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As much as we love our boots and sneakers, it’s easy to appreciate sandal weather and the cute summer sandals options that come with it. There’s nothing like shedding the socks, getting a fresh pedicure and donning some of the latest sandals trends.
The one wrench in this warm weather fantasy is the pain that can accompany summer footwear. “A sandal is the least supportive shoe because there is little material to it,” says Dr. Glenn Davison, owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey and a fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. “There is very little to no hold in a sandal, so if you’re moving at a quick pace or walking on an uneven surface, it’s easy to slide and pull a tendon or sprain an ankle.”
For these reasons, he explains, sandals can be particularly problematic for patients with flat feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions or high arches.
Dr. Davison is a realist, however, and doesn’t expect his patients to skip sandals altogether in favor of the most comfortable women’s shoes like workout sneakers. “There’s nothing wrong with being style conscious; just give thought to how long you’re wearing certain sandals and how much you’re doing in them.”
There are also plenty of styles that promote good foot health, making them some of the most comfortable sandals that are ideal for walking and other activities.
Different Types of Sandals
- Flip-flops or Thongs. According to Dr. Davison, flip flops or thong sandals, which have two straps that connect between the big toe and second toe, are the biggest offenders when it comes to problematic sandals. “With flip-flops, there is nothing in the back,” he explains. “You’re counting on your big toe to grip and hold your foot in place. It’s a shoe that commonly causes people to lose their footing. It’s the least supportive shoe.”
- Slides. Slides feature straps that go across the shoe. Like a flip-flop, this style is good for wearing around the pool or short distances. Certain versions with arch support and anatomic foot contouring provide better stability for low-impact activities.
- Athletic or Sports Sandals. Athletic sandals feature several straps and grip the foot the way a sneaker does. Some even have closed toes and are ideal for hiking in warm weather because they offer support while keeping you cool.
- Slingback. Dr. Davison says a slingback, or the back strap in a sandal that helps keep feet in proper position with each step, is essential for a proper walking sandal. “The best sandal will hold the back of the foot like a regular shoe does. This holds the Achilles tendon in proper position and keeps the foot from sliding backwards.”
- Wedge Sandal. Wedge sandals can be flip-flop style or slingback style, but they’ll offer the wearer some height. A wedge’s solid base promotes equal weight distribution.
- High Heel Sandal. A high heel sandal features a skinnier heel to support the rest of the shoe. These are appropriate for short intervals but not ideal for walking.
What to look for in the best walking sandals for women
Sandal shopping, Dr. Davison says, shouldn’t be different than browsing for any other type of shoes, whether it’s the best walking shoes, slip-on sneakers or loafers for women. “It all comes down to being supported and preventing your arch from being strained, dropping and excessively pronating, which leads to pulling muscles and joints out of alignment,” he adds. That’s what causes issues like plantar fasciitis and even bunions. So, the biggest takeaway is that arch support is key.
Certain flip-flops and slides feature arch support, like the ones we’ve included in the below list. Completely flat surfaces are to be avoided, as they’re “exactly like walking barefoot,” Dr. Davison says.
Ankle support and heel support is also key to keeping the foot from sliding on the sandal’s surface. The more strapped in the sandal, the more comfortable you’ll feel. “Stick to a sandal that at least has a back strap and straps on the top and some kind of hold to prevent excessive motion,” Dr. Davison says.
For those suffering from bunions, pick walking sandals with straps that don’t rub against the aggravated area. For this group of sandal lovers, an orthotic flip-flop is worth a try for running errands, but look for a sportier sandal for hours of standing or walking.
As for the impractical but beautiful designer sandals you’ve been eyeing, Dr. Davison gives his blessing to indulge on occasion. “Wear them, but don’t wear them and go hiking through the city all day,” he says. “Wear them to dinner or stand around in them at a party. Be mindful of what you’re doing when you’re wearing a less supportive shoe.”
Below are the 15 most comfortable walking sandals for women that promote the best foot health, according to Dr. Davison and glowing customer reviews. After all, summertime is about being relaxed and comfortable. Featuring the best travel shoes for vacations, these are the perfect starting off point for your search for supportive warm weather footwear.
