If you say running or ultra-marathon, sandals seem to be an unthinkable footwear option. But recently, running sandals have been gaining traction in and out of the running track with experienced runners spotted wearing them. So, we think it is only right to bring you this article about the best running sandals for every kind of runner.
While wearing sandals in a competition was not a novel idea to the runners of the first Olympics in Greece, it is to many people who equate proper footwear for the activity with running shoes. Nevertheless, the concept and Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run that advocated barefoot running made way for some to ditch the shoes for the running sandals.
More efficient running style, fewer injuries, natural, and liberating are some of the unique selling points of running sandals. They have also gained a following from many runners around the world. If you are ready to jump on the bandwagon, then let’s walk you through some of the best running sandals for you.
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Xero Shoes Z-Trail Lightweight Sandals
The pair comes with the following features:
- Barefoot feel
The Xero Shoes Z-Trail Lightweight Sandals go for a barefoot feel with a construction that’s 76% lighter and thinner than other sports sandals.
- Low-to-the-ground design
Its zero-drop or non-elevated heels duplicate natural posture and promote balance and agility.
- Non-slip soles
The sandals are integrated with non-marking, anti-slip soles that give them a yoga mat feel on your feet.
- Adjustable Z-strap and tubular webbing
The Xero Shoes Z-Trail Lightweight Sandals are designed with a Z-style webbing to provide you a secure fit across the feet, over the feet, and behind the heels. And with its tubular webbing, you find no hard edges pressing on your feet.
- Flex and float design
The Xero Shoes Z-Trail Lightweight Sandals come with 10-mm thick soles that allow you to roll them up and stash them in your pack or pocket. Plus, they float on the water that makes them perfect for crossing rivers or engaging in water sports.
- 5,000-mile warranty
While thin and lightweight, this pair of sandals is durable and comes with a 5,000-mile warranty.
- Comes with three color options
- Great minimalist running footwear
- Enhances the natural contours of your feet giving it a barefoot feel
- Lets you move, flex, and bend your feet naturally
- Great not only for walking or running but also for yoga and water sports—even for an ultra-marathon.
- Easy to pack
- Barefoot design leaves little protection to the feet. May not be great for rough trails where there are loose debris of rocks and sticks, especially if foot protection is a concern.
- Not that easy to slip on or off
- May turn out too narrow for you if you have wide feet
- Somewhat expensive
Atika Men’s Sports Sandals
These outdoor trail shoes have the following features:
- Three-layer protection
The inner layer provides the first layer of protection for the whole feet. Then, comes the mid hybrid shell enclosure primarily for the toes, and capped by the outer rubber guard which is an extension of the soles to further protect the toes from harsh surfaces and terrains.
- Soft lining
The Atika Men’s Sports Sandals are padded with an elastic lining that is gentle on your feet.
- Quick-release lock system
Slip in or out of your sandals with ease using its closed loop lacing system of adjustable elastic strings and bungee tab.
- Ribbed design
The Atika Men’s Sports Sandals lets your feet breathe and stay comfy with its ribbed body design. It’s made from all synthetic PU that makes for a durable pair.
- Ergonomic and comfy soles
The specialized midsole provides superior cushioning and shock absorption; whereas, the outsole has a multi-directional lug pattern that affords you great traction on wet or dry surfaces.
- Well-made and comfortable
- Makes for a great pair of water shoes
- Works great on dry terrain and slippery surfaces
- Provides great protection for your toes
- Lets you choose from a wide range of color combinations
- Dries fast
- The most affordable of the three products
- No half-sizes are available
- Heel strap is not adjustable
- Elastic loop doesn’t give the sandals a snug fit
Ecco Women’s Athletic Sandals
The Ecco Women’s Athletic Sandals features:
- Ergonomic design
The Ecco Women’s Athletic Sandals sports a roomy toe box to allow your toes to spread naturally and a narrow heel-to-instep fit that’s suitable for most widths.
- Three-point adjustment system
The Ecco women’s athletic sandals offer a three-point adjustment system—over the toes, over the bridge of your feet, and behind the heels to ensure a customized fit.
- ECCO leather
Made with leather that comes from its tannery for maximum control on what goes into the production of the sandals.
- Stretchable lining
The Ecco Women’s Athletic Sandals are padded with elastic lining for a soft and comfy fit. Meanwhile, its inlay sole has a vegetable-tanned leather surface.
- Comfy and lightweight soles
Its direct-injected PU midsole, molded EVA footbed, and soft microfiber cover offer superior cushioning, great stability, high shock absorption, and impressive grip. It is also treated with AGION for long-lasting bacteria and odor control.
- Reliable construction and comfortable
- Provides more protection than minimalist running shoes but not as much as closed running shoes
- Available in three color options
- The priciest of the three products.
- Fit can be too wide for some feet
Whether you are all for minimalist running footwear or looking for something that provides side or toe protection, any of the three will prove to be the best running sandals for you—if that’s something you want to give a try. For that barefoot feel that allows your feet to bend and flex naturally, there’s the Xero Shoes Z-Trail Lightweight Sandals.
And if you want some level of protection, you can choose between Atika’s and Ecco’s athletic sandals. The semi-enclosed three-layer construction of the Atika Men’s Sports Sandals are great for protecting the sides and toes; whereas, Ecco Women’s Athletic Sandals keep your toes free and the sides shielded.