The Top 5 Walking Sandals Reviewed
You might love them, but when it comes to the health of your gait, flip-flops probably aren’t a good idea. The flimsy feel underfoot can encourage an awkward walking style which can ruin your posture and set you up for injury. The good news is that there is an alternative: sandals.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: sandals aren’t exactly the most stylish footwear in the world. But thanks to changes in design and a growing recognition that they are ergonomically superior to flip-flops, things are improving. These days you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style, and you aren’t limited to walking shoes or boots. Sandals are just as beautiful as flip-flops, if not more so (so long as you don’t pair them with thick socks), making them a promising alternative next time you go on vacation. The following are some of the best walking sandals that you can buy on the market right now. Let’s take a look.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Walking Sandals is the Dockers Men’s Newpage Leather Sporty Sandal.
Best Overall Walking Sandals
If retro styling is your thing, then you’ll love the Dockers Men’s Newpage Leather Sporty Sandal. The company has taken the traditional sandal design, including the velcro fitting straps, and merged it with stylish materials, like the distressed leather uppers. The result is a shoe that not only keeps your feet secure but also looks great at the same time.
While the main focus of the Dockers Men’s Newpage Leather Sporty Sandal is style, the firm has also considered comfort. The sole is made using the company’s proprietary Fusion Footbed, a combination of foam and supple materials which Dockers claims offers unrivaled comfort and support (which they would). But this sentiment is shared by people who’ve worn the sandals too. The sole conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot, and there’s little if any need to break in.
What about durability? Dockers has done a good job here too. The thick leather straps combined with the flexible and sturdy sole make this a sandal that you can wear day in, day out, all year round. Since you’ll probably only be wearing it in the summer months, the Dockers Men’s Newpage Leather Sporty Sandal will likely last for many years to come. It’s certainly not the cheapest sandal you can buy (nor the most expensive), but thanks to its excellent construction, it represents a good investment for anyone looking for comfy and stylish summer footwear.
The major downside the Dockers offering appears to be the sizing. For people with shallow feel, the straps do not seem to tighten enough to hold the foot comfortably in position, leading to a higher chance of blisters. And a lack of adjustability at the other end for people with large feet may put these sandals out of the running. With that said, you’re unlikely to find a more stylish offering for the price.
- Distressed leather uppers
- Memory foam insole shapes to your foot for instant comfort
- Fusion Footbed adds and extra layer of cushion
- Generous, roomier relaxed fit
- Velcro closures for a personal fit
Best Walking Sandals For Men
Crocs is a company with one thing on its mind: to provide exceptionally comfortable footwear to its customers. And when you look at the Men’s Swiftwater River Sandal, you can tell that this was what they were going for. You won’t find any expensive materials or artisanal stitching on the Swiftwater: just an unapologetically ergonomic design from heel to toe.
The main body of the shoe is made of croslite foam. It’s molded in such a way as to cup the foot in place, with the sole arching upwards towards the sides in a unique fashion. The lip of the shoe angles upwards, so that when a person puts weight on the sole, the sandal compresses, helping to distribute pressure over the maximum area possible. The result is a light and effortless feel when walking along.
There is, however, no escaping the fact that this isn’t the most stylish of sandals available on the market. To their credit, Crocs doesn’t pretend that it is, with a range of loud colors available. Having said that, the ergonomic, almost organic, design language does have a certain charm which may appeal to some.
What about stability? While the sandal offers several straps to hold the foot in place, there is a lack of lateral support, thanks to the fact that it doesn’t seem to encompass and hold onto the foot entirely. While this might be okay when walking around the pool, it’s more off-putting for people engaged in demanding activities, like pushing a boat to shore over a lake bed.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that, thanks to the open design, the Men’s Swiftwater River Sandal has excellent silt clearance. Proper silt clearance helps to prevent discomfort and adds to the stability of the sandal while in use.
Overall, the Crocs are for people who want comfort more than style and are prepared to put up with a lack of stability in some more extreme circumstances.
- Croslite foam
- Iconic crocs comfort
- Hook and loop closure
- Two strap construction
Best Walking Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis
The Orthofeet Clearwater Mens Sandal takes the idea of a sandal to the next level by combining traditional sandal features, such as the open design, with the appearance of a regular shoe. The sandal features vents around the heel and all along the side of the foot, but comes with an almost entirely closed upper with both pull-cord laces and a stylish strap and buckle for fastening.
As far as appearance goes, Orthofeet have it nailed. The Clearwater doesn’t look like a sandal at all – more like a walking shoe – meaning that it sidesteps all of the usual reservations people have with wearing the former. What’s more, because of its subtle design, the Clearwater offers a unique opportunity for people who need to wear sandals for medical conditions to wear something that functions as a sandal but doesn’t look like one.
It’s also particularly useful for people who do not have the capacity to tie their own shoelaces. Thanks to the easy-to-use pull-strings and buckle, the Clearwater gives both disabled people and the elderly the ability to stay independent for longer. (Check out our review of the best walking canes for additional mobility assistance.)
