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Some of the advantages of hiking sandals besides weight are ventilation and lack of moisture retention should they become wet in rain, snow or when crossing a stream.
I don't find sandals particularly comfortable because they tend pickup dirt and pebbles. Perhaps it is for this reason I also tend to get blisters sooner with sandals. Others find that wearing sandals on extended hikes tends to dry out their feet.
For hiking, particularly backpacking, choosing sandals that provide good support is important to foot comfort. Inventor of the sport sandal, Teva, is one brand with considering. (Tevas and other hiking sandals are available from Online Shoes, Altrec, and other gear sources.)
If you decide to go with hiking sandals, you can still wear socks to help keep your feet warm on cool days. For rainy days or even a little snow there are waterproof socks such as Sealskins.
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