The 20 Most Comfortable Sandals of 2023
Including our favorite Barbie-approved Birkenstocks
Alyssa Brascia is a commerce writer PEOPLE, covering beauty, fashion, home and lifestyle products. She has previously written commerce content for Dotdash Meredith brands such as InStyle, Shape, Southern Living and more during her time as the E-Commerce Editorial Apprentice while she was an undergraduate fashion student at Iowa State University. Her passions include fashion and beauty writing as well as makeup artistry and styling. You can find her on Instagram to follow along on her creative journey.
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Whether you’re gearing up for warmer months, prepping for a beach vacation, or just getting tired of your everyday sneakers, comfortable sandals are a staple for everyone’s closet — and you’ll need a go-to pair when it’s time to beat the heat.
“Comfortable sandals are all about the material, padding, arch support, and straps,” Marion Yau, celebrity podiatrist, BSc, tells PEOPLE. “Whenever you wear sandals, you want them to look great and be supportive.” But to actually be good for your feet, your sandals have to have that extra oomph to get you through the day completely ache-free.
From comfortable straps to foot-molding insoles, and of course, cute designs, we compiled a list of research-backed and podiatrist-recommended sandals that will not only keep your feet happy all day long but also look cute while doing so.
“Being confident and comfortable in your shoes is always on trend,” says Marion Parke, a podiatric surgeon and founder of her eponymous shoe label Marion Parke. “Barefoot and limping are out.”
Keep reading to discover the most comfortable sandals that will have you strutting in style this season.
Those wanting an everyday, slip-on shoe with excellent arch support will fall in love with this classic option from Birkenstock.
Some shoppers may be in the market for a more sophisticated sandal that can be worn to dressier events, such as a summer wedding.
When celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Reese Witherspoon, and Katie Holmes are repeat wearers of a shoe, you know it’s a good pick — especially when that pair happens to be Birkenstock Arizonas. These shoes are specifically designed to provide superior arch and anatomical support in regards to its contoured footbed (designed in the shape of a “healthy foot,” according to the brand) and EVA cushioning that works double-time to absorb shock while you walk. The insole also features defined medial and metatarsal arches in order to support the rest of your foot, not just the arches, from the ball of your foot to the heel.
This wildly popular shoe stands out among the crowd not only for its celeb following, but it’s incredible comfort, as well. It’s no wonder that these were the first shoes that Margot Robbie’s character in Barbie slips on once her feet go flat. Plus, you can score them on sale right now during the 2023 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
Price at time of publish: $129 (orig. $170)
Sizes: 5-11.5 | Material: Leather, cork, suede | Insole: EVA | Closure: Single strap, buckles
For a casual under-$25 sandal option, these will keep your feet comfortable all day long.
This option isn't as versatile since it can't be dressed up, which some shoppers may prioritize.
Seeing as the word “pillow” is in the name, you can bet that these slides are some of the most cloud-like (and budget-friendly) sandals on the market right now. Complete with a featherweight sole and some serious cushion, these shoes provide great shock absorption and stability due to their EVA material. This makeup also allows the insole of the sandals to be supportive enough to release any tension or foot pain you may experience as you go about your daily routine. Plus, the material is porous and waterproof, so you can take these to the beach or pool without a second thought. How’s that for a casual summer sandal?
Price at time of publish: $23.99 (orig. $35.99)
Sizes: 4-16 | Material: EVA | Insole: EVA | Closure: Single strap
This Lululemon shoe is not only super easy to slip on and off, it comes at a relatively reasonable price point for the brand.
Some may be looking for shoes with a supportive ankle strap to keep their foot firmly in place while walking.
Lululemon ventured into the world of shoes with the Blissfeel running sneakers, but its sandals are the next big thing when it comes to rest and relaxation. These shoes are made for your “off” days — featuring dual-density cushioning, a foam-lined upper strap, and a traction-gripping rubber sole to ensure that you can walk from the pool to the couch with zero slippage. And better yet, you can nab these cushy slides in six earthy tones to match all of your loungewear outfits. Lululemon does it again.
Price at time of publish: $58
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Foam, rubber | Insole: Foam | Closure: Single strap
This dependable pair of flip flops actually has ample arch support.
Because they have a bit of weight to them, they won't be ideal for anyone wanting a lightweight pair of sandals.
Voted as our PEOPLE-approved best flip flops for women, these durable sandals are comfortable and supportive enough to get you through several seasons of wear at a relatively attractive price point. These thick-strapped flip flops feature an EVA midsole that absorbs shock and a specialty cushion on the insole that provides ample cushion for long days on your feet. It’s finished with a high-traction bottom, so you can walk around the pool without fear of slipping, and an adjustable buckle on the straps that allows you to find the perfect fit for your individual foot shape. There's a reason our testers fell in love with these ultra-comfy sandals — and we expect you to, as well.
Price at time of publish: $33.48 (orig. $55)
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Rubber, riptape | Insole: EVA | Closure: Straps
Though these sandals look substantial, they’re surprisingly lightweight and feature an adjustable fit.
Because of the suede exterior, these aren't waterproof and won't be ideal for wetter climates.
Ugg is well known for its superior comfort, and that statement still rings true when it comes to the Goldenstar Strap sandals. These suede, gladiator-like sandals are the perfect summer option for the comfort-loving minimalist who wants to step it up a notch. Its comfortable suede straps look and feel like a classic Ugg boot, just reworked for the warmer months — but what remains is incredible comfort, which is found in its contoured EVA insole and soft, suede upper.
We especially love that we can adjust these thick straps to perfectly fit the individual shapes of our feet to ensure maximum comfort and a lower chance of slipping. Think classic Ugg boots, but for the summer, and you get these ultra-comfy, strappy sandals.
Price at time of publish: $83.93 (orig. $130)
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Suede, recycled polyester, EVA | Insole: EVA | Closure: Straps, hook-and-loop
If you want a platform (and waterproof!) shoe without the weight, we recommend this style from Crocs.
Not everyone may prefer that low wedge silhouette and synthetic material.
Another one of Yau’s recommendations is the Brooklyn Low Wedges. “I adore these Crocs, with their elegant two straps, heel strap, and LiteRide foam footbed,” says Yau. Though its design looks thickly-platformed, these sandals are featherweight on your feet thanks to the light materials that make up its cushy sole. Plus, the insole features deep heel cups for increased comfort and stability from the very first wear — no break-in period necessary. Substitute your old clog Crocs for this summery sandal this season.
Price at time of publish: $54.95
Sizes: 4-11 | Material: Synthetic, thermoplastic rubber | Insole: Synthetic | Closure: Straps, metal rivets
These retro platform sandals come without the weight of a clunky heel and are super versatile.
Those who are looking for a flatter shoe would appreciate other options on this list.
Platform shoes are all the rage, but are they really comfortable? While not all of them may be, the Steve Madden Slinky sandals surely are. With a contoured synthetic sole, a noticeably padded insole, and a soft, fabric upper strap that keeps your foot firmly in place, it’s no wonder why these are one of the brand’s best-sellers.
This shoe provides just the right amount of lift with its 1.25-inch platform, being 2.25 inches in the heel, to give you some extra height while feeling like you still have your balance. The arched sole adds a little something extra to this nostalgic shoe, which tips its hat to the ‘90s styles that inspired its design.
Price at time of publish: $40.48 (orig. $89.95)
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Vegan leather, synthetic lining | Insole: Synthetic | Closure: Fabric strap
These are perfect for anyone needing a summery shoe for warm weather or an upcoming beach vacation.
Because these are only available in whole sizes, those who are a true half size might not find the perfect fit.
When we think of espadrilles, we think of crashing waves, floral sundresses, and sandy shores — and then we think of the Matisse Natural Del Mar sandals, which fit right into this imagined scene. This braided jute sandal is the perfect slip-on slide for dinner on the water and daytime shopping, making this the perfect espadrille for your warm-weather days. Its platform outsole is complimented by its padded insole, which keeps your feet feeling comfortable and looking stylish all day. Just a forewarning: There’s no half sizes in this shoe, so you’ll have to size up to the next whole size.
Price at time of publish: $31.06 (orig. $49)
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Raffia, synthetic leather | Insole: Synthetic | Closure: Single strap
This sandal is good for anyone recovering from rigorous training or podiatric surgery.
While anyone could benefit from these sandals, they do have a sporty look and feel which may not be everyone's style preference.
Hoka is known for its generously cushioned and carefully designed running shoes, and in looking at its sandals, it’s very apparent that the Recovery Flip was cut from the same cloth. Complete with several layers of sole support, from a cushy EVA insole to a patented curved outsole, this sandal is made to make walking a breeze after a strenuous race or medical care. Plus, it comes in a string of fun colors and even some mix-and-match shades for the sandal that fits your style. Recovery has never been easier (or more stylish).
Price at time of publish: $60
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: EVA, jersey | Insole: EVA | Closure: Thong straps
These sandals offer the utmost level of support to help relieve foot pain.
The supportive footbed is contoured and firm, meaning it doesn't have a cushy, pillowy feel some may be looking for.
