Whether you’re planning to spend all day in the sun or just want a comfy shoe to walk around in, sandals are an essential warm weather footwear option. But not all styles of sandals are created equal — and many can actually be quite painful for feet. “Many flip-flops and slides are not good for your feet because they don’t have any support or keep the back of the foot held down,” podiatrist Dr. Michael Sutera tells PureWow. Instead, he suggests shopping for supportive and comfortable sandals that also look great.
That’s why we consulted with podiatrists to find the best sandals for women that offer support, help prevent foot pain and are stylish enough to wear all summer long. From strappy sandals that are easy to pack and can be worn as travel shoes, to pretty woven options that can be worn with anything from sundresses to jeans to flats that are perfect for walking around the city, we’ve got a variety of stylish styles in our roundup of the most comfortable sandals for women.
A good rule of thumb when shopping for sandals is to choose ones that are made from high-quality materials that won’t break down quickly or cause foot irritation, such as leather and suede. These materials will not only last longer than faux materials, but they’ll also breathe well in warm or humid conditions. “Leather is also a very flexible material and allows your foot to move in its natural alignment, which will reduce foot problems,” Dr. Sutera adds.
Another important factor to consider is how thick or thin the sole of a sandal is and what kind of arch support it has, Dr. Sutera notes. A thicker sole can provide better cushioning and stability.
The ideal type of sandal for people with arch problems like flat feet is a shoe with a supportive footbed and a neutral arch. The footbed should be molded to your feet and curve naturally with your arch. “These sandals will reduce foot pain by preventing the foot from pronating or supinating,” he says.
For an ultra-comfortable and supportive sandal, consider these Sam Edelman Gigi styles. The sleek sandals have elastic straps that mold and stretch to fit your feet perfectly, plus a lightly padded footbed to ease foot pressure. Plus, the ankle strap keeps them from slipping off the back of your foot, which is a common problem with slides and other open silhouettes, Dr. Sutera explains.
These sandals are great for people with wide feet, too, since the shoes stretch to accommodate a variety of widths. Plus, they’re easy to pack and a good choice for walking because the footbed is super padded to absorb impact on your feet. They come in more than a dozen colors and prints from neutral beige to cheetah and giraffe.
If you’re looking for something with a little more of a heel, check out these Melissa platform flip flops. They’re reminiscent of the jelly sandals of the early 2000s and come in fun, bright hues. Plus, the criss-cross straps and thick footbed will help prevent your feet from feeling cramped after long walks. comfortable sandals for women