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17 comfortable sandals to pack on your next trip — including Shop TODAY Travel Gear Award winners

Whether you're hiking or looking for arch support, this list has what you need.
Young woman arriving in hotel
These walking sandals are perfect for any summer adventure you have planned.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Many of us live in flip-flops — we wear them to run errands, enjoy the great outdoors or visit the beach. Guilty of this, Melissa Rivers, a TV personality and red carpet fashion expert, tells Shop TODAY: “I know they’re so bad for my feet.”

We hear you, Melissa — there are definitely times when all we need is a bit more support. In those moments, we tend to turn to walking sandals to help our feet feel free and secure. The good news is that you don't have to sacrifie style for support; comfortable sandals exist, and they're super cute.

Here, 17 sandals that made it onto our list (including a couple of award-winning picks from our Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards). Keep scrolling or use the links below to find out more.

Travel Gear Award winners | What to look for | Best budget | Best for travel | Most fashionable | Best for long distances | Best platform | Best for hiking | Best sporty | FAQs | How we chose | Meet our experts

Shop TODAY Snapshot

Best supportive walking sandals

Shop TODAY Travel Gear Award 2024 Winners

Reef Cushion Vista Hi Sandals

Award: Best budget sandals | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.6/5 | Satisfaction: 4.6/5 | Overall score: 4.8/5

Not only are these award-winning sandals super stylish, but our editors who tried them said that they're comfortable, too. "The first thing that made me love these sandals is the true foot support!" shares intern Domonique Tolliver. "The platform bottoms make them easy to walk in and the arch support is incredible and supports my high arches."

According to the brand, the sandals have multiple comfort-boosting features, including heel cupping, arch support and a cork "energy return" footbed that brings an extra spring to your step. Plus, their stylish design means that you can wear them straight from the beach to lunch.

Plus, Shop TODAY readers can save 30% off the Vista Hi or Vista Hi Energy by using the code TODAY at checkout on the brand’s site, now through April 25.

Birkenstock Arizona Birkibuc Sandal

What we like
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Adjustable strap
Something to note
  • Take time to break in

Award: Best splurge sandals | Quality: 5/5 | Value: 4.6/5 | Satisfaction: 5/5 | Overall score: 4.9/5

Birkenstocks have long been a favorite shoe of comfort-seekers, but in the last few years, they've gained new popularity among trendsetters, celebrities and more. And yes, the podiatrist-approved shoes really are as supportive and comfy as everyone says.

"The contoured footbeds are extremely supportive, and the construction is noticeably durable," shares editor Amanda Fama. "I really like the fact these can be dressed up or down, too. I can see myself wearing these for quick walks around the city while running errands or pairing them with a cute outfit for a picnic in the park."

What to look for in a walking sandal

Sure, you can walk in sandals for long distances, but they need the right features, according to Dr. Alissa Kuizinas, a Boston-based board-certified podiatrist. Ideally, walking sandals should be flat and have straps, but also be flexible enough to bend with your foot, she says. Here are the features she recommends looking for when shopping for walking sandals:

  • Sizing: Most of us wear the wrong size of shoes, Kuizinas says. When it comes to sandals, there should be a 0.5- to 1-centimeter space between the edge of the shoe and the top of your toes, she adds. If it’s a strappy sandal, you shouldn’t feel like your toes are jammed in awkward positions or that your bones are squishing.
  • Straps: Kuizinas says adjustable straps are ideal, so the shoe stays securely in place without the need to grip with your toes. Otherwise, slightly wider straps are more comfortable, particularly if your feet tend to swell.
  • Arch shape: Flat-soled shoes are the most adaptable to a foot’s movements. For arthritic feet, Kuizinas recommends choosing walking sandals with a supportive arch, a stiffer sole and a toe spring (a slight elevation of the shoe where the toes sit) for additional comfort and support.
  • Sole shape and tread: Kuizinas says being low to the ground and feeling the surface you’re walking on is beneficial, although some people prefer more cushioning. When it comes to tread, the amount of traction needed varies by activity — for example, you’ll need high tread for hiking sandals. In general, avoid sandals with rigid soles, which might prevent proper foot movement.

Best budget walking sandals

Sanuk Yoga Sling 2

What we like
  • Feels like putting on socks
Something to note
  • Can run small

Style: Slingback | Material: Yoga mat, EVA, fabric | Sole: EVA | Size range: 5-11 | Colors available: 15

For under $30, the price point of this walking sandal is unbeatable and a Shop TODAY contributor favorite. They’re designed with two-way stretch knit fabric straps that securely wrap around the lower ankle. So, unlike flip-flops, they shouldn't easily slip off mid-stride or leave behind unsightly blisters. Imagine walking on a cushiony yoga mat with the perfect amount of grip, because the footbeds are made from padded yoga material, according to the brand.

FULL REVIEW: Read why Sanuk's Yoga Sling sandals gave our travel writer's favorite flip-flops a run for their money.

Crocs Tulum Toe Post Sandal

What we like
  • Flexible straps
Something to note
  • No arch support

Style: Flat, toe post | Material: Matlite (straps), rubber, TPU (toe posts) | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 4-11 | Colors available: 2

Crocs are a top footwear choice for casual city explorers, celebrities, Gen Z'ers and even nurses, and for good reason — they're affordable, supportive, flexible, lightweight and easy to slip on. These stylish Tulums by the brand are no different (and some folks who are wary of the original's unique style may look at these more favorably).

For starters, they're made of a soft and flexible rubber material, including the Matlite straps, which come in two different colors. The buckle (made of metal) is adjustable, so you'll be able to customize fit.

But best of all, the Tulums are a lot more versatile than the original Crocs; they can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Birkenstock EVA Arizona Sandal

What we like
  • True to size
Something to note
  • Can make sound when you walk

Style: Double straps, slip-on | Material: Synthetic upper and lining | Sole: Synthetic | Size range: 4-12.5 | Colors available: 12

These EVA Arizona sandals bring the quality and comfort that Birkenstock is known for at an affordable price tag. That's why they were previously named the best budget sandals during our 2023 Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards. Designed to be easy to clean and slip on to run errands, go to the beach or wear around the house, one reviewer notes that these shoes are just as comfortable as the brand’s cork-footbed sandals.

“They really mold to your foot and feel supportive without slipping up or down as you walk,” says deputy editorial director Alexandra Deabler. “Your arches feel massaged and very supportive, it’s nice. It’s like your foot is getting a little hug while you’re walking.”

Best walking sandals for travel

Keen Women's Whisper Sandal

What we like
  • sturdy and functional
Something to note
  • May run small

Style: Hiking sandal | Material: EVA, polyester, elastic | Sole: EVA | Size range: 5–12 | Colors available: 12

If summer travels take you from long airport lines straight to kayaking at the lake, these machine-washable sandals by Keen might be for you. They offer comfortable EVA footbeds that mold to the shape of the foot. Plus, polyester waterproof webbing and a durable outsole allow you to safely walk on wet surfaces — or hop into a stream without worrying about ruining your footwear. There’s also a bungee lace system for a secure fit.

One happy shopper bought these sandals for a trip to the tropics, where they needed a shoe that protects their toes, allows them to walk for miles, and can be used in water. While the reviewer has feet that typically blister easily, these sandals felt like a dream — and didn’t result in a single blister!

Most fashionable walking sandals

Teva Flatform Universal Sandal

What we like
  • Extremely versatile
Something to note
  • Can take a while to break in

Style: Strappy platform | Material: EVA, quick-dry recycled plastic webbing | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5–12 | Colors available: 8

Shop TODAY associate social media editor Dani Musacchio logged four miles in these sandals while commuting by foot around New York City. “I have very narrow feet and usually struggle to find sandals that my feet don’t slip out of. The two adjustable straps on these shoes allow me to create the perfect fit,” Musacchio says.

The shoes, which won a Shop TODAY 2023 Travel Gear Award, feature a platform sole measuring 1.75 inches and while Musacchio says that her feet felt secure thanks to the ankle straps, she notes that some people might prefer a shoe with less of a platform.

