This summer in particular, you can get by with a select few pairs of shoes: a practical sneaker, something office-appropriate if your presence is requested at your workplace, and for kicks, one really good pair of comfortable sandals that can work double-time as indoor and outdoor shoes. The question persists: where can I find a solid pair of summer shoes that won’t compromise looks for comfort, or function as a bonafide blister factory?
I’ve been on a quest after the best summer sandals for years, and can personally vouch for every one of the below as top notch contenders. These favorites check all of the boxes: cushy soles, soft materials, and podiatric support. Don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in these classic summer shoes!
1. The Most Classic Comfortable Summer Sandal You Can Find (It’s the Truth!)
Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA
I’ve been a loyal Birkenstock customer for years in my day, and their constant rotation of colors and patterns continues to tempt me. Birkenstocks are the most comfortable summer shoe I’ve found and once I happened upon these all-white ones, I felt like I’d discovered the Birkenstock to end all Birkenstocks: the EVA is a lightweight version of the classic. It’s subtle and looks good with just about any outfit. And, they’re really quite indistinguishable from the 1774 Birkenstock that goes for $430.
Perhaps you’ve worn your favorite Birkenstocks down? There’s a doctor for that.
You want a custom pair of Birkenstocks, you say?! I recently came across Sandal Factory and though I have met my responsible Birkenstock quota, I’m still intrigued.
2. If You Don’t Want to Look Like You’re Wearing a Comfortable Sandal
Ancient Greek Sandals String Flip Flop
Ancient Greek Sandals created a Comfort Soles collection a couple of years ago, and it does not compromise style. What exactly is a comfort sole, anyway? Rather than something of the stiffer leather variety, these shoes have a 100% rubber sole. These lace-ups are perfect to dress up or to wear casually.
3. Speaking of Dressing Up… A Tip
Clarks Sense Slide
When looking for comfortable sandals, check out to see the material of the sole. These Clarks slide with a slight wedge have a resin rubber sole, so they’re a bit less stiff when taking to the streets. They aren’t going to be your walking shoe, but they’re a great option for a dressier pair to wear with a wide-leg white trouser, light denim or summer dress. And look at that fun zebra colorway option! (They’re also 57% off in limited sizes here!)
4. Hit 10,000 Steps with These (Good for a Boost at Your Standing Desk, too)
Camper Oruga Sandal
I think that these are SO fun and even though they have a platform, their thick nubuck leather straps hold your foot in place and the sole renders them comfortable for a long-winded walkabout.
5. If “Fun” is Your M.O., Might I Suggest a Platform?
FitFlop Eloise Leather Wedge Slides
If you want some height but don’t want to put your feet through agony, I suggest these fun flatforms from… Fitflop! They call their technology “Microwobbleboard,” which is their thoughtful way of composing every part of the sole differently to maximize stability and comfort. I would wear these babies with a pair of shorts, a bikini top with an oversized linen blouse, and a capital S statement pair of sunglasses.
6. A Sophisticated Mule
Dr. Scholl’s Classic Faux Wood Sandal
A few years ago, I got these Dr. Scholl’s slides and was shocked when I slid my foot into them: the sole that looked like wood was super flexible and bouncy. They are so easy to walk in (make sure you get the ones with the faux wood sole!) and they don’t slide off when you walk. With this specific sole, I’ve never gotten a blister, and I love how sophisticated these shoes are—an enduring classic.
7. The Slipper Sandal
Brother Vellies Marabou Lamu Sandals
For those of us who like to stay home (with a dog walk here and there), might I suggest these fuzzy sandals that come in six different colorways from Brother Vellies? I had the pleasure of trying these on during a photoshoot once. While these don’t have the flexible upper sole I’m usually after, the soft, lightweight leather feels like a cozy bed for your feet.
8. The No-Fuss Slide Sandal
Teva Olowahu Sandals
This Teva sandal comes in ten different colorways so pick your personality strap. I’m going with the “Antiguous Birch,” but that’s just me. This is the perfect comfy sandal to wear either around your house like a slipper, or on shorter walks. If that short walk happens to turn into a long walk, you’ll be totally fine with the supportive quick-dry webbing (made from recycled plastic), soft cushions and lightweight foam outsole.
What’s your perfect summer sandal? My feet would love to know.
Feature Image via Brother Vellies.