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Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start assessing your sandal options. There are a ton of open-toed styles available, and we don’t blame you for always reaching for your favorite flat silhouettes. However, unlike a lot of flip-flops and slides (which tend to have little arch support), wedges can actually be a great choice for promoting proper foot health.
Silicon Valley-based podiatrist Najwa Javed explains that a wedge is especially superior to a high-heeled stiletto. “In a wedge, the heel is elevated but the outsole is a continuous solid platform, which allows for increased ankle stability and even weight distribution,” she says. The pro also calls wedge sandals a preferable choice for occasions where you may have to stand or walk for long periods of time. “Most people prefer wedges for office presentations, exhibitions, weddings and vacations, because you get that graceful elongated leg without the pain of traditional heels,” she notes.
Wedges are cute summer sandals and happen to be a popular warm-weather footwear choice among celebrities, because they’re incredibly versatile and easy to style. For a night out, take cues from Rita Ora and sport all black to create a cool monochromatic ensemble. And for a flirty daytime aesthetic, team a pair of strappy espadrilles with a printed maxi dress a la Sofia Vergara. Of course, you can never go wrong styling your wedges with a denim shirt and shorts — one of Jennifer Aniston’s signature looks.
As when looking for the most comfortable sneakers or flats, you should begin by assessing your foot type to find the most comfortable wedge sandals, Dr. Javed says. If you have any of the below foot conditions, shop accordingly.
Wide feet: “Look for soft upper materials, like canvas, that can stretch to accommodate the shape of the foot,” she says. “Most wedges are narrow, so make sure to buy a half size up.”
Flat Feet: “Those with flat feet or fallen arches should buy shoes with a heel that’s at least one-inch tall but no more than three inches tall for optimal midfoot support,” Dr. Javed advises. She also notes that you can specifically look for wedges with built-in arch support.
Bunions: “Go for wedges with no more than two inches of heel elevation,” she says, adding that styles with soft, stretchable leather uppers are best to prevent further aggravating the bony protrusions.
Plantar Fasciitis: For people with plantar fasciitis, the heel height rule is opposite. “Opt for at least two inches of heel elevation to help reduce the pull of the Achilles, which is connected to the plantar fascial band,” Dr. Javed explains.
Neuromas: “If you have a pinched nerve, make sure to buy a platform wedge to help reduce pressure in the toe box,” she says.
In addition to recommending silhouettes made with stretchy canvas and leather uppers, she also prefers options with outsoles made of cork, a material that’s naturally shock-resistant and cushiony. “Styles with canvas or soft leather uppers and jute outsoles are the most comfortable options,” she says.
To shop the 22 most comfortable wedges of the season, keep reading.
Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole Women’s Gianna Wedge Sandals
Best for Flat Feet
Thanks to Kenneth Cole’s Gentle Souls collection, you won’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. This snake print sandal from the line, complete with an adjustable ankle strap, is a classic silhouette you can mix and match with tons of other pieces in your closet. It’s made with the label’s signature flaxseed cushioning in the footbed for all-day support. The ergonomic fit redistributes pressure and has “robust arch support for people with flat feet,” Dr. Javed says.
Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Hey Girl Sandals
Most Comfortable Wedge Sandals for Walking
Fashion meets function with these dad-inspired comfortable walking sandals from Dr. Scholl’s. This particular style has a contoured foam footbed, stylish cork wedge and adjustable velcro strap to help you find the right fit — with one reviewer mentioning that while “looking for a walking sandal to exercise in, these were definitely the right pick.” Try the sage green version for a slightly unexpected twist on a neutral.
Crocs Brooklyn Mid Wedge Sandals
Best Platform Wedge Sandals
As comfortable as Crocs‘ iconic clogs but a bit more stylish, the Brooklyn wedge features Crocs’ signature LiteRide foam technology for an ultra-lightweight feel and superb softness. Try the sandal in white to pair with daytime outfits or go for the black option if you plan to wear these with evening looks.
Clarks Giselle Beach Wedge Sandals
This open-toed platform from Clarks is perfect for a day at the beach. The lightweight cork wedge is complete with a padded insole, which makes strolling in them a breeze. The strappy cage-like upper comes in white and navy, giving the shoe a casual beachy look that pairs well with sundresses and bathing suits galore.
Dr. Scholl’s Scout High Sandals
Comfortable Wedge Sandals for Standing All Day
These Dr. Scholl’s chunky wedges are the perfect cross between sporty and chic. Available in a handful of wear-with-everything hues, they feature thick leather straps, a sneaker-like rubber outsole and chic embossing at the heel. And thanks to their cushy footbed and vulcanized midsole, they should be wearable for hours. “I get compliments every time I have these on; not to mention they’re more comfortable than tennis shoes,” one reviewer said.
Toms Monica Rope Sole Wedge Slides
Toms is beloved for its supportive shoe styles, and the brand’s popular Monica mule doesn’t disappoint. It’s on the loftier side standing at 3.5 inches tall, but its high traction outsole and added cushioning make it a wearable option for every occasion. Don’t sleep on these; there are dozens of five-star reviews that rave about how comfortable they are.
Ugg Yarrow Sandals
Most Comfortable Wedge Sandals for a Wedding
Ugg makes the ultimate cozy winter boots, so it only makes sense that its warm-weather shoes would be just as good. The brand’s Yarrow sandals are plenty stylish, but Dr. Javed also likes them for their ample arch support. One reviewer mentioned that she was looking for “low-heeled, comfy sandals for a wedding, and these were surprisingly very comfortable and really cute in person.” Tie the ankle straps in a bow at the front for a girly touch or wrap them in the back for a more minimal look.
