sandals and pick the best pair for you.