Best Sandals for Women
All winter, you layer your feet with thick wool socks and shove them into heavy lined boots. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it means that you can let those puppies breathe for a season. Whether you have plans to spend the season lounging at the beach, shopping at farmers markets, hiking the trails, or fishing- you want to equip your feet with shoes that are comfortable, give you ample support, can hold up to all of the adventures you intend on going on this summer, and most importantly- look good. Sometimes summer shoes can be lacking in the support department. Often, you find that they have uncomfortable angles that can really dig into your feet, or they sit flat against the ground and don’t really offer much arch and heel support.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Sole conforms to your foot over time
Many different color options available
Top 10 Picks
1. Birkenstock Mayari Birko-Flor
Sole conforms to your foot over time
Many different color options available
It should come to no surprise that Birkenstock- the grandmother of shoes- is topping our list. They just seem to have the formula down to make really great and comfortable footwear. It makes sense, since they have been in the business of making their classic corked shoes since founded in 1774. The Mayari Birko-Flor is one of their most popular designs because it seamlessly marries function, style, and comfort.Read more
Color choices are almost endless when it comes to the pattern of the top straps. Users can select from the basic Birkenstock browns, but also have the option to select from brighter and more stylish colors such as yellow, pink, silver, faux snakeskin, and white. For the sole, you can expect the basic cork sole that you find on many other Birkenstock designs (for the exception of the white which sports and unique white sole)
When it comes to comfort- Birkenstock takes home the gold. There’s just something about their cork soles that make for the perfect shoe. As you wear them over the summer, the cork will form to the shape of your foot to feel as if they were made just for your size of the foot. Additionally, the cork material is incredibly breathable so that your foot won’t feel too sweaty- which is always a plus in warmer weather.
Birkenstock’s have the reputation of being rather expensive, and these are no exception. For something that you can really only wear during the warmer months, these are going to set you back a little bit of money. They cost about the same that you would spend on a pair of running shoes.
If you are in the market for the best of the best- you don’t get any better than these. Users for almost 250 years feel this design is the perfect shoe to wear in warmer weather. Be prepared to pay a pretty high price tag, however.
2. CLARKS Brizo Sammie
Some feel the ankle straps are too stiff
CLARKS is another name to look out for when searching for summer footwear, because they have also been in the business of making comfortable shoes for a long time. They were founded in 1825- which isn’t quite as long as Birkenstock but a pretty impressive amount of time to be in business nonetheless. Their designs are often a little bit more simple to appeal to a wider range of tastes and personalities.Read more
As we stated earlier, CLARKS are made to be pretty neutral. The downside is that they don’t come in a lot of fun colors- but the upside to this is that they will go with pretty much everyone you own. Users can select from various shades of light and dark browns, as well as shades of black. They fasten with strips of velcro at the top and bottom of the foot, and the straps are pretty bulky. The sole, as well, as a little more bulk to it than some of the other designs.
Comfort is always key with CLARKS. Compliment anyone wearing a pair of CLARKS, and their immediate response is to tell you how comfortable they are. The thick straps also serve a purpose to limit the number of pressure points that can dig into your various points in your foot. The extra thick sole sports their classic comfort material that is firm, but offers a little squishy support on the surface to adjust to the shape of your foot over time.
CLARKS aren’t the most expensive designs out there on the market, but they do pack a bit of a price tag. Users can expect to pay the same amount that one would spend on a quality pair of shoes to wear to the office.
If you are someone that wants to merge the comfort of a shoe that you would wear to walk the trails with the style of something that you could wear to the office, these fit the bill perfectly. Plus, they are made from high-quality materials that are sure to last for multiple summers. And their basic designs mean they will never go out of style.
3. Teva Tirra
Stiff ankle strap keeps it securely in place
Some feel the bottom is a little too slippery
You might not have heard of this brand before, and that's probably because they make footwear for very specific purposes. Their shoes are made for keeping feet cool and comfortable, but they are also completely waterproof and built for rocky adventures. If you lead an active lifestyle during the summer that consists of wandering around farmers markets, swimming in the oceans, and climbing difficult trails- the Teva Tirra will be able to keep up with all of that without skipping a beat.Read more
You won’t be limited in the color choices and designs from this brand. Users can select from many sharp colors that resemble the color choices from basic running shoes. Many of the colors are neutral- such as black and brown- but have sharp accents in the stitching and the sole. It has a wide open toe box to give your feet a lot of breathing room, and has a series to thin straps that secure it in place. It is also secured by a structured ankle strap to keep them right in place no matter how active you become.
