The 12 Best Comfortable Sandals for Women of 2022

The best sandals from Birkenstock, Hoka, Skechers, and more

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We all love a cute summer sandal—but nobody wants to run the risk of a strained muscle or plantar fasciitis after months of walking miles with unsupportive shoes. So we conducted hours of research and interviewed experts to find the most comfortable sandals available online.

Maryland-based podiatrist Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), says she sees a spike in patients in late August and September. "Summer is usually when we are the most active and we all need shoes that can support us," she explains. "Your muscles, tendons, and toes have to grip harder to stay stable in sandals, which can lead to overuse and strains, and even stress fractures."

Luckily, not all sandals are problematic. The best comfortable sandals have straps covering the entire forefoot to prevent muscles from lifting and straining, a supportive footbed with arch and heel support, and a slight 1-2 inch heel to relieve the pressure from your Achilles and plantar fascia.

We spoke with Dr. Parthasarathy and Suzanne Levine, DPM, aesthetic podiatrist, podiatric foot surgeon, and founder of Millennium Podiatry, about what to look for in the best comfortable sandals and what to avoid.

Here are our top picks for the best comfortable sandals to support your feet.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Leather (Unisex)
Zappos

Why We Like Them: Highly regarded by both our experts, Birkenstocks have a contoured footbed that delivers arch support and a heel cup, durable straps to cover the whole forefoot, and a timeless design that'll last you years.

It's Worth Noting: The design lacks a heel or ankle strap, which our experts recommend.

Birkenstock was the only brand recommended by both of the podiatrists we consulted, with Dr. Parthasarathy adding that she pretty much lives in Birks for the summer.

These shoes hit every feature on both expert's must-have list: For starters, they're supportive and shock-absorbing, Dr. Parthasarathy points out. The contoured footbed provides arch support, and the heel cup will mold to your foot's shape over time. The straps cover the entire forefoot to prevent your tendons from straining with every step, and the straps are leather, which Dr. Levine loves for its durability. Birkenstock's regular sizing is wide enough for most feet, and they have the option for a narrower fit.

Style-wise, Birks tend to go with everything. Although they don't have the bonus of an ankle strap, which Dr. Parthasarathy recommends, the slide design means they're easy to pop on as you run out of the house but still more supportive than flip-flops.

These sandals aren't cheap, but most Birkenstocks last for years, so they are a very sound investment for your foot health for many seasons to come.

Best for Walking: Chaco Z/1 Classics

Sandals
Chacos

Why We Like Them: With a supportive podiatrist-backed footbed and straps that secure every part of your foot and are also entirely adjustable, Chaco's Z/1 Classics is the ideal sandal to support your feet walking distances.

It's Worth Noting: The sporty style is very casual and the criss-crossing straps can lead to awkward tan lines if you aren't diligent with your sunscreen.

Both our experts agree sandals are not a good idea if you're walking a long distance, like when you travel. But if you're looking for the best comfortable sandal for walking around town, we (and Dr. Parthasarathy) love Chaco Z/1 Classics.

The classic outdoor shoe is crafted to be dependable and comfortable on long treks. The brand's foray into trendy colorways and cool partnerships with brands like Outdoor Afro has made the adventure shoe an all-the-time shoe.

For starters, it has straps holding down every part of your foot, including a heel strap to support and keep your foot in place. The straps are all one long piece of jacquard webbing, so you can adjust the tension on each section to fit your specific foot width and height, then tighten the sandal overall with the plastic buckle. The webbing straps are also breathable, so they don't rub or cause blisters.

These shoes have an American Podiatric Medical Association-certified LUVSEAT™ footbed that provides arch and heel support, heel lift, and all-day comfort. The outsole has a rubber grip reliable enough to keep you from slipping on slimy river rocks or desert sand, so it will keep you safe anywhere you're walking. And Chaco offers a wide fit.

Best for High Arches: Aetrex Jillian Braided Quarter Strap

Sandals
Aetrex

Why We Like Them: Aetrex is a trusted and tech-advanced footwear brand that offers a unique footbed to stabilize high arches, relieve pain, and support the other structures of your foot—all in a stylish package.

It's Worth Noting: The leather straps and decorative flourishes are better for city walking than for more adventurous endeavors.

As one of the leading orthotics and footwear brands, Aetrex brings a depth of technology to its sandals. With an option for every foot issue, including plantar fasciitis and bunions, we particularly like these stylish sandals to support high arches.

When you have higher arches, it means less of your foot is actually touching the shoe when you walk, so there's less shock absorption. And, according to our experts, shoes with improper support can throw off your biomechanics and leave your feet tired, sore, and stiff. The Aetrex Jillian sandals have proprietary arch support designed to stabilize higher-than-average arches and relieve arch pain. They have a memory foam footbed for cushioning and support, including a Met Bar Pod to alleviate discomfort in the ball of your foot and a padded heel. The heel height on these sandals is just over 1 inch, as our podiatrists recommend, and the adjustable straps make these sandals work for narrow, wide, or regular feet.

And with a timeless design and 16 colorways to choose from, these sandals will go with almost any outfit.

Best for Summer Travels: Teva Verra

Sandals
Zappos

Why We Like Them: With arch support, added shock absorption in the heel, and quick-dry material on its many straps, this shoe properly supports your feet whether you're hiking, in the water, or on other long summer adventures.

It's Worth Noting: The rugged design isn't ideal if you need comfortable summer sandals to take you from day-to-night on your next getaway.

Summer adventures mean hiking, river soaks, and long treks to find a cold beverage. That means you need a shoe that can handle a lot of different terrains, different weather patterns, and long miles.Teva is one of the original adventure shoe companies, and its Verra is a single bullet to take on every adventure.

The podiatrist-approved EVA foam midsole is contoured to provide high arch support and has a specific shock-absorbing pad in the heel. The outsole has good, reliable traction to handle different types of terrain, from asphalt streets to rocky mountain sides.

We also love these Tevas because of their straps: Not only do we have straps from every angle, including cupping the heel and ankle, so your foot is better kept in place with every stride, but the straps are also quick-dry and breathable, so it won't give you blisters if you have to tromp through a river or get your feet wet in the ocean. They're also made from recycled materials and infused with Microban® zinc-based protection, which prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

And with an adjustable toe and ankle strap, these reliable sandals will fit a variety of foot sizes and shapes.

Best Dress Sandal: Jennifer Tattanelli Rate Platform Sandals

Sandals
Jennifer Tattanelli

Why We Like Them: One of Dr. Levine's favorite sandals, these have straps across the forefoot and ankle, footbed support, and they look perfectly at home at a summer soirée.

It's Worth Noting: While cushioning, the insole doesn't have a ton of support for weak or high arches.

These Jennifer Tattanelli dress sandals don't come cheap, but supportive sandals that blend in seamlessly at a wedding or garden party are an item you'll use for years to come. What's more, all Jennifer Tattanelli shoes are handmade in Florence under the unique craftsmanship of local leather stylists, so they're bound to last longer than cheaper shoes.

The platform style is one of Dr. Levin's favorite options for sandals, as the 1.7-inch wedge heel design takes the pressure off your tendons while providing stability you don't find in other dress-shoe designs like heels. They have braided yarn straps that cover the entire forefoot and offer adjustable ankle support to further stability. These shoes are also leather lined for durability and comfort.

Best Environmentally-Conscious Sandals: Everlane ReNew Sport Sandal

Sandals
Everlane

Why We Like Them: Made with recycled materials and from a low-plastic brand, these sandals use multiple straps and a cushioned insole to support your feet alongside the environment.

It's Worth Noting: The sizing can run a tad narrow and at less than 1 inch, the heel is a little bit lower than our experts recommend.

These sports sandals from the eco-conscious clothing brand Everlane are made with 100% recycled material. Additionally, Everlane has eliminated 90% of new plastic from its supply chain.They have multiple straps to support your feet, including a heel strap to keep you locked in. The adjustable velcro closure makes for a personalized fit. While the heel is just under 1 inch, it still provides some pressure relief, and the cushioned insole supports your foot.

This style runs a little narrow—and the toe straps aren't adjustable—and don't have super high arch support.

Best Stylish Sandals: Naot Kayla

Sandals
Zappos

Why We Like Them: These APMA-backed low wedges combine function and style with multiple straps, a contoured footbed for support, and 19 colorways to choose from to match your style.

It's Worth Noting: The straps on this attractive sandal aren't adjustable, except the velcro strap that crosses the front of your foot.

These sandals have it all: Multiple straps to lock your foot down, including a heel strap for added stability; an anatomic cork and latex footbed for stability and the ability to mold to your foot shape; a 1.5-inch heel, which is within our podiatrist-recommended range for pressure relief; and an EVA sole for shock absorption. With all these features, it's no surprise it also has the APMA Seal of Acceptance that it's a reliable, health-supporting shoe.

To top all that comfort off, it's also stylish. The suede-lined straps and slight wedge give this sandal an elevated look that would fit in at any summer party, and its classic, simple design means it'll never go out of style. Lastly, it comes in 19 colorways, so it's bound to fit your wardrobe.

Best for Athletes: Hoka Ora Recovery Slide

Sandals
Hoka

Why We Like Them: With the APMA Seal of Acceptance, these sandals are ridiculously comfortable for tired feet with a plush midsole, Hoka's signature rocker geometry to glide you through every step, and a lightweight feel thanks to the EVA foam construction.

