It’s summertime, baby, which means it’s sandal season. While trends come and go, sandals will always be a warm-weather must-have. From strappy, barely-there sandals to chunky wedges, there's a pair for every style, outfit, and budget. Overwhelmed by all the options? We've consolidated several of our favorite comfortable sandal brands and styles into a best-of-the-best summer sandals guide (and included a few other trends we’re loving for our feet).
To make the list, we looked at a number of factors including overall comfort level, trendiness, price point, and use. For instance, we love that our readers are the types to need hiking sandals in the morning and dancefloor-ready heeled sandals in the evening. Or, perhaps there's a practical need for a chic waterproof sandal that's appropriate for both a beach day and a rainy dinner date. Maybe you're a prudent shopper in the market for sensible (and obviously cute) orthopedic sandals that won't cramp your OOTD. Whatever kind of sandal you need, the internet shall deliver.
One major thing to keep in mind is that we are talking shoes, which means that depending on the sandal, a break-in period is absolutely necessary and to be expected. But once that's done, you'll have that perfectly molded-to you shoe ready to take you on all your summer adventures. Ahead, our summer sandals guide provides you with some of the best toe-wiggling, pedicure-friendly styles.
Best Platform Sandals
Let’s get high — off the ground, that is. Platform sandals continue to be a favorite summer shoe style because these height-boosters are generally more comfortable than actual heels. Plus, the chunky sole can provide cushioning between you and the hard floor or sidewalk. Check out platform sandals with thick soles made from lightweight natural cork or natural rubber — or for a cute, weaved style, give espadrilles a go.
Best Cheap, Under-$15 Sandals
Best Closed-Toe Sandals
The biggest closed-toe sandal trend this year is the fisherman sandal, which is ideal for anyone who wants to go a little longer between pedicures. Another classic staple in this category is huaraches, which are hand-woven braided sandals originating from Mexico. Also, consider the peep-toe style — like a Menorcan avarca sandal — which has just a wee opening at the front that we promise won’t expose whole toes.
Best Hiking & Sport Sandals
Fabulous for hiking, camping, or general sporting, these strappy waterproof sandals are designed to stay secured on your feet at all times — no matter if you’re wading in a river or hitting the trails. In terms of being nature-friendly, the best outdoor sandals check off all boxes: they’re quick-dry, have grippy traction soles, and boast comfy EVA-cushioned footbeds.
For the ultimate out-the-door-in-seconds shoe, it doesn't get better than the slide. It’s such an easy and effortless silhouette that you'll find them everywhere. Your fave activewear brand likely has its own version of the slide sandal, as does your fave shoe designer. We pulled a few unique slide sandal styles here, many of which also include decent arch support.
Best Heeled Sandals (That Are Actually Comfortable)
Comfortable, cute heels aren't an oxymoron — if you know what to look for. The key is finding shoes with trendy details that still keep you (relatively) close to the ground, like sandals from “comfortable shoe” brands like Walking Cradles and Camper. Prefer a chunkier step? A heeled platform clog, like this style from Nisolo, will give you a lift without any of the pain.
Best Waterproof Sandals For The Beach Or Pool
Chances are that you’ll be hitting the pool or beach this summer, and you’ll need waterproof sandals tasked to take you there and back. Look for PCU or synthetic material that dry fast and won't warp or get soggy when they get wet. Molded footbeds and fun patterns and designs also help these utilitarian shoes have a bit of style. For a day-to-night waterproof sandal that makes you look even more put-together, opt for a pool shoe with a slingback strap.
Best Orthopedic Sandals
Somewhere along the way, orthopedic shoe brands — Dr. Scholl’s, Dansko, Teva, Birkenstock, Aetrex, Born, and BeautiFeel, just to name a few — have become ultra-stylish and trendy. (And, no, not in an ironic way.) Depending on your foot preferences, seek out squishy EVA footbeds that can help absorb your steps. These comfort-focused brands also offer good arch and ankle support and are a great all-day option for travel or work.
Best Wide Fit Sandals
Wide-feet shoppers know — finding a stylish brand that also offers extended-width shoes is no easy task. But, we have trusty standbys like Stuart Weitzman, Sam Edelman, and Naturalizer, as recommended by our staffers! Retailers like Amazon, Zappos, and ASOS also have god-sent search filter options so only wide and extra-wide sandals are pulled up.
Best Luxury Sandals
Because we love an extra moment, anytime, anywhere, we conclude this best summer sandals guide with a few luxury sandal styles that also double as statement shoes. Flip flops with a curved kitten heel, Birk-inspired jelly sandals, towering platforms — bring ‘em all on, and step forth in confidence!
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