LifeStride Zing Sandals
Best Summer Walking Sandals
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US (Varies depending on color)
- Materials: Fabric upper with a man-made sole
- Key Features: Soft System® comfort package and Velocity 2.0® comfort offer support, flex and cushioning with shock absorption and pressure distribution
- Colors Available: Black, Navy and Red
A traction sole provides you with extra stability that allows for an ease of moment, in a vintage-inspired shape and style from Lifestride. If you’re looking for a shoe that channels both Rita Hayworth and Lauren Bacall, but doesn’t cause blisters as a result, these will become your go-to walking sandals. In three classic and versatile colorways, you’ll find a pair to compliment any swimsuit combination you have.
What reviewers say: “I wear 8M or 8.5M. I ordered an 8 in this shoe and it fits perfectly. I am SO pleased with the style. Beautifully fashion-forward and super comfortable!”
Cole Haan Mojave Slide Sandals
Comfortable Walking Slide Sandals
- Size Range: 5 – 11 US
- Materials: Leather upper/synthetic lining/rubber sole
- Key Features: A modest platform and grippy sole allows for comfort without sacrificing style
- Colors Available: Ivory and Black
A buttery leather upper and a contoured footbed allow for all day comfort from the coffeeshop to beach bar hopping in these Cole Haan stunners. If you’re looking to jump into a Y2K-inspired trend without going all the way back to middle school, these shoes — with a woven upper — add a nice bohemian touch to a simple outfit. Available in black and a fresh ivory, you have endless styling options for any summer outfit.
What reviewers say: “I bought these in white and it’s like walking on clouds. It seems like it’s a little wider than other sandals, but I think that’s what makes it very comfortable. I could wear them running errands and walking all day.”
Hush Puppies Sunshine Sandals
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US (Varies depending on color)
- Materials: Fabric upper with memory foam footbed
- Key Features: Bounce footbed and memory foam allows cushy comfort all day
- Colors Available: Black, Green, Turquoise, Fuschia, Orange and Cream
Made from flexible materials that deliver ultra-lightweight feel with a memory foam footbed, these Hush Puppies truly embody their name in poppy, freshy colors guaranteed to draw compliments and stares, whether you chose to wear them walking the dog or down the boardwalk, soaking up the rest of summer. Even better, the thick, cross woven straps on these comfortable sandals add an extra level of support for those who want to beat the crowds and walk a little faster.
What reviewers say: “It was love at first sight when I saw this Hush Puppie sandal! The fuchsia color is so bright and the perfect pop of color to my wardrobe. I feel like I am walking on clouds in these sandals. I am so happy with these shoes….now I have to stop myself from buying the other colors!”
Sofft Mirabelle Sandals
Fashionable Comfortable Sandals
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US
- Materials: Leather upper and footbed with rubber outsole
- Key Features: Lightweight and flexible outsole with soft, breathable leather lining for all day comfort
- Colors Available: Anthracite Grid Metallic, Black, Light Gray, Luggage, Tan Leopard
Made in a variety of fashionable colorways, this comfortable sandal from Sofft is perfect to support all day activities with a flexible and adjustable strap and cushy outsoles. Whether you wear them to a sporting event where you’ll spend all of the game cheering for your team, or to a concert where you don’t plan to stop dancing, the supportive straps keep your feet secure and steady. When the weather starts to cool down, pair them with jeans and a flannel this fall.
What reviewers say: “I bought these sandals about two days before I was set to leave for a 12 day trip to Ireland and Italy. While I didn’t wear them in Ireland (too cold), I wore them extensively throughout Italy, sometimes walking five to six miles a day. These sandals were very comfortable and didn’t cause any aches or pains in my feet or legs. They are very cute as well. I highly recommend these sandals to anyone looking for comfort and style.”
Eileen Fisher Tarry Toe Loop Espadrille Wedge Slide Sandals
Most Comfortable Wedges for Walking
- Size Range: 5 – 11 US
- Materials: Leather upper with synthetic lining and a rubber sole
- Key Features: A jute wrapped wedge in a modest 1 ¾” platform and comfortable, moldable insole
- Colors Available: Latte, Bone, Mango, Black
This espadrille-inspired sandal with a supportive toe loop stays on-trend and offers all day support. The simple toe loop allows for support and comfort with a minimalist design and the platform is just tall enough for a boost in height. Known for her casual, easy and elegant approach to understated minimalism loved by women of all ages, these Eileen Fisher sandals offer a modern twist on a classic summer shoe.
