Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Women's Sandals

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 45 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 167 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    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.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    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.

    Shopping guide for best women’s sandals

    Last Updated August 2018

    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.

    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.

    Classically versatile

    Dress it up or down – this simple sandal comes in three elegant, neutral colors and pairs beautifully with skirts or jeans for any occasion. And the strap adjusts for a true-to-size comfortable fit.

    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.

    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.


    EXPERT TIP

    Flip-flops are great at the beach. They are easy to kick off or slip on, but be careful. Because they fit loosely, flip-flops can easily get snagged and you could trip.


    EXPERT TIP

    Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that is not so uncommon. If the bottom of your foot hurts, it’s possible that your footwear isn’t offering enough support.


    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.

    Fashionable support

    This stylish summer platform sandal wins rave reviews for comfort. Its suede-covered cork and latex footbed molds to your foot, and the rear strap provides additional stability. Criss-cross and adjustable straps give you a customized fit.

    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.

    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.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer