What makes a sandal stylish is often a matter of taste and opinion. Comfort, however, comes down to specific criteria. Materials, construction, flexibility and breathability are some of the factors that experts take into consideration when evaluating the most comfortable sandals for women—and you should too, if you want a pair you can wear all day that won’t cause blisters or inflame conditions like plantar fasciitis.

You don’t need to shop in a podiatrist’s office, though. Plenty of everyday sandals combine orthopedic details with actually-cool designs. Here’s what to look for: a thick, cushioned sole that’s firm but not too stiff in the midsole and a slightly elevated silhouette or wedge that tapers down to your forefoot, which shifts your weight away tender areas like the heels. Deep heel cups and flexible straps also help cradle your foot and keep it securely in place to prevent pronation or rolling your ankles.

To find a high quality sandal, you have spend a bit more than you normally would for say, a pair of throw-away flip flops or wedges that look cute but make you wince by the end of the day. In this case, you get what you pay for. Still, there are deals to be had. Ahead, 9 of the most comfortable sandals for women that are stylish and kind to your feet.

Best Sandal For Overall Comfort

Sorel Kinetic Sandal

Sorel is well-known for their incredibly comfortable boots and the Portland, Oregon brand’s sandals are expertly designed and stylish as well. The wildly popular Kenetic cradles your foot securely with a leather-textile strap and the molded sole take the pressure off your arches and is grounded in lightweight rubber for extra cushioning and traction. The sandals also strike the right balance on the height, with a one inch platform, and cool, Marni-like color-blocking.

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Best Sandals For Walking

Mephisto Helen Sandal


Mephisto was founded in France in 1965 and sets the standard for impeccably designed sandals, which have earned the respect of podiatrists and style-conscious fans. The Helen is a bestseller with hand-finished straps, a contoured footbed that molds to your foot and a flexible latex sole. The Soft Air technology also reduces shock and relieves pressure on joints. On the fashion side, this pick comes in more than 20 different colors and styles, which gives you a lot of options for day and evening wear.

Best Sandals With Arch Support

Skechers Arch Fit

Skechers applies the technology that make their sneakers so comfortable to their sandals as well. This pair has a podiatrist-designed shape, which was developed using data from 120,000 foot scans, over 20 years. The contoured footbed supports your arches and increases weight dispersion to reduce any pounding and, as added bonus, this sandal is machine-washable.

Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis

Fitflop Lulu Toe-Post Sandal

Fitflop is an orthopedic-like brand with fashion-conscious appeal. These highly-rated ergonomic sandals feature a triple-density “Microwobbleboard” midsole, engineered by British biomechanists to absorb shock and diffuse underfoot pressure. The results provide support to the areas where plantar fasciitis can cause inflammation—i.e. the thick band of tissue connecting your toes and your heel—and prevent flare-ups.

Best Sandals Designed By A Podiatrist

Vionic Brandie Flatform Slide Sandal

New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon Jacqueline Sutera looks for good arch support, cushioning and shock absorption technology in sandals. Her top pick is Vionic sandals, which were designed by a podiatrist. “This style will hug your arches and support the natural alignment of your foot from the ground up,” she says, calling out the comfortable microfiber-covered footbed, dual hook-and-loop adjustable closure straps and sturdy one-inch platform heel.

Best Sandals For Hiking

Teva Women’s Ascona Sport Web Strappy Sandal

Teva’s ultra-supportive sandals are great for light treks or travel. The Ascona is the newer version of the bestselling Tirra—it’s designed with contoured EVA midsole for cushy arch support, nylon shanks to stabilize your foot on uneven terrain and a rugged rubber outsole that gives you traction, especially on slippery, wet surfaces.

Best Supportive Sandals

Geox Gardenia Sandals

For stylish option that offers stability, New York City-based podiatrist and foot surgeon Danielle Edwards recommends this sporty Geox sandal, which has adjustable straps. “It’s comfort meets fashion. Platform sandals and wedged sandals are in style right now and this pair is comfortable and good for your feet due to the breathable and lightweight design,” she says.

Best Recovery Sandals

Hoka Ora Recovery Slide

Edwards likes Hoka’s recovery slides for an extremely well made and priced option. Designed to gently cradle feet, the $50 sandal is made from a dual-layer construction with a soft top layer and a tougher outsole for durability and stability. “I find them to be especially supportive and helpful for my runner patients to wear after workouts, and in general, for any type of foot and leg pain,” Edwards says.