If your usual sandals are leaving your arches sore and heels achy, then it’s high time to switch to a new, more comfortable shoe. And to Yau, this shoe is almost perfect — given the fact that it doesn’t have a slingback strap (though it’s fantastic for those wanting a slide). She calls out the luxury material, consisting of leather, pigskin, and sheepskin, and appreciates the fact that there’s four colors to give you some options.
“There's a built-in heel support, arch support, breathable leather, and cushioned outsole pods,” Yau describes. Its contoured footbed is made to mold to the shape of your anatomy so you can get the best heel, ankle, and arch support possible. “The Kuru Breeze is almost a podiatrist's dream," she adds.
Price at time of publish: $110 (orig. $130)
Sizes: 6-12 | Material: Leather, pigskin, sheepskin | Insole: Sheepskin | Closure: Crossover straps
Those who are looking for a simple, versatile flat to wear all summer long will be impressed by this pair from Sam Edelman.
It does not feature an ankle or slingback strap, which some may want in order to feel more secure.
The days of guessing which shoe can go with your summer outfits are over, because this Sam Edelman slide has arrived on the scene. Complete with a strappy cutout of the brand’s logo, plus a luxe crocodile insole, this sandal adds a touch of elegance to every outfit you pair it with. And though its half-inch footbed looks quite thin, its insole is surprisingly cushioned, making it incredibly easy to wear all day or night. Plus it comes in 15 shades and a pretty diverse number of sizes (all the way from 4 to 13), so you can choose the color combo, size, and width that feels right for you.
Price at time of publish: $72 (orig. $120)
Sizes: 4-13 | Material: Leather, synthetic | Insole: Synthetic | Closure: Cutout straps
Anyone with arch pain who don’t do well in flat-soled shoes can benefit from this comfortable pair.
People looking for a lighter sandal that's less chunky may appreciate others on this list more.
Oprah’s never steered us wrong, so when she recommends Vionic as one of her favorite shoe brands, we already know it’s good. Vionic specializes in superior arch support and contoured footbeds that provide ample cushioning, flexibility, and stability for the active life that you lead, whether that’s in your sandals or your running shoes. These flatforms feature the same contoured arch that their other shoes do, meaning you can walk all day in these strappy sandals with the comfortable support of an arch insert while looking stylish as you go. It turns out that beauty actually isn’t pain. Just keep in mind the lug sole that comes with this shoe, in case you’re looking for a less chunky style.
Price at time of publish: $129.95
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Leather, EVA | Insole: EVA | Closure: Straps
If you're willing to invest, this is a pair of sandals that provide superior comfort (and will last them a long time).
With an original retail price of $550, these heels are the most expensive option on our list.
Anything with a heel can’t possibly be categorized as comfortable, right? Well, this pair of high-end sandals was designed by a former podiatrist, and they prove that yes, you can be comfortable while you wear a pair of really cute heels. Marion Parke, the self-titled brand that this doctor-turned-designed created, utilizes a twice-patented “Triple I” insole (which stands for “invisible intelligent insole”) in their shoes to ensure that your feet are both comfortable and supported, no matter the style or heel height you’ve chosen. Parke explains that this patented material “imparts stability through the rearfoot and arch and ensures that the shoe flexes only through the widest part of the toe box,” for the most comfortable wear.
This particular shoe is one of Parke’s favorites for a reason, because it combines both the uber-comfortable insole and a strappy upper that holds your foot in place — making sure there’s no slippage, just supported strutting.
Price at time of publish: $275 (orig. $550)
Sizes: 35-42 | Material: Nappa leather, mesh | Insole: Triple I | Closure: Toe strap, ankle strap, buckle
We recommend this pair to anyone who wants a bit of height without the pain (and instability) of a stiletto.
Some may need wedges with a slingback strap to hold in the foot more securely.
What’s a beach vacation or summer outing without a raffia wedge? This woven espadrille not only looks like a perfect warm-weather sandal, but it has the comfort (and outsole) of a sneaker — so you won’t have to carry your shoes home by the end of the night. Though this shoe touts the largest arch of all of the sandals thus far (a 3-inch heel), the flatform bottom provides extra stability when you walk and its EVA-lined sole will keep your feet comfortable despite hours of wear. Though the woven buckle is just there for show, its comfortable faux leather straps will keep your feet firmly in place all day and night. Your sandal collection just got an upgrade.
Price at time of publish: $89.96 (orig. $120)
Sizes: 5-13 | Material: Raffia, EVA, synthetic lining | Insole: EVA | Closure: Straps
Anyone outdoorsy who wants a versatile sandal that can go from the hiking trails to the city streets.
Someone looking for a pair of sandals that they can effortlessly slide on, since you'll need to strap into these.
