In addition to the good-looking 2-inch heel, leather workmanship, and styling that goes with casual and dressy fashions, they earn praise for excellent arch support and quality.
Pricey. Most wearers should expect a short break-in period. Some women with heel issues may find them too firm; however, most rave about the comfort level.
A must-have for both dressy and casual occasions, as they sport a traditional style that compliments numerous fashions. Affordable.
Not real leather, but this may not concern you. Some owners gripe about them fitting tightly around the toes and being uncomfortable at first.
Provides a blend of good looks and tough features that make them ideal for outdoor wear – waterproof materials, thick foot bed cushioning, and lug pattern rubber soles. Machine washable too.
Some reported sizing problems – may fit too large or small depending on foot structure. The arch support could be better. Stitching occasionally unravels in areas, and material may loose elasticity over time.
A well-made sandal by an iconic brand that's a great choice if you love an easy-to-wear, casual look. Features leather straps and contoured foot bed that cradles the foot.
A bit stiff initially, but tends to become more flexible after the break in period. May run somewhat wide for some wearers. On the higher end of the price scale.
Inexpensive slide sandals that are the perfect pair for slipping on quickly for everyday wear. We love the comfort of the foam foot bed and the versatility of the adjustable strap.
Ultra casual style isn't practical for all occasions. They run somewhat narrow. Slip-on design is convenient, but easier to accidentally step out of than strappy sandals.
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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.