Good news: Not all sandals destroy your feet.
Once warm temperatures set in, strappy sandals and flip-flops are all we want to wear with our summer shorts and dresses. The catch? "By design, sandals have less support," says Emily Splichal, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist. Since summery footwear doesn’t offer the same arch support as sneakers and cushy winter boots, we’re often left with weak ankles, sore heels, and tender arches by August. Ugh.
But don’t swear off flip-flops just yet; we asked podiatrists to help us find the best ones that provide feel-good features to keep your feet healthy. Here, eight pairs that offer all-important arch support—and look cute, too.
FitFlop Rola Sandal
"Steer clear of thin, flimsy, or flat flip-flops, since they don't provide support," advises Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist. The platforms on these wedge thongs help take the load off key pressure points.
Vionic Bella II Sandal
Vionic crafts shoes with healthy feet in mind—in fact, it was founded by a podiatrist. Example A: These flip-flops, which offer orthotic support for added comfort and stability.
Soft Style Lizzy Sandal
"If you have foot pain, flat feet, or are just looking for a sandal with arch support, opt for a shoe that’s made from a shock-absorbing material like cork," advises Dr. Splichal. Cork-lined and equipped with a cushioned footbed, this pair is perfect for a long day at the beach.
Aetrex Jules Thong Sandal
Rhinestone-embellished and podiatrist-approved (Dr. Splichal is a big fan of Aetrex), these slip-ons offer orthotic support, foam cushioning, and antimicrobial materials that keep germs from sticking around in the heat. Yes, please.
FitFlop Banda Toepost with Studs
"Blisters can be a big problem in the summer," says New York City-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner, DPM. "Look for sandals that have straps made from soft leather to avoid friction." These studded FitFlops with leather uppers (and an ergonomic midsole for arch support) can help you stay blister-free all season long.
Donald J Pliner Fifi Snake Embossed Patent Leather Platform Demi Wedge Sandals
The molded footbed and platform heel on these snakeskin sandals offer critical cushioning for those with flat feet.
Vionic Beach Noosa Flip-Flop
These classic flops are anything but standard, thanks to a flexible midsole that diffuses shock. Bonus: the textured footbed offers good grip for slippery soles.
Nike Women’s Comfort Thong Sandal
Flip-flops with thick straps and substantial soles are ideal, says Dr. Sutera. A layer of memory foam padding along the footbed of these sporty slip-ons will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.