It's Worth Noting: Since these are a slide, they don't have an ankle or heel strap for added stability.

An athlete loves nothing more than taking off cleats or sprinting shoes and sliding their overworked feet into a pair of comfy slides. Hoka—a running shoe brand so comfortable it has a near cult-like following—takes that experience and makes it better.

Hoka is beloved for its unique oversized, plush footbed and rocker design that assists a runner's natural gait cycle to help you roll off each step easier. The Recovery Slide has both, so your feet feel like they're walking on pillows. The plush footbed is a true treat for sore feet.

The Ora Recovery Slides are made with EVA foam, so they're incredibly lightweight (another boon for tired feet) and have arch and heel support. The forefoot strap will keep all of your toes and tendons strapped down, and it's designed with ventilation to prevent your feet from getting hot, sticky, and blistered.

Lastly, this shoe even has The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance which confirms this product is beneficial for foot health.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: OOFOS OOlala Sandal

Sandals
OOFOS

Why We Like Them: These sandals utilize OOFOS' proprietary shock-absorbing foam footbed and a supportive footbed and slight heel to take the pressure off your plantar fascia.

It's Worth Noting: Due to their flip-flop style, your toes might grip the footbed (instead of staying relaxed) as you walk.

Dr. Parthasarathy calls late August and September "plantar fasciitis season," since that's when she sees a flood of patients coming in with heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common but quite painful condition wherein the ligament that runs from your toes to your heel tightens, often because it has been working overtime in unsupportive shoes.The best way to help plantar fasciitis is to wear supportive shoes pretty much anytime your foot touches the floor, and for that, we love OOFOS' OOlala Sandal.

OOFOS is a unique company that has a proprietary foam footbed that absorbs more impact than other shoes and a proprietary footbed designed to reduce the stress on your joints. The OOlala sandal has the ease of a slide-on flip flop—which increases the chances you'll wear it around the house and outside—but with the slight heel that is great not just for sandals but for plantar fasciitis pressure relief, too.

They're also machine washable and designed to minimize odor, so you really can wear them anywhere and everywhere. And best yet: OOFOS shoes come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best Flip-Flop Alternative: Vionic Tide II Post Sandals

Sandals
Amazon

Why We Like Them: These APMA-backed thong-style sandals offer an upgrade to the traditional style with stronger straps, orthotic insole arch support, and grips on the footbed to help keep your foot in place.

It's Worth Noting: Experts don't love a flip flop, but this one has several podiatrist-approved qualities to help offset that downside.

While flip flops don't meet most podiatrists' number one criteria—enough strap coverage to keep your toes and forefoot—Vionics is a heritage orthotics brand started by a renowned podiatrist. The brand's Tide II Post sandals actually have the APMA Seal of Acceptance backing their quality.

These healthier flip flops utilize the convenient thong strap style that makes flip-flops so beloved, but with a soft, foam-lined leather strap for extra durability and comfort. The real difference, though, is that these flip-flops have built-in orthotics to hug your arches and cup your heels, a lightweight EVA midsole to absorb shock and a unique grippy pattern on the insole that helps keep your feet in place (like those slip-resistance mats you put in the bathtub).

Best Budget Sandals: Birkenstock Gizeh EVA Sandals

Sandals
Birkenstock

Why We Like Them: These shoes come from a trusted brand, have nearly every podiatrist-backed feature, including strap support, arch support, and a deep heel cup; and run under $50.

It's Worth Noting: Due to the full EVA construction, you might find it harder to find traction in these Birkenstocks compared to the leather-cork-EVA construction on most of their other sandals.

Considering Birkenstock's reputation for support and shock absorption, it's no surprise they made our list twice. The Gizeh EVA Sandals are Dr. Parthasarathy's favorite from the brand, and they are a fraction of the cost of most Birkenstocks.

The Gizeh EVA Sandals have a thick, thong-style strap with an additional midfoot strap to support the top of your feet. Then, they have an EVA footbed to provide arch and a deep heel cup, and traction on the outsole, which is sometimes a problem in slippery EVA shoes. That EVA foam construction also keeps weight and heat down.

Best for Wide Feet: Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0 Deja Vu

Sandals
Amazon

Why We Like Them: These sandals have a comfortable, shock-absorbing footbed and stretchy knit mesh straps to keep super wide feet supported and stabilized.

It's Worth Noting: While stretchy and breathable, the straps on these sandals aren't adjustable, and may run too wide for some.

