There’s nothing better than a long walk in warm weather, but wearing the wrong shoes can lead to unwanted aches and pains. To help identify some of the best sandals for walking long distances, I reached out to podiatrist
Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, who provided some helpful guidelines. When shopping for comfortable sandals for long distances, look for options that strap securely to your feet and offer plenty of support — no matter how many miles you clock. The Expert Alissa Kuizinas is a board-certified doctor of podiatric medicine and footwear expert. With a focus on holistic foot health, she helps her patients naturally relieve foot pain and restore function. She offers consultations and online programs on foot restoration and foot health education through her website. How To Choose Sandals For Walking Long Distances
feet are already trained to walk without supportive shoes on hard surfaces, Dr. Kuizinas recommends seeking out sandals with good arch support, identified by “a contour on the inner arch of the sole and a stiffer sole material.” She explains to Bustle, “Materials such as EVA or cork are ideal for arch support sandals.” (According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, polyurethane or PU, is also frequently used in shoe midsoles. PU tends to last longer and feel firmer than EVA.) On the other hand, Dr. Kuizinas recommends avoiding materials like softer foam when possible, since they’ll be more compressible and less supportive.
When it comes to design, Dr. Kuizinas advises, “Look for straps across the foot that hold the shoe onto the foot” — that way you won’t have to grip them with your toes. With that in mind, she suggests staying away from flip-flops, slides, and other “sandals that do not strap firmly onto your foot,” as they can make you clench your foot muscles, “causing muscle strain and an increased risk for hammertoes and plantar fasciitis.” According to Dr. Kuizinas, sandals with a toe spring (a slightly upturned toe to help you rock forward as you walk) and a wide toe box can also be helpful.
Shop The Best Sandals For Walking Long Distances In a hurry? These are the best sandals for walking long distances. An Outdoor Sandal Brand’s Everyday Leather Style: Chaco Wayfarer Sandal A Fashionable Platform Sandal Made From Real Leather: Vionic Jamie Flatform Lug Sandal These Braided Sandals That Look Vacation Ready: MEGNYA Walking Sandals Editor’s Pick: These Teva Sandals With A Small Platform: Teva Midform Universal Sandal These Luxe-Looking Sandals With Adjustable Heel Straps: Vionic Ella Sandal A Sandal With Adjustable Straps You Can Easily Dress Up: Vionic Amber Adjustable Sandal A Beloved Pair Of Elegantly Designed Hiking Sandals: Chaco Z1 Classic Sandal These T-Strap Sandals That Wrap Around The Heel: Rockport Cobb Hill Ramona-CH Flat Sandal These Rope-Detailed Espadrilles With A Cork Footbed: CUSHIONAIRE Mandy Cork Espadrille Wedge Sandal These Slingback Sandals With A Low Wedge Heel: Skechers Desert Kiss-Stretch Quarter Strap Sandal A Pair Of Easy-To-Wear Mesh Sandals In Neutral Colors: Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0 Deja Vu Sandal A Pair Of Closed-Toe Sandals That Double As Water Shoes: KEEN Clearwater CNX Sport Sandal These Closed-Toe Sandals With A Slight Heel: HARENCE Ankle Strap Outdoor Platform Sandals A Pair Of Slides With Straps That Are Totally Adjustable: Chaco Chillos Slide Sandal
Here are some of the best sandals for walking long distances, available in a variety of styles to suit your summer strolls.
1 An Outdoor Sandal Brand’s Everyday Leather Style Pros: Have a simple but adjustable buckle closure Made with quality full-grain leather Cons:
If you think about
Chacos, super outdoorsy hiking sandals will likely come to mind. But these stylish shoes are the perfect way to keep the great feel of your outdoor sandals in a casually chic profile you can wear with almost anything. They are made of full-grain leather with a suede footbed, and they also have a non-marking rubber sole with great traction. One reviewer wrote: “I love these sandals, they’re so comfortable I can walk in them all day. Great for air travel to tropical destinations, too! Plus they’re cute and stylish.” Midsole material: PU | Outer material: Full grain leather | Straps: Fixed cross straps across the toes with an adjustable ankle strap | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12 | Colors: 8 2 A Fashionable Platform Sandal Made From Real Leather Pros: Adjustable ankle strap Platform provides balance and stability Cons: The front strap may be loose for narrow feet (reviewers recommend sizing down)
These 90s-inspired, leather
Vionic platform sandals are so on-trend right now. They feature a thick lug sole with a two-inch heel and a dual-density midsole for all-day comfort. The ankle strap provides a secure fit around your ankle and is equipped with a gold buckle that’s embellishing and functional. To round them out, these platforms also feature a molded EVA footbed and durable rubber outsole suitable for walking almost anywhere.
