The usefulness of sandals changes depending on who you speak to. Some swear by these breezy shoes, others see the sandal-plus-tennis-sock look as the ultimate crime against fashion.

Nonetheless, outdoor sandals have made a comeback over the past few years. In the outdoor sports segment, these light shoes offer athletes a lot of benefits that you should look out for when shopping for new footwear.

We’re going to discuss what makes outdoor sandals special, what they’re best used for and what to watch out for when looking for new ones to buy. We’re also going to tell you about the new KEEN Terradora Ethos outdoor sandals and the benefits of these special outdoor shoes. KEEN-Terradora-Ethos-Hiking

Outdoor sandals - what are they?

Well, you already know what a sandal is: a shoe with an upper made up of straps or, at the very least, an upper with large holes in it through which you can see the foot. Several outdoor brands, like KEEN and Columbia, have taken this shoe category and optimised it for outdoor use.

This means that outdoor sandals have robust, grippy outsoles, both of which are essential for exploring the great outdoors. The new KEEN Terradora Ethos women’s outdoor sandals, for example, come with a KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole.

Another important feature of outdoor sandals is the cushioning midsole. Without cushioning, you can’t walk too far in the same pair of shoes - this applies whether you’re in the city or up in the mountains. So, outdoor sandals need to provide cushioning. The KEEN Terradora Ethos comes with an EVA midsole and a Dual Density footbed made of PU foam with arch support. KEEN Terradora Ethos Yet another distinguishing characteristic of outdoor and hiking sandals is the construction of the upper. This usually consists of more than just straps, as hiking sandals need to provide extra stability.

One downside of this construction is that you’ll often find little stones get inside your shoes, but it’s definitely worth it for the stable fit. The upper of the KEEN Terradora Ethos sandals dries quickly and is made of faux leather. Cleansport NXT technology ensures natural odour control.

Outdoor sandals - what are they for?

The breezy construction makes outdoor sandals ideal for warm temperatures. The foot gets a lot more air to it than it would in hiking boots and, apart from the improved ventilation, the construction of outdoor sandals makes them significantly lighter than hiking shoes. You’ll be grateful for this on longer trips. Wearing outdoor sandals up in the mountains is something you’ll get used to and come to appreciate in time. KEEN-Terradora-Ethos-Trailrunning The robust sole is perfect for off-road terrain. We especially recommend outdoor sandals like the KEEN Terradora Ethos for walks or gentle hikes out in nature. These sandals are light and breathable - just what you need on warm days.

The low weight means that the sandals are ideal for taking on holiday with you, much better than a light outdoor shoe in any case. Fast-drying material means that you don’t have to think twice about crossing a river - perfect for island holidays.

In a nutshell, outdoor sandals are a great alternative to lightweight hiking shoes or approach shoes. A low weight, a tough sole, a cushioning midsole, a breezy construction and quality materials. Check out our outdoor sandals, like the women’s KEEN Terradora Ethos.

Outdoor sandals - what to watch out for when buying new ones

Make sure the shoe fits properly. This is especially important with outdoor shoes and sandals. Remember that you won’t wear any socks with your sandals, so any discomfort caused by the shoes will affect your foot directly. Unlike hiking shoes, sandals often cause problems around the ankle, not the heel. If the sandal doesn’t fit perfectly, this can lead to chafing and, eventually, blisters.

It’s for this reason that we recommend women only buy the women’s models, as these have been specially designed to fit the female anatomy. Yet again, KEEN Terradora Ethos is a good example of this: its footbed is narrower, and the entire construction of the shoe is geared towards smaller feet. Similar to other sports shoes, it’s recommended to buy half a size larger when shopping for outdoor sandals. This is especially important when buying sandals with an open toe box - you don’t want your toes dangling out of your shoes when your feet slide forward on a downward slope. Make sure you have enough space in front of your toes. Luckily, the KEEN Terradora Ethos outdoor sandals come with toe coverage, so you don’t need to worry about that problem. KEEN-Terradora-Ethos-Walking


Whether you decide to go for the KEEN Terradora Ethos or another outdoor sandal is entirely up to you. We highly recommend buying outdoor sandals in general, especially in these hot temperatures. It goes without saying that KEEN has plenty of men’s models to offer you too. Browse through them at your leisure and, if you have any questions, don’t be too shy to ask. We welcome your feedback.