Not only are these made to be waterproof so that you can take them in the water and transfer seamlessly to land, but they are also made to be incredibly comfortable. Multiple straps on the top of the foot spread possible pressure points evenly over the top of the foot to limit rubbing and chaffing. The straps around the ankle are a little bit stiffer and rigid than some of the others you might see on the market, and that is made to ensure that it doesn’t move around on your foot. The heel of the rubber sole has a thick shock pad to absorb some of the shocks of those times you need a little extra support.
The price of this brand is a little bit more expensive than the average brand- but they are significantly more affordable than a pair of Birkenstocks. If you need something that can keep up with your active summer lifestyle- these are well worth the price tag.
While these aren’t exactly something that you would wear to the office, they are perfect for travelers that find themselves in all sorts of adventures- whether on the land or in the water. The comfortable shock absorbing sole and the waterproof design is the perfect addition to all of your summer travels.
4. Ryka Savannah
- Trusted brand
- 3 points to adjust straps
- Deep heel bed
- Some found the level of adjustment to be minimal
If you were looking for something that was a little bit more athletic, this is going to be a great choice. Ryka was founded in the 1980’s, and make athletic shoes that are specifically designed for a woman’s foot. This shoe offers a lot of support and comfort, but it is still sharp and stylish enough to wear to the airport or over shopping on a Saturday afternoon.Read more
What makes the Ryka unique is that it has all of the functionality of a really great athletic shoe, but it also offers up a good deal of style- to the point that you might even be able to wear these at the office. Users can select from a myriad of different colors and designs, such as black, white, blue, tan, red, and green, Each color option has the accent of a white sole with a color coordinated lining.
This footwear is designed to be worn by active ladies. It is perfect for wearing on a long hike up a mountain, walking along the beach and swimming in the water, or just going out shopping. It is adjusted at three points on the foot that are held in place with velcro- which helps reduce rubbing and chaffing. The synthetic sole has a deep heel cuff to keep the foot cradled and comforted. It doesn’t have the same level of cushion that some of the others have, but makes up for it by keeping your foot perfectly cradled and protected.
The price of these is pretty reasonable, and will likely cost you about the same that you would spend on a nice pair of shoes to wear to two, or a pair of casual sneakers. Considering how users rave about how well they hold up on their summer adventures- they are well worth the price point.
If you are always all over the place during the summer- swimming, hiking, skiing, shopping- these are going to be a really great addition to all of your aventures, and they won’t set you back all that much money.
5. Gold Pigeon
- Unique design
- Comfortable padded straps
- Shock absorbing sole
- Some found they run a little small
These shoes are made for those that dare to be different. They come in many different colors, and are accented with intricate designs that don’t look like anything else that is currently on the market. Gold Pigeon has been in the business of making unique and comfortable footwear since they were founded in 1987.Read more
You aren’t going to find any other piece of footwear that looks anything like this out there on the market. It has intricate designs of flowers and butterflies not only on the straps that hold it in place, but also on the sole. Color options include bold colors such as purple, black, brown, and burgundy. The soles of all of the different colors have a solid black base with an accent color that runs through the middle.
Gold Pigeon not only wants you to look good and stand out from the crowd, but they also want to make sure that your feet stay comfortable. That’s why the two straps the run along the top of the foot as well as the structured ankle straps are a little more padding than many of the other designs you might find out there on the market. In addition to soft, padded straps, this design also has a thick and squishy shock absorbing rubber sole that will make your foot feel comfortable no matter where you are. The waterproof materials also make this a great option to take to the beach or the lake.
Cost for this pair run pretty par for the course. It will likely set you back the same amount of money you would spend on a nice pair of casual sneakers. Plus, they have such a unique style you could even wear them to work.
For those that are looking to deviate from the traditional style and wear something that will make you stand out from the rest, Gold Pigeon is going to be the perfect fit for you. Be prepared to get a lot of compliments on this design this summer.
6. Earth Origins Sophie
- EVA sole
- Leather straps
- Comfortable fit
- Some found that they run a little small
The Earth Origins Sophie is a perfect blend of function and style. It has an open topsole that is breathable and comfortable with straps that are made to fit all sizes of feet, and it has a comfortable sole that is built like a running shoe. If you are someone that is always on the go in the summer and loves hiking and exploring, this is going to be an excellent companion to keep your feet comfortable even on those long treks.Read more
Users can select from quite a few different color options, however many of them are shade variations on black and brown. It has a fairly thick sole that curves to the natural shape of ones foot. The straps are considered to be moderately thick and cinch at the top of the foot and the ankle with velcro.