Reviewers rave about the balance and stability these sandals provide, which isn’t unusual for most Vionic shoes. These are the sandals you’ll grab for when you want to add some extra height and sophistication to your look, but also still need support and comfort.
One reviewer wrote: “Very comfortable for walking. The back strap was a little stiff at first but once it softened up it was great. I have very flat feet and it is sooo nice to find a cute sandal with substantial arch support.” Midsole material: Molded EVA | Outer material: Leather | Straps: Fixed strap across the toes and an adjustable ankle strap | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Not specified | Available sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors: Black 3 These Braided Sandals That Look Vacation Ready Pros: Have unique braided straps in tons of fun colors Can be worn in water Cons: Straps aren’t adjustable (though they do stretch a bit though, per reviewers)
Don’t these adorable
braided sandals look like they’re ready to hop right into your suitcase or beach bag? They’re particularly suited for long walks along the shore since it’s fine to get them wet. And if you do, they have a rubber sole to help keep you from slipping. One reviewer wrote: “These sandals are heaven for your feet!! I was looking for a comfortable walking sandal to use for my five-mile walks and walking around fairs etc. all my other walking sandals gave me blisters. These sandals do not. They are Comfortable, light, and do not make my feet hurt. Look no further, you will not be disappointed.” Midsole material: EVA | Outer material: Nylon braided rope | Straps: Fixed straps across the foot and ankle | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12 | Colors: 21 4 Editor’s Pick: These Teva Sandals With A Small Platform — Also available on and Teva, $65 DSW, $65 Pros: Sporty with lots of traction All styles are vegan Cons: Might not be ideal for folks with high arches
Teva sandals are more than their trendy platform and straps that feature fun prints and bright color blocking. They also offer lots of stability, especially considering they only have two straps. These won’t be as firm as that of other supportive sandals, but the moderate arch support is likely to keep your feet comfy all day, particularly if you have flatter feet. Reviewers report a nice wide toe box.
If you’re worried about the 1.25-inch platform on these, consider this
shorter version, which I have and absolutely love, especially when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day. Editor’s praise: “I snagged a frayed gingham version of Teva’s Midform sandals several months back, and they’ve taken me everywhere from walks around town to vacations in other cities. Not only are the little platforms cute, but they also feel pretty supportive — and I love that they lift me off the ground a bit more than a standard flat shoe. The EVA foam is softer than the support you’d find in a sandal with cork, but I’ve found that my sandals have held their shape really well. They don’t look at all worse for wear, and I’ve clocked many miles in them so far.” — Wesley Salazar, Bustle editor Midsole material: EVA | Outer material: Quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic polyester | Straps: Adjustable straps (via hook-and-loop closures) across the foot with a fixed heel strap | High arch: Moderate | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 13 | Colors: 38 (plus 3 frayed versions) 5 These Luxe-Looking Sandals With Adjustable Heel Straps Pros: Man-made footbed Stylish and comfortable design Cons: Reviewers report these not feeling as supportive as other Vionic shoes. Narrow around the ball of the foot
Vionic Ella sandals feature a sleek silhouette to match your best-dressed looks. Available in four leather and two printed suede options, these sandals are just as stylish as they are comfortable with adequate arch support, a durable rubber outsole, and a backstrap with buckle closure. And just like all other Vionic shoes, the footbed was designed by podiatrists to help relieve plantar fasciitis and support flat feet. These may not be the best-suited sandals for walking in around an amusement park, however, they are a great pick for a night out or a long day at work on your feet. One reviewer wrote: “So cute AND comfortable! It’s not easy finding sandals that offer decent arch support but my feet felt great even after a full day of teaching.” Midsole material: man-made | Outer material: leather or suede | Straps: buckle-adjustable heel straps | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12 (medium & wide) | Colors: 6 6 A Sandal With Adjustable Straps You Can Easily Dress Up Pros: All four straps are adjustable for a good fit Deep heel cup provides more support Cons: Not as much traction as other options