The words “adventure” and “Teva” are synonymous to us when it comes to outdoor sandals. Built to give you support in tough terrains and comfort with its molded EVA midsole, these sandals are not only the pinnacle of functionality, but they’re super cute, too.
These sandals feature toe and ankle straps that will keep your foot comfortably in place (so you never have to worry about tripping), and they even have a supportive arch that will take the stress from your soles while you strut around town. (You can even get this pair in a thinner sole in case the flatform is too daunting). Whether you’re going from fauna to festivals, this strappy pair is your best accessory.
Price at time of publish: $64.95 (orig. $72.99)
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Recycled polyester, plastic, rubber | Insole: Vegan polyester | Closure: Velcro straps
These comfortable heels can go from work to happy hour effortlessly (and painlessly).
Some may prefer a pair of open-toed slingbacks compared to a closed-toe shoe.
Breathable, comfortable, and cute? A combination of words we’d never thought we’d hear about a pair of heels, but those are the descriptors that come with these woven Vivaia slingbacks. Featuring a nearly 2-inch heel, an antimicrobial insole cushioned by PU foam, and an adjustable slingback buckle strap, these shoes seem to have it all when it comes to chic comfort. The woven fabric allows for your feet to stay cool during warm summer outings, and the contoured insole allows your arches to stay supported during long days on your feet. We’ll call these the “commuter’s choice” for their office-ready appearance and comfy feel.
Price at time of publish: $97
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Natural artemisia argy, polyurethane, rubber | Insole: Natural artemisia argy, polyurethane | Closure: Strap, buckle
People who want a comfortable yet chic shoe that feels just as good as it looks should turn to this pair by Dr. Scholl's.
Because these are slides, they don't provide as much ankle support and foot security as others on this list.
At first glance, these wooden slides may look hard and quite the opposite of the word “comfortable,” but this O.G. sandal from Dr. Scholl’s is a mainstay in so many shoppers’ closets for a reason. With a contoured, beechwood footbed and shock-absorbing insole designed to release stress from your pressure points, these slip-ons are a surefire way to keep your feet feeling comfortable all day long.
Even Carrie Bradshaw swapped her signature Manolo Blahniks for these sandals in season 4, episode 7 of Sex and the City, which seems like enough persuasion for us to click “add to cart.”
Price at time of publish: $120
Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Beechwood, leather | Insole: Beechwood | Closure: Buckle toe strap
If you want to sport a heel made for all-day wear without sacrificing style, these Aerosoles are for you.
Some may prefer a heeled style with skinnier straps and a slimmer block heel.
Stiletto heels are notoriously uncomfortable, but block heels tend to be a safer bet — but never have you ever felt a heel as sneaker-like as these sandals from Aerosoles. Though they have some height, these sandals do not have the steep arch of a traditional high heel, instead consisting of a “slight pitch,” as the description says, that wears more like a flatform than a heel. It also includes a surface-gripping diamond-shaped outsole for extra traction to keep you extra stable while you strut in these heels.
One thing to keep in mind is that they run a little narrow, so sizing up a half size (or going for the wide shoe option, if you have wider feet) is advised. Our only question: Where are you going once you strap on these sandals?
Price at time of publish: $135
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Genuine leather | Insole: Leather | Closure: Straps, buckle
Those wanting a more substantial sole and a little bit of height (without wearing a heel) will appreciate this sandal by Naturalizer.
Since you need to buckle yourself into these with the ankle strap, these aren't ideal for anyone wanting a slip-on style of shoe that's easier to get on and off.
Jumping on the lug sole bandwagon? You’re not alone — and you’ve come to the right place, because these Darry Sandals from Naturalizer are some of the comfiest on the market. These sandals, complete with crossover toe and ankle straps, decorative stitching, and a rugged sole, are the perfect summer shoe to be dressed up or down depending on your occasion. You’ll prefer these platforms to your others because of its unique insole, which is designed to contour a woman’s footbed instead of a man’s. The outsole also features extra traction, which will keep you grounded while you trek all day (because you can, and comfortably!) in these strappy sandals.
Price at time of publish: $79.99 (orig. $110)
Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Leather | Insole: Leather | Closure: Straps, buckle
Someone who like a fun, colorful shoe (and a mismatched moment) will fall in love with this pair by Charlotte Stone.
Because these are one of the more pricier options on this list, they won't be the best option for those needing a more budget-friendly sandal.