The sole of this shoe is designed to perform much like a running shoe. Where the sole of most of the options on this list are made from rubber or cork, the Earth Origins Sophie uses EVA for the topsole- much like a running shoe. What this means is that over time, your foot with start to shape the EVA material so that this pair will fit perfectly like a glove. The straps holding it in place are made from leather, which means that just like the EVA sole- over time they will become soft and form to your unique shape.
No surprises here- these run to be pretty standard in terms of price, They are not the most expensive designs out there on the market, but they are far from the least expensive. Considering how users rave at how well they hold up over time, they are well worth the price tag.
If you are looking for a summer shoe that feels as comfortable as your athletic gym shoes, but has an open and breathable topsole for the summer- the Earth Origins Sophie is an excellent option that is offered at a really reasonable price point.
7. Rockport Franklin
EVA sole with neoprene lining
Fit as expected
Made from durable materials
The Rockport Franklin is built like a Jeep. It has big bulky straps that are heavily padded, and a nice curved sole to cradle your foot while also offering a good deal of shock absorption. This is a perfect design for people who are really active and would like something that is breathable but that also still offers a good deal of support that you would likely find in a sneaker.Read more
All color options for this design are pretty neutral colors. Users can select from brown, black, blue, and tan, and they are accented with a lighter shade around the edges. The sole of this model is pretty bulky and curves to the natural shape of the foot. The straps are a till more structured and bulky as well and are secured with velcro.
The Rockport Franklin is meant to feel like your summertime sneaker. The sole is composed of an EVA footbed with a neoprene lining. What this means for you is that the EVA material will conform to your foot the more that you wear it, and the neoprene lining will feel light and shishy against for feet so that it will offer you great support while still being incredibly soft and comfortable. The straps are padded on the inside, and are a little bit more structured than most. The straps are also held in place by a thin layer of mesh that inhibits the nylon straps from digging into your feet and causing blisters.
The price tag on these is a little bit higher than what the average consumer is willing to pay, but it still isn’t as expensive as the Birkenstocks. However, considering the smart design, use of high-quality materials and the way past customers rave about this design- it is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
If you are in the market for something that has all of the look and freedom of a pair of summertime footwear, but gives you the support and shock absorption of a sneaker for the days you are out on the trails- this is an excellent option for those willing to pay just a little bit more.
8. Easy Spirit Egnita
- Sole is constructed from EVA rubber
- Thick straps with added padding and mesh
- Velcro straps are not long enough for all shapes of feet
This design that a much similar structure to the Rockport Franklin design, however, it is offered at a much lower price point. It has a thick sole that offers a lot of comfort and support, and thick straps that are easy to adjust and are padded so they will feel comfortable even if you are wearing them for a full day of outdoor adventures.Read more
There are only two colors options offered for this design- blue, tan, and black. Each color option has sharp white stitching along the leather straps, and a light blue treads on the bottom. The straps use a hook and loop method to adjust them so that they will fit you comfortably, and cinch in place with velcro.
Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to this design option. It has a thick and bulky sole that is made from EVA rubber and will conform to the shape of your foot over time. The leather straps may seem a bit stiff upon first wearing them, but will soften up over time and will also conform to the shape of your foot. It has the look of a summer shoe with the comfort and fit of a sneaker.
This is one of the more affordable options that offers this level of comfort to make our list. If you are looking for something that behaves like a sneaker, and you are willing to pay a sneaker price tag- this is a really excellent option.
Just because it is summertime doesn’t mean that you won’t need the same level of comfort and support from your footwear that you do in the cooler months. The Easy Spirit Egnita is a great option for those on the go that aren’t willing to pay the higher price point as some of the other similar designs.
9. Dr. Scholl's Daydream
- Offers a lot of arch support
- Various color options offered
A little more closed off than some of the other options
When you hear the name Dr. Scholl's you know you are getting a product that is going to give your feet the most comfortable experience they can get. Dr. Scholl's has been striving to make feet just a little more comfortable since they were founded in 1906, and the Daydream model does a great job at keeping feet cool and comfortable no matter where you travel this summer.Read more
The outward design of the Daydream is actually a little unique and stands out from some of the other basic designs out there on the market. It has a triangular design on the border of the nylon straps, and they are offered in a few colors options. Colors include shade of blue, black, brown, tan, and grey- all with sharp accents and white stitching. There is a little extra material along the inside of the foot near the arch, which make them a little bit more closed off than some of the other options.
