Summertime is just around the corner up here in the Northern Hemisphere. And after my recent post about comfortable shoes I received many requests to write something similar about comfortable sandals. So here they are: a variety of stylish, comfortable sandals available right now. And thank you to all who sent in your suggestions. At the end of the article are links to some brands that I didn’t review. There might be something that works best for you among those.
Several of you mentioned Birkenstocks. In spite of its “crunchy granola” image, their ever-popular 2-strap “Arizona” still persists and for one good reason: they are comfortable. The company has also ventured a bit into other styles including a thong sandal, a couple of wedges, and gone boldly into some metallic finishes. Just don’t plan on wearing any of them with anything too Classic.
There are also a lot of Arizona knock-offs and Mephistos is one. All their shoes are handmade, have a shock-absorbent “Soft-Air” midsole, are made of all natural materials including leather, cork and rubber soles, and are advertised as “ultra light.” As with the Arizona, these are really best for Natural types.
Naot, designed and made in Israel, always comes up with some new, chic-looking sandals every year. The company has a very good reputation for comfort in general, and these Sabrinas get high marks in particular. They have a moderate arch support and are fairly flexible. The come in some interesting neutral color combinations: black with gray, a kind of olive suede with tan leather, and this one in a rust brown and black. Generally, they offer Striking Contrast and Earthy Rich colors.
Their Verbena sandal could be in your rotation for multiple seasons. You could also wear these with almost any length pant or dress. It’s really a versatile style. They are made from nubuck and come in four nice, classy colors: Black, Olive, Midnight Blue and Latte.
Ecco consistently appears in top ten lists for comfort. Damara is a nice take on a style that Eileen Fisher launched a few years back. It comes in six colors (black leather, black nubuck, denim, red, white, and white nubuck) including this “warm gray metallic.” So, lots of bases covered in terms of summer colors. They tend to run large, so keep that in mind when ordering. Amazon also has it in four colors: Black, Gray, Light Blue and Tan.
A similar style can be found in the Mirabelle from Sofft. The company has been in production in the US since 1927. They boast natural material linings, extremely soft leather, multi-layer foot beds , and lightweight flexible uppers. It comes in an amazing thirteen different colors and animal prints.
All Vionic shoes have a molded, supportive foot bed and this year they have come out with a thong sandal with a back strap. It’s a nice alternative to regular thong sandals and would work well for more casual outfits.
Skechers was mentioned repeatedly by readers. If you watched my interview with Kirsten Borrink of Barking Dog Shoes on my series Vital Vivacious and Visible after 50, you know that I am a big fan. I’m wearing a pair of their Goga Max deck shoes as I write this. Their Bob’s label provides a free pair of shoes to a child in need for very pair you purchase. This Skecher’s Bob’s Women’s Desert Kiss sandal looks pretty comfortable, has an adjustable Velcro back tab and the lacy front strap is nice for the summer. They also come in red, black and tan.
If you’re looking for a sandal that can give you some height and that has a little style, Clark’s Un Karely Sun Slingback platform sandal is a nice choice. It comes in Black and Sage nubuck and light tan leather. This is something that would work nicely for a Natural, Classic, and possibly Dramatic style type.
Cobb Hill recently (well a couple of years ago) merged with Rockport, thus expanding Rockport’s offerings to include something more, well, fashionable. Their Audrey is a very versatile sandal-type shoe with a half-inch stacked heel. My friend Sandra wore hers to Europe last year and reported: “I must have walked at least 30 miles in them. I’m going to buy a second pair for my trip this spring.” You can’t beat that kind of endorsement. And they come in an astounding 14 different colors. She bought the light green.
If you like the idea of multi-strap gladiator sandals Clark’s has one called Shelly with a 2-inch stacked heel that looks kind of dressy. This would be nice for a Romantic and Natural combination style type. And it’s super cheap. Four neutral colors: black, tan, navy and sage (which looks more like taupe to me.)
And here are some other brands that get high marks for comfort:
Chacos – Mostly sport-type sandals but with a bit more style.
Jambu – Spanish company that only uses recycled materials for packaging and largely recycled rubber in in their outsoles.
Ziera – This New Zealand-based company has a bit more pricey and a bit more fashionable styles.
Fitflops – lots of styles, they are said to help your alignment
Bear trap sandals – Inexpensive and a great variety from sport to dressy
Taos – Known for comfortable shoes with removable “curves and pods” footbed, they have incorporated that construction into their sandals
Aertrex – “Support and comfort built into every pair”
Korkease – More style, a bit classier, mostly wider-strapped sandals (some thin ones) at mid-price points.
Keen – Mostly Teva-like serious sport sandals at widely priced styles.
So, I hope that gives you some ideas and some comfort, literally. Let me know if you try any of them out. Here’s to your Real comfortable feet!
And stay tuned for some very exciting news about my new free video series – starting mid July!!!
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Andrea’s books and new video series: