With so many styles and varieties to choose from, finding the right women’s walking sandals can be tricky. There are dozens of brands, technical features, and seemingly endless designs. Having a breakdown of these attributes in one place would be a dream come true, right? To help make this process easier, we’ve gathered a list of some of the best options available.
Plenty of people prefer to slip on a pair of sandals rather than a pair of sneakers or bulking hiking boots. After all, sandals can often feel more freeing for the feet and help keep you cool during summer. Many footwear brands produce stylish sandals designed to support walking and other outdoor activities. Some brands cater to the most adventurous types, making walking or hiking sandals that can take you from the trail right into the lake, river, or any water.
When considering which sandal will be the best option, thinking solely (pun intended) about fashion or trends can leave you with ill-fitting footwear. Some of the most crucial decision factors will depend on where and how you want to wear them. Also, knowing what activities you’d like them for will help narrow down the choices. Ultimately, the most important consideration is a good, comfortable fit. Check out our list to help you find the best option for you.
Best Overall Walking Sandals for Women
Through and through a classic, the Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor Sandals win the best overall category. Birkenstock is a well-known brand featuring contoured footbeds that form to your foot. The contour provides wearers with individualized comfort and support.
The footbed features a cork and latex core. The footbed is designed to absorb shock and evenly distribute pressure throughout the foot. Another beneficial aspect of the cork is maintaining a pleasant foot temperature. The toe box is wide and gives plenty of space for toes to spread out, helping achieve an optimized balance and foot alignment. The footbed lining is soft, moisture-absorbing suede and provides tons of breathability.
These sandals win the best overall category because of their superb comfort and the versatility they allow. The timeless, two-strap, and adjustable buckle system are always on trend and can seamlessly dress up or down a look. This shoe is available in various colors to suit any personal style. Easily slip on these sandals and head out for the day; your feet will thank you.
- Classic Look
- Wide Footbed
- Comfortable Fit
- Not Waterproof
Most Comfortable Sandal for Women
If comfort is your primary concern when shopping for a walking sandal, the Keen Elle Backstrap Sandal is your best bet. This sandal is highly versatile and can easily pair with a sundress around town or hiking gear on the trails. There are several colors to choose from or get more than one, so you always have an option that matches. You can rest easy knowing your sandals are made from recycled materials, making these an eco-friendly choice.
As far as support goes, these sandals take the cake. The midsole is made from compression-molded EVA (think running shoe) and has plenty of arch support. You could walk or stand on your feet all day in these sandals and stay comfortable. The thick soles reduce pressure or excessive bending when walking over rocks, tree roots, or other rugged terrains.
Plan to hike with water crossings? These sandals include a strap that stretches behind the heel and is water-ready, so you don’t have to change your shoes before stepping in. The outsoles are high traction and help keep you stable on slippery surfaces.
- Made from recycled materials
- Lots of color options
- Not Vegan
Best Hiking Sandals for Women
Regarding hiking, most sandals fall short in protecting the foot as boots do. However, the Keen Astoria West Sandals offer the most protection and support while hitting the trails. Adding a covered toe box means your feet will be safe when scrambling over rocks, walking on gravel, or hiking in the woods. The additional coverage also helps to protect the skin of your feet from sunburns, too.
Full foot support is another important factor when considering hiking sandals, and the Astoria West Sandals indeed deliver. They feature compression-molded EVA in the midsole and a contoured arch for midfoot support. Another feature to promote overall foot health is the raised sole. A slight raise provides the ankle with increased mobility and supports a more natural gait.
The slip-resistant Aquagrip rubber outsole and quick-dry webbing fabric make these an ideal choice for water crossings or other water activities. The lightweight materials keep your feet from feeling too fatigued, even when logging long distances.
- Toe Protection
- Water Ready
- A little Bulky
Best Supportive Sandal for Women
Teva makes a wide variety of walking sandals, but the Hurricane XLT 2 Sandals win the away for most supportive. These have it all if you need more cushion because of medical issues or just prefer a more cushioned feel. The heel includes additional cushioning, the heel strap offers a softer cushion pad, and the EVA-foam midsole provides more comfort while remaining lightweight.
Every bit of the sandal, including the strap webbing, is water-ready and made to dry quickly to keep your feet as dry as possible. The traction has also been upgraded, giving you a better grip on slippery rocks or surfaces. The nylon shank also helps stabilize the foot, which is helpful on uneven surfaces you may encounter on the trail.
The best part is that each component of the sandal is ultra-durable and stands up to the most demanding treks. There are a few colorful and neutral strap styles to choose from to fit many preferences.
- Midsole Support
- Flexible Fit
- Not A Slip-on
Best Slides for Women
If you’re a jogger, you already know Hoka makes some of the most comfortable shoes on the market, and their Ora Recovery Slide Sandals are no different. As the name suggests, these sandals are great for a recovery period - maybe after a hike or trail run. As a bonus, they’re vegan.
The support on these slides is incredible. The soles are made with a HOKA ONE oversized midsole and an early-stage meta rocker to give you total comfort in every step. Grooves on the footbed give added all-over comfort. The dual-layer construction provides sturdy and durable outsoles and soft, supportive midsoles that alleviate achy feet.
The customer reviews for these slides rave about their overall comfort. People love them and often are repeat buyers, though some have reported they are not well suited for wide feet.
- High Ratings
- Not ideal for wide feet
Best Travel Sandals For Women
For the traveler, we recommend the Chaco Z/ Cloud Sandals. Made with vegan-friendly materials and construction, these sandals are durable and comfortable. The multi-strap system is entirely adjustable. This ensures a snug fit for all-day walking yet provides the ability to loosen for more casual wear when traveling.
The footbeds are made from Chaco’s LUVSEAT™ material and are podiatrist-approved. Additionally, the footbed and midsole are designed to fit the specific shape of women’s feet. You can walk in these all day and remain comfortable and supported. For shock absorption and comfort, Chaco has added their cloud cushioning. Pack these sandals for your next trip; they are lightweight and deliver everything you want for all-day footwear.
- Hight traction
- Adjustable straps
- Limited color options
Best Velcro Sandals For Women
Velcro straps add a layer of stability when wearing sandals, and the Teva Verra Sandals have the best performing velcro on the list. These offer a muted, simple design for those who want a shoe that goes with everything. The minimal strap design allows ease of wear and quick adjusting. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though; Teva sandals are highly durable.
They are thoughtfully constructed to provide support through the midsole with EVA foam and absorb shock in every step with Shoc Pad heels. The Verra Sandals are comfortable for all-day wear, long miles on the trail, or running errands in town.
- Neutral design
- Limited color options
Best Women’s Sandals For the Beach
Looking for sandals that offer a cute and comfortable look? Look no further than the Reef Water Vista Sandals. With an adorable espadrille-inspired design, these easily transition from beachwear to a causal dinner on the water.
Every bit of the sandal is water-friendly, meaning you don’t have to miss out on water adventures. The straps and soles dry quickly to keep you as comfortable as possible. Made from lightweight materials keeps your feet from tiring without sacrificing durability. The EVA foam material provides support throughout the entire footbed, especially in the midsole. The velcro backstrap ensures an adjustable and comfortable fit every time.
- Trendy design
- Limited color options
Best Flip Flops for Women
Retire those old and cheap flip-flops with no support and treat yourself to a pair of Chaco
Chillos Flip Sandals. They are not only built with comfort in mind but durable enough to wear outdoors repeatedly. Worried about losing them in the water? You don’t have to, because they float!
The same EVA material that makes them lightweight enough to float makes them very soft and supportive underfoot. Specially engineered footbeds and LUVSEAT™ arch support help keep your feet aligned adequately from the beginning to the end of a step. The arch support is ergonomically designed to fit the features of women’s feet. The webbing on the straps is made from padded polyester and is water-ready.
- Super lightweight
- Float in water
- No straps around the heel
What to Look For In Walking Sandals
It’s tempting to consider keeping up with the latest trends when you’re in the market for some new sandals. However, if you plan to do any amount of walking in them, it’s best to keep comfort as a top priority. Whether strolling around town, through the farmer’s market, or hiking up a trail, buying sandals based on the needs of your feet will leave you feeling like you’re walking on clouds.
Even short distances walking in ill-fitting or uncomfortable sandals can cause blisters, foot pain, and even medical conditions. Plus, who wants to waste money on shoes that don’t fit correctly and bother your feet every time you wear them?
Know your feet
Familiarizing with your foot’s shape will tremendously aid in choosing the right sandal. For example, knowing whether you have wide or narrow feet and a high arch or flat arch will help determine which shoes will be most comfortable for you.
The Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor is better suited for wide feet because of the wide and roomy footbed. A sandal with multi-point adjustable straps like the Teva Hurricane XLT 2 or the Keen Elle Backstrap will provide a better fit for a narrow foot shape.
A padded and supportive footbed will keep your feet in proper alignment and prolong health and comfort. Contoured footbeds offer more precise support on common pain points and alleviate pressure. EVA and other foams tend to deliver the most support without adding weight. Alternatively, cork tends to be a heavier material overall but still provides reliable support and comfort.
Arch support will provide comfort to your feet all day. Good support in a walking sandal is imperative to the overall health of your foot. Look for firm support, especially in the midsole, which reduces pressure on the heel and ball joint.
Some sandals feature two straps over the top of the foot for a classic and trendy appeal. Others have crisscrossing straps to provide the highest level of stability for walking over varied terrain. Others have no strapping system but offer closed toes and total protection. Sandals like flip flops, with the typical two-strap system stemming from a point between the first two toes, and slides are meant for more casual wear and not the best choice for hikes or water activities.
Different styles of sandals offer different things. Open-toed sandals allow for more movement of the toes. Alternatively, closed-toed sandals protect the toes from potential injury when walking on uneven terrain or rock scrambling. Many walking sandals fit into current trends and can be worn with a variety of outfits.
Q: Are sandals good for long walks?
A: Sandals with proper support and a comfortable fit are great options for long walks. Sandals offer benefits that other styles of shoes cannot, like breathability, increased foot mobility, and water readiness. They are an especially excellent choice for long walks in warm climates.
Q: Which brand of sandals is most comfortable?
A: The most comfortable brand will vary slightly depending on who you ask and their foot shape. But the brands that are reliably top-rated when it comes to comfort include Keen, Teva, and Birkenstock.
We hope that our roundup of the best women’s walking sandals of 2022 has helped narrow your search to the best options for you. It’s best to prioritize comfort over everything, even price, if you can. Then, ponder which features are essential based on what you plan to do when wearing the sandals.