Close-toed orthopedic sneakers aren’t the only styles you can sport when searching for supportive shoes. The best supportive sandals hold their own in terms of comfort and structure. When shopping for any supportive shoe, the footbed or the insole is the most important feature, but for sandals in particular, you’ll also want to pay close attention to the design of the straps.
According to experts, no one insole style is perfect for all feet, but most foot types benefit from some combination of cushioning and contouring — in other words, a well-padded surface that’s shaped to suit the natural curves of the foot. For that reason, all of these sandals are very different from the flat, $15 flip-flops you’d find in your average department store; instead, they use thick cork, foam, or plastic.
While secondary to the insole, the straps are also pretty important when it comes to comfort and maintaining a supportive fit. Typically, the more straps a sandal has, the more securely it’ll hold your foot. Thick, stretchy, and adjustable straps are also welcome features — and for longer walks or other more movement-oriented activities, an ankle strap offers additional security.
Even despite their open designs, reviewers agree: These are some of the most supportive and comfortable shoes the internet has to offer.
1. A Comfortable & Supportive Flip-Flop
You typically don’t see the words “supportive” and “flip-flop” in the same sentence, but the Clarks Breeze Sea delivers. This sandal sets itself apart with its molded OrthoLite foam cushioning, lightweight EVA midsole, and soft fabric lining. The straps are even adjustable for a much more secure fit than with the standard flip-flops.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
One reviewer wrote: “I love these shoes. I have plantar fasciitis and need to wear supportive shoes. These are very comfortable and I especially love that you can adjust the Velcro at the top of your foot if you need them to be wider.”
2. The Budget-Friendly Sandals Reviewers Love
These fan-favorite CUSHIONAIRE sandals have more than 24,000 reviews and a 4.6-star overall rating. The insole is made from contoured suede with flexible cork underneath, while the vegan upper has soft lining and adjustable straps. Last but definitely not least, none of the 12 color options will cost you more than $30 — and they come in half and wide sizes, too. And in terms of comfort? “More comfortable than Birks!” one happy customer raved.
- Available sizes: 5 — 13 (including wide sizes)
One reviewer wrote: “I didn't want to shell out $100 bucks for Birks but I loved this style. I'm so glad I got these. They're the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. Hands down.”
3. A Strappy But Supportive Sandal
If you’re looking for a sandal that checks all the boxes (comfort, versatility, durability, style), look no further than the Isabella T-strap sandal from Crocs. I have this shoe in two colors, and as soon as the warm weather hits, it’s my go-to for everything from walking the dog and hitting the lake to running errands and dressing up. Its contoured footbed conforms to your arches, absorbs shock, and has tiny bumps to massage your feet as you walk, while its TPU straps are flexible, durable, and secure. It’s also waterproof and feels broken-in from day one. Choose from five color combos.
- Available sizes: 4 — 11
One reviewer wrote: “My plantar fasciitis has flared up and I had been doing hours of research trying to find cute comfy and supportive shoes because I am a hairdresser and stand on my feet all day. I'm on day two and my feet haven't felt better.”
4. The Podiatrist-Approved Slide
Birkenstocks are widely considered a podiatrist-approved sandal due to their contoured platform, supportive cork base, and wide, adjustable fit. Needless to say, these Arizona-Birkibuc sandals are a worthy investment if you’re looking for unparalleled support and long-lasting comfort. There are two color options and a huge range of sizes, including half and narrow sizes.
- Available sizes: 5 — 13.5 (including narrow sizes)
One reviewer wrote: “Due to heel pain, I was advised by my doctor to purchase shoes like these to wear around the house, rather than going barefoot. They have definitely helped.”
5. A Great Walking Sandal
Walking sandals should be breathable, well-cushioned, supportive, and secure. That explains why these Freeflow sandals from Dr. Scholl’s have been called the “best walking shoes” reviewers have “ever had.” This one features adjustable, stretchy, breathable mesh straps that wrap around the ankle for added security, not to mention an anatomical insole with tons of shock absorption.
- Available sizes: 6 — 11
One reviewer wrote: “These sandals are ridiculously comfortable! I can walk all day in them and my feet do not hurt.”
6. The Most Stylish Pick
Supportive sandals don’t have to look overly sporty or bulky. Take, for example, Vionic’s Kirra sandals, which are sleek, stylish, and elevated enough for almost any occasion — but still manage to provide all-day comfort with concealed orthopedic support. The footbed is podiatrist-designed, while the ankle strap is adjustable so you can find your ideal fit. They come in wide sizes as well as 12 color options, including metallic and floral cut-outs.
- Available sizes: 5 — 11 (including wide sizes)
One reviewer wrote: “Super comfy as always. Going to wear these with my wedding dress. These are so cute. Can be dressed up or down.”
7. The Best Hiking Sandals
For hiking or other outdoor adventures, there’s the Teva Tirra sandal. Yes, it has an open design for breathability and limited restriction — but the spider rubber outsole provides quality traction on rough terrain, while the straps are adjustable, cushioned, and wrap around the whole foot. This shoe also has shock absorption, a heel cup, a supportive footbed, and zinc-infused Microban technology to cut down on unwanted odors. They also come in an incredible range of colors.
- Available sizes: 5 — 11
One reviewer wrote: “Did a 13 Mile trek on totally unstable ground, up peaks and massive descents, all uneven stone and rocks! Not one bit of discomfort or any sign of blisters after over 4 hours in the red hot sun!”
8. A Comfortable Platform Sandal
The Clarks Alra Glison is a step up from your average flip-flops for multiple reasons: The platform footbed is supportive, well-cushioned, and contoured. The rubber outsole is durable and slip-resistant. The textile lining is soft on your foot and comes in tons of colors, including stylish patterns like anchors, sunflowers, polka dots, and tropical prints. In fact, some reviewers have called this sandal “life-changing.”
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
One reviewer wrote: “These are life-changing. [...] To some degree I feel like I’ve got my life back - I can go places and do things and not worry about how much pain I’m going to be in at the end of the day.”
9. A Pair Of Best-Selling Braided Waterproof Sandals
Available in tons of colors (both solids and combinations), these MEGNYA sandals are a best-seller in the outdoor sandals and slides category. Despite their braided rope straps that weave in and out, they’re totally waterproof for the beach, pool, or travel. They also use sturdy rubber for the contoured soles, so they offer significantly more arch support than your standard water shoes. The braided straps are even adjustable so you can find a snug fit.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
One reviewer wrote: “These shoes were great to have on my cruise. You can get them wet, sandy, and even muddy. You can hose them down and they look brand new. They are very comfortable, and offered my feet support the whole trip.”
10. A Sandal With Tons Of Ankle Support
Usually, sandals leave a lot to be desired in terms of ankle support — but the Arla Shaylie platforms from Clarks have a wide, adjustable strap that wraps around the ankle. It also has lightweight, super-comfortable support in the footbed, as well as stretchy straps that extend down the whole upper. Thanks to the platform base, they’re easy to dress up if needed, too.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12 (including wide sizes)
One reviewer wrote: “It’s like walking on a cloud and they seem to support my previously injured left ankle just fine. I feel so lucky I found a pair of sandals that finally give my ankles and feet support and good for plantar fasciitis too.”