LifeStride Delta Wedge Sand

What we like
  • Great for standing all day
Something to note
  • Straps could be more comfy

Style: Slingback wedge | Material: Fabric, rubber | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5–11 medium or wide | Colors available: 4

According to the brand, each shoe is made LifeStride’s Soft System, which offers a breathable cushion, extra arch and heel support and just the right amount of flex — so you can walk in comfort and style.

“This is my second pair. They are super cute and very comfortable. I can wear them all day and my feet don’t hurt, and I’m a teacher, so I’m standing a lot,” says a reviewer.

Ecco Women's Flowt Wedge Sandal

What we like
  • Great support
Something to note
  • Leather footbed can stain

Style: Wedge | Material: Leather | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 4-10.5 | Colors available: 2

"I have been using this pair for the last two years and is my go-to for summer travels," says Shop TODAY commerce writer Jannely Espinal. "The pair is super comfortable, supportive and sweat-resistant. Unless the weather is 100 degrees outside, you’ll feel comfortable in these wedges," she says.

Espinal also loves that the design has an arch support and a flexible construction that doesn’t feel unsafe when you walk.

Best sandals for walking long distances

Teva Tirra

What we like
  • Great arch support
Something to note
  • Backs may rub against heel

Style: Performance | Material: Post-consumer plastics, rubber | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-11 | Colors available: 9

According to the brand, these walking sandals are perfect for uneven terrain. They feature quick-dry webbing, contoured EVA midsoles and shock-absorbing heels that keep your feet dry while adding maximum support. They’re also earth-friendly: They’re vegan, made of recycled materials and can be recycled through Teva’s in-house program.

Keen Women's Elle Backstrap

What we like
  • Slight platform adds cushion
Something to note
  • Straps aren't adjustable

Style: Backstrap | Material: Post-consumer plastics, rubber | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-11 | Colors available: 17

We're "keen" on these lightweight platform sandals from this sporty footwear brand. Your feet will be prepped for all-day support thanks to a compression-molded EVA midsole and footbed, while wider straps create a stronger, more secure fit.

Best platform walking sandals

Reef Cushion Rem High

What we like
  • True to size
Something to note
  • The buckles can rub

Style: Slingback platform | Material: Post-consumer plastics, elastic, cork, rubber, EVA | Sole: Rubber and EVA | Size range: 5-11 | Colors available: 2

My favorite backless platforms are from Reef, but for longer walks I prefer — and Kuizinas recommends — footwear with straps to hold the foot in place, like these cork platforms with soft, 100% post-consumer straps and a comfy elastic backstrap.

Rivers says there’s definitely a trend in purchasing well-made pieces that are going to last, and making the purchase an eco-friendly one just makes sense. With sustainable shoes as comfortable as these, you’re going to want to walk everywhere in them. They’re designed with arch support, a cupped heel and a slight elevation at the toes.

“They're great for my fall transition wardrobe and easy to dress up or down. The best part is how truly comfortable they are — the first day I got them, I wore them walking around town ALL day and didn't have any issues breaking them in,” says a reviewer.

Don't forget to use code TODAY for 30% off the Vista Hi or Vista Hi Energy on the brand's site through April 25.

Best walking sandals for hiking

XeroShoes Z-Trail EV

What we like
  • Promotes proper posture
Something to note
  • Not super durable

Style: Hiking | Material: Post-consumer nylon, foam, rubber | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-12 | Colors available: 5

These hiking sandals are Kuizinas’s best overall pick for hikers who prefer to feel the terrain beneath their feet.

These shoes are equipped with quick-dry webbing straps crafted from recycled water bottles. Additionally, the brand says the shoes' zero-drop heel design promotes proper posture, balance and agility, while the flexible sole bends and flexes with each step.

Chaco Women's Z/2 Classic Sandal

What we like
  • Fits to your foot
Something to note
  • Discomfort while breaking in

Style: Hiking | Material: Polyester jacquard webbing, high-tensile webbing, PU rubber | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-12 | Colors available: 5

Chacos come in a variety of styles and colors, but they all have the same distinct features outdoor enthusiasts swear by: adjustable straps that custom-fit to your foot, a podiatrist-certified footbed and no-slip traction soles — all of which can be repaired under warranty for life.