In the market for something a little different? These Charlotte Stone slides are a fun way to add a pop (or several pops) of color into your ensemble due to their mismatched crossover straps, varying from pastel tones to a more primary color scheme. (Plus one neutral option for the traditionalists out there). This ultra-comfortable leather slide is cushioned with memory foam, which envelopes your foot in cloud-like comfort and contours to the shape of your arch to give your foot the support it needs. Colorful, comfortable, and cute — that’s a combination we’re willing to splurge on.
Price at time of publish: $204
Sizes: 4-13 | Material: Leather, memory foam | Insole: Memory foam | Closure: Straps
Cushion, support, and material are all factors that you’ll want to take into consideration as you decide which sandal you want to take home. Thick cushioning will provide that pillowy feeling under your feet, but you also want to make sure that your arches, ankles, and heels are supported, as well.
“Gels and foam help absorb shock and reduce pressure on your feet, [and] sandals with arch support are great,” says Yau, describing different insole materials. “Without them your feet may feel tired as the forces of walking over-stretch the arch,” she explains. While it’s a delicate line to toe, you can find the perfect match of soft, yet supportive sandals (and several of them, like the Kuru Breeze Sandals and Lululemon Restfeel Slides, are on this list).
Have you ever felt a sandal strap dig into the top of your foot and ruin your entire day? So have we, which is why soft and supportive straps are a necessity when it comes to your next pair of sandals. Yau recommends keeping an eye out for support straps, a strap around the back of the ankle, and a few on the front to keep your foot in place as you walk. “Poor-quality straps can irritate the skin and cause blisters if they're not fitted well,” she explains.
Some of our favorite strappy pairs include the Ugg Goldenstar Strap and Sam Edelman Bay Cutout Slide Sandal for their attractive yet equally comfortable closures that look just as great as they feel.
“If you’re going to be doing a fair amount of weight bearing, then avoid shoes that are too flexible,” advises Parke. She recommends taking caution when buying flip flops, because their often flimsy material can cause the shoe to be too flexible, and in turn, not support your heels, arches, and ankles effectively.
“You can test the flexibility of a shoe (and this applies to sandals, sneakers, boots… all shoe types) by holding it from heel to toe, bending it, and looking at where the shoe flexes,” she explains. “A more supportive shoe will bend across the widest part of the toe box, not across the midfoot or arch area.” Keeping the structure of your shoe in mind will help you decide which style is best for you.
In general, supportive sandals will consist of a contoured footbed, secure straps, and a thicker sole. While any pair that has arch and heel support will be beneficial for your feet, there are some with ankle straps that ensure that your foot won’t slide out of place while you’re walking around. Pairs with superior arch support, like the Vionic Modesto Flatform, are great for a supportive slide, while the Crocs Brooklyn Low Wedge sport a handy ankle strap design that will hold the shoe securely to your foot to prevent slipping.
According to our experts, you’ll want to opt for the bigger option if you happen to be between sizes. “It is always a good idea to size up, as a smaller size can cause the foot to become inflamed by rubbing on the shoe,” says Yau. She points out that you can always add extra cushioning or padding, like these metatarsal pads, to your sandals if the larger size is just a smidge too big.
As a shoe designer, Parke always has her eye on the future — and she calls out a few fashion fabrics and materials as the ones to watch for. “The trends we see on the horizon are colorful metallics, denim, rattan, and cork,” she tells PEOPLE.
However, there are a few sandal styles in particular that are the ones to watch in 2023. “It seems there is a little bit of everything out there right now: Wedges, block heels, platforms, lug soles, Roman sandals…I personally love the block heel in all shapes and sizes.”
But her main advice when shopping for sandals? Anything will look great, so long as you feel confident and comfortable.
Alyssa Brascia is a commerce staff writer at PEOPLE and has also contributed fashion and beauty content to publications such as InStyle, Shape, and Real Simple. When researching the most comfortable sandals for women, she consulted with Marion Parke, podiatric surgeon, luxury footwear designer, and founder of Marion Parke, and Marion Yau, celebrity podiatrist, BSc, for their expert picks and insight. She also looked closely at the brands and styles that are trending in popularity this year to decipher whether they were, or were not, comfortable and stylish enough for the PEOPLE shopper. The biggest factors that decided this were insoles, support, straps, design, and of course, style.Price at time of publish: $129 (orig. $170)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $23.99 (orig. $35.99)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $58Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $33.48 (orig. $55)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $83.93 (orig. $130)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $54.95Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $40.48 (orig. $89.95)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $31.06 (orig. $49)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $60Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $110 (orig. $130)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $72 (orig. $120)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $129.95Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $275 (orig. $550)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $89.96 (orig. $120)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $64.95 (orig. $72.99)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $97Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $120Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $135Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $79.99 (orig. $110)Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: Price at time of publish: $204Sizes: Material: Insole: Closure: