The 12 Best Walking Sandals of 2021

Protect and support your feet in the heat

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Our Top Picks
Best Overall for Women:
KEEN Women's Newport Sandals at Zappos
For those looking for a multi-purpose, sporty sandal, this will have you ready to tackle any kind of terrain or slick surface.
Best Overall for Men:
KEEN Targhee III Sandals at Zappos
These outdoor-ready hikers from Keen are ideal for hitting the trails, kayaking, or other warm-weather adventures.
Flexible in just the right spots, these sandals allow for a natural gait, and feature exceptional comfort and responsiveness.
This adventure-ready pair combines the comfort and breathability of a sandal with the support and stability of a sneaker.
Lightweight and comfy, they’re made with full injection-molded EVA for a cloud-like feel.
The contoured footbed is designed to cushion your feet, absorb impact, and provide gentle support when you hit the trails.
With adjustable straps at the heel, instep, forefoot, and toe, these sandals deliver a more customized fit.
Best for Narrow Feet:
Munro Summer Sandals at Zappos
This stylish pair from Munro comes in super slim and narrow widths, in addition to regular, wide, and extra-wide.
Extremely comfortable, the airy EVA midsole ensures flexible support with every step without being too heavy.
Unlike most sandals, these can accommodate custom orthotics, so your feet won’t have to sweat in bulky shoes.

Walking in hot weather often results in sweaty, smelly, and uncomfortable feet, but wearing a good pair of walking sandals can keep you feeling cool and fresh.

Whether you walk for fitness, love summer hiking, or plan to sightsee in a new city, you’ll need a pair of walking sandals that offer high-quality cushioning and support to prevent fatigue and soreness. A secure fit is also key, so your feet don't slide out of the shoe with every stride.

Here are the best walking sandals for your needs and adventures.

Best Overall for Women: KEEN Women's Newport H2 Sandals

Keen Newport
Pros
  • Extremely durable

  • Versatile

  • Toe guard

  • Excellent traction

Cons
  • May run small

Whether you’re touring a new city or doing some hiking on trails, the Keen Newport H2 is an excellent pick for an all-around walking sandal. With a multi-directional lug pattern, rubber outsole, and razor-sipped pods, this shoe will help you tackle any kind of terrain or slick surface.  

The durable, all-synthetic upper is quick-drying and ventilated, so your foot stays comfortable and blister-free. Featuring a hydrophobic foam liner, the interior also absorbs water and inhibits foot odor. The shoe has an enclosed toe guard to provide protection against rocks and roots, and an adjustable lace-up closure for a secure fit.

Available in women’s sizes 5 to 10.5 and in multiple colors, the Newport H2 is a good multi-purpose sandal.

Materials: Nylon upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Elastic closure with cord locks

Best Overall for Men: KEEN Men's Targhee III Sandals

KEEN Men's Targhee III Sandals
Pros
  • Waterproof

  • Durable and sturdy

  • Excellent traction

  • Comfortable cushioning

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Lacks breathability

These outdoor-ready hikers from Keen are ideal for hitting the trails, kayaking, paddleboarding, or any other warm-weather adventure. Crafted with a durable, waterproof leather upper, the sandal provides protection and comfort, while the EVA midsole offers lightweight cushioning and arch support.

With a quick-dry lining and a lace-lock system, you can get a secure fit that defends against clammy feet. Made with a molded rubber toe guard that provides another layer of protection, the rubber outsole keeps you sure-footed regardless of uneven or wet surfaces.

These all-terrain shoes are available in brown or black in men’s sizes 7 to 15.

Materials: Waterproof leather upper, synthetic lining, rubber outsole | Closure: Elastic closure with cord locks

Best Budget for Women: Skechers On-the-Go 600 Brilliancy Sandals

Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Sporty style

  • Padded straps

Cons
  • Runs large

  • Toe strap not adjustable

This budget-friendly sandal from Skechers features exceptional comfort and responsiveness. The proprietary memory foam midsole prevents foot fatigue and absorbs impact while providing decent bounce-back to keep you moving. For optimal support and stability, the adjustable, padded straps keep your feet in the sandal without any rubbing or irritation.