These sandals have a gel-infused memory foam midsole with specific shock-absorbing material, a textured finish to help keep your foot in place, and athletic traction underneath for reliability on slippery terrain. The insole boasts the podiatrist-approved 1-inch heel height.

We particularly love the strap system on these sandals, a comfortable knit mesh that stretches to fit wide or big feet, while also providing strategic, full-coverage to keep your foot in place. The only (slight) downside to them is that they aren't adjustable.

Be warned, some reviewers who typically fit the "wide" category say these are, in fact, too wide for them. There are a few other brands on this list, like Chaco and Birkenstock, that tend to fit slightly-wide feet, but the Sketcher Deja vu sandals are for folks who have a hard time finding a shoe big enough to fit their feet properly.

How We Selected

To find the best comfortable sandals, we spoke with two experts in the field: Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, a Maryland-based podiatrist and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and Suzanne Levine, DPM, aesthetic podiatrist, podiatric foot surgeon, and founder of Millennium Podiatry. Based on their expertise—as well as that of leading scientific research and hundreds of product reviews—we combed through the most supportive, technologically-advanced shoes to narrow down which sandals will support your foot health and are worth your money. We looked closely and compared arch support, strap position and adjustability, heel height, footbed construction, and price.

What to Know About Choosing the Best Comfortable Sandals

"Finding the right sandals can prevent foot pain in the long run," says Dr. Parthasarathy. She adds that because your feet swell during the summer (and throughout the day), you should shop for sandals at the end of the day to get the most accurate fit.

When choosing a supportive, comfortable sandal, the most important things to look for are:

Straps

Dr. Levine says that the best comfortable sandals need to have a strap that covers the whole forefoot, not just the toes, and not just a thong or flip flop style. This helps prevent your foot from peeling back and lifting with every step, an action that can lead to strained muscles. Additionally, look for thick straps—a thin band across your forefoot isn't going to hold anything down.

Ideally, you also want an adjustable ankle strap, which helps offer stabilization and reduce the chances of a sprained ankle, Dr. Parthasarathy points out.

Footbed

If you can fold a sandal in half, do not wear it, Dr. Parthasarathy says. Instead, you want a sandal with built-in arch support—even if you have low arches and cushioning in the balls of the foot.

Also, look for a heel cup—without it, all the pressure goes on the forefoot, which can cause neuromas, and no heel support can cause fissures in the feet, Dr. Levine adds.

Heel Height

You want at least a little wedge over a completely flat sandal, as this helps take pressure off the Achilles and plantar fascia, says Dr. Parthasarathy. Look for a sandal with about 1-2 inches of height in the heel.

Materials

Dr. Levine says the ideal sandal is made with leather, as it's highly durable. Many sandals are now made from special foam, which is a great material to keep the shoe lightweight and provide molded support.

Width

One red flag with sandals is if it isn't wide enough for your whole foot, Dr. Parthasarathy says. Make sure your sandals offer support across the entire forefoot, and the shoe accommodates ailments such as bunions, neuromas, and hammertoes.

Other Considerations

If you have a unique foot structure or medical issues, you should look for special attributes in your sandal. If you have:

  • Plantar Fasciitis, look for sandals with a supportive footbed and a bit of a wedge to reduce pressure on your Achilles and plantar fascia.
  • High Arches, look for sandals with shock absorption and a conforming footbed (Dr. Parthasarathy likes Birkenstocks) to offload the pressure from your high arches.
  • Flat feet, look for sandals with Arch support. That may surprise you, but a lack of structure can overwork the posterior tibial tendon that holds up your arch and is especially stressed in flatfeet, says Dr. Parthasarathy.

Your Questions, Answered

What types of sandals are good for your feet?

The best sandals for your feet are low wedges with adjustable straps covering most of your forefoot and your ankle. They should also have a supportive footbed that offers arch support and a heel cup. The worst types of sandals for your feet are traditional flip flops, which don't provide support or keep any part of your foot held down, and often slides, which usually don't offer support or keep the back of your foot locked down.

What sandals do orthopedic doctors recommend?

Countless brands make supportive sandals these days, but Dr. Parthasarathy particularly likes Birkenstocks, OOFOS, Hoka, Chasco, and Dansko, with Dr. Levine seconding a vote in favor of Birkenstocks, as well as Jennifer Tattanelli's platform sandals.

When shouldn't you wear sandals?

While you can find comfortable, supportive sandals, there are a few instances where you really should opt for a more supportive shoe, like a sneaker. "If you are walking or traveling, or you're a nurse or cook, then sandals are just not supportive enough to carry you around all day long without overworking your feet," Dr. Parthasarathy says.

Dr. Levine agrees, adding that in all of these active situations, sandals also make your feet vulnerable to breaks and injuries if you were to, say, trip and fall or drop something on your foot.

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