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- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
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Do your feet hurt from uncomfortable sandals?
If you follow a few guidelines, such as looking for sandals with support, cushion, and good materials, you can find a pair that work for you.
Read on for our comprehensive list of nine sandals with arch support that come highly rated by consumers, use good manufacturing practices, and will still keep you looking stylish.
Details: Earth Maui by Earth sandals are widely reviewed as extremely comfortable, easy to wear in many situations because of their adjustable straps with four closure sizes, and a footbed intended to allow your foot to make contact with the ground according to its natural arch contours.
Plus, the company claims that they’ll plant a tree for every pair you buy.
Pros: premium leather adjustable strap, cushion designed to mold to your foot shape, washable
Cons: Many reviewers do warn that these sandals aren’t meant for long-term, all-day use and that it may not fit narrow feet.
Details: Helen Twist sandals by Mephisto are generally reported as good-looking and comfortable, if a little snug for certain foot sizes. Mephisto has history as a 50-year-old brand with high customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Pros: slip-on braided strap design, genuine leather, small openings in sole allow feet to breathe
Cons: Some reviewers reported that it wasn’t comfortable for wide feet and that dye used in the straps rubbed off on their feet.
Details: Kendra Krystal sandals by Earth Origins are versatile for all-day events, nights out, or special events. They also have a special footbed design for ample arch support.
Pros: leather straps with attractive cut-out design, adjustable strap, natural cork midsole, and extra cushioning on the footbed
Cons: Many reviewers report that these sandals are meant for wider feet and may not be the best fit for those with feet on the narrow side.
Details: Cushion Butter sandals by Reef use eco-friendly vegan leather. They’re also versatile, designed for both everyday wear and trips to beaches, rivers, or lakes. Reef uses some of its profits to support marine projects like beach restoration and preservation.
Pros: vegan leather straps, footbed designed for anatomically optimized arch support, good for all-day wear and water
Cons: A small set of reviewers mention they may not be comfortable for wider or narrower feet.
Details: All SOLE sandals follow a similar clinical design for optimal arch support, especially for those with conditions like plantar fasciitis. Many of these sandals are good for both casual and active wear no matter your style, hobbies, or gender.
Pros: clinical design approach, eco-conscious mission, versatile range of sandals for all genders
Cons: Some reviewers have commented on what they perceive to be low-quality plastic and foam.
Details: Bohemian Summer Flat Sandals by DolphinBanana are a good low-priced sandal for both casual daily use or for low-key nights out when you want style and comfort.
Pros: attractive design, memory foam footbed and midsole, good for everyday use or for special events
Cons: Some reviewers have mentioned that dye rubs off with extensive use and that the jewels on the upper may fall off if proper care isn’t taken.
Details: Arizona Suede Leather sandals from Birkenstock are a good choice if you’re looking for a recognizable, fashionable, and unisex sandal with high-quality arch support. The entire cork footbed is designed to provide support to every part of your foot as you step.
Pros: Thoughtful design for support of entire foot, real leather straps and cork footbed.
Cons: Be on the lookout for counterfeit sandals. Also, these have a looser fit and may not work for narrow feet.
Details: We recommend any pair of activewear sandals by Teva. This brand designs sandals for water sports like swimming, kayaking, and rafting. Their attractive design, durable material, and secure fit make them good for long-term or everyday wear.
Pros: waterproof and floatable materials designed for water-based activities, company emphasizes corporate responsibility
Cons: Not many reviewers have bad things to say about Teva sandals. Some report a loose fit and irreversible damage to the sandals after only a month or so of use.
Details: Lulu Thong sandals by Fitflop are an excellent choice for stylish sandals made specifically for flat feet using biomechanics research to inform their design. Many reviewers laud how comfortable these sandals are and comment extensively on their efficacy for reducing foot, leg, and lower back pain.
Pros: science-backed design for flat feet, stylish low-key design for many uses
Cons: Some reviewers have also reported that they’re not designed well for wide feet.
It can feel impossible to find a comfortable sandal that you can wear for a long period with the style you want and, perhaps more importantly, one that’s aligned with your values.
Here’s our cheat sheet to choosing a sandal that fits your foot and your lifestyle:
- Are they affordable for your budget? Sandals with orthotic soles or special designs may be in a higher price range, so expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $200+ for sandals from high-end brands.
- Are they intended for your lifestyle? Sandals for long walks on the beach are different than those for outdoor exploration. Make sure the sandal indicates what activities it’s most suited for and go from there.
- Are they specifically designed for comfort? Is there cushioning near your problem areas, such as the heel and arches?
- Do they fit tightly enough not to move around on your foot? Do they fit when you walk, but not so tight that they’re uncomfortable or cut off blood flow?
- Are they non-slip or slip-resistant? Would they prevent possible injury?
- Does the packaging or online store description make any health claims that are backed by evidence? Are you able to find any studies that support their claims? If not, take these claims with a huge grain of salt.
- Do they have any certifications or recommendations? Are they from reputable health experts or organizations with credibility in the medical field?
- Is the manufacturer a certified B Corporation? This is a good shorthand for whether a company pledges to use sustainable materials, maintains a fair supply chain, and pays workers at all steps of the manufacturing process a living wage.
- Are they manufactured in a country that pays a living wage? Do they pay their workers fairly at all stages of manufacturing?
- Are the materials sustainably sourced? Does the sandal contain any carcinogenic materials or those known to cause allergic reactions?
- Does the sandal say who made it or where it’s manufactured? If not, it’s probably worth passing on them as you won’t find answers to any of the above questions.
You may want to wear your sandals with arch support for many hours at a time or during events where you want to be comfortable and focus on having fun or staying on task.
That’s why it’s important to carefully choose the right sandal. The wrong one can just make your feet hurt worse and waste your money, while the right one can make you feel empowered to walk more, do more, and live more.