We will be in Zion in July and plan on hiking the narrows. I have read about the recommended footwear, but, when I was there previously, I saw people coming out wearing sandals. They were mostly Keen- like sandals with closed toes, more of a heavy duty sandal. Will this be okay?
I've hiked the Narrows several times. I prefer using an old pair of hiking boots or shoes. When I buy a new pair, I keep the old specifically for the Narrows. The reason I prefer hiking boots over tennis shoes or sandals is that your foot will often come down between larger or sharp rocks. Having a solid shoe helps protect your feet. I also agree with Lidia about wearing insulative socks. The water is often pretty cold. Depending on the river level, you may find yourself wading through knee, or even waist high water. Wearing a good insulative pair of socks helps ward off the cold. Wearing non-cotton pants or shorts that dry quickly is important. If you don't have an old pair, you can make the Narrows your last hike of your time in Zion and use your regular hiking shoes. Have fun!
Yes closed toe sandals with straps are perfect for this hike you will be in the water about 90 percent of the time, from time to time a rock might sneak in. Be aware the water will be cold, some folks wear water socks to stay warm.