The 18 Best Sandals For Women That Are Stylish and Functional

Including everything from fisherman sandals to leather slides

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Best Women's Sandals

InStyle / David Hattan

With the weather warming up and summer travel plans falling into place, we've got one thing on our minds: Sandal shopping. But snagging a new pair of sandals can come with a set of challenges. For one, they are notoriously less comfortable than sneakers and boots; and, two, they don't always last us through multiple summer seasons, making us question what's worth the investment. For the sake of our soles, we plunged into the internet's best offerings and researched designs that are stylish, of course, but also preferably comfortable, so you can walk a mile in them without problem. We gathered everything from slides to wedges to strappy numbers that can seamlessly integrate into your closet.

Best Overall

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA

Birkenstock Arizona Essentials


What We Love: They pair well with everything.
What We Don't Love: The price is a little high for the material.

Thanks to their comfort, durability, support, and long-lasting design, we're big fans of Birkenstock's Arizona sandals, especially their EVA pair. They are made entirely out of molded EVA (or in full, ethylene vinyl acetate) — which is a type of foam known for being soft, yet as tough as rubber — making them the most cushioned pair of sandals we own. Samantha Sutton, former InStyle senior fashion editor, put us onto the this pair, telling us that she owns more than her fair share of sandals, but she considers these Birkenstocks her "go-to" because "they're just so easy to slip on in a flash." And if you're not sure how to style them, don't worry, because Sutton thinks they actually pair well with everything, adding, "They keep even the most floral, ruffled sundresses from feeling too sweet, which is a plus for me." While the price is a little high for the material, it's still a great price point for the Birkenstock Arizona style, as they typically run upwards of $110.

Price at time of publish: $50

Size: 4-12.5 | Colors: ​​5 | Materials: Molded EVA

Best Value

Journee Foam Diannah Sandals

Journee Foam Diannah Sandals


What We Love: The insole is cushioned with a foam for extra comfort.
What We Don't Love: The single band might not provide a lot of support on the foot. 

For a style that resembles more expensive pairs, this shoe gives you the square toe seen on sandals from brands like Bottega Veneta, but you only need to spend $40 to achieve the high-end look. Tied into a knot on the band, the vegan leather upper acts as a sleek and minimalist addition to any outfit. We know the single strap might not sound like a lot of support — and the relatively thin sole might worry you, too — but we promise these shoes do take comfort into consideration; the insole features a 4 mm Tru Comfort Foam, which feels just as comfortable as thicker soles without looking bulky. You could easily slip into these slides whenever you want to add a touch of grace to your outfit, and no one will be any wiser that you spent less than $50 on them. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Size: 6 - 12 | Colors: 4​​ | Materials: Vegan leather, Tru Comfort Foam

Best Everyday

Madewell The Boardwalk Double Strap Slide Sandal in Leather

Madewell The Boardwalk Double Strap Slide Sandal in Leather


What We Love: The minimalist design will be easy to pair with absolutely everything in your closet.
What We Don't Love: It doesn’t have arch support.

Anyone looking for a one-shoe-for-all kind of sandal need not look further than the Madewell boardwalk slides. Similar to the Journee slide, this minimalist sandal, which comes in three neutral leathers, only features a thick band on the upper, but to ensure your foot won’t wiggle around too much, the opening has a dedicated slot for your big toe. The comfortable padding on the insole and leather makeup ensures it's comfortable and sturdy enough for daily wear. Stylist Ashleigh Ashton loves “a good slide sandal for hot summer days” and finds herself reaching for hers daily. That being said, this pair doesn’t have any arch support, so if you have a sensitive sole then perhaps skip to the next selection.

Price at time of publish: $65

Size: 5-11 | Colors: 3​​ | Materials: Leather

Best Splurge

Hermès Oran Sandal

Hermès Oran Sandal


What We Love: The iconic shoe will last for years.
What We Don't Love: It’s not one-price-fits-all, as different colors and materials will come with a different price tag. 