With the name Dr. Scholl's on board, you know that you are going to get something that is comfortable. As we mentioned earlier, there is a little bit of extra topsole material around the inside arch of the foot. This might restrict airflow a little bit, but it will provide you with added support on uphill climbs or walks on uneven terrain. There is a gel cushioning on the heel on top of the rubber sole to provide a soft landing with every step.
This is one of the more reasonably priced options on this list. If you were looking for something that will give you a lot of foot support this summer, and also want a save a little bit of money- this is an excellent option.
For those that want something that offers up just a little bit more support and the cost of not being as open and breathable as some of the other designs, the Dr. Scholl's Daydream will do all the things that you would expect from a great summer shoe.
10. Mountain Warehouse Crete
Some claim that the straps rub against their feet
Did you spend all of your summer funds on an expensive trip to the beach, and now you don’t have enough to get a new pair of summer shoes? The Mountain Warehouse Crete design is by far one of the most affordable options to make out the list. It might not offer you the same level of comfort and support as some of the higher priced options- but it will cradle your foot well and is incredibly lightweight and breathable.Read more
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this design. It is offered in one color- black with royal blue nylon straps. The straps for this design are a just a little bit thinner than a lot of the others on the market, which is perfect for those with smaller feet or want something that looks just a bit more delicate
These aren’t going to be the most comfortable models that you will find out there on the market. They don’t offer the same level of cushioning or padding in the rubber soles, but what they lack in padding they make up for in weight. Many users find that the best feature of these shoes is that they are incredibly lightweight and easy.
The cost is where these really shine. If you were in the market for something that was a fraction of what many of the others will set you back. Besides, you might live in a part of the world where the weather is only warm enough to wear these a few months out of the year, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something you won’t have the opportunity to wear often.
For those that want something simple, lightweight, and easy- and that won’t set them back a lot of money, the Mountain Warehouse Crete will be an excellent companion on all of your summer adventures.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This was the very first thing that we looked at when evaluating a brand. To determine the level of comfort, we looked at two factors. The first factor was what material was it constructed from. Since you typically do not wear socks with these types of shoes, you really want something that is going to be breathable. When you wear socks, the cotton socks serve to wick away sweat and moisture, and you aren’t going to have that on these types of shoes, so it was important that the materials used were breathable. Cork is one of the best materials for this, because it wicks away moisture and leaves the foot feeling cool even on those hot days. What’s great about cork is that it also has a little bit of give to it, so that over time the shoe will conform to the shape of your foot. Other types of materials, such as EVA, also form to the shape of your foot over time- and this is a recipe for a really comfortable piece of footwear. Another thing that we took into consideration was what users were saying about them. Sure, a brand could use really great cork or rubber materials- but the real test is in the application. We listened to what the users had to say, and if they felt they were comfortable enough to wear on all of their summer travels.
Before taking the plunge, first, consider what your plans are for this summer. Are you more of a laid-back, beach lounging person? If that’s the case, you might want something that is a little bit easier going such as a pair of Birkenstocks. Birkenstocks don’t offer much in terms of shock absorption or arch support, but they do offer a perfect fit and a cool, breathable sole. If you are the type of person that likes to climb mountains and swim in the ocean and go camping every weekend- you might need something that offers a little bit more comfort and stability. Products such as Ryka and Teva have soles that are built just like your running shoes but are structured to be light and easy as a sandal should be. No matter how you plan to spend your time this summer, a good pair of sandals will make everything just a little more enjoyable.
Everyone wants a shoe that works for them, but they also want something that looks good and matches their personal style. We made sure to investigate the colors options offered for all of the brands offered on this list to ensure there was a style to appeal to most users. For the most part, the only things that these companies changed in terms of style were the straps. Almost all of the soles were the same size, the changes were simply in the straps, Due to this, companies are able to offer a lot more options in colors. Another thing that we looked at in designs is what type of straps were used. While thick straps often look a little bulky, they typically served a function- and that function was comfort. The more bulky and rigid the straps were meant that they were a little more padded and wouldn’t rub up against your feet as much and cause blisters. Leather straps always look better, but are they as comfortable as nylon padded straps? The community seems to think that leather might actually be more comfortable because over time it tends to loosen up and form to the shape of your foot. So, we were drawn to design that used leather straps instead of nylon, but this also came at a higher price point.
