The Best Multi-Sport Barefoot Sandals for Outdoor Adventures

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a committed runner, or just someone who enjoys the liberating feeling of walking in sandals, this post is tailored for you! We’re excited to share our top picks for barefoot sandals that offer the ultimate freedom and comfort as you move.

Our recommendations are based on years of rigorous testing, ensuring that each pair meets our high standards for performance and comfort. If you’re keen to discover even more choices, be sure to check out our comprehensive lists of barefoot sandals for both adults and kids.

Which Type of Sandals to Choose?

There are many different types of sandals, but the most popular design is the huarache type or toe thong sandals, where excellent fixation of the foot is achieved with just one strap running diagonally between the toes.

This type of fastening allows for optimal movement of the foot and toes while walking, as the toes are not restricted by a strap over them. The foot is also very well fixed over the instep and heel. This fastening method allows for the best fixation of the feet when exposed to different inclines in the terrain.

In sports sandals with a strap over the toes, good lateral stability is not easily achieved. The foot typically slides forward, and the front strap pushes the big toe towards the other toes instead of encouraging the toes to activate and adapt to the situation.

Toe thong sandals provide better foot fixation and optimal toe movement, while Z-strap sandals often lack lateral stability, causing the foot to slide forward and the big toe to be pushed inward.

We understand that the idea of having something between your toes might be uncomfortable for some, so we’ve included options for sandals with straps across the toes and closed-toe sandals as well. However, if you’re planning to hike in sandals, we recommend opting for closed-toe styles rather than those with straps across the toes for better stability and fixation on rugged trails.

How to Pick the Right Size?

Most sport sandals offer printable templates to help you check if the size, sole shape, and strap position suit your feet. It’s important to use the correct scale and to ensure the marked dot, indicating the strap attachment point between the toes, aligns with the crease between your first two toes.

Your toes should not overhang the sandal’s sole at the front or sides, and the sandals shouldn’t be too long to avoid tripping. If standard barefoot models don’t fit well, some manufacturers offer customized shapes to better suit your foot.

Remember, if years of tight shoes have deformed your toes, choose sandals wide enough to accommodate your feet as they return to their natural position.

For more in-depth advice, don’t miss our Beginners Guide for Buying Barefoot Sandals.

The Best Sandals for Walking, Running, and Hiking

Here you will find our top recommendations for sport sandals. We’ve listed them in a certain order, but it’s hard to say which one is the best since we found several equally good options. Choose the one that suits your foot shape the best, has the style or color you like the most, or the sole thickness you prefer. If you prefer to shop locally, keep in mind that some brands don’t ship worldwide, while others have local retailers around the globe.

Panta Sandals

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Why We Recommend:

  • Several styles available for different types of use
  • Customizable sole shape and hole position (only outside the main season)
  • High-quality materials
  • Three different lacing styles available in one model
  • Grounding option (Nemeas model)
  • Available for kids (from size EU 32 onwards)

Consider Before Buying:

  • They only ship to the EU
  • Not available with very thick, cushioned soles if that’s what you’re looking for

We are huge fans of these quality sandals from Panta Sandals ever since we tried them for the first time. Panta offers various types of soles and footbeds. When choosing the best one for you, consider where you plan to wear them. We find the Nemeas model perfect for everyday use. However, if you plan to do more intensive activities than just walking to the beach or around the city, it might be worth checking out their other models too, as we find them equally amazing.

Lykaios and Parnosas are their thinnest models, great if you love a lot of ground feel! On the other hand, Samos offers more cushion and squishiness, but its sole is better suited for road walking rather than off-road. Zaros is their full-wet model, perfect if you need good traction in wet conditions. However, the footbed might get irritating on the skin after long walks in very hot and dry weather. The laces are easily adjustable, and you only need to adjust them twice: once when they are new and once more when the sole molds to your feet. They also come with instructions on how to lace them differently, offering three different lacing styles.

They also sell their Parnosas model in kids’ sizes, and our kids absolutely love wearing them. When they outgrow their size, you can just buy a new sole and reuse the laces from the old pair. This is cheaper than buying a whole new pair.

Sizing & Fit: The best way to determine your size is to print out their templates. Make sure to set the scale to actual size when printing and place the dot between your toes to see where your foot will be positioned while walking. The straps allow good adjustability for different foot volumes, and you can lace them in different ways (instructions are included). If the sandals are not the perfect shape for your feet, Panta also offers customization—custom sole shapes and hole repositioning (I always move mine as I have long toes!), but only outside the main season.

Where to buy: Panta Sandals ships only to the EU. They are committed to sustainability in both production and transportation, so there are no plans to offer worldwide shipping in the future. For those outside the EU, explore other amazing options on this list.

Explore More: Find out more about Panta Sandals in our review.


