Which Sandals to Pack for Your Adventure Travel

It’s no surprise that the term “adventure travel” can get tossed around pretty willy-nilly these days. If you ask us, however, we consider the term to be quite active. We’re talking day-hikes to waterfalls, island-hopping in jets, long walks back to the car over exposed low tide reef after a 3-hour surf session. You know: real adventure. But can a mere sandal handle activities like that? Absolutely. In fact, with some versatile sandals built for adventure like ours — we encourage it. Here's a guide to the best ones that can handle them all.


Shop OluKai Adventure-Ready Sandals


For a Day on the Boat


The Scenario: You’re on and off a dock at the lake or at a marina, boarding a boat for a fishing or sailing trip — or even just a fun time in the sun on the creek. You’re hanging your legs over the bow; you might even jump in for a refreshing swim. Whatever it is — water is welcome…


What You Should Look for in a Sandal: Traction and water-resistance. You definitely want a sandal that’s got some grip on both the dock and on board the boat. That, and a sandal that’s water-ready and, best case scenario: floats.


Our Picks for the Task:

Ulele: The ultimate sandal built with water-resistant materials, extra grip, and the support of a sneaker — perfect for any boat-loving adventure.

Hila: Featuring water-repellent, puffy criss-cross straps that offer epic comfort and support on deck


Which Sandals to Pack for Your Adventure Travel


For the Trail


The Scenario: We’re not talking some multi-day, crazy gain in elevation kind of trek — but one that’s got some hills and may take a few hours of your day. A trail with some character, unpaved, loose gravel, roots — that kind of terrain — with the possibility of crossing a stream or ending at a waterfall.


What You Should Look for in a Sandal: Support and traction. A sandal with a sturdy outsole that can handle a solid walk — but keep your soles comfy the entire time. That, and an outsole that won’t slip on the loose terrain.


Our Pick for the Task:

Kūkulu: A sturdy, sneakerized approach to our classic beach sandal with a trail-ready outsole

‘Imaka: A sturdy, water-worthy sandal created in unison with the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association.


For a Surfing Excursion


The Scenario: You just came in from a solid 2-hour surf session with your partner, slipped into your sandals still dripping wet, and are walking back to the car, leash and longboard under one arm.


What You Should Look for in a Sandal: Water-resistance, traction, quick-drying. A sandal that doesn’t mind saltwater, the beach park shower after, and has got some great traction for dry reef or trail-to-car park walks.


Our Pick for the Task:

Hokua: A quick-drying beach sandal inspired by the kaula (rope) used on voyaging canoes.

Nu‘a Pi‘o: A cushy beach sandal that can tackle a trail, with enough comfort and height to make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.


Which Sandals to Pack for Your Adventure Travel


For a Day at the Beach


The Scenario: It’s the weekend, you’ve loaded up the wagon with your shade and beverage essentials, you’ve got the whole family: you’re posting up on the sand until the sun goes down. There’ll definitely be some sea to shore (and back again) transferring — it’s a beach day — so you’ll need some easy on-off, water-ready sandals.


What You Should Look for in a Sandal: Water-resistance, quick-drying, all-day support and comfort, traction. A sandal that doesn’t mind getting hit by a wave or two in the shorebreak, and isn’t slippery on the way back to the car.


Our Pick for the Task:

‘Ohana (Men’s & Women’s): Our classic, water-ready beach sandal built for those long days between sand, sun and sea.


For In-Transit Adventure Travel


The Scenario: You’re en route. Like, literally, boarding a plane to the next adventure in another land after the whole airport song and dance known as “Hurry up and wait.” You need a sandal that’s got some extra cushion for the steppin’, a recovery sandal with sneaker-like traction.


What You Should Look for in a Sandal: Cushion. Some real, long-lasting comfort for the standing around in lines through security, for food in the terminal restaurants, and of course, for the queue to board the plane.


Our Pick for the Task:

Maha: Sandals with a little more cushion for the post-adventure recovery, perfect for travel transit

Puawe: Designed to be your go-to recovery sandal, built with puffy straps and squishy foam cushioning


Which Sandals to Pack for Your Adventure Travel


Shop Men’s Adventure-Ready Sandals


Shop Women’s Adventure-Ready Sandals 

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