The 11 Best Walking Sandals For Travel, According To Podiatrists
Don’t let uncomfortable shoes get in the way of your plans.
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If you’re planning a trip to a warm location that involves any amount of walking, you need a pair of walking shoes that can stand up to the task — and your hot, sweaty hiking boots just aren’t going to cut it. According to board-certified podiatrist Dr. Alissa Kuizinas, D.P.M. and board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Anne Sharkey, D.P.M., the best walking sandals for travel have secure straps and cushioned soles with arch support. Bonus points if they’re versatile enough to complement your travel wardrobe, whether that’s some quick-drying hiking sandals, or more style-forward sandals for exploring city streets.
Dr. Alissa Kuizinas, D.P.M., is a board-certified podiatrist at Wellness in Motion Boston. She earned her medical degree at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Focusing on gait analysis, movement patterns, lifestyle habits, and footwear, she takes a natural approach to foot problems and creates whole body treatment programs for her patients.
Dr. Anne Sharkey, D.P.M., is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at the North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute in Texas. She’s been treating foot and ankle conditions for over a decade. Focusing primarily on ankle sprains and ankle stabilization, Dr. Sharkey is passionate about creating individualized treatment programs that are tailored to each patient’s needs and lifestyle. She earned her medical degree at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
How To Shop For The Best Walking Sandals For Travel
Opt For Arch Support
“Arch support is important to look for when choosing sandals for walking and activity,” Dr. Sharkey advises. Shoes with cushioning can also make walking feel more comfortable, but it’s really the combination of cushioning and arch support that you need for all-day wear. “Cushioning can be helpful in increasing comfort, but arch support will go farther in providing long-term comfort than cushion alone,” Dr. Sharkey says. Lastly, she suggests leaving “sandals that are flat without any arch support or cushioning for wearing poolside, or for when you expect to do very little walking.”
Choose Styles With Stabilizing Straps
Besides general discomfort, Dr. Kuizinas notes that “wearing the wrong sandals for walking can [also] lead to blisters, foot pain, and over time foot deformities such as hammertoes” and plantar fasciitis. So, how can you avoid all of this while traveling? For starters, Dr. Kuizinas says to “avoid flip flops and slides, as your toes will have to work hard to keep these styles of sandal on your feet.”
Instead, she suggests looking options with “a strap that attaches the sandal to the foot, so that you don’t have to grip your toes to keep the shoe on” and will be supportive enough to wear when walking long distances. “This will not only be a more comfortable shoe, but it will prevent overstraining of the foot muscles,” says Dr. Kuizinas. For those with wide feet, Dr. Kuizinas says to “avoid any straps that are not adjustable or are too restrictive.” The last thing you want is a sandal that compresses your foot bones and squishes your toes.
No matter what your itinerary, ahead you’ll find 11 of the best walking sandals for travel — all conveniently on Amazon so you can cross one more thing off your packing list right away.