Let’s be real: there’s no sandal more famous (and sought-after) than the Hermès Oran Sandals. While they are a splurge — don’t get us wrong — you’ll have these for years to come, making them an investment that will only be appreciated more and more as time goes on. The Parisian brand uses quality materials like genuine Italian calfskin leather to craft the upper and the sole. You’ll find extra cushioning around the heel for step support as well, so they’ll be more comfortable to wear than some of the less expensive slides we mention on this list. While there are 30 colors to choose from, take note that the pricing and fabric can vary, so double check this information before purchasing.

Price at time of publish: $660

Size: 4-12 | Colors: 30​​ | Materials: Calfskin leather

Best Slide

Nordstrom Carolina Slide Sandal

Nordstrom Carolina Slide Sandal


What We Love: You can get an elegant leather shoe at an affordable price.
What We Don't Love: There are no half sizes between 10 and 12.

For a similar style (but a very different price), consider these Carolina Slide Sandals. With the same slim fit around the foot, these sandals look sleek, minimal, and elegant. The interlocking vamp strap creates a unique visual appeal that’s equal parts stylish and supportive, hugging the foot with a leather embrace. A contemporary square toe not only looks modern, but allows wider feet to sit comfortably in the shoe as well. However, while the brand offers half sizes between 5 - 10, the sizes beyond that come as full sizes.  

Price at time of publish: $70

Size: 5-12 | Colors: 4​​ | Materials: Leather, rubber

Best Print

Pelle Moda Becall Slide

Pelle Moda Becall Slide

Pelle Moda

What We Love: The satin exterior adds a luxurious aesthetic to your look.
What We Don't Love: They don’t offer much arch support.

With its polka-dotted satin exterior, the Pelle Moda Becall Slide adds a fun visual pop to your look. Writer Bianca Kratky tried this pair out after the brand kindly sent her a pair and loves how they stand out from the rest of her monochromatic closet. The semi-narrow band is finished with an endearing bow at the top and surprisingly feels quite comfortable on the foot (although full disclaimer, the winter weather has kept her from wearing it out for a long period of time). Because of the slide style, similar to the Journee shoe we mentioned previously, it doesn't have as much arch support as other sandals, so we don't recommend wearing this for long days of walking.

Price at time of publish: $145

Size: 5-11 | Colors: 1​​ | Materials: Synthetic, rubber

Best Wedge

Coperni Wedge Sandal

Coperni Wedge Sandal


What We Love: Despite the high wedge, the curve along the footbed and the padded straps make these sandals quite comfortable.
What We Don't Love: The lilac color will show dirt easily.

These pastel Coperni Wedge Sandals would complement any Y2K-inspired looks with their high, 3.75-inch wedge that slopes into a slight two-inch curve. It adjusts to the natural curve of the foot and will feel much more comfortable with each step. Not to mention, the padded straps add to its cushioned factor, so despite being very high off the ground, you will find these sandals to be (relatively) easy to walk in. Keep in mind however that this color will show dirt easily (and quickly), so make sure to take proper care of it with each wear. 

Price at time of publish: $390

Size: 6-11 | Colors: 1​​ | Materials: Rubber

Most Comfortable

Timberland London Vibe Platform Sandal

Timberland London Vibe Platform Sandal


What We Love: The straps are even comfortable for those with wider feet.
What We Don't Love: You can’t adjust the straps around the foot.

For the adventurers and explorers who spend long hours on their feet, these Timberlands will let you walk for miles with plenty of style but none of the pain. The summer shoe maintains a good grip on your foot without rubbing or cutting into the skin. As a matter of fact, even those with wider feet reported the straps to be quite comfortable in the reviews. However, while you can adjust the straps around the ankle, those around the foot can’t be altered. 

You’ll find an OrthoLite footbed cushioning the landing of each step, while lug soles breeze through harsh gravels and rough floorings. Despite the many straps and thicker soles, the sandal doesn’t look too chunky and remains quite lightweight, say some shoppers. You can easily wear it from the campsite with activewear to the streets with a flowy dress, making it a great companion for almost all your daily endeavors. 

Price at time of publish: $90

Size: 6-10 | Colors: ​​2 | Materials: Leather, synthetic lining

Best Strappy

NA-KD Low Stiletto Ankle Strap Heels

Na-kd Low Stiletto Ankle Strap Heels


What We Love: The low heel keeps the shoe quite comfortable.
What We Don't Love: The straps are very long.