What reviewers say: “I bought the 5.5 and it fits perfectly. The height is just right that is so comfortable I wore it dancing in a very casual setting.”
Dansko Kandi Slide Sandals
- Size Range: 6 – 12 US (Varies depending on color)
- Materials: Synthetic upper and sole
- Key Features: Adjustable broad straps allow for a customizable fit with cushioning throughout
- Colors Available: Blue, Orange, Black
With ideal amount of cushioning and arch support, along with a shock-absorbing footbed, the Dansko Kandi slide provides great support. It comes in two electric colors for a fun pop of color to your summer outfits and a classic black pair for the customer who wants the height and comfort sans color. Perfect for a hot girl walk to the bodega or to the bar, the Kandi slide sandal is ready for the girl who won’t let her footwear get in the way of having a good time.
What reviewers say: “This is my first pair of Danskos and I was heavily swayed by the orange — a great color. I expected that they would not be uncomfortable, but I have difficult feet and I didn’t therefore have high high hopes. But they are tremendously comfortable, supportive, and cushiony! I had no idea. Am thinking of buying a second pair so that when these wear out and are no longer on the market, I’ll have them again.”
Dr. Scholl’s Felicity Clog Sandals
Most Comfortable Walking Sandals With Heel
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US
- Materials: Leather upper/synthetic lining and sole
- Key Features: An faux-wood heel offers lightweight support with faux snake detailing across the front buckle for extra flare
- Colors Available: Honey, Dusted Clay, Black
- Additional Notes: Arch support and a cushioned footbed keep you stylish and comfortable all day
If Y2K-inspired trends feel too close to your days of yore, what about a pair of faux wooden sandals to look just like the disco divas of the 70’s? The Felicity Clog sandal does just that, offering a vintage inspired find without the heartache and dig vintage shopping can bring. Even better? Made with Dr. Scholl’s comfortable support, these clogs are sure to be in your everyday rotation as they become comfier and comfier with each step.
What reviewers say: “Very comfortable and cute sandals. Easy to adjust width. My feet are a little wide and these shoes are perfect.”
Dr. Martens Gryphon Platform Gladiator Sandals
Best Sandals for Walking Long Distances
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US
- Materials: Leather
- Key Features: A classic heel loop, double button buckle closure and a chunky platform
- Colors Available: Black
Platform sandals and Dr. Martens classic combat boots are both on-trend this season, so it’s the perfect time to add some edge to your summer style with the Gryphon Platform Gladiator Sandals. Using the same ingenious cushioning technology and construction methods the brand is known for, these Dr. Martens sandals will feel like the same comfy, broken in boots you’ve had for years.
What reviewers say: “I can’t stop wearing these, they match with almost everything and are so comfortable ! Took me a couple of wears with thicker socks on to break them in but after about a week they fit like a beautiful platform glove.”
Skechers On-The-Go 600 Brilliancy Sandals
Most Comfortable Sandals for Bunions
- Size Range: 5 – 12 US (also available in wide)
- Materials: Fabric upper, man made sole
- Key Features: Lightweight, with a signature Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole for maximum comfort
- Colors Available: Black, Natural, Charcoal, Navy, Light Mauve, Charcoal Black/Black, Taupe, White/Gray, Black/White, Natural/Multi, Navy/Multi
- Additional Notes: Adjustable straps allow for a comfortable, all day fit and cushy soles ensure you stay ready to be on the go
It’s not easy to find sandals in different widths, but Skechers’ On-The-Go 600 Brilliancy sandal delivers with a regular and wide fit. Adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit, and the soft fabric doesn’t rub on skin. Lightweight, responsive cushioning makes this low platform comfortable for miles of walking. The subtle arch support is comfortable for low arches and helps prevent and alleviate bunions. There’s also plenty of room between the straps to accommodate existing bunion issues.
What reviewers say: “I purchased these for a trip to Disney and I’m so glad I did. Since Florida weather can be unpredictable (read: it will rain), it was nice to have shoes I didn’t have to worry about getting wet. They also held up to the 11 miles of walking each day without my feet hurting too much.”
Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Sandals
Best Walking Sandals for Flat Feet
- Size Range: 5 – 11 US
- Materials: 100% recycled plastic using traceable REPREVE® polyester yarn by Unifi®
- Key Features: Contoured footbed adds extra support and comfort, hook and loop closure offers secure and adjustable fit.
