The 6 Best Walking Sandals For Women
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.
1. 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 4,800 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.'
What fans are saying: "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!"
- Available Sizes: 5-11 (U.S. Size), 37-38 M-42 M (EU Sizes)
2. 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!
What fans are saying: "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 (U.S. Sizes), 36-42 M (E.U. Sizes)
3. The Best Hiking Sandals
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.
What fans are saying: "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
4. 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
What fans are saying: "These shoes are worth the price. I have plantar fasciitis and these make the pain nonexistent. They're also really cute!"
- Available Sizes: 5-11, with select sizes available in Wide
5. 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.
What fans are saying: "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)
6. 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.
What fans are saying: "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."
- Available Sizes: 5-12
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