Shamma Sandals

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Why We Recommend:

  • Wide variety of sole thicknesses (from super thin to extra thick and cushioned to fit different needs)
  • Different strap colors and materials available
  • High-quality materials
  • Unique style with a toe loop (Trailstars)
  • Available for kids too
  • Can be customized on request

Consider Before Buying:

  • Might not be the best fit for narrow feet
  • Some styles might need more tweaking with straps to achieve the perfect fit

Shamma Sandals is another high-quality sandal brand on our list. They offer several different sole thicknesses, and our favorites are the thinnest Warrior sole and Maximus sole because we prefer more ground feel in our sandals. However, they also have thicker soles like Alpha and Omega, which are perfect for those looking for more cushion and support. We love having options for everyone!

Their lacing style is a bit different from Panta Sandals or Earth Runners, which have a more classic huarache style. Shamma Sandals have an adjustable velcro heel strap and an adjustable front strap. Our favorite models are Elite and Trailstars. The Elite model offers a more classic lacing style where both the front straps and heel strap are adjustable, giving you full control over how your straps fit. By moving the buckle, you can adjust the fit further—I find them more secure when the buckle is moved closer to the ankle. However, you will need to play around with the laces at first to get the perfect fit.

The Trailstars model is unique in the world of barefoot sport sandals, and we love it. It’s a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t like classic huarache sandals for hiking but wants a more secure fit than regular Z-strap sandals can offer. I must confess, these need more time to adjust—especially the front loop, which can be tricky to get just right. It shouldn’t be too tight, as your big toe needs to lift enough, but not too loose, as the toe loop won’t do its job and they will feel like regular Z-strap sandals. Once adjusted properly, they feel amazing. If you have low-volume feet, you might need to trim the laces a bit as they are made longer to fit all foot volumes.

Numa is their easiest model to use. The front laces are stretchable and easy to slip on. They are also easier for kids to use and feel more comfortable between the toes than the Elite model for kids (my son found the kids’ Elite model a little irritating at first last year, but this year we chose Numa and he finds them more comfortable).

Their Supergoats are their leather model—the leather looks high-quality and sturdy, giving you a sleek look. Cruzers are their model made from soft nylon straps and offer the most customization.

Sizing & Fit: Shamma Sandals are the best fit for medium and wide feet. The best way to determine if the sole shape is right for you is to print out their printable templates. Make sure to print it at the correct scale—the dot should be between your toes and your toes should not hang over the sole.

Where to buy: Shamma Sandals can be bought on their official US website, where you will also have the largest selection. In the EU, you can get them from their EU retailer, GoFree Concepts, to avoid high shipping costs and customs fees.


Earth Runners

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Why We Recommend:

  • The most stylish-looking sport sandals
  • Different sole thicknesses available
  • Several types and colors of laces available
  • Grounding sandals
  • Available for kids too

Consider Before Buying:

  • They might need more time to break in, as some types of laces can feel more irritating at first

Earth Runners are undoubtedly some of the most stylish barefoot sport sandals out there. I bought my first pair a few years ago, and they are still among my favorite sandals. They come in three different sole thicknesses—I’ve tried the Mid and Thin versions, and the Thin version is my favorite. It’s not as thin as some models from Shamma or Panta, but if you prefer more cushion, their thicker sole might be a good option.

All their sandals come with a grounding function—they have a conductive stainless steel thread running the entire length of the lace, secured to the bottom of the sandal with a copper plug to keep you grounded. Because of the conductive thread, their laces might need more time to break in, and you will need some patience to get them feeling very comfortable and soft. Earth Runners have a very detailed description of their different types of laces, but I find their Lifestyle laces (which feel softer) good enough for easier hikes. If you want to try different colors or types of laces, you can buy them separately and switch them as you like.

To help the laces soften faster, you can roll them or make them wet and start wearing them for shorter periods, avoiding super hot summer days when your feet get excessively hot. My Earth Runners felt a bit irritating at first, but now they feel amazing. I wear them to the beach, into the city, with dresses, sport clothes, etc. They have a classic huarache style of lacing which is very easy to adjust. Once adjusted, you can just slip them on without opening the buckle each time.

They are also available for kids, but in the smallest sizes, they might feel a bit bulky between the toes. However, my 6-year-old daughter was happy to wear them all summer long without any problems.

Sizing & Fit: To determine the size you need, use their printable templates. Make sure to position the dot between your toes, as this is where the strap will be. Your toes should not hang off the sole at the front or the sides. They fit well to different foot volumes, and any extra strap length can be trimmed once you adjust them to your feet.

Where to buy: Earth Runners can be bought on their official US website. If you are ordering from the EU, customs and tax are already calculated and paid at checkout, so you won’t be charged again. You can also buy them from their EU retailer, GoFreeConcepts.

Explore More: Find out more about Earth Runners in our review.


