As the weather warms up it’s time to swap your trusty walking boots for lightweight, breathable walking sandals to keep your feet cool and comfy while you hike.

A good pair of sport sandals should have grippy soles and supportive straps, including a wide heel strap. Look for lightweight rubber soles with deep lugs (these are the indentations in the sole) to ensure you have good grip when walking on uneven or slippery surfaces, and pick a pair of sandals with thick, padded straps across and behind your foot that can be adjusted for the perfect fit.

Check the inner soles of your new sandals are springy, cushiony and breathable, to keep your feet cool and comfortable mile after mile.

Consider how and where you want to wear your new sandals. Walking and sport sandals range from slim and simple designs to big chunky-looking numbers, and some can be surprisingly smart – if you want a pair of sandals you can also wear out and about in the summer months, consider a leather or suede upper material.

After lockdown, if you’re planning on exploring the coast or want a pair of walking sandals you can also swim and paddle in, pick a quick-drying fabric pair made with mesh or neoprene. And if you’re going hiking on challenging trails, choose a sandal with wider straps and thicker soles for more protection.

Try on sandals and, just like with hiking boots, check that there’s no tightness or rubbing anywhere and that your feet don’t slip about when the straps are done up securely. We tested these high-performing sandals on challenging terrain and think they are all well worth the investment to keep you walking comfortably now the sun is shining.

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The verdict: Women's walking sandals

Our top all-rounder walking sandal is the high-performing Merrell kahuna III. If you want something sporty, we rate Columbia’s sandal, and Timberland’s good-looking Malibu wave will work both in the city and the country.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.