Every hiker knows the importance of having the right kind of footwear, but not everyone wants to have to struggle with big, heavy hiking boots that take up a lot of luggage room, and end up leaving your feet tired after taking on the long trail.

Hiking gear is certainly something that you should be giving a lot of thought to when you are planning your trip, but you shouldn’t worry too much about getting it right or wrong, when it comes to selecting the kind of footwear you will need for your trip.

Hiking boots, sneakers, tekkies and even sandals can all do the job, so long as you choose a pair capable of supporting your feet and preventing you from being hurt while on the trail. If you are looking for new shoes when going on a hiking trip, and if you are thinking about buying a pair of sandals, here is a list of the pros and cons that you should keep in mind.

The Pros of Wearing Sandals while Hiking

  • You don’t need to worry about blisters 

Friction caused when walking is the leading cause of blisters and blisters can really cause a lot of discomfort, making the rest of your hiking adventure really unpleasant. Blisters are usually common with hiking boots, especially boots you have not yet worn in yet.

When you wear sandals, there will be fewer points of contact with your feet, which will result in much less friction and a lot fewer blisters.

  • Your feet will stay cool

Hiking in the summer can lead to sweaty feet, which can lead to more blisters and having sweaty feet can also leave you feeling quite uncomfortable. There is also the issue of getting your feet wet when you are hiking. If you are wearing boots, wet socks can make your hike unnecessarily uncomfortable, but if you are wearing sandals, your feet will dry quickly.

  • Your shoes will be light-weight 

Heavy hiking boots leave the feet feeling heavy and tired after a day’s hiking. With the right pair of sandals, your shoes won’t leave your feet tired, and you will be able to take on more trails during your hiking holiday.

The Cons of Wearing Sandals while Hiking

  • You won’t have ankle support 

Not all hiking trails will offer you an easy trail. Some trails are a lot more off the beaten track, which means climbing over rocks and navigating deep ravines. With sandals, you won’t have any ankle support, so you run the risk of hurting yourself.

  • You can get sunburned 

The sandals will leave your skin exposed and on a hot summer day, you can get sunburned on your feet, which can be exceptionally painful.

  • You run the risk of being bitten by a snake or insect 

With your feet so exposed, when you are walking through grass or thick bush, which many of the hiking trails in Mpumalanga have, you can get bitten by something painful and unpleasant when you are wearing sandals.