Sandals are a summer shoe staple. And, thankfully, a lot of the ones on the market combine smart details with actually-cool designs—think flexible straps that cradle your feet and reduce strain or wedges that shift your weight off tender areas like heels. But not all sandals are created equal. To find the best ones for women, we spoke with experts and tested a wide variety of options. The comfortable sandals for women in this roundup have soft, non-chafing faux leather straps and responsive footbeds that hug your arches and absorb shock. They’re also lightweight so your feet feel bare but not weighed down. And, if you have high arches, we highly recommend the Vionic brand because their patented podiatric-approved design provides extra support to help with stability and alignment.
Flip-flops are the most popular type of sandals for women. They’re inexpensive, easy to slip on and off, and come in a zillion colors. And they’re fine for a casual walk or when you’re just hanging out on the beach. But, if you plan to spend more time on your feet, or if you have flat feet, they might leave you with blisters if you wear them for too long.
For better summer comfort, go for a flip flop with a cushioned bungee cord strap instead of plastic, which will be more soft between your toes and won’t dig into the top of your foot. We tested a pair of Sugar Zeffers that come in nude, black, and other neutral shades, and they’re available at Target. Or, try the popular dark brown Arizona style from Birkenstock, which is also sold at Zappos.
If you’re headed on a longer hike or planning to do more walking, choose a pair of sandals with a thicker and wider sole that will give your feet better traction, particularly if it has a pattern that grips the ground. Also look for a moderate heel-to-toe drop (meaning your heel is higher than the toes), which helps you maintain a healthy gait.
For shorter walks and seated get-togethers, strappy sandals that snake all the way up your calf can be fun and trendy. But, be sure to test them out to make sure the buckles and straps won’t pinch your skin or dig into it when you walk.
We also tested a pair of gladiator-inspired strappy sandals that are very popular. They’re stylish and fun for a night out on the town but they aren’t ideal for long hikes because they don’t have arch supports.
And if you’re short, the good news is that sandals with platforms can help you look taller! These shoes are very fashionable and can be found in a variety of styles, including gladiator and espadrilles. You can even find them with heels that aren’t too high to be uncomfortable. So, if you’re looking to add some height, be sure to check out our review of the best sandals for women with platforms. sandals for women