Are there any downsides to Orthofeet’s offering? The only major drawback appears to be the quality. Although the shoes look good, they don’t provide the same study support as, say, the Dockers, thanks to the use of flimsier materials.
- Orthotic support - Premium orthotic insole, included in the shoe, with anatomical arch support and cushioning heel pad conforms to the contours of the foot as you walk. It enhances comfort and helps alleviate pain at the heel, foot, all the way up the knees, hips and lower back.
- Easy Gait - Ortho-Cushion System of lightweight sole with air cushioning softens step and adds spring to your step. The Ortho-Cushion System is biomechanically engineered to alleviate stress on the joints, enhance stability and help facilitate foot motion. Walk comfortable and pain free every step you take.
- Non-Binding, Extra Depth Design - Soft, non-binding upper with extra depth design and wide toe box eliminates pressure on bunions and hammer toes. Soft, seam-free interior lining, padded with foam, eliminates pressure points and offers superior comfort and protection for sensitive feet and for those who suffer from diabetes, neuropathy and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Designed with innovative comfort features for the following footwear: men's comfortable sandals, men's arch support sandals, men's sandals for neuropathy, men's orthopedic Sandals, men's orthotic sandals, men's arthritis sandals, men's depth sandals, men's wide sandals, men's extra wide sandals, men's heel pain sandals, men's plantar fasciitis sandals, men's foot pain sandals.
- Engineered to offer best footwear solution for Foot Pain, Heel Pain, Arch Pain, Knee Pain, Ball of the Foot Pain, Metatarsal Pain, Knee Pain, Back Pain, and to enhance comfort for Sensitive Feet, Diabetic Feet, Arthritic Feet, Neuropathy, Plantar Fasciitis, Pronation, Metatarsalgia, Morton's Neuroma, Bunions, Corns, Hammer Toes.
Best Walking Sandals For Flat Feet
On first impression, the Kunsto Men’s Synthetic Leather Open-Toe Sandal looks like a style disaster. But when worn, the oversized straps and the asymmetrical design look surprisingly good. This isn’t just another ergonomic sandal which throws style considerations to the wind: Kunsto has managed to cleverly combine the two in a way that isn’t immediately obvious.
The quality of the velcro on the straps appears to be high and won’t wear out after a couple of uses. What’s more, the shoes are adjustable for wider feet. But these aren’t the main draws of Kunsto’s open-toe sandal. The most important feature for many is the added comfort around the heel. Kunsto knows that heel rub can be a problem with many shoes. There’s a lack of cushioning in the heel area which can make it painful to walk long distances. So the company decided to put a thick foam pouch directly under the heel to add some extra cushioning for those who need it. The result is perhaps one of the most comfortable sandals on the market. Unlike many sandals, the Kunsto Men’s Synthetic Leather Open-Toe Sandal doesn’t feel like you’re walking along with car tires stapled to your feet. It feels more like wearing a regular pair of shoes.
The main problem with the Kunsto is the annoying, textured surface on the inside of the straps. You can see why the company decided to go down the textured route: they wanted to prevent the shoe from slipping while being worn underwater. But in regular conditions, it can be uncomfortable.
- Adjustable Triple hook-and-loop straps for customizable fit and feel.
- Quick-drying synthetic upper provides lightweight breathability.
- TPR out-sole with specially developed tread pattern offers grip and traction in any off-road situation.
- Arch support design with comfortable phylon insole.
- Classic hollow/cut out design keeps a simple profile in high style with this relaxed sandals
Best Walking Sandals For Women
Not everybody wants to lounge around and relax by the pool all day in their sandals. Some want to go out adventuring, climbing over rocks and scaling coastal hills. The Teva Women’s Tirra Athletic Sandal is marketed at women who want to do precisely that. Coming in a range of colors, the Tirra Athletic Sandal aims to be a hybrid between stylish women’s beachwear and a piece of functional, outdoor equipment.
Starting with the positives, the Tirra is stylish enough to be worn with dresses and pants. And are partially suited for underwater use. The custom foot position system allows the wearer to adjust the sandal for wide or narrow feet. And the clever sole design provides grip at all angles, allowing you to do pretty much whatever you’d usually do in regular sneakers.
One potential downside is the build quality. Teva hasn’t managed to improve the velcro to the point where it will last season after season. With repeated use, the velcro hooks lose their ability to attach securely, leaving the wearer prone to the straps coming undone.
So, in short, the Tirra is for active women who want a sandal that will see them through their summer holidays. But the durability of the straps mean that this probably isn’t a pair of sandals that’ll last a decade.
- Sporty sandal featuring logo and multiple straps with hook-and-loop closures
- Nylon stability shank
- EVA topsole with Microban zinc.Traction outsole with water-channeling lugs
- Compression-molded EVA midsole.Shock Pad heel
- Cushioning sponge EVA topsole
Sandals Vs. Flip Flops
Here is a good YouTube video talking about why you should not wear flip flops:
Instead, opt for a good sandal with support.