The breathable, textured footbed allows for good airflow, and the flexible composition allows for a natural gait when walking. They’re available in several color options in women’s sizes 5 to 11, as well as in wide and medium widths, so you can find a style and size that’s right for you.

Materials: Mesh fabric upper, EVA midsole | Closure: Velcro straps

Best Budget for Men: Skechers Men's Gander Louden Sandal

Pros
  • Sporty style

  • Comfortable

  • Good traction

Cons
  • Lacks ankle support

  • Break-in period required

From hiking on trails to hanging out at the campsite, you can do it comfortably in these Gander Louden sandals by Skechers. The sporty, adventure-ready pair combines the comfort and breathability of a sandal with the support and stability of a sneaker.

With adjustable straps on the toe, instep, and heel, you get a customized, secure fit. The textured outsole will also keep you steady on uneven terrain or in wet conditions.

Both the footbed and straps are padded with memory foam, providing all-day comfort and support. Available in several different shades in men’s sizes 7 to 14, as well as in regular or wide widths, they cater to many different tastes and sizes.

Materials: Synthetic upper and sole | Closure: Adjustable Velcro

Best for Water: Teva Women's Hurricane Drift

Pros
  • Waterproof

  • Budget-friendly

  • Versatile

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Runs big

  • Better for wide feet

For walks on the beach, water park outings, or river rafting, these fully waterproof Teva Hurricane Drift sandals will prepare you for any environment. While durable and supportive, they're lightweight and crafted with full injection-molded EVA for a cloud-like feel with every step.

The Velcro closure provides a secure, custom fit, that makes them easy to get on and off. Available in many colors and in women’s sizes 5 to 11, these versatile sandals definitely earn a spot in your suitcase or hiking backpack.

Materials: EVA and rubber Closure: Velcro straps

Best for Hiking: KEEN Women's Whisper Sandal

KEEN Whisper
Pros
  • Great for water

  • Toe guards for protection

  • Secure fit

  • Comfortable

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Better for wide feet

Hikers of all experience levels love these durable hiking sandals from Keen. The contoured footbed is designed to cushion your feet, absorb impact, and provide gentle support when you hit the trails.

The bungee lacing gives these lightweight, sporty sandals a secure fit, and the toe guards keep your feet safe from rocks, sticks, and uneven terrain. Rubber outsoles offer exceptional traction, both in and out of the water, and the polyester webbing upper dries quickly to inhibit odor-causing bacterial growth. These sandals come in women’s sizes 5 to 12 in several different color combinations.

Materials: Polyester webbing, rubber outsole, nylon mesh | Closure: Bungee lacing with cord locks

Best for Wide Feet: Vionic Amber Adjustable Sandals

Pros
  • Stylish

  • Comfortable and supportive

  • Great shock absorption

Cons
  • Not available in half sizes

  • Break-in period required

Avoid painful rubbing and blisters with these Vionic Amber adjustable sandals. Adjustable straps at the heel, instep, forefoot, and toe deliver a customized fit that can accommodate feet of all shapes and sizes. The lightweight, flexible EVA midsole absorbs shock, reducing stress on your feet and joints.

Made with a cork upper and a super soft microfiber wrapped footbed, they feature stone adornments, offering the perfect combination of comfort and style. They come in various neutral colors and come in medium or wide widths.

Materials: Cork upper, microfiber insole, rubber outsole | Closure: Adjustable Velcro

Best for Narrow Feet: Munro Summer Sandals

Munro Summer Sandals
Pros
  • Adjustable strap

  • Stylish

  • Good arch support

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Runs small

Women with narrow feet may have trouble finding sandals that don’t fall off with every step. However, this stylish pair from Munro comes in super slim and narrow widths, in addition to regular, wide, and extra-wide, so you can find the perfect pair for your foot size and shape. For an even more customized fit, you can loosen or tighten the Velcro strap until it feels just right.