Kratky recently purchased these strappy heels – ready to sacrifice comfort for style – but was surprised to find that they didn’t hurt one bit. The deceivingly comfortable shoe has a short heel (2.75 inches) which makes them suitable for longer hours and casual outings. The straps are lightly padded and therefore don’t cut or rub painfully along the skin. They are, however, extremely long and require a few wrap-arounds around the ankle if you don’t wish them to dangle down to the floor. For a $70 shoe, they’re quite well constructed and will likely last for a good few years.

Price at time of publish: $70

Size: 5-11 | Colors: ​​1 | Materials: Polyurethane

Best for Hiking

Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals

Teva Women's Original Universal Sandals


What We Love: Both the ankle and toe straps are adjustable and keep the shoe in place.
What We Don't Love: The arch support on the footbed will be uncomfortable for those with flat feet.

The widely popular Teva shoe has earned its title as one of the best hiking and beach sandals for several reasons. To begin, the straps on both the ankle and the toes are adjustable to fit your foot, and keep the shoe in place during tricky terrains. Second, there’s a gentle curve on the footbed for arch support, making it comfortable for long hours on your feet (although anyone with a flat foot might feel otherwise). Lastly, the minimalist design keeps the shoe sleek and suitable for more than one occasion. 

The upper features a quick-drying web that will keep any bacteria from growing or causing discomfort after stepping through a body of water, while the rubber outsole adds traction and durability to the shoe. For your days out on the mountains, there’s truly no better sandal. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Size: 7-14 | Colors: ​​15 | Materials: Recycled plastic, polyester, rubber

Best Sporty

Chacos Women's Z/Cloud 2 Sandal

Chacos Women's Z/Cloud 2 Sandal


What We Love: There is a toe-loop for added security.
What We Don't Love: There are no half sizes.

Sandals might not be the first thing that pop to mind when you think of sporty shoes, but the Chacos Cloud 2 Sandals allow you to engage in rigorous outdoor activities with a breeze. That’s because it comes with a soft top strap that wraps around the top of your foot. Not only that, but there’s a toe-loop for added security. The strap itself is adjustable, which slightly makes up for the fact that the sandal does not come in half sizes. Otherwise, the soft and cushioned footbed gives you a cloud-like experience, which the shoe is then named after. The sole curves along your underfoot, which gives your feet all the love and support it needs. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Size: 5-12 | Colors: 7​​ | Materials: Polyester, rubber

Best Leather

Free People Abilene Toe Loop Sandal

Free People Abilene Toe Loop Sandal

Free People

What We Love: They’re artisanally made in small batches using ethical practices.
What We Don't Love: They provide no arch or back support and could get tiring to walk in for a whole day.

The Abilene sandal offers that classic vintage leather look, made with extra buttery soft leather that wraps over your foot in two thick straps and a toe loop. With the exception of a minuscule heel, the sandal is near-flat (ideal for flat feet) and is lined with a gently cushioned footbed. You can easily slip in and out of these sandals, making them a lovely go-to pair for everyday activities.

As part of Free People’s Artisan Made collection, these sandals are made in small batches under ethical conditions with the craftful touch of an artisan. While you’ll find all the love and care of a small business poured into the shoe, it might become strenuous to walk in after a while as it provides no arch or back support. 

Price at time of publish: $78

Size: 6-11 | Colors: 6​​ | Materials: Leather

Best Heel

Dolce Vita Ronin Sandals

Dolce Vita Ronin Sandals

Dolce Vita

What We Love: The simple elegance makes them ideal for both casual and formal wear.
What We Don't Love: The sizing can be confusing, with some reviews claiming they run large and others claiming they run small.

Block heels are a wonderful way to casually add some height to your look without giving into discomfort. These ones come with a 1.6 inch heel height, which is tall enough to give you a little boost but short enough to wear all day. The Dolce Vita Ronin Sandals feature two intricately braided straps, made of a leather-alternative material, holding the cushioned sole in place. Ashton loves a chic short heel as it comes with the perk of being “business casual, easily going from day to night”. It’s a very minimalist style that looks equal parts elegant and easy going, giving you the option to dress them up with a skirt or down with some jeans. 

