Sandals don't have to be ugly to be comfy. Shop these cute picks from podiatrists and fashion experts
This article is part of Spring Fashion Month, where we’re breaking down your must-have fashion pieces for the next few months. From denim jackets to comfy sandals, we’re asking editors, influencers and experts about the go-to pieces they wear through spring and beyond.
It’s that time of the season when your favorite sandals are looking worn out and you’re ready for a new everyday pair. But let’s face it, the shoe department can feel like a reasoning and decision-making exam. Not only are you juggling price and size, but also the style versus comfort dilemma. Do you pick the fashionable pair that will reside in your closet forever? Or the comfortable pair you won’t be seen wearing outside the house?
When choosing a sandal, you want one that is both comfortable and fashionable. After all, nobody wants to stress about aching feet, chafing or blisters. So we consulted with fashion experts and podiatrists to find the best sandals for comfort and style enthusiasts alike.
Take everything great about the Santa Barbaras, but make them vegan! Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or not, these slides are stylish, comfortable and supportive. Daughtry recommends them for travel because they’re light and easily packable.
According to Solomon, “Birkenstocks are still one of the best options out there due to a few attributes. The deep heel cup and arch support stabilizes the heel, prevents excess pronation and distributes your weight across a larger surface area. The metatarsal pad helps alleviate forefoot pain, or metatarsalgia, by shifting the weight further back in your foot.”
Ah, how we’ve loved the return of the Croc! Jane Francis, a multidisciplinary designer with 35 years of experience in the fashion industry, vouches for them too. “The mix of high and low is always a winning formula in fashion,” she says. “I love how wearers of all ages and genders can personalize their Crocs.”
These Oofos sandals have stuck around for good reason: For those with heel pain (and those without), the foam cushion provides support and reduces shock. Plus, the Ooriginal thong style, which is an Underscored editor favorite, is made with a nonslip footbed making them suitable for wet conditions. Rain or shine, you don’t need to worry about sliding around.
Have you heard the term ‘gorpcorp’? It’s a trend that focuses on utility and functionality. For fashion, leather and textile expert Tjacob Hooker, who holds an MFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Chacos are the way to go. “I gravitate towards more ‘gorpcorp’ brands because of their respect for the human body,” he says. “Their design ethos is committed to ergonomics and continual use.”
How could something so fashionable be comfortable? These part-espadrille, part-wedge sandals are the lift you need to elevate any look. Obregón describes them as elegant enough for any occasion, but you can still walk for miles and miles.
This is considered a hiking shoe, but it’s just as stylish off the trail. Hooker loves the unibody style of this durable slip-on. For an environmentally conscious choice, there’s the vegan-friendly version called Hydro Moc with Bloom.
For fashion designer Alla Eizenberg, she loves the Sorel Kinetic Wedge Sandals for their neat look, reasonable price and high quality. “I wore them on my recent vacation to Italy and South France,” she says. “I walked around extensively and they endured the medieval cobblestone streets with grace.” The neon accent colors and chunky platform style make a remarkable team.
You can’t go wrong with this Nike staple. “The Jordan brand successfully straddles the line between fashion and function, loved by both athletes and the everyday consumer,” says Angela Finochio, a Fashion Institute of Technology classroom assistant. You’ll want to wear these sporty, lightweight sandals everywhere — if you aren’t already. “The rise of athleisure fashion increased the popularity of the slide silhouette, a casual style now found in many high fashion collections,” she says.