Planning for a trip to Europe, walking your dog in the morning, or going for your weekend errands, you'll definitely need a pair of comfortable walking sandals that look great and will provide the needed support.
When searching for the best women's walking sandals, it's important to pay attention to certain factors. First, comfort is a key factor. Though the style is important, if your shoes are not comfortable, you're likely not to be able to walk around in them a lot. Second, most walking sandals are designed for short-term walking however some can handle tough terrains like hikes.
However, they have extra features to cater for that, e.g., toe guards. Hence you can't go for a hike in flip flops. Lastly, ensure your shoes can support your arches and have an ankle strap or straps that are adjustable.
This article guides you by outlining 5 of the best women's walking sandals and the factors to consider when shopping for them.
Best Women's Walking Sandals
1. Teva Women's W Sanborn Universal Sandal
Whether you enjoy taking those long serene walks with your dog in the morning or you need comfy shoes to run those weekend errands with, we've got the best women's walking sandals for you.
The sandal is not only comfortable and stylish but is sure to stand up to the weather.
Teva is a popular and trusted footwear brand, and its Sanborn Universal sandal comes in a stunning black that can work with any style. It also comes in a Dark Blue.
The Tevas is made from recycled plastic and features a Velcro ankle strap that ensures a perfect fit. In addition, the Teva footwear has an easy hook-and-loop closure that comes on and off quickly, allowing you to get fit just right.
The sandal features a lightweight EVA-foam midsole that adds extra cushioning for maximum comfort. In addition, it has a rubber outsole that provides durability and traction. The 1-inch heel and the 0.75-inch platform provide additional support while strolling.
If it rains or your shoe gets wet, they dry fast, thus leaving your feet feeling dry without the weird squishy feeling that some tend to have when water gets trapped in between.
2. Birkenstock Women's Arizona-Oiled Leather
If dealing with plantar fasciitis, these may be the best women's walking sandals as they won't cause further irritation or aggravate the situation when you need to move around.
The Birkenstock Arizona sandals for women feature a soft cork footbed with an integrated latex foam cushion designed for comfort. It evens out pressure and the distribution of your weight, letting your foot find some relief. The upper of the sandal is made of Birko-Flor synthetic that has a leather-like finish and a soft backing.
The sandals for women have an insole made from real leather that is gentle on the skin. It contours to your foot and nestles up to your skin. The insole is breathable, thus providing an aerated and comfortable foot climate even during strenuous physical activity. It also features EVA foam that provides cushioned support.
The sandals for women have a roomy toe box that contours to the toes aiding your feet to stay in the correct position while strolling. They also have built-in arch support, which is great if you will be standing or strolling for a long time.
The durable rubber sole provides great traction; hence you're less likely to slip on various surfaces. The walking sandals come in regular or narrow widths, and the two buckle straps allow you to adjust the fit further.
The Birkenstock comes in a range of colors, from the classics to metallic stone.
3. Vionic Women's Amber
The biggest challenge orthotic shoes tend to have is that they are rarely stylish; however, Vionic has created a pair of sandals that combines both.
The sandal feature four points for adjustability designed for customized comfort. It has natural cork uppers with a super soft wrapped microfiber footbed. The outsole is made of rubber, thus offering the needed support, tread, and traction on various surfaces.
The shoe is biomechanically designed to support your feet and hug your arches. In addition, Vionic sandals' built-in orthotic is shown to be effective in helping to treat plantar fasciitis.
The footwear is available in both medium and wide widths.
4. CLARKS Women's Arla Shaylie Platform
- Heel Height 1.57 inches
- Cloud steppers
- Cushion Soft technology
- Stretch Fabric Upper
- Hook and Loop Heel Strap
If you're searching for the best women's walking sandals that you can comfortably spend a whole day on and not have to worry about sore or tired feet at the end of the day, these may just be for you.
The Clarks wedge sandals feature elastic straps that provide your feet the needed support and stability. In addition, they have a lightweight synthetic outsole with a heel height of 1.57; hence it allows for comfy strolling.
The Clarks wedge features an Ortholite footbed that reduces impact and wicks moisture and insole with layers of cushion soft padding.
The downside is that Clarks are designed for those with narrow feet. Hence even if you fall within this category and your feet happen to swell, you're likely to find the shoes uncomfortable.
5. Mephisto Women's Helen Thong Sandals
- Soft-Air Technology Provides Comfort. The SOFT-AIR...
- Protection for your feet, joints and vertebrae.
- Made In Europe
- Handmade by master shoemakers
- European Made, Soft-Air Technology, Ultra Comfort,...
The Mephisto flip flops have a similar design to Birkenstocks in that they both have a padded cork footbed. This aids in shock absorption whilst providing comfort as you go about your day.
The flip flops feature a rubber outsole while the straps are made from leather, thus allowing you to adjust them as needed.
Factors To Consider When Buying Best Women's Walking Sandals
a) Test Your Sandals
It's essential to fit your walking sandals to ensure that they have enough adjustment points at the back of the sandal to prevent your foot from moving back and forth, rubbing against the straps with each step resulting in blisters.
Testing your shoe at an actual walking distance allows you to see whether any foot swelling while strolling makes your toes bump against the toe guard, leading to blisters, black toenails, or over the front edge.
b) Support and Stability
The best walking sandals must be flexible enough to roll with your foot through each step. If the sole is too stiff, then your foot will be fighting the sandal with each step. Ideally, your sandal should be able to flex in the forefoot. Look for footwear that offers cushioning, support, and flexibility features.
Your shoe should have good stability as this will guarantee that it will keep your foot securely in place. Some of the features to consider are a sandal with straps to hold the front part of the foot and the heel and ankle. Though slide-in sandals tend to be popular, they don't provide enough arch support as the foot tends to move around, making it easier to lead to injury.
On the other hand, hiking sandals are designed with inbuilt great arch support, which allows hikers to go about trails comfortably. In addition, they feature a partially contoured footbed that adds to the comfort while also protecting your foot.
c) Type of Sandals
i) Trail Sandals
These walking sandals are designed for use on natural trails. They often have toe guards to prevent the stubbing of toes or pick up too much gravel and dirt. The sole tends to be durable and rugged, but one must be cautious to ensure that the sandal is flexible enough for comfortable strolling.
ii) Anatomic Sandals
These are designed to mimic walking barefoot. One of the most common brands that fall in this category is Birkenstock. With anatomic sandals, it takes time to adjust and accustom to the difference in design.
iii) Socks with Sandals
Though not really a type of sandal, it is a feature that affects the type of walking sandals you might buy. For many long-distance walkers, socks tend to be a common feature. It acts as a barrier between the straps and the foot, thus reducing blisters and hot spots. However, for some walkers who wear sandals year-round, they can only do so by wearing socks. Socks can also absorb moisture from the sole to keep it dryer.
iv) Distance Walking Sandals
Though most sandals are best suited for shorter walks on surfaces and terrains with a lot of gravel and litter, some walkers prefer to wear them regularly for long-distance walks.
It is advisable to try it on shorter walks before packing them for hikes or trying long-distance walks.
When searching for the best walking sandals, it's crucial to consider the protection of your feet. Some sandals leave your feet more exposed more than others. If you intend to wear sandals to run errands or casual wear, you don't need to worry too much about open-toe designs. However, if hiking and trekking on unpaved trails, you require the best walking sandals with an enclosed toe for more protection.
Regardless of how stylish your walking sandals are, it won't really matter if they cause any form of discomfort. When shopping for the best walking sandals, the key features to pay attention to are arch support, cushioning, and straps ( padding and placement).
Adjustable straps are important when you're on a hike or a rough, and your feet are swollen. Additionally, if it gets chilly, the straps will give you the room you need for a pair of warm socks.
f) Sole of The Sandal
The best walking sandals ideally should have a sole that's a little larger than your own foot. Your toes should not fall over the edge of your sandal, and that's how you know you've found the right fit.
Additionally, the soles shouldn't be hard as they can result in pain in the long run. Instead, the best walking sandals should have thick soles as it provides stability and support.
For trekking and hiking, the soles are designed to be sturdy and preferably with Vibram. This provides traction and grip. This means you can hit the trails in flip flops even if you're walking around the campsite as there'll be sticks, thorns, and rocks.
Frequently Asked Question About Best Walking Sandals (FAQ)
a) How To Stop Sandals From Squeaking When Moving Around?
New sandals often produce a squeak-like noise because of the air escaping between the outsole layers. This tends to happen with shoes that have memory foam cushioning which compresses while walking. One way to avoid it is by lubricating the insoles with products like powder or petroleum jelly. There's also the option of waiting for the noise to disappear on its own as the foam remains compressed instead of bouncing back into place. This, however, happens over time.
The noises can also be caused by sweaty feet since most people wear shoes without socks. Foot sweat is not easily absorbed; hence the extra moisture can cause the squeak as you walk. You can sprinkle a bit of talcum or baby powder on the insole of your sandals which can prevent the build-up of sweat.
If you find that the bottom of your sandal squeaks on smooth floors, try rubbing sandpaper on the outsole. When not smooth, they're likely not to squeak as much.