Birkenstock Papillio by Birkenstock Namica Wedge Slide Sandals
Most Comfortable Wedges for Wide Feet
Birkenstock has long been a favorite comfy shoe brand. Notably, these slides feature the label’s iconic cork and latex footbed, plus a single piece of rich leather that wraps across the top of the foot. One reviewer wore these nonstop on their Caribbean vacation, saying, “I have wide feet, and these shoes fit the bill for something a little more dressy.”
Seychelles Skipper Ankle Strap Sandals
Seychelles‘ strappy mini heels are great everyday shoes. If you’re new to heels, the concealed wedge is just 1.25 inches tall. The shoes are crafted from smooth leather and come in neutral shades of black, peach and cognac. The braided strap gives the look textural appeal, while a thick, cushy sole makes for soft landings with every step.
Jimmy Choo Dovina Espadrille Platform Wedges
Best Designer Wedge Sandals
If you’re looking to invest in a pair of designer travel shoes, these Jimmy Choo espadrilles are a no-brainer. The crisscross design brings an easy sense of glamour to any warm-weather outfit. These four-inch heels are made in Spain, with simple leather straps and a sturdy leather sole. Wear yours with a printed frock and sun hat or a wrap dress for a classic summery look.
Journee Collection Women’s Aretha Wedges
These breezy sandals from Journee Collection feature perforated uppers for ultimate breathability and a traction sole that makes them safe for walking. They also have a zipper closure at the heel, which not only allows for easy on-off access but also dresses up the look, so you can wear these for a night out on the town, too. Grab them in four neutral shades to complete any outfit.
Naturalizer Theron Wedge Sandals
Go for a monochromatic outfit with these light gray sandals from Naturalizer. They also come in black leather and a light brown. A contoured footbed, non-slip outsole and snug elastic straps makes these ideal walking shoes.
Crocs Leigh II Wedge Sandals
Best Wedges for Plantar Fasciitis
You can never have too many Crocs shoes in your wardrobe. These nearly three-inch platforms are versatile, elegant and lightweight thanks to the label’s patented Croslite foam material. ”I’ve worn them a few times, and they haven’t caused me any issues yet with foot pain,” one reviewer said. “I have plantar fasciitis, so that’s a huge thing for me.”
FitFlop Leia Wedges
If you’re a flip-flop girl, update your go-to pair with these barely-there wedge sandals from FitFlop. The leather slides are embellished with three color-coordinated appliqués that make them feel a little dressier than your usual rubber thongs. The microwobbleboard sole absorbs shock to keep your feet happy all day.
Zodiac Rio Wedge Heel Flip-Flops
Take your flip-flop game to new heights with these pillow-y sandals by Zodiac. The Rio espadrille wedges are essential vacation shoes, featuring a sleek leather upper and jute-wrapped heel that make them appropriate to wear from the beach to slightly dressier dinner outings.
Journee Collection Comfort Foam Shanni Wedges
If you’re looking to add a girly punch of pink to your look, these fuchsia sandals from Journee Collection will do the trick. The crisscross straps are edged with frayed details that give the sandals a casual feel. The espadrille design includes a padded footbed and standard three-inch heel, making it a good everyday shoe.
L’Amour Des Pieds Leather Sandals
Best Wedge Sandals for Formal Occasions
These 3.5-inch-tall platforms are perfect for weddings or other dressy occasions. Courtesy of L’Amour Des Pieds, these feminine shoes feature a slim T-strap that pairs nicely with formal frocks. The contoured footbed has arch support, which many reviewers rave is quite heavenly. “I bought these shoes for my baby shower, stood for eight hours, and they were the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn,” one reviewer said.
Impo Ohanna Ankle Wrap Wedge Sandals
Best for Vacation
These fun tropical print wedge sandals from Impo are a vacation must-have. They feature an ankle wrap design that helps keep the foot stable with each step. The comfortable foam footbed and non-skid outsole make them easy to wear all day, from sightseeing to chilling by the hotel pool.
Italian Shoemakers Miriam Wedges
Add some Italian flair to your jeans-and-tee look with these eye-catching sandals by Italian Shoemakers. The slip-ons feature a sleek two-strap leather design adorned with floral accents. They’re extremely comfortable with a memory foam footbed and a classic three-inch heel. Sport them with summery maxi dresses during your trips and a blazer and slacks for the office.
Journee Collection Ronnie Wedge Sandals
Aside from the fact that these leopard shoes are super comfortable — complete with a cushiony footbed and grippy rubber outsole — they’re also quite versatile. Journee Collection’s Ronnie wedge sandals feature sophisticated crisscross straps with an elastic slingback design that’s easy to slip on and off. Pair them with a silk skirt for date night or skinny jeans on the weekends.
FitFlop Eloise Back-Strap Espadrille Wedge Sandals
Elevate your everyday look with these strappy leather FitFlop wedges. They’re made with the brand’s signature microwobbleboard comfort technology, featuring three levels of targeted cushioning. The medium support at the toe helps you push off with ease, while a soft insole offers some plushness and firm cushioning at the heel reduces impact. These shoes do run a little large and wide, so make sure to size down.