Here's the thing: Even though sandals have gotten a bad rap for being blister-causing and ache-inducing, they don't have to be! The
best walking sandals for women provide the support you need to log mile after mile on any kind of terrain, from cobblestone streets to nature trails. There are some unbelievably comfy sandals out there that cradle and cushion your feet like a dream — you just need to know what to look for.
First things first. To find a truly comfortable sandal, you need to pay attention to material:
Foam is generally the most comfortable, according to Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, a New York City–based podiatrist and board-certified foot surgeon, in an interview with Travel & Leisure. One of the most popular and effective foam materials on the market today is EVA, or ethel vinyl acetate, which is both shock-absorbing and cushioning. While EVA is a superstar when it comes to midsoles, you also can't go wrong with a patented foam material or a shoe made from yoga mats (like our top pick below!).
It's also important to consider how and where you'll be wearing the sandals. Are you looking for a stylish sandal that you can wear to work and commute home in? Or do you want a casual flip flop that you can wear all around town? Do you have high arches that require extra support? No matter what your sandal needs are, there is a shoe below that's sure to become your sole mate.
All of the options here are highly rated on Amazon, and some even come with thousands of positives reviews.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Best Walking Sandals For Women, All Things Considered
For a versatile and affordable sandal that you can wear almost anywhere, look no further than
Sanuk's Women's Yoga Slings. With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, and more than 800 customer reviews, these multi-sling style sandals have something of a cult following, and it's easy to see why. The anatomically perfect footbeds are made out of real yoga mat with arch supports and heel pads. Plus, the soft, stretchy sling fabric cradles your feet, keeping them securely in place, which means no sliding, and no annoying flip flop slapping sound. The sling sandals are available in a ton of different color and print options too, from chic black to the more funky 'Ranch Aqua.' According to fans: "Looking for a fashionable yet comfortable summer footwear? Look no further! These Sanuk yoga sling sandals are a gift from Above! They are simple to put on, and adorable! I wore these ALL over Europe and my feet didn't hurt at all. No rubbing anywhere on my feet, completely comfortable! I bought these for my mom and sisters just because of how much I love them! I bought a second pair the moment I received these! I swear by these!"
An Affordable Waterproof Sandal
Affordable sandals are very rarely comfortable. Luckily, the
Serena Flat from Crocs is the exception. Even though it has a sleek, minimalist appearance, it's well-suited for walking for several reasons: First, the Matlite material is soft, flexible, blister-resistant, waterproof, and slightly stretchy to conform to your foot. Second, the sole is shock-absorbing and lightly textured to massage the bottom of your foot while you're on the move. Finally, the ankle cuff and top strap hug your foot in all the right places for a secure fit, but won't cause uncomfortable rubbing in sensitive areas (like between the toes). Get this pair in subtle colors like black and brown, or bright shades like hot pink and turquoise. According to fans: "These are honestly the best sandals I've had in years! They're comfortable to wear, even for a long day of walking, as they are lightweight and have plenty of cushion."
The Best Walking Sandals For Travel
Whether you're shopping your way down cobblestone alleys or trekking from monument to monument in an urban setting, you need a sandal that will provide long-lasting comfort, while still looking stylish enough to save you from the "obnoxious tourist" label. Enter: These
Birkenstock Women's Yara Leather sandals, a footwear classic for a reason. They feature the traditional Birkenstock cork footbed, which molds to your feet and evenly distributes body weight for optimal support. The shock-absorbing EVA sole adds cushioning, and the adjustable leather straps allow for a customized fit.
The only caveat is that these shoes really do need to be worn for a couple of weeks to get appropriately broken in. So make sure to break them out of the box prior to your travels!