I have several pairs of Vionic shoes and all of them have amazing arch support that keep my feet feeling great, even when walking around the city. These
comfortable sandals have the same signature arch, a deep heel cup, and a rubber sole to keep you from slipping. Their small heel measures 1 inch, and they come in a few different colors including neutral hues with subtle metallic details like this cork pair. One reviewer wrote: “These fit perfectly, and I love the amount of arch support which is a pain to find in sandals that look dressy enough for work. Quite happy!” Midsole material: EVA | Outer material: Leather | Straps: Adjustable straps (via hook-and-loop closures) across the foot and heel | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12, including wide sizes | Colors: 9 7 These T-Strap Sandals That Wrap Around The Heel — Also available on DSW, $60 Pros: Interesting detail on straps Look of nice flip-flops with support on the heel Cons: Doesn’t have crossing straps so it’s not the most secure option Not many color options
Do you love flip-flops but wish they had more support? These
T-strap sandals with a secure strap around the heel could be the solution. Reviewers report a nice high arch and the ornate strap makes them look anything but just functional. They also have microfiber lining in the footbed and a rubber sole with traction. One reviewer wrote: “I walked around Toronto for 2 days in these logging over 42,000 steps. These are the reason my feet weren't a disaster. They were comfortable the whole time.” Midsole material: EVA | Outer material: PU and leather | Straps: T-strap with adjustable strap (via hook-and-loop closure) across the heel | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 6 — 10 | Colors: Bronze 8 These Rope-Detailed Espadrilles With A Cork Footbed Pros: Feature a sturdy cork footbed Have a classic summery design Cons: Platform could be high for some
Take your summer strolls in style in these chic
rope-detailed espadrilles. While they feature cork, they have a slightly cushioned insole to keep your feet more comfortable on longer walks. The platform measures 2 inches tall, and they also have a rubber outsole. One reviewer wrote: “I’ve had these shoes for a year now. I get compliments on them all the time! They’re super comfortable to walk in and I’ve walked over a mile in them with no problems! The straps haven’t stretched out yet, and have stayed black!” Midsole material: Cork | Outer material: Stretch gore fabric | Straps: Fixed but stretchy straps across the foot and around the heel | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 6 — 11, including wide sizes | Colors: 5 9 A Pair Of Closed-Toe Sandals With A Wedge Heel Pros: Closed-toe design offers extra protection Reviewers have reported excellent arch support Less than $35 Cons: Midsole material isn’t specified Might not offer much traction
I personally really dig the look of these
closed-toe sandals with a 2.2-inch wedge heel that come in some fun color combos and styles. While the material of their midsole isn’t specified by the manufacturer, reviewers have confirmed that they feel supportive with a high arch and comfortably wide toe box. They have a rubber sole, but since they don’t have much tread, they might not be ideal for slippery terrain or hikes. One reviewer wrote: “Wanted something for the warmer weather that covered my toes. These are perfect. Fit well and very comfortable. Great for walking distances as well.” Midsole material: Unspecified | Outer material: Synthetic leather | Straps: Fixed straps across the foot with an adjustable heel strap (via hook-and-loop closure) | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12.5 | Colors: 13 10 These Slingback Sandals With A Low Wedge Heel — Also available on Skechers, $55 Pros: Have a sleek silhouette Can be dressed up or down Cons: May not be best for narrow feet
Sketchers sandals with a low wedge heel are perfect if you’ll need to walk around on a night out, as you can easily dress them up and they’re reportedly super comfy. They’re cushioned with soft memory foam and have adjustable, stretchy ankle straps. Reviewers have raved about the support and arch support they got from these sandals. Just keep in mind that these may be more appropriate for occasional use and fancier occasions than regularly walking long distances. One reviewer wrote: “ Midsole material: Memory foam | Outer material: Fabric or textile | Straps: Fixed strap across the toes with a stretchy heel strap | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 6 — 11(wide available) | Colors: 9 11 A Pair Of Slides With Straps That Are Totally Adjustable — Also available on Chacos, $50 Pros: All straps are fully adjustable Constructed with EVA Cons: Slide style isn’t the most stable
