It’s the time of the season when your favorite sandals are looking worn and you’re ready for a new everyday pair. But let’s face it, the shoe department can feel like a reasoning and decision-making exam. Not only are you juggling price and size, but also the dilemma between style and comfort. Are you choosing the fashionable pair that will stay in your wardrobe forever? Or the comfy pair you won’t wear outside the house?
When choosing a sandal, you want one that is both comfortable and fashionable. After all, no one wants to worry about sore feet, chafing, or blisters. So we consulted fashion experts and podiatrists to find the best sandals for lovers of comfort and style.
$139.95 at Naot
Who doesn’t love that classic double strap design? Dr. Elizabeth Daughtry, who specializes in podiatric medicine, loves the adjustable straps, the cushioned suede insole and especially the sole of this sandal. “The EVA footbed is supportive and has an anatomical cork and latex footbed,” she says. “This allows for arch support and molding to the structure of the individual’s foot. EVA is an elastic material that is considered one of the best shock absorbing materials on the market today. The brand also makes a style for men.
$139.95 at Naot
Take everything good about Santa Barbaras, but make them vegan! Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or not, these slides are stylish, comfortable and comfortable. Daughtry recommends them for travel as they are lightweight and easy to store.
$55 at Hoka
As if the modern futuristic style wasn’t enough, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has actually given this sandal its own stamp of acceptance. “Apart from a cushioned sole, the bottom of the sandal is shaped like the bottom of a boat,” says Dr. Sophia Solomon. “This allows your foot to rock from heel to toe in one smooth motion and minimizes shock to the knees and ankles.”
$130 at Birkenstock
When you think of comfortable and cute sandals, Birkenstocks probably immediately spring to mind. But did you know that they are also good for your feet? According to Solomon, “Birkenstocks are still one of the best options due to a few attributes. The deep heel cup and arch support stabilize the heel, prevent overpronation, and distribute your weight over a larger area. The metatarsal pad helps relieve forefoot pain, or metatarsalgia, by shifting weight further into your foot.
$49.99 at Crocs
Ah, how we loved the return of the Croc! Jane Francis, a multidisciplinary designer with 35 years of experience in the fashion industry, is also responsible for this. “Mixing up and down is always a winning formula in fashion,” she says. “I love how wearers of all ages and genders can customize their Crocs.” In case you need inspiration, Jane has her Crocs adorned with chains, crystals and designer logos.
$59.95 at Oofos
These Oofos sandals stayed there for a good reason: for those with sore heels (and those who don’t), the foam cushion provides support and reduces shock. Plus, the Ooriginal thong style, which is an Underscored editor’s favorite, is made with a non-slip footbed, making them suitable for wet conditions. Rain or shine, you don’t have to worry about slipping.
$150 $69.95 at Cole Haan
If you walk a lot and don’t want to trade style for comfort, check out these Cole Haan sandals. Walking long distances on the sidewalks of New York is what led Carolina Obregón, senior lecturer at the Parsons School of Design, to seek out these gems.
$120 $60 at Birkenstock
We have yet another Birkenstock recommendation, this time for the well-fitting Milano model, which comes in many solids and patterns. Stone Hubbard, footwear and accessories design technologist at the Fashion Institute of Technology, loves the sueded cork base. “I like the Milano Birkenstocks because they’re sleek like the classic Arizona model and have an orthopedic cork and jute footbed,” he says. “They provide great arch support and fit securely in the back heel strap.”
$115 at Chaco
Have you heard the term “gorpcorp”? It’s a trend that focuses on utility and functionality. For fashion, leather and textile expert Tjacob Hooker, who holds an MFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Chacos are the way to go. “I gravitate toward more ‘gorpcorp’ brands because of their respect for the human body,” he says. “Their design philosophy is all about ergonomics and continuous use.” Other brands he recommends include Birkenstock and Merrell.
$150 $112.98 at Sorel
How can something so fashionable be comfortable? These half-sneaker, half-wedge sandals are the enhancer you need to elevate any look. Obregón describes them as stylish enough for any occasion, but you can still walk for miles and miles.
$139.95 at Naot
If you’re looking for a sandal that can be easily dressed up, you’re going to want to check out the Naot Kayla style. It has a small heel, but your feet won’t be sore. The cork and latex footbed molds to your foot while the deep heel adds stability. According to foot and ankle specialist Dr. Timothy Oldani, stability is really important when considering a sandal. “The more stable it is, the less it moves, which means less pain and less chance for blisters,” he says.
$55 From $38.99 at Merrell
This is considered a hiking shoe, but it’s just as stylish off the beaten path. Hooker loves the unibody style of this durable slip-on. For an eco-friendly choice, there is the vegan version called Hydro Moc with Bloom.
$130 $97.98 at Sorel
For fashion designer Alla Eizenberg, the reference sandal comes from Céline. She loves Sorel Kinetic wedge sandals for their neat look, reasonable price and high quality. “I wore them on my recent vacation to Italy and the south of France,” she says. “I walked around a lot and they endured the medieval cobbled streets with grace.” Neon accent colors and chunky platform style make a remarkable team. His other recommendation? You guessed it: a Birkenstock in every style.
From $39 on Amazon
You can’t go wrong with this Nike staple. “The Jordan brand successfully straddles the line between fashion and function, loved by both athletes and the everyday consumer,” says Angela Finochio, assistant class at the Fashion Institute of Technology. You’ll want to wear these lightweight, sporty sandals everywhere, if you aren’t already. “The rise of athleisure fashion has increased the popularity of the zipper silhouette, a relaxed style that can now be found in many high fashion collections,” she says. “Wearing them with socks is completely acceptable and creates an opportunity to style one’s look based on the color, pattern and length of the sock.”