Toetem Sandals

Use BU for 7% discount

Why We Recommend:

  • One of the widest fitting barefoot sandals
  • Available in two different widths (standard and extra wide)
  • Different sole thicknesses and styles available
  • High-quality materials
  • Once adjusted, you can just slip them on
  • Straps feel comfortable between the toes right from the beginning

Consider Before Buying:

  • Some styles might need more tweaking with straps to achieve the perfect fit
  • The strap on both sides of your ankles may feel a bit bulky at first
  • Their flip-flop style isn’t entirely barefoot, as they don’t offer any attachment at the heel

Toetem Sandals are another brand we find perfect for sport and everyday use. They are handmade in the US and are some of the widest fitting barefoot sandals we’ve tried, making them ideal for wide feet. Their soles range from 5-14 mm, offering everything from thin soles with the most ground feel to more cushioned soles. They don’t use buckles—everything is easily adjusted with velcro.

We have tested their JackRabbit model in turquoise color in the extra wide version. Our model is their first JackRabbit release, and they have already released a few new models (with more to come). The straps are easy to adjust and are instantly comfortable without needing any break-in period. They do require a bit more time to adjust initially, as you need to pull them through the holes and find the sweet spot for perfect adjustment.

Sizing & Fit: Toetem Sandals offer two different widths (ours is extra wide). Before ordering, print out the template and check if the shape and size work for you. Pay attention to the marked dot where the strap is placed (put it between your toes).

Where to buy: Toetem Sandals can only be bought on their official US website. If you are ordering outside the US, you might be charged tax and customs fees too (depending on the country).


Xero Shoes

Why We Recommend:

  • Easy to pack and travel with
  • Great fit for narrow and medium-width feet and feet with more volume
  • Quick-drying materials
  • Easy to clean

Consider Before Buying:

  • Not the best fit for wide feet or low volume feet
  • Toe box shape is a bit tapered, not ideal for feet with a dominant big toe

The H-Trail sandals are the first huarache-style outdoor sandals from Xero Shoes that are perfect for all your summer adventures—whether it’s hiking, camping, or just chilling by the seaside or lake. Plus, they can easily handle getting wet. The sole strikes a nice balance with its flexibility and medium thickness—it’s not too thick but not super thin either, making them great for walking on harder man-made surfaces like roads. The middle layer’s slight foaminess gives that perfect amount of cushion most people seek in barefoot sandals.

The straps adjust quickly, which is a major plus, especially since you don’t have to fiddle with the front straps every time you put them on. My critique would be that I wish the velcro part on the strap over the instep were a bit longer to allow for more adjustability; I find myself having to tighten the buckle more than I’d like to ensure a snug fit. On the bright side, the thong strap is comfortable right from the start, and it’s barely noticeable between my toes. It’s important to mention, though, that the placement of the straps seems to offer a bit less lateral stability on sloped surfaces than other lacing styles we’ve seen in barefoot sandals.

One area for potential improvement is the toe box shape. Although all my toes stay on the sole while walking, the sandals’ shape isn’t as optimal as I’d like—it starts curving inwards at the big toe side a bit too quickly.

Sizing & Fit: Xero Shoes makes it super easy to choose the perfect size for your sandals. We recommend printing out their template to find your size. Just make sure to print it at the correct scale and place the marked dot between your toes (where the thong strap attaches). I’m wearing size M10 with foot dimensions of 26.3/10 cm.

Where to buy: Xero Shoes has official US and EU websites. They can also be bought at several retailers around the world.

Explore More: Find out more about Xero Shoes in our review.

Few More Toe Thong Sandals to Try Out

If you need more options to choose from, here are a few more brands that offer a similar style of sandals to those mentioned above.

Bosky

Use BU10 for 10% discount

Unshoes

Use BOSENOGICE for 10% discount


Luna Sandals


Deliberate Life

Use BOSENOGICE for 10% discount


Ahinsa Shoes

Use BU10 for 10% discount


Chala

Use 95D7FCE5 for 5% discount

Sport Sandals with Covered Toes

Here are a few options for sandals with covered toes! These sandals function more like shoes with extra ventilation (you need the same amount of space in front of the toes as in regular shoes), and some also perform well in water.

Saguaro

Use BU15 for 15% discount


Wildling Shoes

Use AWN_BAREFOOTUNIVERSE for free shipping


Freet


Xero Shoes


VIVOBAREFOOT

Z-Strap Sport Barefoot Sandals

If you prefer having nothing between your toes, here are a few options for classic Z-strap sandals. If you plan to wear them mostly on flat surfaces without a lot of lateral movement, they can still be a good option. Just make sure they secure your foot well and that the front part does not restrict your toes and their movement.

Bosky

Use BU10 for 10% discount

Ahinsa

Use BU10 for 10% discount


Feelgrounds


Xero Shoes


Unshoes

Use BOSENOGICE for 10% discount

Conclusion

Finding the perfect pair of barefoot sandals can make all the difference in your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re walking, running, or hiking, the right sandals provide comfort, freedom, and support. We hope our recommendations help you discover sandals that keep your feet happy and healthy. Don’t forget to explore our complete lists for more options tailored to both adults and kids. Happy adventuring!

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