- Colors Available: Atmosphere Black/White, Atmosphere Carrot/Blue Mirage, Atmosphere Imperial Palace, Atmosphere Sesame, Black, Blue Multi, Desert Multi, Light Multi, Mirage Multi, Sesame, Sherbert Multi, Teva Textural Sunflower, Vista Blue Indigo
- Additional Notes: 100% Vegan and Recycled Materials
Clunky, retro sandals have been on-trend in fashion as of late, and that’s a good thing for our collective foot health. The Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Sandal accommodates wide feet with its adjustable straps. The chunky outsole is super-cushioned for superior comfort with every step. Moderate arch support is ideal for flat feet, giving them a boost without being uncomfortable. Hop on this trend and your feet will thank you.
What reviewers say: “Really easy to take on and off, my feet didn’t get sweaty while wearing them so there was no slippage as I walked in temps reaching 106. They even cleaned off super easily!”
Birkenstock Arizona Soft Slide Sandals
Podiatrist-Recommended Sandals for Walking
- Size Range:5 – 11.5 US
- Materials: Leather upper and lining/synthetic sole with a cork footbed
- Key Features: Adjustable double straps and moldable footbed for maximum comfort that absorbs shock and mimics the shape of a healthy foot.
- Colors Available: Almond Suede, Taupe Suede, Stone Suede
- Additional Notes: Cult favorite Birkenstocks are perfect for those wanting to strike the balance between a classic slide and comfortable support
The Birkenstock Arizona Soft slide sandal is a classic style that just happens to be podiatrist-recommended, too. Dr. Davison lauds the brand as one of his favorites for its anatomical footbed. What’s more, ordering Birkenstocks through a podiatrist or custom orthotics lab allows them to create the sandal with an orthotic just for you. If you’re not in need of a custom insole but looking for comfort, test out regular Birkenstocks with their legendary footbed that hugs the foot’s contours and offers superior arch support.
What reviewers say: “I LOVE this shoe! I would highly recommend it. There was no need to break them in because they are already so durable. They go with all my casual wear. I am a 7.5, so I tried on an 8 in stores. The 8 was a tad too big, so I ordered the 7 shipped to my house and they fit like a dream! I plan on having these shoes for years to come!”
Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flops
Best Walking Sandals with Arch Support
- Size Range: 5 – 12 US
- Materials: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sole
- Key Features: High density EVA midsole, cushion soft to ensure comfort in every step
- Colors Available: Aqua, Black, Black Patent, Blush, Coral, Bright Pink, Burnt Yellow, Lavender, Lime, Blush Pink/Black, Dark Brown, Gold, Navy/Red, Navy, Red, Silver, White, Peach, Pewter, Purple, Rose Gold, Taupe, Teal, Aqua/Black, Black/White Snake, Blue, Black/White, Black/White Zebra, Black/Black, Silver/Black, Turquoise, Navy/Black, Pewter/Black, New Turquoise, Red
- Additional Notes: An ortholite footbed, EVA outsole, and soft textile lining allow for a comfortable, all day wear.
Even podiatrists understand that every now and then, a thong sandal or flip-flop might make its way into our wardrobe rotation. “There’s nothing more comfortable on a beautiful summer day than shorts and a flip-flop,” Dr. Davison says, “but don’t spend too much time in them.” While these aren’t recommended for a long walk, the Clarks Breeze Sea flip-flop is adored by shoppers for making a thong-style sandal supremely comfortable. With nearing 50,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the sandal is a bestseller, featuring Clarks signature arch support and Ortholite footbed. It comes in every color of the rainbow, and then some.
What reviewers say: “My husband and I walk 2 miles every night, and I decided to put these to the test ( I usually wear my running shoes). These far surpassed my expectations! They felt so supportive and it made me feel like skipping! They also stay on your feet without having to adjust your step, unlike most flip flops.”
Sounity Orthotic Flip Flops
Best Beach Walking Sandals
- Size Range: 6 – 11 US
- Materials: PU upper, EVA and rubber sole
- Key Features: A high arch support allows weight to be evenly distributed throughout the foot and a deep heel cup allows for all day comfort, ensuring each step’s heavy impact does not affect your heel
- Colors Available: Black, Charcoal, Rose Gold, Chocolate Glitter, Black/ Gray Snake, Brown Snake
- Additional Notes: Water-resistant with a nonslip, flexible and with a grip to keep you supported and safe as you move
Certain occasions, like a day at the beach, require a flip-flop that’s easy to slip on and off at a second’s notice. Flip-flops or thong sandals, however, are notorious for providing zero foot support. The Sounity orthotic flip-flops are trying to turn around the shoe’s reputation. High arch support helps prevent plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. The deep heel cup helps maintain correct foot positioning, while the cushioned midsole relives arch and heel pain. These are a solid option to throw in your beach bag when you want low-maintenance footwear but not the foot problems that come with thong sandals.
