1. KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
The KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is an ideal match for hikers who are looking for an all-in-one sandal that’s lightweight and versatile.
This water shoe has the airiness of a sandal, the comfort of a hiking shoe, and the toe protection of a pair of sturdy hiking boots. Don’t be fooled by its “water shoe” title. Its quality design offers premium performance both in and out of the water.
If you prefer packing light and only plan on bringing one pair of shoes, then the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is the perfect choice to keep you comfortable whether in the city, on the beach, or deep in a national park.
An expert brand in outdoor gear, the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal lives up to its reputation. Its design features many unique accents, all developed to add additional comfort, safety, and grip to any hiking experience. For example, this sandal features razor siping. This means there are thin slits cut across the rubber surface of the soles to improve ground traction in wet conditions. In addition, this sandal’s multi-directional lug pattern adds even more traction, Keeping you from slipping or losing your footing in streams, on slippery rocks, and on muddy slopes.
Sure, if you’re only planning on hiking on trails that are paved, such as the popular Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail in Oahu, then traction is not a priority. However, should you decide you can handle more and want to hit some unpaved treks involving waterfalls and streams like the Manoa Falls Trail in Oahu, then traction is a key factor to consider.
Another reason we selected the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal as a top choice for Hawaii-based hiking is its eco-appeal. Keen is big on producing environmentally-friendly products with a more ‘natural’ approach. Instead of using harmful Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) to ensure their gear remains water-repellent, Keen only uses non-toxic alternatives that are friendly to the environment.
The Newport H2 Sandal’s Anti-Odor footbed was developed with special probiotic technology. This means that the footbed naturally breaks down the odors commonly found in sweat without relying on the hazardous chemical compounds that are often found in cheaper, low-grade footwear. No smell and no pollution — it doesn’t get much better than that!
We also love the fact that the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is made in the USA, adhering to quality regulations as set by the US-market. Other perks include a compression-molded EVA midsole, a quick-dry lining, and a durable 100% polyester webbing on the upper sole.
This versatile pair of hiking sandals feature rubber toe bumpers to ensure your feet safe when on trails or in the water. As tour operators often require closed-toe footwear for participation, these toe bumpers will come in handy should you find yourself on any exciting excursions such as horseback riding or ATV tours.
Weighing in at just 14.2oz, the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal is lightweight enough to meet any baggage allowance standards. This is important for those flying into Hawaii with only hand luggage.
Would we recommend the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal for all Hawaii terrains? Well, nearly all. This is a great choice for nearly all intermediate hikes, wet or dry. That said, when worn on long beach hikes, sand will get between your toes. Should this happen, simply step into the ocean and voila — problem solved.
If you plan on hiking volcanic terrain or super strenuous trails, then these sandals may not provide you with all of the support and protection you’ll need. In this case, you’d be better off with a pair of solid hiking boots instead.
Highly-rated hiker favorite
Other hikers, backpacking fans, and outdoor enthusiasts have given the KEEN Newport H2 Sandal top marks for performance, comfort, versatility, and quality, confirming Keen lives up to their high standards when it comes to outdoor gear. Keep in mind, some consumers recommend ordering half a size up from your regular shoe size as these sandals tend to run a bit on the small side.
Other users have reported rough edges where the fabric meets the sole; this could cause blisters. However, as long as you break them in before your Hawaiian vacation, these edges will smooth out. Also, as this complaint is only echoed by a very small number of customers, the general consensus is that these sandals are a fantastic investment.
Yes, we are aware that the KEEN Newport H2 Sandals are slightly pricey for a hiking sandal/water shoe. But trust us — as seasoned hikers, they’re worth it. We have no doubt that you’ll be able to enjoy these premium sandals for many years, and many trips, to come.