A common sentiment across the reviews, however, is that the sizing can be a little confusing – some claiming that they run too large and others too snug. Luckily, the 30 day return policy will allow you to easily swap around should you get the wrong size.

Price at time of publish: $115

Size: 5-13  | Colors: 10​​ | Materials: Recycled latex, leather alternative

Best Fisherman

Vagabond Eyra Fisherman Platform

Vagabond Eyra Fisherman Platform


What We Love: They’re easy to slip in and out of thanks to the velcro closing.
What We Don't Love: The velcro can come undone if worn too much. 

Fishermans are like the sandal versions of loafers, giving you structure, security, and something to wear to the office. These options from Vagabond not only won our best overall spot on the Best Fisherman Sandal story, but the heart of senior commerce editor Chloe Anello as well. While sandals aren’t her preferred shoe in the summer, the support, comfort, and design of these swooped her off her sandal-aversion. 

It’s easy to slip into the leather shoe thanks to the velcro closing, and once in, the wide toe leaves ample space for a comfortable fit. The near two inch heel feels moderate considering the slightly platformed front as well. Just be aware that if you wear the shoe near daily (like Chloe did), the velcro portion will begin to lose its grip.

Price at time of publish: $175

Size: 6-11 | Colors: 2​​ | Materials: Leather, rubber

Best Closed-Toe

Nisolo Women's Huarache Sandal

Nisolo Women's Huarache Sandal


What We Love: The upper leather is water-resistant.
What We Don't Love: They require some time to break in.

Huarache sandals feature a woven closed-toe that still allows for some breathability. These ones are made with a leather that’s been treated to be water-resistant, so you don’t have to wear them delicately. 

Once you slip into the shoe, you are met with a soft interior leather lining and a cushioned midsole – there is a back support to keep the shoe in place as well. The entirety of the shoe is handmade by workers receiving a living wage, as Nisolo operates on an ethical and sustainable practice. 

We recommend ordering your true size, although it might feel a little snug at first. Exercise some patience and you’ll find that the leather will stretch and fit you perfectly in no time. 

Price at time of publish: $138

Size: 5-11 | Colors: ​​8 | Materials: Leather, rubber

Best Jelly

Melissa Free Platform Flip Flops

Melissa Free Platform Flip Flops


What We Love: The all-around cushioned shoe is extremely comfortable, according to reviews.

What We Don't Love: They run a little large, so sizing down is advised.

The jelly sandal was a big trend in the early 2000’s, and these Melissa platform flip flops bring back the popular aesthetic in bold colors. Featuring a thick cushioned strap and footbed, the shoe is delightfully comfortable and fun to walk around in. With an EVA sole that’s shock-absorbant and lightweight, you’ll feel like you’re walking on a nice pillow. 

The shoe comes in four colors – a bright green, pink, black, and beige with a green sole. They’re a statement on their own, and will require some coordination with the rest of your closet, but we find that vibrant and exciting shoe is well worth the extra brain work. They do run a little large, according to the reviews, so it might be worth sizing down. 

Price at time of publish: $85

Size: 5-10 | Colors: ​​4 | Materials: Sugarcane

Best Platform

J/Slides Sevy Leather Sandals

J/Slides Sevy Leather Sandals


What We Love: The buckled back allows for easy slip ons, and keeping the shoe in place while you’re wearing it.
What We Don't Love: The cushioning might flatten with time.

The platforms on these sandals maintain two inches from the heel to the toes, so you never have to worry about the ball of your foot hurting. You’ll still find a gentle arch on the footbed (that’s even cushioned), that comfortably curves into the sole of your foot.

With a criss-cross leather upper and a back strap with a buckled closing, they’re quite sturdy and supportive. You’ll notice that the rubber sole is slightly rugged, giving you better traction as you walk as well. You’ll likely find tons of wear out of these sleek sandals as they serve both function and fashion. 

Price at time of publish: $179

Size: 5-11 | Colors: 4​​ | Materials: Leather, rubber

Best for Walking

Sorel Kinetic Y-Strap High Sandal

Sorel Kinetic Y-Strap High Sandal


What We Love: The velcroed strap can be adjusted for snugness.
What We Don't Love: They’ll be difficult to pair with other items in your closet.