According to fans: "These shoes are not only super cute, they are also really comfortable! I recently wore them over the course of 14 days exploring Europe. We walked 8-13 miles a day and my feet barely hurt and I got no blisters." Available sizes: 5 - 11.5
For intrepid hikes, you need a
comfortable, sporty sandal like this one from Ecco, which offers enough traction for tough terrain. It's available in lots of different colors and prints, and boasts a 4.6-star Amazon rating, with more than 2,400 customer reviews. Outdoor enthusiasts love that the shoe is both lightweight and supportive, thanks to the molded EVA footbed. The dual hook-and-loop straps offer multiple adjustment points for true customization (ideal if you have wide or narrow feet). Plus, the "RECEPTOR technology" provides stability from ground impact to toe-off. According to fans: "So comfortable and also so robust. Took them straight from the box and went on a 4-hour hike! I really like this berry colour — it adds a little pizazz. I have narrow feet, and the adjustable Velcro was just long enough to give me the support I need." Available sizes: 4 - 12.5
The Most Stylish Walking Sandals
Vionic's Kirra Backstrap Sandal offers concealed orthotic arch support, all while looking totally stylish. It has a podiatrist-designed footbed that promotes stability from the ground up, and boasts an American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Its microfiber-wrapped EVA footbed is soft and cushioning, and the back strap keeps your foot in place, while still having some "give" so you don't have to worry about rubbing or irritation. If that's not all, it's also available in a welcome range of colors, from basic white to bronze metallic According to fans: "These shoes are worth the price. I have plantar fasciitis and these make the pain nonexistent. They're also really cute!" Available sizes: 5 - 12 (with select sizes available in wide)
The Best Walking Sandals For Arch Support
OOFOS' Unisex OOahh Sport Slide Sandal were designed as a post-run recovery shoe, but they're also perfect for anyone suffering from painful arches. With a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, and more than 2,600 customer reviews, it's clear that these shoes have something special going on, and it just might be the patented footbed. The OOfoam cradles arches to reduce stress on sore feet, ankles, knees and the lower back, and absorbs 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear foam, according to the brand. The closed cell foam minimizes odors, but if you need to, they can also safely be tossed in the washing machine. According to fans: "My podiatrist recommended I get these for my painful feet, and I was skeptical. When they arrived, I was still skeptical - they looked like not-very- attractive gray plastic slides. But when I tried them on, I changed my mind! I couldn't believe they were sooooo cushy and lightweight, while still providing good arch support. You do find yourself saying "ooooo" when you slip them on! These shoes are extremely comfortable, and my feet don't hurt!" Available sizes: 5 - 16 (women's)
The Best Flip-Flops For Walking Long Distances
Available in 17 different colors, and boasting an American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, these
Vionic Women's Tide II Toe Post Sandals will change how you feel about flip flops for good. They feature 100 percent leather, foam-lined straps, with a soft toe post, to ensure a secure, comfy fit all day long. And the lightweight, EVA midsole absorbs shock to reduce stress on the feet, ankles, and knees. With a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, and more than 5,600 customer reviews, you can wear these flip flops for walking pretty much anywhere and know they're going to be a safe bet.
One note on sizing: the brand advises ordering the nearest size down if you are a half size.
According to fans: "After years of not willing to fork out some $$ for expensive sandals/flip flops, I did so after reading an article about several styles of orthopedic ones. ... These shoes allow me to do activities for a much longer time with little or no repercussions at night. They look great and the foot support is awesome."
sports sandals prioritize fashion more than your average hiking shoe, but they're still suitable for long-distance walking, light hikes, and water adventures. The quick-drying textile upper glides against your skin and has a Velcro-adjustable strap so you can customize the fit. Then there's the sole, which includes non-slip synthetic material (great for protecting against underwater rocks) and responsive, high-rebound cushioning for shock-absorption and comfort. You can get this pair of sandals in black, navy, charcoal, and natural, all of which are also available in wide sizes. According to fans: "Great shoes. Very comfortable. I spent 4 days on the river in these. They are very comfortable and sturdy. No issues going between dry land and the water. Hiked in them and did lots of walking. No blisters and no pain." Available sizes: 5 - 12 (all sizes available in wide)
The Best Sandals For Wide Feet
Yes, they're available in wide sizes, but these
Skechers Slim-Forget sandals are wide-foot-friendly for another reason, too: The web-like textile upper is stretchy and flexible to suit a variety of different foot shapes — unlike structured designs, which may feel constricting and uncomfortable when walking. They're also breathable (thanks to the open design) and supportive (due to the contoured memory foam footbed that stretches from heel to toe). According to fans: "I have [small feet], but very wide. The web on these sandals stretches, so it can fit any variety of foot widths. They're memory foam and super comfortable, and the excellent quality that I have come to expect from Skechers! I highly recommend these shoes!" Available sizes: 5 - 12 (all sizes available in wide)
The Best Platform Wedge Sandals
Maybe you're going on vacation and you need a shoe that can transition from a walking tour to a fancy restaurant. Maybe your job has a business-casual dress code, but you walk over a mile to get there. Either way, the
Arla Shaylie wedge from Clarks fits the bill. This shoe has a platform heel and fashionable straps that give it the appearance of a dress sandal (in your choice of six colors). That said, the sole offers cushion-soft technology, the straps are stretchy and foot-conforming, and the heel is adjustable for a customized fit. Pair all that with the half-sizes, and reviewers say they can wear them for hours on end without discomfort. According to fans: "I recently needed a pair of good walking sandals for a trip to Europe. I wanted a pair that would work with a dress or skirt so I would not have to wear tennis shoes with those items. The catch is I have plantar fasciitis , so I can't wear just any shoe. After much research, I decided to try these, and they turned out to be great!" Available sizes: 5 - 12 (with select sizes available in wide)