After 12 hours of research evaluating 120 products, we picked Teva Women's Tirra Athletic Sandal as our top choice.
Summer is for sandals!
No one should have to wear shoes in that summer heat, so it’s the time of year when everyone breaks out those comfy, open-toed sandals to take full advantage of the more casual dress code. Sandals are soooooo comfortable and much easier to wear—whether at home, on the beach, on vacation, or even around town.
Here's the deal:
Finding the right pair of sandals for women is far more complex than buying good men’s sandals. Guys just have to find sandals that are comfortable and supportive, but for women it’s all about style! After all, the shoes complete the outfit, right?
Thankfully, there are lots of stylish options to choose from, so you’ll have no problem getting your hands on a gorgeous pair of sandals for women.
Check out our list of the best women’s sandals for you to choose from:
Beautifully low price tag, simple design, comfortable to wear, easy to slip on, hug your feet tightly, durable elastic textile and rubber sole, comfortable for walking around town, and super lightweight.
Not suited for wet use and offer minimal support and cushioning.
These sandals are designed for walking, with elastic straps that sit comfortably on your feet. The elastic fabric has enough stretch to make it easy to slip the sandals on and off, but the fabric will hold its tightness so you won’t have to worry about them sliding off.
The criss-cross straps will hug your foot in the shape of a V, which will visually make your legs appear longer (and who doesn’t want that?).
The heels are slip resistant and measure about .4” in height. While there isn’t a ton of arch support, the inner front strap is not elastic—which will prevent slipping when you walk.
These sandals also come in 14 different colors, so we guarantee this sandal offers something for everyone.
They’re feather-light, with good durability and a design that will keep you comfortable as you walk around your house, the office, the mall, or department store.
Where to Wear: Anywhere that’s not wet! The leather of these shoes won’t respond well to water, so keep them away from rain, rivers, beaches, and pools.
The shoes are amazingly light, so you’ll never feel their weight as you walk around town. The elastic straps are nicely soft on your feet, and feature a textile rubber sole with elastic upper and lightly padded insoles for an ultra-comfortable, yet ultra-stylish, fit.
The fact that these sandals feature an elastic strap rather than a buckle makes them super easy to wear. Sadly, they’re lacking in cushioning and arch support, so you shouldn’t plan to wear them for more than a few hours at a time or if you're planning to do a lot of walking
Depending on the color and size you’re looking for, these sandals will run you anywhere from $10-$18, making these the best priced sandals for women on our list. They’re stylish, comfortable, and reliable—all at a price tag you can love. Even on the higher end of that spectrum, you can almost afford to buy a pair of these in every color!
Excellent arch support, thick cushioning for your feet, the most durable footbeds and soles you’ll own, anatomically-designed, adjustable buckles, no rubs or friction as you walk, stylish raised toe bar, and great for active users.
Heavier and thicker than other sandals; will take up more room in luggage.
These are designed like all Birkenstocks: thick cork footbeds with an anatomical design that matches the contours of your feet to provide excellent arch support, complete with solid suede leather straps. The leather straps come with buckles that allow you to adjust the fit of the shoes. With their raised toe bar, these sandals are far more stylish than your average Birkenstocks.
Where to Wear: Anywhere you plan to do a lot of hiking or walking. Thanks to their added thickness and contoured footbeds, they’ll give your heels and arches the support they need. You’ll be comfortable in these bad boys all day long.
These sandals will weigh more than some of the lighter-weight options on our list, but once you get used to the weight, you’ll never look back. The cork footbed is absorbent enough to reduce impact yet still provides a solid platform to push off of as you walk. The shoes will keep your feet comfortable and offer good cushioning for your heels. You’ll never have to worry about foot fatigue or painful arches again!
Prices on these shoes are around $100 (depending on size), but they are worth every dollar if you plan on doing a lot of walking and want a pair of sandals that offer maximum arch support and cushioning for your feet.
Solid sole great for walking on sand and rocks, textured footbed offers good traction, surprisingly stylish, lightweight, quick-drying, perfect for water-based activities, minimalist design, and compatible with any outfit.
Not suited for active use.
