The Ultimate Breathable Footwear

1:46 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
18 forum posts

I’m very unacquainted with the options in footwear, so I want to ask simply “what’s the most breathable, yet well-fitting and comfortable hiking footwear?”  Somehow I’ve never found a sandal I can stand.  Even Birkenstocks hurt like HELL.

I have small very sweaty feet with wide toes and a high arch.

3:59 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
1,731 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Teva Omniums get my vote if you are geared towards a water shoe/sandal. I have had mine for a few years and I will purchase these again when the ones I wear die. Should be awhile. I love them and wear them all the time.


I wear these for kayaking, around town, and as camp shoes. The new versions have a pull tab on the back.

They make a leather version but I stick with the synthetic version because they dry quicker.

Here is a link to check them out.

 Here is what Trailspace users have to say about them.

8:02 a.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
130 reviewer rep
130 forum posts

Try Inov8 Terroc 330s. They're trail runners made in Britain. They don't cost much and do NOT have a waterproof liner, so drain very quickly after stream crossings and dry quickly. I just started my 4th pair and switched to them after decades of using leather hiking boots.

They are cool when worn with just a synthetic sock liner.

1:51 a.m. on July 6, 2011 (EDT)
1,731 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

You may also wanna check out Keens McKenzie. I just ordered a pair. They look like something that may suit your needs.!%20bossa%20nova

I ordered the same ones pistured. I wanted to get something that also kept the pebbles out w/o killing the ventilation. I also wanted toe protection.

1:34 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
7,680 reviewer rep
2,335 forum posts

the most breathable footwear are sandals or the equivalent.  i like chacos and keens, they fit my feet well, but there are many brands out there. 

the minimalist shoes like vibram fivefingers and water shoes (like those Tevas pictured above) are a close second.  you should assess what kind of walking/hiking you are doing, because these kinds of shoes place a premium on breathability - not necessarily on protecting your feet or providing lateral support.  also, sandals only contact your feet at limited points, which can increase the risk of blisters.

if you think of breathability as a continuum, lightweight running shoes or trail runners are still very breathable and will provide a little more support and protection.  as you move toward more support and more foot protection, shoes will have more leather reinforcement or be all leather, and as a result, they are usually correspondingly less breathable.

gore tex or eVent membranes allow nylon shoes to be waterproof; they can make a shoe feel less breathable and hotter. 

what's most comfortable? it's a personal preference, and it depends on what fits; what you're carrying; and where you're hiking, potentially.  the more weight i have on my back, or the more broken/rocky a trail is, the more i gravitate toward less breathable but more protective shoes with better support for my feet, even if it's hot outside.  if i'm carrying relatively light weight but expect a pretty broken trail in the summer, i like non-gore tex trail running shoes. 

2:42 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Rocky Mountain Gore-Tex socks

3:32 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
1,731 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Callahan said:

Rocky Mountain Gore-Tex socks

 Add a sole on the bottoms of those made from something like 5.10 stealth paint and that may be a decent camp slipper.

10:52 p.m. on July 19, 2011 (EDT)
1,731 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I have to say after a bit of time with Keen's McKenzie it is a great water shoe. They will definitely give my Omniums a run for their money. Plus with the added mesh they keep small stones and other debris out.


The only reason I do not say these are better is I have had my Omniums for alot longer and they are still going strong. So far I really like these alot.

12:48 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

Have you looking into Vibram 5 fingers?  I've hiked in them a few times; theyre extremely breathable but dont offer a tremendous amount of support.  I also have a pair of Merrell's that are really lightweight and breathable.

8:49 p.m. on August 28, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
7 forum posts

I've switched to five fingers. seriously.

April 5, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: gps Newer: Inflatable sleeping pads
All forums: Older: For Sale: MSR Hubba 1P Green (2011 version) Newer: MSR Introduces Three New Stoves