The first thing you notice with these Sorel sandals are the big chunky soles, shaped into a wave-form. Aside from acting as a visual attraction, they also serve to withstand rough terrains and cushion harsh steps. Both the sole and the footbed feature EVA materials that are soft, flexible, and strong. The velcroed strap on the front can be adjusted in snugness and will wrap your foot in a comfortable embrace. These shoes do come with a bit of a platform – the heel portion is just over two inches high while the toe section is an inch shorter. This helps to balance the natural curve of each step, assisting your footwork on your march. 

Visually, the shoe makes quite a statement, which might make it difficult to pair with other items in your closet. Simple leggings and monochrome outfits will give them the spotlight effect they deserve.

Price at time of publish: $135

Size: 5-12 | Colors: ​​7 | Materials: Leather, EVA footbed, rubber

What to Keep in Mind


Above all else, comfort is the most important aspect of a sandal, especially if you need arch support that many designs don't offer. For this reason, Dr. Brad Scaheffer, a board-certified foot surgeon, says to look for sandals that also have insoles. If they don't, he recommends Dr. Scholl's Discreet Cushioning Insoles for Flats & Sandals. These discreet insoles provide a ton of great arch support and shock absorption, which makes them a must-have for anyone who experiences foot pain while wearing sandals. If you want to skip the additional costs and go straight for a shoe with arch support, then the Teva Original Universal Sandal, J/Slides Sevy Khaki Leather, and the Coperni Wedge Sandal curve along your footbed. 


Dr. Schaeffer also says to prioritize stability. "When you're shopping for a shoe, it's important to look for a stable sole with a great heel counter [the back of the shoe that meets the heel and Achilles tendon]," he explains. "The reason for this is due to our 'gait cycle' [the way we walk], which goes from heel strike to toe-off," he notes, adding that the gait cycle is what needs the support from our shoes and insoles "in order to avoid developing foot pain." Sandals like the Nisolo Huarache Sandal and Vagabond Eyra Fisherman Platform are great options for this. 


Design matters for, of course, style, but also for comfort. According to celebrity stylist Tanya Tamburin, "sandals should have smooth leather, a supportive arch, and straps, hardware, buckles, or zippers that don't pinch or dig into your skin." You’ll find buckles on the Birkenstock Arizona Essentials and straps on options like the Sorel Kinetic Y-Strap High Sandal and the Alohas Hook Loop Sandals. She also recommends looking at sandals that are more lightweight by design so your feet don't feel weighed down when walking. Don’t be deceived by looks, however, as sometimes the chunkiest looking shoe, like the Timberland London Vibe Platform Sandal or the Melissa Free Platform Wedge can be extremely lightweight. 

Your Questions, Answered

What should you look for to find comfortable sandals for women?

According to Dr. Schaeffer, walking around can cause a lot of strain and pressure on our plantar fascia (the tissue that connects the heel and toes), heel, and arch. "Ultimately, the best sandals have a little arch support [and] make your feet feel comfortable," he explains. Tamburin also says to seek out sandals with a cushion gel footbed, which ensures long-lasting support. According to Tamburin, it also helps to look for sandals with an ankle or heel strap, like the Alohas Hook Loop Sandals and the Teva Original Universal Sandal. And, she mentions that sandals with chunky soles are the best to walk in, especially those with a rubber sole as they offer traction and grip.

What types of sandals for women are most supportive?

"I suggest a sandal with a cushioned footbed and one that has thicker straps to keep the shoe on and foot in place," says Tamburin, emphasizing that you want to ensure the sandal is secured to your foot, otherwise "your muscles work extra hard to grip the shoe and [that] can cause strain and other issues." For a sandal that doesn't have a strap around the heel or ankle, Dr. Schaeffer recommends Birkenstock sandals.

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a fashion and beauty commerce writer at InStyle, with over two years of experience covering the best products and items to shop each season. Jessie Quinn is a contributing fashion writer whose work can be found in various notable publications. Together they researched the best sandals, consulting various InStyle editors as well as celebrity stylists, and even a foot surgeon (Ashleigh Ashton, Tanya Tamburin, Dr. Brad Schaefer ). Thus, a list of best summer sandals has been curated that not only look good, but serve various functions. 

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