Looks like Crocs doesn’t just do clunky and ugly anymore—they knocked it out of the park with these beach sandals. The jelly wedge sandal comes with a thong strap that runs across the sides of your feet and around the back of your ankle for firm grip on your feet as you walk. You’ll find that the textured footbed offers good grip for your feet even when they’re wet, so you won’t have to worry about slipping.
The Croslite sole is thick enough that you won’t feel rocks or hot sand beneath your feet, but not so thick that they’ll weigh you down or look clunky.
Where to Wear: Sun dresses, beach outfits, or board shorts. No matter your style, these versatile beach sandals look great on your feet!
The shoes are lightweight and fairly thin, so you’re not going to get the best arch support. However, the textured footbed grips your feet so you don’t have to tense your toes to keep the sandals in place as you walk.
The quick-drying sole will make it easy for you to go from poolside or beachside to walking around town, and you’ll find that they’re sturdy enough for a full day of exploring. Best of all, their minimalist design encourages a more natural pronation as you walk.
Starting around $30, these shoes are just what you need if you’re planning a day on the beach!
Very durable, excellent traction, solid toe guard, quick-drying uppers, machine washable, adjustable fit, anatomic footbed, stylish, lots of colors to choose from, good arch support, and great breathability.
Inconsistent sizing and the sandal loses traction on very muddy ground.
These shoes are designed with hiking and trekking in mind. In addition to the extra-thick rubber sole with its deep tread and contoured footbed, you get a solid toe guard that will protect your toes from rocks or other obstacles. The sandal straps grip your feet tightly to ensure that your feet stay put, and you won’t slide around even when the sandal is wet.
The synthetic fabric of the straps dries quickly, so you can wade through rivers or streams and still keep hiking without fear of slipping on rocks. The traction suffers a bit on mud, though, as the tread isn’t deep enough for muddy terrain.
Where to Wear: Out in the jungle, up the mountainside, or along that forest trail. These are, without a doubt, the best hiking sandals around!
The anatomical footbed provides you with good arch support and solid footing even when the sandals are wet. Thanks to the built-in heel cushioning, you’ll be able to walk comfortably all day long without feeling the pain in your ankles or knees.
The shoes are very comfortable if you can find the right size—the most common problem is that sizing is VERY inconsistent—and you’ll love how they feel on your feet as you hike or walk.
Starting at $55, these are an excellent pair of hiking sandals that will serve you very well once you find the right size. Just be prepared to send them back once or twice thanks to the inconsistent sizing issue. Thankfully, Keen’s customer service is far better than its quality control department!
Super comfortable and supportive footbed, great cushioning, stylish, strap is super stretchy and soft on your skin, will stay firmly in place all day long, and great for narrower feet. The perfect sandals for strolling around in comfort.
Lack arch support and are a very thin sandal.
These sandals are designed simply: a thin footbed with a synthetic sole that offers decent traction, and a soft fabric “strap” system that is a cross between thong (between your first two toes) and a sandal (wrapping around the back of your ankle). Though the sandals are thinner than you’d expect, you’ll love how lightweight they are. You can wear them all day long and almost feel like you’re going barefoot!
Where to Wear: At the beach, around town, or even to a club! These sandals are as stylish as they are comfortable.
The footbed is where these sandals really shine. Made of the same material as your favorite Yoga mat, they’re super soft and offer great cushioning. Users agree that you can walk around all day in these shoes without feeling aches or pains in the bottom of your feet. However, be warned: the shoes don’t offer great arch support.
The fabric sandal “straps” are also amazingly soft and stretchy enough that you can slip your feet in and out with ease. And yet, once they’re on, you’ll never worry about your feet sliding out.
At $45, these are slightly on the pricier side given how slim they are, but once you slide your feet into them, you’ll immediately find that they’re worth every penny for the incredible comfort they offer.
Very durable, maximum comfort, solid grip on your feet, good traction, stylish, great for hiking and walking, true to size fit, stability and support guaranteed, quick-drying fabric, very lightweight, easy to slip on and off, and cushioned heel.
Footbed may cause your feet to sweat, and these may start to smell quicker than other sandals.
