Sandals are a cornerstone of a solid warm-weather wardrobe. But summer means more long walks, more time at parks and beaches, and more exposure to grimy city sidewalks—which means your footwear not only has to look cute, but comfort is also key. No one wants to bail mid-brewery tour because of every little piggy’s worst nightmare: blisters.
Because of sweat and some mild swelling (common in hot and humid climates), straps can rub the wrong way and toes can be pinched and squished, making a stylish new purchase unwearable. To avoid pain, it’s best to consider problem areas before getting too attached to a specific style. Have a high dorsum (that area at the top of the foot?) Look for an adjustable top strap. High arch? Extra sole support is in order. Slightly different size between your feet? An adjustable back or ankle strap could even things out. When it comes to sandals, the shoe doesn’t just need to fit, it needs to feel good, too.
Luckily, comfortable footwear is having a moment, so it’s easier than ever to find the right pair for your pieds and still be totally on trend. Here, we’ve rounded up our faves.
The Birkenstock unexpectedly went from “mom shoe” to “must-have” thanks to celebs like the Olsens and Gwyneth Paltrow—the familiar double-strap Arizona style is so sought-after, even fancy French designers (like Isabel Marant) copy the look. The rubber Arizona is light but still supportive and has adjustable top straps and a wide foot bed to suit different needs. Because they are rubber, they also travel well and can be near water (unlike the leather version). If vegan material is a priority, these are a standout option.
Rubber Arizona Sandals, $60, softmoc.com