Active Clothing

The Comfiest Sandals for Getting in Your 10,000 Steps, According to a Foot Doctor

Photo: Getty Images/westend61
Warm weather is finally here, which means 1) you can actually walk from point A to point B, instead of having to bundle yourself up in a parka and hurl yourself from your building into a taxi or train car, and 2) it is officially sandal season.

Unfortunately, as my feet are currently well aware, those two things can be a lethal combination. I'll spare you the vivid description of my numerous blisters and cracked skin, but let's just say that my two-mile commute (or as I like to call it, strut) to work has taken a serious toll... mostly because I've been wearing the wrong shoes.

The good news: You don't have to sacrifice style for comfort when it comes to finding the best sandals to walk in—as long as you know what you're looking for. "For those looking to walk some good distances in their sandals, more than a simple flip flop is important," says NYC-based podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS. "Some of the recommended features include a built-in arch support, such as that provided by Aetrex Sandals, straps that wrap around the ankle for stability, and quality materials such as cork that are absorbent to impact forces."

While all sandals can technically be worn for walking, that doesn't mean they should be. "The risk of foot pain is higher in less appropriate sandals, including very flat sandals with no arch support, flip flops that have no true attachment to the foot, plastic sandals that are cheaply made, and wedges, as this decreases foot awareness and ankle stability," Dr. Splichal says.

Well, that explains why my feet are so torn up after trekking miles upon miles in a pair of rubber flip flops. Here are 12 pairs of sandals that actually won't leave your dogs barking, no matter how many strolls you take them on.

Best comfortable sandals

Tevas Original Universal
Tevas Original Universal — $55.00

It’s a good thing Tevas are cool again (it’s true—don’t @ me), because they are probably one of your best bets for comfort. “These provide good attachment and stability to the foot, so would be good for walking,” says Dr. Splichal.

FitFlop Lulu Crystal Embellished Back-Strap Sandals
FitFlop Lulu Crystal Embellished Back-Strap Sandals — $57.00

When you’re picking out a shoe to walk in, your mantra should be “support, support, support.” This shoe has two front straps and an ankle strap, which means it checks all the boxes and your foot will be supported from every direction.

Aetrex Jillian Braided Quarter Strap
Aetrex Jillian Braided Quarter Strap — $125.00

All of Aetrex’s shoes are crafted with an orthotic memory foam arch, giving them the podiatrist stamp of approval. These leather sandals have adjustable hook and loop closures, a padded heel, and a braided design for some flair.

Birkenstock Arizona
Birkenstock Arizona — $140.00

Birkenstocks are go-to sandals for their style but also their comfort — they have an anatomically-shaped and soft footbed, arch support, and adjustable straps for long days on your feet.

Chaco Z/1 Classic
Chaco Z/1 Classic — $95.00

Whether you’re walking on streets or trails, Chaco’s sandals have a sturdy footbed to support you. They have arch support, webbing that wraps around the foot, and have a Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).


Vionic Eira Backstrap Sandal
Vionic Eira Backstrap Sandal — $42.00

Vionic sandals are designed to support your arches and feet with a built-in orthotic and a shock-absorbing footbed. The straps are slightly textured and the back strap is adjustable to keep the sandals in place.


Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals
Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals — $26.00

Lightweight and cushioned, these sandals have the signature Crocs Crosslite foam that hugs your feet. The asymmetrical straps are soft and stretchy, and the sandals come in a variety of fun colors.

ECCO Yucatan Sandal
ECCO Yucatan Sandal — $130.00

For your next adventure, grab a pair of these ECCO sandals that provide support and stability, and have adjustable hook-and-loop straps so you can customize your fit. The rugged soles provide enough traction for all your outdoor activities.

PROPÉT TravelActive XC Walking Sandal — $50.00

The name of these sandals says it all — they’re made for walking. The EVA-cushioned footbed molds to your foot with wear, providing comfort for all your mileage.

Merrell Juno Sandal
Merrell Juno Sandal — $96.00

With a full grain leather upper, adjustable straps, and a contoured insole, the Merrell Juno sandals are easy on the feet with every step you take. The outsole is made with 15 percent recycled rubber and the backstrap prevent any slipping throughout the day.

KEEN Elle Backstrap Sandal
KEEN Elle Backstrap Sandal — $24.00

For long walks, the last thing you need is a heavy sandal. These are lightweight, have arch support, and high-traction. And the stretch straps are made from 100 percent PET plastic bottles. One reviewer said, “they are RIDICULOUSLY comfortable, even on long walks, and work well with just about any outfit.”

OluKai Upena Sandals
OluKai Upena Sandals — $90.00

Strappy with a classic design inspired by Hawaiian fishing nets, these OluKai sandals have a toe loop and adjustable ankle strap and can be dressed up or down. They have an anatomically contoured footbed and a grippy outsole.

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