These sandals are designed for ANYTHING—with their solid rubber outsole, thick heel cushioning, contoured footbed, and built-in arch support, you’ll find they’re thick enough for walking, climbing, hiking, or playing in the sand. Their upper is made using a lightweight synthetic fabric that is highly resistance to water and wear, and it’s quick-drying enough that you’ll be able to walk right off the beach and around town without delay.
Where to Wear: Anywhere and everywhere! These are as stylish as it gets for proper sandals—definitely not the sort of thing to wear with a sun dress, but the perfect pair of sandals for beach use, walking, and exploring.
The level of comfort with these bad boys is as good as it gets. The built-in heel cushioning provides excellent joint support, and you’ll find the arch support makes walking around town a dream. The ankle straps will be scratchy at first but very comfortable once broken in.
The only real downside is that the footbed is made of material that can cause your feet to sweat. You’ll need to wash the sandals regularly to keep them from smelling.
Starting as low as $45, these are a very well-priced pair of sandals that will keep up with you, no matter how active you are!
Sandals are the essential, go-to footwear for summer. They’re cozy, stylish, versatile, and easy to slip on and off. While sandals are definitely carefree and easy to wear, choosing a new pair is a little less breezy. The variety of types, styles, and brands can be overwhelming whether you’re buying from a retail store or online.
A pair of carefully chosen sandals will spare you the trouble of replacing, refunding, or the woe of completely wasted cash. Our guide should help your sandal-shopping faster and more satisfying to get you ready for the summer.
TYPES OF SANDALS
Women’s sandals fall within two basic types–heeled and flat. Heeled sandals are an indispensable part of any fashionable woman’s wardrobe because they flatter and complement any summer outfit. Flat sandals are more casual, comfortable, and practical; they’re great for leisurely walks in warm weather. Every woman should have at least one pair of each type of sandals in her collection.
Several different styles are available for women’s sandals. Various strap, footbed, and heel designs determine the level of comfort, and the occasion or activity the sandals are best suited for. They also differ in the manner that they’re worn and fastened.
Mules – Also known as clogs or slide sandals, these look awesome when worn with a light summer dress or skinny jeans. They come heeled or flat with an open-back construction. In general, closed-toe heeled versions are referred to as clogs, while open-toe flat models are called slide sandals. They usually have two narrow straps or a single wide strap. The straps are often buckled and made from leather or synthetic materials. There are models that come with two straps crossed over one another. They're very easy to put on and off because of their backless, belt-free design. On the other hand, the absence of heel support may affect your gait, making them inappropriate for walking long distances.
Sports Sandals – These are an ideal choice for hiking and adventure trekking. They have much more material than conventional sandals to provide maximum protection and may be mistaken for shoes. These sandals are frequently made with waterproof components which include toe support, soles with added traction, multiple straps, a lace-up fastening system, and a thicker heel collar. They look amazing when paired with cargo pants, shorts, jeans, or even a summer skirt if you’re not planning to do any heavy-duty backpacking. Go for a style with neutral hues that go well with garments of most any color.
T-Straps – Named for their straps that wrap around the ankle and extend to the center of the toe, heel, and sides which produce its unique ‘T’ shape, these sandals are a summer favorite. Their design is very sensual and shows a great deal of the feet. They lend a subtle silhouette that flatters and elongates the legs. Let these sandals shine by wearing them with neutral and basic-colored apparel. Equally elegant as flats or heels, they work best when matched with a plain dress, skirt, or jeans and trousers with hems that brush the ankle strap.
Strappy Sandals – A variation on the T-strap, these sandals have extra straps incorporated for enhanced support and visual appeal. One of the trendiest types are gladiator sandals. These flats, evocative of footwear worn in Ancient Rome, are equipped with straps that are tied up to the ankle or just below the knee. They're excellent as casual summer flats which harmonize most effectively with a floral skirt or denim shorts. The heeled variant with ankle-high straps are more versatile: they work well with formal wear and summertime office wear.
Platform Sandals – These classic 70s sandals are making a huge comeback. They have a level platform that spans the whole foot, with a chunky, flat sole. The soles are usually made from wood, cork, rubber, or hard plastic. The soles provide an even lift and wobble-free footing. Some are designed with the heel raised half an inch to an inch higher than the arch of the foot which shouldn’t post any concern about stability. These sandals deliver a touch of retro chic to any wardrobe. They look incredible when worn with anything from a dress or skirt to a pair of hot pants or skinny jeans. If you’re constantly on your feet or do a fair amount of walking, cork or rubber soles absorbs shock and cushions your feet much better than other materials.
Wedge Sandals – They’re similar to platform sandals in design but differ drastically in heel height. These sandals can have heels as high as 6 inches. Go with low wedges with one or two-inch heels for an understated look, or pull out all the stops with five-inch heels. Regardless of heel heights, these sandals are highly versatile and suitable for any occasion. Paired with the right attire, they can go from day to night, office to club, and casual to dressy.
Flats – Comfortable and lightweight, wearing these sandals are the next best thing to going barefoot. A majority of designs are unsuitable for formal wear, but there are some elaborately adorned flats that go exceptionally well with an evening dress. For the most part, these delicate and dainty sandals are the epitome of summer casual wear. They're perfect floral dresses, skirts, capri pants, jeans, or shorts. No summertime wardrobe should be without a pair of these sandals.
Flip Flops – Crafted exclusively for casual wear, these are the most affordable type of sandals. They have a very basic design composed of a flat rubber sole with two straps in a ‘Y’ shape that rest between the big toe and second toe. They’re light and slender enough to fit in your handbag for a day at the beach or by the pool. Keep in mind that there are businesses such as upscale restaurants and clubs that frown upon, or altogether prohibit the wearing of these sandals within their establishments.
The price of sandals depends largely on the brand and the materials they’re made from. Expect to pay more for luxury designer brands. Sandals made from leather or suede are more costly than rubber or plastic sandals. Also, bulkier, larger sandals like wedges and platforms are generally more expensive than mules or flats. It’s really about your preference. Remember that overspending on a pair of sandals is never a good idea, but underspending has its own share of potential risks and inconveniences. What may seem like a bargain pair may break apart before summer’s end. Be sure to check out the quality of the materials, read online reviews, and ask your family or friends about a style, brand, or model you’re interested in.
Whichever type or style of sandals you choose, they should fit perfectly. Sandals shouldn’t be too tight or too wide. It’s crucial that they fit correctly not only for comfort but for health reasons as well. Ill-fitting sandals may cause painful foot conditions like Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and bunions, to name a few. The footbed should snugly accommodate your foot without the toes sticking out. Make sure the straps aren’t overly tight or excessively slackened. Although breaking in will enhance their snugness, a new pair of sandals should fit and feel right the first time you wear them.
A poorly supported arch can make walking uncomfortable which can lead to back pain and posture issues. There are a lot of inexpensive sandals that are made from nothing more than cardboard and fabric. These cheaply manufactured items place unnecessary strain on your feet and legs. If you have high arches or flat feet, wearing sandals without proper support may produce further discomfort. Sandals with first-rate arch support from quality materials ensure a relaxed stance and stress-free movement.
Sandals with insufficient heel cushioning can bring about blisters, even when walking short distances. Inadequate padding may also generate bruises if you step on a stone or a pebble. Except for sports sandals, most styles of sandals don’t come with much cushioning in the heel. When buying sandals, see to it that the heels are reinforced with materials that absorb shock and buffer your feet from rubbing or chafing.
The glitzy pair of sandals that caught your fancy may not supply your feet with the protection and support for the activity you’re buying them for. You wouldn’t want to wear platform sandals to the beach, go to work in flip flops, or head out to the woods to hike in a pair of strappy heels. Consider when and how you’ll be using your sandals, then choose accordingly. Purchase a pair of sandals for looks as well as use.
There are no two ways about it. Even the most beautiful, most expensive pair of sandals can’t make up for poorly groomed feet. Rough heels, unkempt toenails, and chipped nail polish are better kept under wraps. If you can’t keep a regular foot care regimen over the summer or thinking of wearing socks with your sandals, we recommend skipping sandals and sticking to shoes.