When the weather gets warm, women need a style of shoe that will be able to keep up with a schedule packed full of fun adventures. You are going to want something that is open enough that your feet will be cool on those hot days, but you also want something that will give you a lot of support and comfort for the days where you are especially active. Many people think that summer shoes have to be simple and that they can’t offer the same level of support that you would get from a sneaker- and that just isn’t true. A lot of the styles that we selected have soles that are styled much like soles that you would find in your athletic shoes, and they are often made from the same types of rubber such as EVA. Just because the topsole is open doesn’t mean that it cannot offer you things like arch support and shock absorption. There were quite a few things that we kept our eye out for when researching the best sandals out there on the market that would be able to keep up with you this summer.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you want to have a shoe that is able to be worn in the water, you might want to invest in a pair of water shoes. However, most of these products that made our list are considered to be waterproof. What this means is that they will be perfect for wearing on the beach and wading into the ocean, for watery boat rides, and for getting caught in a summer rainstorm. While they might claim to be waterproof, we don’t suggest that you wear them to go swimming or engaging in watersports because the open nature of the design might make them a little cumbersome for swimming, and might actually run the risk of coming off (especially if they are held on with velcro) if the waters are a little too choppy.
Other Factors to Consider
While you want to ensure that you get a really great pair of footwear to wear this summer, the price is always something you keep your eye on, and so do we. We want to ensure that we select style and brands that are trusted in the industry for using high-quality products and always have new and innovative designs. What we don’t want is brands that have a higher price tag for no other reason than the label printed on the box. When we do our research, we don’t look at labels, we look at materials used. If a brand uses high-quality materials such as leather, cork, and EVA rubber- we know that those shoes are made to last. Plus, we back up our assumptions by researching what past users have said about them. By researching in this way, we can ensure that we have selected the highest quality products that are offered at the lowest prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How should I wash them?
These shoes are a little bit different from anything else you wear throughout the year because they are not only exposed to all of the oils and moisture the comes from your feet, but they are also open and exposed to all of the dirt you kick up from your adventures. Plus, if you have just came home from a beach trip where you were walking in the water, and then hiking along some trails- you might discover that your faithful feet companions have a very distinct and unpleasant odor. While many experts will tell you that it’s not ok to throw your sneakers into the washing machine- it is absolutely fine to throw your sandals into the washing machine. The trick to getting rid of any odors, bacteria, and debris is to include just a touch of laundry detergent with a little bit of baking soda and vinegar. The detergent will help get rid of any dirt and stains, and the vinegar combined with the baking soda will help eliminate any funky odors. However, before you go throwing any of your shoes into the washing machine- be sure to check the label to ensure it will be ok. Some brands, like Birkenstocks, cannot be thrown into the washing machine due to the various types of suede and leather. One thing is for certain across the board- and that’s the fact that you should never throw them into the dryer. The heat could have an adverse effect on the sole, and you might find that they will never fit right after that. To speed up the drying process, set them outside in a nice open area to let them dry in the fresh open air
q: How should they fit?
You might have heard various recommendations from different people over the years. Some say that they should fit a little snug and your toes should come all the way to the edge, while others suggest that it’s better that they fit a little bit loose. When it comes to designs like flip-flops, it’s all a matter of personal preference. However, with the styles that we selected on our list that are made to be worn for just about anything, you should treat the fit like you would a normal running shoe. The toes should come to the end, but they shouldn’t crowd and they absolutely shouldn’t hang over. As for the heel- it should be cradled right into the end of the sole and the straps on the ankle should fit securely, but not too tight. Like we said earlier- simply think of this as a running shoe that has an open topsole.
q: What makes Birkenstocks so special?
Birkenstock has been around for a very long time, and they are something that people have been wearing for decades. There are two things that make them so special, and the first is fairly obvious: their classic design. When someone mentions the name Birkenstock, you probably conjure an image of a flat shoe with two brown suede buckles running along the top of the foot. The second thing that makes them so special is the construction of the sole. It might look like the sole is flat and simple and made from one solid material, but it is actually composed of 4 separate materials that serve very specific purposes. The first layer is a soft shock absorbent bed, and on top of that are two layers of jute fibers. Jute fibers are vegetable based and are used in the construction of paper products. On top of the two layers of jute fibers is the classic cork footbed, followed by a soft suede lining.
q: Are they expensive?
Depending on which brand that you select, they are no more expensive than a regular pair of sneakers. Birkenstocks, we have found, are one of the more expensive brands out there on the market- but past users have claimed again and again that they are well worth the padded price tag. There are other options as well that are considered to be very affordable, and will likely set you back the same price as a takeout pizza- but you have to keep in mind they aren’t made to last as long as some of the more expensive units. Plus, they will not give you the same level of support as the moderately priced products, so they might not be great to take out on the trails for an afternoon. Consider which is important to you before making your purchase.