Best Designer Sandals

See By Chloe Glyn Slide

If you’re looking for something more fashion-forward without sacrificing on comfort and sturdiness, New York-based fashion stylist Sarah Meikle highly recommends See By Chloe’s slides. “The gold metallic foil upper looks dressy, but they still have a low key vibe,” she says.  With a 1.5-inch platform, she adds, the sandals “give you a little height without being over the top.” The lining is leather and jute for durability and the adjustable straps give you extra support. 

Best Affordable Sandals

Hush Puppies Sunshine Slides

These newly released sandals are supportive without looking orthopedic. The insole is made of high-rebound memory foam to provide bounce along with extra padding, which helps distributes your weight evenly and prevents foot pain. The molded outsoles give you a good amount of traction, too, so you can walk on slippery or rocky surfaces without any discomfort. The bright colors are just fun.

Best Strappy Sandals

Sorel Ella II Sandal

You can find a lot of cheaper strappy sandals on the market but those often wear out after a few uses. For a pair that actually lasts, consider Sorel’s Ella. The bestselling sandals have full-grain leather with stretch gore straps, a cushioned foam footbed that softens your step and a razor-cut, scalloped outsole for extra traction. You’ll get a little bounce when you walk, which is essential in a flat, and they come in 15 different colors from beautiful tan to gorgeous light blue.

Best Birkenstock Sandals

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal

New York based fashion and beauty consultant Nicole Colovos swears by her Birkenstock sandals for their wearability, timeless style and durability. “These are a classic that only get better with wear,” she says. “Their simple, two-strap design combines comfort with a hint of structure and you can literally wear them with anything, day to night.” An extra layer of foam cushioning molds to the shape of your foot and adjustable buckles help secure your foot in place.

Best Sport Sandals

Adidas Adilette Slide Sandal

If you want a slide for the beach, pool or home, Adidas’s classic Adilette slides are iconic for their sporty, waterproof appeal. They’re a go-to among fashion stylists, including Meikle and Colovos, for their throw-in-your-bag and go versatility. A much better option for your feet than your average flip flip, they have a comfy contoured footbed and a super durable rubber sole.

What To Consider When Shopping for Sandals

  • Comfort: It almost goes without saying that the sandals you choose must tick all the boxes—for style, support, sturdiness and comfort. According to board certified podiatrist and foot surgeon Jacqueline Sutera of City Podiatry in New York you want a shoe that offers good arch support, to help you maintain your alignment, as well as cushioning, especially since the foot’s natural padding and cushioning decline with age. Also look for a cupped or cuffed heel (the sole will be a little thicker at the back) for extra support, especially if you have plantar fasciitis. Always avoid anything too thin or flat, such as flimsy flip flops, if you want to avoid foot pain later on.
  • Materials: Lightweight durable materials hold up well and won’t weigh down your foot. Leather is stylish, hardwearing, easy to clean and flexible in warm or humid weather. Rubber is a more affordable option that also repels moisture. Memory foam is highly flexible but not particularly durable or easy to keep in pristine condition. No matter the material, not every pair of sandals will last forever. Sutera says you should replace your shoes as soon as they show signs of wear and tear. “The support is no longer there. Also avoid buying used shoes as they are worn into another wearer’s foot pattern,” which can lead to pain.
  • Size And Fit: Just like clothing, not all shoe sizes are created equal. “Every shoe brand cuts their sizes differently so it’s best to try to pairs and walk in them at home to see if they’re truly comfortable,” recommends Sutera. “Be prepared to go up or down a length or width depending on where the shoes are from.” For example, US sizes runs big while those from Europe run small.
  • Heel Height: Avoid anything too flat, since this won’t provide enough cushioning and support, says Sutera. On the flip side, the American Podiatric Medical Association doesn’t recommend anything higher than two inches.

How To Test Your Sandals At Home

The best way to determine the comfort and quality of any shoe is to test them like the experts do, says Sutera. “Bend them to make sure they have some give at the forefoot. They should have a little flexibility, but not too much that you could fold them and put them in your pocket.” Then hold the sandal at the tip of the toe and heel and try to twist them. “They should not be completely twistable—if they are, you’re not getting enough support,” says Sutera. Also push down on the sole to get a sense of the cushioning; it should have a padded or pillow-like section. Lastly, hold the sandal flat horizontally. “Visually, you should see a heel-to-toe drop,” she says, meaning the height of the heel is higher than the toe. “It should look a little thicker in the back,” says Sutera, which ensures your foot will land on the heel comfortably as you walk.