"I own four pairs of Chacos and they’re my go-to’s for everything when the weather is warm," says associate editor Sierra Hoeger. "Hiking, walking, random errands, you name it! I’ve never gotten a blister thanks to the adjustable straps, and my feet aren’t sore or tired after a day of wearing them out and about," she says.

This pick has a toe-loop for added support and, based on Kuizina’s expert input, may be a good pick for those with bunions looking for toe-correcting comfort.

Note, however, that the Z/2 Classic Sandals are made with a durable and rugged design, which means they may be heavier than other styles of hiking sandals.

Best sporty walking sandals

Crocs Women's Swiftwater Sandal

What we like
  • Great arch support
Something to note
  • Sole may be a little thin

Style: Slide | Material: Rubber, EVA | Sole: EVA | Size range: 4-11 | Colors available: 18

Another comfy pair of walking sandals from Crocs: This one boasts a sleek style and a flexible asymmetrical strap design to create a snug fit.

The durable design is made to transition from land to water — or to spin class. Either way, it makes a marvelous multitasking addition to your sandal collection. But be warned, most reviewers like them so much they can’t help but order another pair — or two — in another color.

“I suffer from plantar fasciitis, and these are the most comfortable sandals. My intent was to use them just to take my dog in and out, but I actually ended up wearing them to work. My feet were super comfortable all day,” said a reviewer.

Teva Hurricane Drift Sandals

What we like
  • Adjustable ankle strap
Something to note
  • Toe strap not adjustable

Style: Ankle strap | Material: EVA | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-11 | Colors available: 6

Walking sandals typically offer a lot of support, so they're naturally a bit heavier. But if you prefer a more lightweight design, this pair from Teva will be right up your alley. The ankle-strap shoe comes in several vibrant colors and is easy to slip in and out of thanks to its Velcro closure.

According to a reviewer, these Teva sandals are the best sandals they've ever had. They can wear them for hours without feeling the shoes on their feet, and add that the most amazing thing about the pair is their affordability for the quality.

Clarks Collection Solan Drift Sandals

What we like
  • Comfortable arch
Something to note
  • May run large

Style: Flat | Material: EVA, rubber, suede, leather | Sole: Rubber | Size range: 5-9 | Colors available: 7

This sporty style from Clarks cushions your feet with every step, thanks to its step-propelling motion tread sole and foam-padded footbed. The black color also hides any dirt you come across while you’re out and about.

“This sandal is beautifully made with a very comfortable suede footbed. They are very adjustable for those of us who have problems with swollen feet at times,” says a reviewer.

How we chose the best walking sandals

To choose our award-winning sandals, we sorted through hundreds of new launches, editor recommendations, trending products flooding our social media pages and tried and true products to curate a list of must-have travel items worth reviewing for our awards. Then, our team of editors and writers signed up to try out apparel and shoes, putting them to the test in New York City — and as far as Guatemala — to see how they held up. Finally, our panel of experts reviewed some of our winners and gave feedback based on their expertise.

In order to identify more of the best walking sandals for almost any occasion, Shop TODAY connected with fashion experts to get the scoop on spring style trends. Then, we spoke to a board-certified podiatrist who gave us the ins and outs of what makes a shoe comfortable and why it’s so important to have good-fitting shoes.

With expert insights, we considered trending shoes made by trusted brands, evaluating each on the following criteria: affordability, style, quality, foot-friendly design and other helpful features — and we factored in verified customer reviews and average star ratings.

Meet our experts

  • Chellie Carlson is a transformational wardrobe stylist based in Chicago. After 30 years in the fashion industry, Carlon launched Chellie Carlson Style, her personal brand, and The Method, her signature service, "to elevate the way you get dressed and show up for the rest of your life," according to her website.
  • Dr. Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist based in Boston. She's a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and completed a Forefoot & Rearfoot Reconstructive Surgery residency at Hoboken University Medical Center. Kuizinas' specialty is in natural podiatry and footwear, which "takes into consideration the anatomic shape of the human foot, along with natural movement patterns," according to her website.
  • Melissa Rivers is a TV personality, producer, actress and Red Carpet fashion expert. While she's best known for co-hosting the "Fashion Police" series on E!, Rivers is also a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in California.

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