The 7 Best Walking Sandals for Women to Buy in 2018

Keep your feet comfortable after a long day

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When the weather warms up, it's time to swap out your shoes for a pair of sandals. Sandals get a bad rap for being flimsy and not providing enough support, but with today's advances in technology you can not only get a comfortable sandal, you can get one that looks good and provides relief after hours of walking.

When shopping for a walking sandal, it's best to consider several factors: Your sandals will need good construction all-around, including being flexible in the forefoot and providing stability through the midfoot and heel. They should provide cushioning so you will have less foot and leg fatigue after a long day out on the town, and avoid flimsy soles that provide no support (sorry flip flops!). Selecting sandals with a low heel reduces pressure on your forefoot and allows you to roll through each step from heel to toe easily. It is best to have a heel strap so you can use a vigorous stride and not walk right out of your sandals when you walk downhill or are making a dash to catch a train. Since straps are likely to loosen with wear, adjustable straps are best, and even better if they adjust in a few different places.

With these features, you can find sandals suitable for brisk walking indoors, outside on the sidewalk, or on nature trails. You can enjoy going for a healthy walk, touring on vacation, or spending a long day on your feet. Because walking sandals provide more support than regular sandals, you'll find the price can be a bit more prohibitive, but no one can put a price on comfort. Here, the most comfortable walking sandals for all your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Teva Women's W Sanborn Sandal

Whether you are going to be pounding the pavement in the morning to walk your dog or taking in the sites for the day on your next vacation, you'll want a pair of sandals that are not only comfortable but are also stylish and will stand up to the weather. Teva a trusted footwear brand over the years makes the pretty Sandborn sandal that comes in a chic black but also five other colors that can work with your style. 

These sandals not only look good they feel good too with a 1" heel and a .75" platform that will support you through your travels. The Velcro ankle strap ensures a perfect fit and also makes it easy to get out the door in a jiffy. Plus, if rain occurs or you are taking your walk off-road, these sandals dry fast leaving with fresh feeling feet.

Reviewers rejoice on these sandals saying they have a super comfortable footbed that even kept one customer feeling good after a whole day at Disneyland!

Most Stylish: Munro Pisces

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Courtesy of Zappos 

Look and feel good with these top-rated sandals. Available in six different hues these sandals work just as well sightseeing as they do out on a romantic date. The cork and latex footbed provides ample comfort when you log the distance. These go on as a slingback but reviewers note that they do not stretch out over time, which was a cause for concern for most. They have a slight platform with a 1" heel which gives some height to your overall look without compromising comfort. 

These come in five different width options so both people with wide and narrow feet as well as high and low arches have said these have worked great for them. 

Best Budget Sandal: Skechers Performance Women’s On the Go Brilliancy 600

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Courtesy of Amazon

This bargain sports sandal is well-loved for comfort. These sandals are lightweight and have responsive cushioning, both of which can help prevent foot fatigue. Skechers uses a proprietary memory-foam midsole to absorb impact, but it doesn’t stay compressed—it rebounds so you get feedback to keep moving. These sandals are flexible in the right places so your foot is both supported and able to move through a step naturally.

For brisk walking and tackling hills, you will appreciate having a heel strap on the sandal so you can get a good push-off and won’t walk out of your sandals when going downhill, as can happen with flip-flops. The heel strap is padded to help prevent rubbing and blisters, and the ankle strap is adjustable. The heel height is less than an inch, which is the general guideline for walking heel height. You’ll also appreciate that the footbed is textured so your feet won’t slide around if they sweat, plus it provides a bit of airflow to prevent bacterial growth (which can lead to foot odor). These sandals are available in wide as well as medium and in four color combinations, so you are sure to find a pair that is sized and styled right for you.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Birkenstock Arizona

While each person with plantar fasciitis may have different needs, the Birkenstock Arizona has been the go-to choice for decades. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the fibrous cord on the bottom of your foot and heel. While you may be reducing your walking as you heal from it, you need sandals that won’t cause further irritation or a recurrence for when you do need to get around.

The Birkenstock Arizona sandals provide the level of comfort you need from plantar fasciitis, because the footbed seems to even out pressure and the distribution of your weight, letting your foot find some relief.  They also have a roomy toe box that contours to the toes to help keep your foot in the right position while walking. Plus, the sandals have built-in arch support, which is great if you are going to be standing or walking for a long period of time. The durable rubber sole provides good traction so you are less likely to slip on a variety of surfaces that come your way. The two buckle straps allow you to adjust the fit and the sandals also come in regular or narrow widths.

In terms of style, you have a choice of uppers in leather, suede, or Birko-Flor synthetic that has a leather-like finish and a soft backing, and there are many colors available from the classics to metallic stone, shiny snake multicolor, and even lollipop red.

Best for Wide Feet: SAS Nudu Sandals

If you have wide feet you know how difficult it is to find comfortable sandals that actually fit you. San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) has been pleasing walkers for more than a generation with their well-cushioned designs, that are available in wide and double wide as well as medium, narrow, and slim sizes so you can find one that is just right.

The Nudu sandal brings that high level of cushioning and comfort to a sandal you can wear for a long day of walking with their padded straps that prevent hot spots and blisters, a top complaint amongst sandal walkers. There are also three adjustable straps so you can get a tailored custom fit for your forefoot, ankle, and heel. This sandal flexes in the right place in the forefoot while also providing support and stability at the midfoot and heel, which is important in a sandal. The heel is low and shaped to help you roll through a step, while the suede footbed will help keep your feet dry and fresh after a long day.

These sandals are available in a two-toned leather in classic colors that will go with all of your outfits for walking, shopping, or touring. Many people also favor SAS Shoes because they are a family-owned company and make many of their shoes in the United States.

Best for Outdoors: Keen Women’s Whisper

If you’re going to be walking on nature trails you will need more protection for your foot. The Whisper has a toe guard so you won’t stub your toes on rocks and roots, but you can still let your feet breathe. They provide good stability on a variety of surfaces (think slippery rocks) and can handle getting wet with their quick-dry uppers and mesh lining. If you get them dirty, it’s no sweat because they are machine washable. The fit is easily adjustable with the bungee lace capture system, so you can strap them on tighter if a rain storm is in the forecast. These sandals provide an anatomic footbed and good arch support and they come in a variety of stylish colors.

Best Flip-Flops: OluKai Kulapa Kai

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Courtesy of Zappos 

While flip-flops aren't recommended to wear by podiatrists, there is a time and place for these, and let's face it they are easy to throw on when you are running out the door. If you are going to go the flip-flop route this top-rated pair from OluKai has anatomically compressed midsole which gives support to people with high arches. They are also water resistant so they can hold up at the beach and they also have traction to prevent you from sliding around. 

Reviewers say these are the first and only pair of flip-flops that have been comfortable and a few said these helped ease plantar fasciitis issues. 

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