It may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but hiking sandals can be a great option for a casual hiker. Sandals are super lite, which means you aren’t going to expend as much energy moving your feet over the course of the hike. They are also perfect for water crossings or as foot liberating camp shoes. Many people prefer a sandal with some kind of toe guard to help protected against miscellaneous rocks and roots. For most, hiking sandals are best used for short well maintained trails or as a lite back up when their primary boots are temporarily out of commission.
Trail Shoes or Hiking Shoes
If you are hiking in a dry climate and on well-established paths that don’t have a lot of rocks, a pair of trail shoes may be just what you need. High-quality trail shoes are ideal for one-hour to one-day hikes when you are carrying a light day pack.
Mid-weight Hiking Boot or Hiking Shoes
If you plan to climb in the mountains (and might even need to attach crampons for a better grip on glaciers or hard-packed snow), you will want an extremely strong boot with a stiff sole to give your ankles support and protection as you climb on challenging terrain.