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Beach hike - footwear

Hi - we're doing the Lost Coast Trail in Sept and they're debating on whether to go hiking boots and gaiters or open toe sandals hiking / camping on the beaches.

The theories are, one keeps the sand and rock out, the other way doesn't but they don't build up and flow out.

Any feedback while hiking on a beach with a ~25-35lbs pack is welcome.

4 Replies

That’s a tough one! I have done beach hikes with both boots and sandals myself. I love the fact that boots keep my feet out of the sand and give extra ankle support on the uneven terrain of most beaches. On the other hand sandals are great for airflow and also shallow creek crossings. Personally, I have found it best to wear my boots along the hike and bring a pair of sandals to switch into for around camp. I know this adds on a bit of weight, but it’s so nice to take those boots off after a long day of hiking! As a side note, I had never heard of this trail before (my beach hiking has been along the Washington state coastline). It looks absolutely stunning! Hope you have a blast!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I live in Shelter Cove and often hike on the lost coast beach.  You need hiking boots!  The rocks, the irregular beach, and rocky sand require boots.

Thank you.


I prefer light weight hiking shoes or low top boots for beach hiking, almost always paired with full coverage rubber soled slippers for those inevitable situations where you must hike through pools (if not active surf).  Well worn appraoch shoes would probably be ideal...

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