Updated February 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best men’s sandals

Sunny summer days are the perfect time of year to ditch your bulky sneakers and let your toes breathe in by wearing a pair of sandals. Whatever your casual attire, finding the right pair of men’s sandals shouldn’t be difficult.

The BestReviews team is dedicated to making shopping easier. We’ve created this guide to help you buy the perfect sandals for your fun in the sun.

Below, you’ll find information on sandal fit, pricing, and design. If you’re ready to buy, check out our top picks above to find footwear that fits your needs and feet.

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Unlike women’s summer footwear, men’s sandals are mostly a casual option. You won’t find dressy sandals for men! If you’re going on vacation, pack a pair of closed-toe shoes for dressier occasions.

Men’s sandal factors to consider

Think finding the right summer footwear simply requires matching sandals to your outfit? Color isn’t the only factor to consider when sandal shopping.

Men’s feet vs. women’s feet

Research has revealed that there are significant differences in the anatomy of male and female feet.

  • Men tend to require less support because they generally pronate less than women.

  • Men are usually heavier than women, so they often need footwear with more midsole protection.

  • Men’s feet are longer and wider than women’s feet.

  • Men have larger, thicker toes and smaller ankles than women.

  • Male footwear tends to be wider and more cushioned than women’s.


How and where will you be wearing your sandals? Before you buy, determine the main reason you need a pair of sandals.

  • Hiking: For outdoor excursions and off-road hiking, you’ll need extra support, added protection, and better durability than flip-flops could ever provide.

  • Lounging: Just hanging out by the pool in the backyard? Slip-ons or flip-flops are the way to go. They’re easy to slide on, lightweight, and inexpensive, so frequent exposure to chlorinated water isn’t a big deal.

  • Walking: For longer wear periods, or if you’ll be walking a lot, opt for sandals that have decent arch support to avoid unnecessary foot fatigue. For walking, make sure to choose a securely fitting sandal. A loose fit will cause your toes to grip harder for stability and balance, eventually leading to sore, tired, cramped feet.


With plenty of choices at your fingertips, sandal design is entirely up to you! Men’s sandals are available in myriad looks and styles to suit any taste.

"Avoid wearing sandals in tick-infested areas. When hiking or walking in tick country, opt for long pants and shoes or boots to protect yourself from these pests."

Cushioning, fit, and comfort

  • Cushioning: Sandals generally have less cushioning than traditional walking or running shoes, but some models may have added midsole padding. Padding acts as a protective layer to cushion impacts. For casual wear around the backyard or deck, cushioning isn’t super important. But for extended wear periods, padding will enhance comfort. Sandals designed for beachwear and pool lounging don’t usually have much midsole padding.

  • Fit: Sandals should fit securely. A fit that’s true to size should feel snug but not so tight that your circulation is cut off. Adjustable straps can help you get the most accurate fit, but not all sandals are adjustable. Flip-flops either fit or they don’t. However, many athletic sandals feature straps that can be tightened or loosened to get the perfect fit.

  • Comfort: Avoid sandals with scratchy seams and abrasive materials because these can cause blisters.

Arch support

Men may not need as much pronation control as women, but a bit of midfoot arch support is crucial for comfort and injury prevention. A sandal with an arch that’s too prominent can cause discomfort, though. Choose a model without obvious pressure points. Slip-ons and flip-flops don’t provide arch support since they have flat soles, so they aren't for extended wear.


Will you be walking in your sandals quite a bit? Look for models with minimal seams that might fray with repeated use. Don’t expect sandals made of plastic, like some cheap flip-flops, to last longer than a season.

Men’s sandal prices

  • Inexpensive

Budget sandal varieties under $20 include lightweight flip-flops and slip-ons.

  • Mid-range and more

For $30 and up you should be able to locate a pair of good-quality sandals regardless of style. You’ll pay more for brand name footwear and extra features like cushioned soles and arch support.

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Looking for some fashion inspiration? Pair some nice men’s sandals with a casual suit for a stylish, beach-inspired look.


Q. Which type of sandal is best for hiking?

A. For hiking, you’ll need a sandal that has a quick-dry liner and durable construction. A closed-toe design is a good idea if you’ll be hiking technical terrain. Look for sandals with arch support and some cushioning for protection, too. Finally, a hiking sandal should have a sturdy outsole with a good tread.

Q. How can I prevent blisters when wearing sandals?

A. First, make sure the sandals fit correctly. Without socks, there’s a better chance of chafing on the skin on your foot. A fit that’s too loose or too tight will quickly cause blisters. If you’re blister-prone regardless of footwear fit, purchase an anti-blister roll-on or cream to reduce rubbing.

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