For anyone who has a strong preference for slides but wants them to be stable enough for walking, these unique
slides from Chaco are worth a look. Their straps are fully adjustable, which will better allow you to get a tight, personalized fit. Shoppers have praised the sandals’ arch support. Plus, a rubber sole with light tread will offer more traction than your basic flip flop. One reviewer wrote: “I LOVE the support these sandals give. I have a hard time walking distances without my ankles hurting. These seem to be the best support so far!” Midsole material: EVA | Outer material: Polyester jacquard webbing | Straps: Adjustable straps (via slide buckle) across the foot | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12 | Colors: 20 12 A Pair Of Closed-Toe Sandals That Double As Water Shoes Pros: Close-toe design protects feet Have a wide toe box Can be used as water shoes Cons: Reviewers have reported less arch support than some other KEEN styles
closed-toe Keen sandals can double as water shoes, making them perfect for hikes to a waterfall, days spent by the water, or other warm-weather outdoor activities. While some reviewers have claimed they have good arch support, other reviewers have noted that their arch isn’t as high as some other Keen styles — so if your feet require a very high arch, you may want to opt for another pair. Shoppers have, however, noted that these have a comfortable wide toe box, which will be especially important with a close-toe design. The sandals are machine-washable, too. One reviewer wrote: “I have a narrow foot and the adjustment allow for a comfortable fit. And I also have plantar fasciitis and these shoes allow plenty of comfortable walking with no penalty. Of course I love them!” Midsole material: Air-injected Luftcell PU | Outer material: Polyester webbing | Straps: Adjustable straps (via toggles) across the foot with a fixed heel strap | High arch: Moderate | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12 | Colors: 29 13 A Pair Of Elegant Hiking Sandals — Also available on REI, $75 Pros: Made by a super popular sandal brand All straps are fully adjustable Great for hiking Cons: Reviewers have noted they need to be broken in
If you’re looking for a pair of sandals you can hike in for long distances — not to mention simply wear around town — these
classic Chacos fit the bill. Though they appear to have multiple straps, they’re actually constructed with one strap, making each portion of the shoe adjustable with only one slide buckle. They’re vegan and have a non-marking rubber bottom with lots of traction. One reviewer wrote: “e are traveling to Greece in a few weeks, so I heard these were THE best shoes for long fast-paced walks. I wore them out shopping for 1 day and hated them! A friend told me that she had to break hers in, so I decided to wait. I'm so glad I did, because they are so comfortable now. I wear them all day for teaching, on the weekends, and out in the neighborhood. I love, love, love my Chacos!” Midsole material: PU | Outer material: Jacquard webbing | Straps: Fully adjustable straps (via sliding buckle) across the foot and heel | High arch: Yes | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 12, including wide sizes | Colors: 36 14 A Pair Of Easy-To-Wear Mesh Sandals In Neutral Colors — Also available on Skechers, $55 Pros: Vegan-friendly design They’re machine washable Cons: Offer moderate arch support Memory foam sole
If your feet require a bit of extra cushioning and you tend to struggle with shoes that have a super high arch, consider these
mesh sandals. Reviewers have described them as having a comfortable but soft memory foam footbed with moderate arch support. They’re vegan and machine washable, and they have a rubber sole with nice traction. One reviewer wrote: “This shoe is perfect if you are on your feet all day or just walking to your car. They are washable and do not show wear for three to four years. I buy them in every color and appreciate the comfort and style.” Midsole material: Shock-absorbing “Flex Appeal 2.0” memory foam material | Outer material: Knit mesh | Straps: Fixed straps across the foot and around the heel | High arch: Moderate | Toe spring: Yes | Available sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors: 4 Expert: Alissa Kuizinas, DPM
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This article was originally published on
June 24, 2022