What reviewers say: “First of all. Fits exactly as expected. I can’t reiterate how happy it makes me when a 9 fits exactly like a 9 should and no weird extra space above my toes or have my heels hanging off the back. And these are COMFORTABLE.”
Ecco Yucatan Sandals
Most Comfortable Sandals for Problem Feet
- Size Range: 5. – 10.5 US
- Materials: Leather upper, textile lining and a synthetic sole
- Key Features: RECEPTOR® technology provides support and stability throughout the shoe with a rugged outsole to easily transition from street to rougher terrain
- Colors Available: White, Eventide (Blue), Tuscany (Dark Beige)
- Additional Notes: Fully adjustable hook and loop straps and a cushioned insole offer additional support
The rugged sole on Ecco’s Yucatan sandal makes it a perfect pick for long walks across all kinds of terrain. The adjustable hook-and-loop straps ensure the perfect fit, even for wide feet. Ecco’s Receptor technology provides stability and support to minimize impact from every step. The insole is cushioned with arch support, so you can worry about sight-seeing and not foot pain. These come in a variety of colors.
What reviewers say: “They’re comfortable right out of the box, offer great support and adjust three ways for a perfect fit. They’re cute for a “support sandal” and I don’t worry about my feet when I’m wearing them. I can walk all day without pain or blisters. Winner!”
Merrell Women’s Terran Convertible II Sandals
Most Comfortable Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
- Size Range: 5 – 11 US
- Materials: Rubber sole, 100% recycled upper hook and EVA outsole
- Key Features: QuantumGrip™ outsole and hook and loop closure allow all day wear while hiking, ensuring support for your feet, whatever you may need
- Colors Available: Black, Brindle/Navy, Marron, Moon, Paloma
- Additional Notes: A slim design that hugs every contour of your foot and shapes to it, ensuring a comfortable, custom fit
Merrell is beloved for its ultra-comfortable styles that are ideal for conquering a day of running around in the city or a hike outside. The Merrell Terran Convertible II sandal is its answer to the hottest days of summer. The rubber sole is durable across a variety of terrains, while the molded nylon arch shank provides needed foot support. A cushioned heel absorbs shock and adds stability. The microfiber insole is sweat-wicking, perfect for hot temperatures. This top-rated Amazon sandal, called some of the most comfortable sandals for plantar fasciitis, has nearly 2,000 reviews and an average 4.5 star-rating.
What reviewers say: “I bought 2 pairs because I love them so much and want a backup for when 1 pair wears out. I have rheumatoid arthritis and these sandals are so supportive and comfortable! My foot doesn’t slide around at all while hiking on trails and also super supportive just walking around town. The soles are soft and have plenty of cushion for comfort which is something I desperately need but is hard to find.”
Vionic Women’s Rest Tala T-Strap Sandals
Best Walking Sandals for Wide Feet
- Size Range: 5 – 12 US (Varies depending on color)
- Materials: Leather Uppers with uncovered EVA
- Key Features: Three-zone comfort allows for essential support to target the heel, footbed and all your foot’s natural curves,
- Colors Available: Saeform, Pale Blush, Cream, Black
- Additional Notes: T-strap design allows your foot to stay full secure while EVA molds to your foot’s unique shape.
The Vionic Rest Tala T-Strap sandal comes in regular and wide fits, and is one of the best walking sandals for wide feet, at least according to hundreds of Amazon reviews. Vionic is a go-to brand for those seeking comfortable sandals and shoes they can walk around in all day. These are no different. They feature a thong strap at front, which is ideal for wide feet, but a sturdy mid and back strap for proper alignment. There’s support at the forefoot, mid-arch and heel for total comfort.
What reviewers say: “Purchased these for my plantar fasciitis. I wanted something that looked pretty and more feminine. I have custom fit orthotics sandals that are really ugly. These are simple classic and won’t wreck my feet.”