If you’re looking for the best walking sandals for women, some believe that function is better than fashion. But you don’t have to follow this rule all the time; after all summer is not the only time you can wear walking sandals. For your choice, the sandal has to be fashionable so that you can wear it to outdoor or casual affairs; it has to be comfortable so that it can help you withstand hikes or hours on your feet and provide good arch support so to lessen foot pain especially for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Walking sandals typically have an open construction making them breathable and airy which is why they are gaining popularity. They are designed to be versatile so you can wear your sandals to the mall, while trekking or some lowland hiking.
The main difference between a walking sandal and a walking boots is that the former is not designed for walking in highlands such as hills or mountains. They are best used for walking in flat dirt roads, walking paths or pavements. Some people prefer walking sandals to boots when hiking in lowlands because they are lighter to pack and offer better ventilation.
Best Features of Walking Sandals
Here are some important features you need to consider for your walking sandals.
If you’re going to use your walking sandals for backpacking or hiking then they need to be lightweight. While walking sandals are not really recommended for rough terrain, they are ideal and very comfortable to wear when you’re hiking in hot weather or in humid locations.
For rough terrain they can be packed inside your backpack so that you can switch to hiking boots instead. This is why lightweight sandals are ideal. Lightweight also means that they won’t put unnecessary pressure on your joints since they weigh less.
Arch Support and Cushioning
Some women wear their walking sandals all day not just during walks and hikes but for errands too. For women who are always on their feet, sandals with good arch support and cushioning is a must. Sandals with good arch support can help hikers walk on trails more comfortably.
Cushioning is also important because it bears the weight of the wearer. It should not be too soft or too hard. Good cushioning should be supportive and flexible at the same time.
Shock resistance helps to protect the wearer’s joints and prevent pain. When your foot hits the ground it gets a jolt of high impact shock. A sandal that is shock absorbent is efficient in absorbing the energy that results from the impact so that it does not wear away your joints.
Try to look for walking sandals made with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or foam mid soles as they absorb shock really well.
Walking sandals that have adjustable straps can be a life saver when your feet get swollen from walking all day. This is why your sandals or shoes feel tight after a long walk or trek.
Using the adjustable straps, you can adjust fit easily so that you feel stable and secure in your sandals. Adjustable straps also come in handy during times you want to wear thick woolen socks with your sandals. The straps will give you room for your warm socks.
Hardcore hikers don’t let puddles, brooks or bodies of water stand in the way of getting to their destination.
However, walking on wet sandals can be very uncomfortable so you should consider waterproof materials for better comfort. If you need waterproofing, look for walking sandals that are made from rubber soles and synthetic uppers.
Speaking of bodies of water, it is inevitable during your trek or hike that your sandals get wet. If they are not waterproof they should at least be quick-drying. We all know how uncomfortable it is to walk on wet sandals. Aside from this, the wetness also causes chaffing and blisters which can make you more uncomfortable.
With quick drying sandals, you can wait for them to dry out while you rest and then continue with your trek once they are dry. The best quick drying sandals get dry within 20 minutes.
Not all sandals offer toe protection but it can come in handy especially when trekking in rocky terrain. Some sandals have more open construction which exposes the feet and toes to rocks, tree root and debris. Consider toe protection for rocky destinations.
Walking sandals need sturdy soles for stability and traction. The best thing about walking sandals is the ability to hike using them which is unadvisable if you’re wearing flip flops. Check your walking sandals if it has good treads or lugs.
Style is very important to women but walking sandals need to be functional too. Here are reviews of some of the best walking sandals for women.
Walking Sandals Reviews
Dansko Women’s Jovie Sandal
Price: $129.95 – $135.00
Specific Features: Strappy leather sandal with metallic studs and adjustable back strap with hook-and-loop closure, Molded cork midsole, padded footbed
Best Used For: Walking, casual wear
Description: Dansko’s Jovie Sandals are cute and you will love how the memory cork insole molds into your feet for a more comfortable feel. The sandals have an anatomically shaped footbed and are accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Getting in and out of the sandal is easy thanks to the stabilizing heel cap. Walking in the sandals is also easy because it features a polyurethane heel and upturned toe that allows you to use your natural gait. The Rocker-bottom polyurethane outsole helps to reduce strain on the legs so you can walk for hours. The molded footbed is made from memory cork so that the sandals remember your foot shape for a more comfortable feel. The Jovie is perfect to wear for light walking, summer wear, picnics and even parties.
Related: Dansko Priya Women’s Sandals also features the same cork midsoles, memory foam footbed and is made for easy walking. The only difference is the T-strap design of the Priya.
KEEN Women’s Newport H2 Sandal
Price: $27.20 – $166.83
Specific Features: Sporty sandal featuring contrast stitching, ghillie lacing, and rubber toe bumper, AEGIS Microbe Shield lining, Compression-molded EVA midsole, Multi-directional lugs
Best Used For: walking, light hiking
Description: This hybrid walking sandals from Keen will keep you walking from the mountains to the shore. The KEEN Women’s Newport H2 Sandal is comfortable and supportive mainly due to the metatomical footbed and signature Keen toe protector to help you keep those piggies safe as you hike in difficult terrain or walking path.
This sandal is a good choice if you’re looking to go hiking or some light outdoor adventure. There are many places you can wear this sandal including the beach, rafting, canoeing or even rappelling because it’s ready for adverse conditions. The outsole has 3mm lugs to give you traction during slippery situations.
You don’t need to worry about stink because the washable polyester webbing which features the odor-reducing Aegis Microbe Shield lining. This is a good pick for women who want close-toed sandals with excellent foot support.
Related: The KEEN Women’s Clearwater CNX Sandal is very similar to the Newport H2 but is styled differently because of the strapping system that offers more ventilation. It is also more expensive.
Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Revsoothe Dress Sandal
Price: $89.95 – $94.88
Specific Features: 1.25 inch heels, Anatomical molded EVA footbed, adjustable for perfect fit, lightweight, flexible and comfortable
Best Used For: Light walking, casual wear
Description: The Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Revsoothe Dress Sandals is built more for casual wear than walking. Users can adjust the sandals easily because they come with adjustable straps. The Clearwater CNX is also very fashionable and features metal buttons for styling. The uppers are made from full grain leather while the footbed is constructed with anatomic molded EVA that absorbs shock.
It also features Dri-Lex® and velvet lining that helps to wick away moisture and reduce foot stress. The rubber outsoles provide balance and traction during slippery situations. As for performance, this sandal performs well for light walking on pavements. It might not survive rougher treks and long walks but it does look good for everyday wear.
Related: The Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Fiona Sandal has very good arch support and is very comfortable. It features Lycra lining for interior comfort while providing excellent traction control and durability.
Chaco Women’s ZX2 Vibram Yampa Unaweep
Price: $55.14 – $129.99
Specific Features: Jacquard webbing double straps with toe loop, Women’s-specific LUVSEAT PU footbed with slip-resistant diamond pattern, Non-marking Unaweep outsole, Resolable
Best Used For: Walking, Hiking
Description: For women who love high arch support, the Chaco Women’s ZX2 Vibram Yampa Unaweep is the sandal for you. This sandal is both good looking and durable. While this is not the most comfortable walking sandal in the market, people who have high arches love them.
The sandals are very durable and can be re-soled. The cross-hatch pattern of the footbed provides stability to the user. The traction for the Yampa is above average. The footbed feels stiff but it provides good stability. Some users agree that the toe loop adds some stability to the sandal since it eliminates the possibility of your foot sliding upwards.
While the sandal is adjustable, the complicated webbing can take a long time to adjust since you have to tug and pull at different locations to adjust tightness. It dries super fast and can be ready to wear around 10 minutes after a good soaking. The Yampa also features good styling making it a good choice not only for outdoors but for casual wear too.
Related: The Chaco Women’s Z1 Yampa sandal is the same as the above but without the toe loop. It is also lighter in weight but without compromising traction and stability.
Dr. Andrew Weil Sonora Sandal
Specific Features: Built-in Biomechanical Orthotic Arch Support – Orthaheel technology properly aligns your feet with you lower limbs – impoves balance- posture and foot comfort, soft- premium full-grain leather with faux snake-skin print uppers with an adjustable strap, AMS – Aided Motion System, flexible cork midsoles absorbs shock to reduce stress on the feet- ankles and knees, durable rubber outsole
Best Used For: Casual Wear, light walking
Description: Dr. Andrew Weil Sonora Leather Slingback Sandal has good arch support and ortha-heel technology making it a good choice for people wanting a good looking orthopedic sandal. The built-in Biomechanical Orthotic Arch Support helps to align your feet and body which in turn helps to improve balance and posture.
Wearing the sandals can also help relieve foot pain like plantar fasciitis and knee pain caused by over-pronation and flat feet. The sandals are also super stylish featuring premium full-grain leather with faux snakeskin print with adjustable straps.
The Sonora is comfortable enough for all day errands thanks to the flexible cork midsoles which help to absorb shock and reduce stress on the feet and ankles. The sandals’ AMS – Aided Motion System- will get you you where you want to go in comfort and style.
Related: The Vionic Amber Open-Toe Synthetic Slingback Sandal is the more affordable sister of the above featuring a natural cork footbed with soft microfiber covering, ortha-heel technology and tri-planar Motion Control for exceptional arch support.
Hi-Tec Aurora Sandal
Specific Features: Vibram sole, synthetic nubuck Three adjustable loop and hook lining upper with neoprene lining, Medial stability bar, Rubber Vibram outsole, EVA footbed
Best Used For: Hiking, Walking
Description: Plunge to adventure with the Hi-Tec Aurora Sandals. It is a perfect choice for summer adventure or hot weather because it offers maximum breathability. The sandals are lightweight so that you don’t notice that you have them on while walking.
It is also designed with padded neoprene lining with sculpted EVA midsole and footbed ensures comfort and support. The Vibram sole delivers the ideal amount of flexibility and stability without compromising traction and durability. The fully adjustable hook and loop straps makes adjusting the sandals easy for a perfect fit every time.
The sandals are lightweight and versatile so you can wear them one day on the beach and the next day while trekking on the mountain. You can also use them for casual wear on the beach or lake so you can easily slip them on and off should you decide to take a dip in the water.
Related: The Hi-Tec Women’s Galicia Strap Sandal features two adjustable hook and loop fastening provides a secure and comfortable fit with neoprene lining provides padding and protection for all day comfort.
North Face Hedgehog II Womens Sandals
Specific Features: Molded Eva Midsole with X-2 footbed cushioning for enhanced comfort, removable heel strap to easily convert to slides, SBR lining package for all-day comfort, three points of hook and loop adjustment at forefront, instep and heel for perfect fit, water friendly synthetic nubuck uppers
Best Used For: Hiking and Walking
Description: If you want a sandal with an easily detachable back strap, the North Face Hedgehog II sandal is a good choice. It will easily help you convert your sandals into slides so that you can take them on and off more easily. Aside from this, the molded EVA midsole coupled with the X-2 footbed provides maximum comfort so that you can walk as long and as far as you can.
The SBR lining package provides proper foot grip against the footbed so your feet are more secure. It also features three points of hook and loop adjustments so that you can easily adjust your sandals for that perfect personal fit.
The water-friendly synthetic nubuck uppers make the sandal fast drying so that you won’t feel wet and uncomfortable should your feet get submerged in water. The Hedgehog is perhaps not the best looking shoe, but if you want something comfortable and will do its job, then this sandal is a good bet.
Related: The Women’s The North Face Storm Sandal has adjustable, quick-drying sandal transitions between wet and dry environments with quick-drying synthetic nubuck. It is almost identical to the above sandal but with different strap design.
Merrell Women’s Terran Lattice II Sandal
Price: $50.97 – $89.73
Specific Features: 100% leather nubuck upper, pigskin-covered Remember Me foam footbed, M-Select Fresh antimicrobial treatment, M-Select Grip outsole, nylon arch shank
Best Used For: Hiking, walking, casual wear
Description: This sandal is so versatile it can be worn from Disney Land, to the mall and then to the beach or mountains. These sandals lives up to the Merell name. The sandal features nubuck leather uppers for luxurious feel and style.
The hook and loop closure system makes it easy for the wearer to adjust so that it fits perfectly on your foot for better balance and stability. The breathable mesh lining makes the sandal comfortable to wear during hot days or summer. The footbed sports microfiber so your feet feel comfortable and dry all the time.
The Remember Me™ Foam footbed cradles your feet perfectly so you can keep going all day. For arch support, the sandals feature molded nylon arch shank while the Merrell air cushion located at the heel absorbs shock and adds stability and support. The Terran Lattice II is surprisingly lightweight at just 13 ounces.
Related: The Merrell Women’s Jacardia Sandal is made with cement construction that provides lightweight stability. It also features Breathable mesh lining and microfiber wrapped footbed treated with Aegis antimicrobial solution.
If you have to walk, you might as well be comfortable. Choosing a good walking sandal will not only make you look stylish during your trek but will also help take care of your feet specially as you tackle the miles going to your destination.
Always remember to choose a pair that is comfortable especially if you have to spend the whole day in them. Good quality walking sandals can mean the difference between an enjoyable hike and a painful one so make sure that you prioritize comfort and arch support.
If you have an opinion on any of the sandals listed here or your own pair you feel should be shared with us, please do so in the comments section below.