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Updated May 2022
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Why trust BestReviews?
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 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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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Birkenstock Women's Mayari Sandal
Birkenstock
Women's Mayari Sandal
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A classic, durable favorite that offers support, comfort, and reliable style.

Pros

Crafted from synthetic materials and genuine leather that is oiled for longevity. Midsole support provided by cork material with built-in arch support. Toe grip-strap keeps foot secure. Adjustable buckles. Users love that they're comfortable and can be worn with most casual outfits.

Cons

Some users are concerned that the quality of these doesn't live up to that of genuine Birkenstocks.

Best Bang for the Buck
Roxy Women's Vista Flip Flop Sandal
Roxy
Women's Vista Flip Flop Sandal
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This basic, water-resistant sandal is a great casual choice for running errands or a day at the beach.

Pros

A water-friendly flip flop made with durable EVA upper material. Textured rubber outsole provides basic grip for wet or slick surfaces. Reasonably priced. Users say the footbed is quite soft and comfortable. Over 20 different color style choices.

Cons

Thin with not much support and the material feels low quality.

Steve Madden Women's Kimmie Wedge Sandal
Steve Madden
Women's Kimmie Wedge Sandal
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Most Stylish
Bottom Line

A stylish yet comfortable choice that is available in a wide variety of colors, and has a practical price tag.

Pros

The 1.75" platform heel adds style to a casual look. Suede sock midsole is supportive and comfortable. Elastic straps grasp the foot for a stable feel while walking. Various color options to suit different occasions.

Cons

The straps are tight around the ankles and can cut off circulation.

Chaco Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal
Chaco
Women's Zcloud X2 Sandal
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Most Comfortable
Bottom Line

These durable shoes from a reputable brand are known for their unparalleled support and durability.

Pros

Made from 100% polyester with a rubber sole and light, airy PU midsole. Rubber midsole prevents scratches or marking of floor surfaces while providing basic traction. Slingback Jacquard webbing holds foot in place and buckle allows for adjustment.

Cons

They can be tedious to put on and take off. Some issues with strap adjustments.

Sorel Women's Cameron Flatform Sandals
Sorel
Women's Cameron Flatform Sandals
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Cute & Functional
Bottom Line

We love these for their suede construction and reasonable price, but they might cause blisters at first.

Pros

Built with full-grain leather and suede materials for long-lasting durability. Soft yet secure straps feature an adjustable buckle for customized fit. The 1.5" platform adds minimal height and makes for a stylish look. Outsole equipped with razor scallop design for traction.

Cons

They run slightly large, and some inconsistent coloring compared to photos.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best women’s sandals

Sandals are the perfect summer footwear option. They offer breathability that regular sneakers or shoes don’t. They’re comfortable, convenient, and easy to slip on at a moment’s notice. From thong styles to elegant strappy designs, there’s a sandal for every woman out there.

Sandals are great for warm days when you’re going in and out of the house frequently. A lightweight pair is easy to pack for vacation. And when it comes to fashion, sandals are incredibly versatile. Many styles look equally great with shorts and a tee or a long maxi dress.

The guide below was created by the BestReviews team to bring you pertinent and useful information to help make your shopping easier. It covers sandal types, features, prices, and other helpful tips. We hope you find exactly the pair of sandals that will keep your feet happy all summer long, whether you’re lounging by the pool or partying under the stars.

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There is evidence that Egyptians wore sandals made of palm leaves and other plant materials more than 5,000 years ago.

All sandals are not created equal

Why does it matter whether you buy women’s or men’s sandals? Most women’s footwear is made to accommodate the unique shape of the female foot.

  • Women’s feet are usually narrower in the heel, with a wide forefoot, compared to men’s feet.

  • Many women have high arches, which make the feet more rigid, so flexibility in footwear is important. Women with high arches should look for flexible sandals that don’t hinder natural foot movement. Women with flat feet or fallen arches need a sturdier, stiffer, and more supportive sole.

Types of women’s sandals

There are many different types of sandals out there! Each type suits a different style or need. Here are the main varieties of sandals available.

Flip-flops

Also known as thong sandals, flip-flops have a convenient slip-on design (no back strap) with a toe separator. These are an excellent choice for hanging around the backyard or going to the beach. Flip-flops are not a good option for long walks or extended outings since they offer virtually no support or protection for your feet.

Slip-on sandals

Slip-on sandals do not have a toe separator or back strap. You can find them in casual, trendy, and sporty styles, as well as flat or high-heeled. Clogs are one type of slip-on sandal. Like flip-flops, these are not good options if you’re going to do a lot of walking because they don’t fasten securely to the feet.

Sling-back sandals

These sandals have a strap that wraps around the heel to keep the shoe in place. You can find high-heeled and flat sling-back sandals.

Gladiator sandals

These usually flat sandals are distinctive for the many straps that go over the foot and sometimes up the ankle and calf, too.

Platform and wedge sandals

The very thick, flat sole on these sandals offers height without sacrificing comfort. While high-heeled stiletto sandals can cause discomfort after a while, platforms and wedges are kinder on the feet. You can find them in casual or dressy styles.

Water sport sandals

These sandals are made of waterproof materials and breathable mesh and are intended to protect your feet in the pool doing water aerobics, or at the beach, river, or waterpark. The sturdy sole provides traction on slippery surfaces.

Hiking sandals

With a very secure strap system, durable materials, and a stiff, supportive sole for additional protection on trails, these sandals offer more protection and coverage than you’ll find in regular casual or dress sandals.

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Expert Tip
To help prevent blisters, keep your feet moisturized. If you have particularly sweaty feet, some antiperspirant can help stop excessive moisture that causes chafing.
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BestReviews

Women’s sandal features to consider

Buying a pair of sandals is just like purchasing a pair of running shoes or sneakers – there’s plenty to consider as you try them on. Here are the main points to keep in mind.

Activity

Are you buying sandals for casual wear, a dressy occasion, hiking, or water activities? The activity will dictate which kind of sandal you buy. For instance, hiking on uneven terrain requires a thicker sole and secure, comfortable straps.

Size and fit

You don’t usually wear sandals with socks, so the fit is crucial to prevent chafed skin. A poor fit can quickly lead to nasty blisters. Straps shouldn’t feel tight, pinch, or rub. The sandal should feel secure on your feet, but stability will differ depending on the style.

Heel

A sandal with a heel is dressier but less comfortable, for obvious reasons. Too high a heel can put undue pressure on your toes and calves. Flat sandals are usually for more casual wear.

Toe

Most sandals don’t cover the toes, but some feature a closed-toe design. If you’re shy about showing off your toes or just want some extra protection, consider a closed-toe sandal.

Arch support

For extended wear, a sandal with midfoot arch support is essential. Flip-flops, for instance, are a poor choice for long walks and hiking since they provide virtually zero support.

Comfort

A comfortable pair of sandals shouldn’t have any pressure points, and there should be no areas where seams or straps rub uncomfortably against the skin. There are a few other features that can improve footwear comfort.

  • Padding provides impact protection.

  • Adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit.

  • Quick-dry materials keep moisture at bay.

  • Flexibility ensures that the sandal moves comfortably along with your foot.

Material

You’ll find sandals made of leather, plastic, suede, and synthetics. Every person and foot is different, so there isn’t a specific material that can guarantee comfort and a blister-free experience.

Cushioning

Some sandals feature a cushioned footbed. While sandals tend to be relatively minimal, for outdoor activities like long walks or hiking, a cushioned footbed is recommended for extra protection.

Style

With so many styles to choose from, it’s easy to gravitate toward the trendy options, but those are likely to quickly go out of fashion. Selecting a sandal in a neutral hue (like black or brown) without many embellishments will provide you with classic-looking footwear for any outfit. Of course, what will work for you depends on your wardrobe. If you often wear neutral tones, a pop of color might be a welcome accent. Choose a sandal that makes you feel confident, no matter what it looks like.

Women’s sandal prices

Up to $20

In this price range, you’ll find sandal styles such as flip-flops and slip-ons that likely won’t last longer than a season or two.

$30 and more

In this range, there are a variety of sandals available from dressy to sporty. Whether you’re buying sandals for casual or dressy occasions, pricier options will be more durable and have added features like adjustable straps, cushioning, and arch support.

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If you’re not used to wearing sandals, you’ll probably need to break them in to give the delicate skin on your feet time to adjust.

FAQ

Q. Should I wear socks with sandals?

A. A fashionista might respond with a look of horror to this question, but it’s entirely valid. Breathable sandals are great for hot weather, so they aren’t usually worn with socks. But for long hikes, some folks might prefer having some extra protection against blisters and chafing.

Q. Someone told me that sandals are bad for my feet. Is this true?

A. Not all sandals are the same. Flip-flops may be a poor choice for women with foot troubles, like plantar fasciitis, but there are plenty of options available to those who need a bit of extra support and protection. Because of their open design, many sandals offer much more ventilation compared to regular shoes. Most sandal designs also don’t have any material to press or pinch the top of the foot, meaning that many styles reduce the amount of pressure placed directly on the foot. It’s true that in general sandals don’t offer enough arch support for some.

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