With a contoured, arch-supporting footbed and flexible sole, these sandals are designed for all-day comfort. The simple yet elegant design complements almost any summer outfit, and while they are a bit more expensive than others, the quality makes them worth the investment.

Materials: Leather and fabric upper, synthetic lining and outsole | Closure: Adjustable strap

Best Cushioned: Clarks Cloudsteppers Arla Gracie Sandal

Clarks Cloudsteppers Arla Gracie Women's Platform Sandals
Pros
  • Good value

  • Adjustable straps

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Front not adjustable

  • Traction could be better

These comfortable sandals from Clarks can be dressed up or down, making them an ideal go-to summer shoe. The airy EVA midsole ensures flexible support with every step—offering support without a heavy feel. The soft textile upper and lining enhance the overall cloud-like comfort, while the adjustable straps give a secure fit.

Available in women’s sizes 6 to 12 and in medium or wide widths, they also come in a few different shades, so you may want to pick up more than one pair. They're easy to pack and extremely versatile, meaning they're great for summer travel.

Materials: Textile upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Adjustable Velcro strap

Best Orthopedic: Propet Pedic Walker

Pros
  • Good heel and arch support

  • Room for orthotics

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Good shock-absorption

Cons
  • Expensive

If you wear orthotics or you usually wear supportive shoes to combat foot pain, comfortable sandals may be hard to find. But these Pedic Walker sandals from Propet are specifically designed to provide superb arch support and prevent heel pain. With a closed-back design, firm heel counter, and extra padding in the footbed, they’re stable and cushioned to protect injury-prone heels and arches.

The adjustable ankle and forefront straps allow for a comfortable fit, while the shock-absorbing polyurethane outsole delivers exceptional traction for an ergonomic stride. Unlike most sandals, these can accommodate custom orthotics, so your feet won’t have to sweat in bulkier shoes.

Although the Pedic Walker isn’t the most stylish shoe, they’re a good choice for those who need some extra heel, arch, and ankle support. They come in women’s sizes 7 to 11 in medium, wide, and extra-wide widths.

Materials: Leather upper and lining, polyurethane outsole | Closure: Adjustable straps

Best for Long Distances: Teva Women's Tirra Sandals

TEVA Tirra Sandal
Pros
  • Excellent traction

  • Variety of colors

  • Good cushioning and support

  • Good for water

Cons
  • Better for narrow feet

  • Narrow straps may be uncomfortable

If you need a reliable walking shoe for summer sightseeing, outdoor adventures, or long fitness walks, you can’t go wrong with this versatile, well-designed sandal from Teva. The compression-molded, contoured EVA midsole provides comfortable arch support, while the cushioned heel absorbs impact in the right spots. For walking on uneven terrain or wet conditions, the nylon shank and durable rubber outsole deliver outstanding stability, support, and traction.

Sporty but feminine, these sandals feature fully padded straps that keep your feet secure and stable and don’t rub to cause blisters or hot spots. They’re available in women’s sizes 5 to 11 in a variety of colors, so you can find ones to coordinate with your favorite walking attire.

Materials: Nylon shank, synthetic and polyester webbing, rubber outsole | Closure: Velcro straps

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: ECCO Yucatan Sandal

Pros
  • Lightweight but supportive

  • Leather upper

  • Good traction

  • Lots of color options

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not waterproof

If you currently have or are prone to plantar fasciitis, you need a sandal that’s supportive and cushioned. The Ecco Yucatan sandals are a good choice for all-day comfort, and the lightweight EVA foam footbed provides supportive cushioning and shock absorption.

With a Nubuck leather upper, these sandals are not only soft and durable, but they’re also stylish. The flexible rubber outsole provides exceptional traction and grip, allowing you to move safely and confidently on any terrain. Available in several basic and fun color options, this sandal accommodates a wide range of women’s sizes, from 4 to 12.5.

Materials: Nubuck leather upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Velcro straps

Final Verdict

With the perfect combination of comfort and stability, the Keen Targhee III (view at Amazon) is ideal for men who are looking for a durable and sturdy sandal with ample cushioning. For women, the Keen Newport H2 (view at Zappos) is a comfortable and supportive sandal for fitness walking, travel, and casual wear.

And if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, durable option, Skechers has some sandals—like the Gander Louden Sandal (view at Amazon) for men and the On-the-Go 600 Brilliancy (view at Amazon) for women—that prioritize comfort without a hefty investment.

What to Look for in Walking Sandals

Comfort

If your sandals aren’t comfortable, you won’t be able to walk in them for very long, no matter how stylish or attractive they are. Pay attention to the cushioning, arch support, and straps (both placement and padding).

Support and Stability

Look for sandals that have good stability and will keep your feet securely in place. “Ideally, you should find a sandal with straps to hold the front part of the foot as well as heel and ankle,” says Dr. Damian Roussel, a podiatrist at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. “A slide-type sandal doesn’t provide proper ankle stability as the foot tends to flop around, making it easier to lead to injury."

Protection

Some sandals leave your feet more exposed than others, and the amount of protection you need will depend on your planned activity. If you intend on wearing your sandals for running errands or other casual wear, you don’t need to worry too much about open-toe designs. But if hiking and walking on unpaved trails is on your radar, you’ll need sandals with an enclosed toe for more protection.

Style

Function and comfort are the most important elements to consider when buying a pair of walking sandals, but style can also be a big factor. Be careful when choosing your sandals to ensure the heel height and materials are practical for your planned activities.

FAQs

Is walking in sandals bad for you?

Walking in sandals that aren’t supportive can lead to heel pain, sore feet, and arch pain. “It‘s much easier to twist an ankle walking long distances in sandals if they do not have straps to support the foot, heel, and ankle,” says Dr. Roussel. “If the foot is constantly moving around, friction blisters can begin to form on the toes from trying to grip onto the sandal, or constantly scraping against the edges.”

Wearing open-toe sandals also increases the risk of injury and issues from exposure to rocks, roots, poison ivy, and other elements.

How to stop sandals from squeaking when walking

New sandals can squeak or make a suction noise because of air escaping from between the layers in the sole. This often happens with sandals that have foam cushioning which compresses as you walk. If you'd like to avoid this noise, you can lubricate the insoles with a product such as baby powder or petroleum jelly. The problem may also go away on its own over time when the foam remains compressed rather than bouncing back into place.

Squeaking or suction noises in sandals may also be caused by sweaty feet. Since most people wear sandals without socks, foot sweat is not easily absorbed and the extra moisture can cause a squeak as you walk. Sprinkling a bit of talcum or baby powder on the insole of your sandals can prevent the build-up of sweat.

If the bottoms of your sandals squeak on slick floors, try rubbing sandpaper on the sole of the sandal. When they’re not smooth on the bottom, they won't squeak as easily.

What to wear for walking exercise

Fitness walking is a very low-maintenance form of exercise, so you don’t really need special gear or attire to get started. The most important item is a pair of comfortable and supportive walking shoes or sandals, like the ones featured here.

For added comfort, you can also wear clothes made of technical fabrics that are breathable and moisture-wicking. Avoid wearing clothes or socks that are made of cotton, since it doesn’t dry quickly. Walking in socks that are a synthetic blend can help you avoid foot blisters.

Is walking good exercise?

Walking is a great form of exercise, as it’s an excellent cardio workout, works a lot of muscles, and has a ton of health benefits. It’s also very accessible to people of all different fitness levels and easy for beginners to start a basic walking program.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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