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The Best Sandals for Women of 2023

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Hot days call for cool, comfortable feet, whether you’re on or off the trail. And just like any other footwear, a supportive, comfortable, and reliable pair of sandals can ensure a seamless transition through your day, no matter the summer activity.

Our dedicated team of athletes spent months this summer testing sandals in challenging craggy terrain, over river crossings, on beaches, and during everyday activities to determine the best sandals for women. Based on our personal experiences, we focused on maximum comfort, traction, and durability to key in on the 10 best of the best to free your feet.

Additional consideration was also given to the finer details, such as support, water compatibility, adjustments, style, and weight. After compiling our expertise in footwear, we created a list of the best sandals for multiple occasions because after all, each personal preference is unique — and so your options should be the same. 

We’ve broken down our favorites into categories to help you choose the best sandal for your needs. And for more information on selecting the right sandal, check out our comparison table along with our in-depth buyer’s guide and FAQ to help you choose the right sandal. 

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


Best Overall Women’s Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    1 lb., 3.4 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    One
  • Closure
    Strap (buckle)
  • Arch profile
    High (3/8″ proud)
  • Outsole
    1″ thick ChacoGrip rubber with 3 mm lugs
  • Best for
    Regular hikes, walks, and meet-ups with friends

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Great no-slip traction sole

  • Amazing comfort

  • Multidirectional adjustment

  • Fun strap designs


  • A little heavy at over 1 pound

  • Webbing slightly abrasive before wear-in

  • No half sizes available

Best Budget Women’s Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    11 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    Two
  • Closure
    Strap (Velcro)
  • Outsole
    1″ thick Teva rubber outsole
  • Best for
    Water activities, everyday use

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Affordable price

  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable

  • Fun color palette

  • Made for water


  • Doesn’t feel incredibly durable

  • No half sizes

Runner-Up Best Women’s Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    1 lb., 2 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    Three
  • Closure
    Strap (Velcro)
  • Outsole
    1″ thick Teva Spider rubber
  • Best for
    Those who want an any-activity sandal

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Multiple adjustment points

  • Excellent support

  • Great traction

  • Contoured footbed

  • Impressive comfort


  • Slightly clunky

  • Not designed for extended water usage

Most Comfortable Women’s Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    Unavailable
  • Adjustment zones
    N/A
  • Closure
    N/A
  • Outsole
    OOfoam footbed
  • Best for
    Those who want to give their tired feet a break

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Superb comfort

  • Easy to slip on

  • Budget-friendly option


  • Not great with moisture

  • No half sizes

Best Everyday Women’s Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    14.2 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    Two
  • Closure
    Buckle (metal pins)
  • Outsole
    3/4″ thick EVA with 3 mm lugs
  • Best for
    For a causal everyday wear

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Highly durable

  • High-quality

  • Comes in half sizes and different widths

  • Comfortable and form-fitting right out of the gate


  • Expensive

  • Require maintenance

  • Not vegan friendly

Best Women’s Sandal for Adventures

  • Weight (per pair)
    1 lb., 1 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    One
  • Closure
    Bungee lace
  • Outsole
    1″ thick KEEN.Fusion rubber
  • Best use
    For anyone looking for an extreme adventure sandal

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Toe protection

  • Incredibly durable

  • Great support

  • Fast lace-lock bungee system

  • Heel loop

  • Come in half-sizes


  • Expensive

  • Not the most flattering

  • Pebbles get caught inside the sandal

Most Minimal Multitasker Sandal

  • Weight (per pair)
    16 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    Two
  • Closure
    Strap (buckle/Velcro)
  • Outsole
    1/2″ thick Cairn Vibram sole with 3 mm lugs
  • Best for
    Light multisports

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Barely there feel

  • Surprisingly sturdy and capable

  • Unisex sizing


  • On the expensive side

  • Run a bit small

  • No half sizes available

Best of the Rest

  • Weight (per pair)
    14.6 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    One
  • Closure
    Strap (buckle)
  • Outsole
    3/4″ thick ChacoGrip rubber with 3 mm lugs
  • Best for
    Those who want to look stylish while outdoors

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Great traction

  • Stylish

  • Lightweight


  • Toe loops aren’t for everyone

  • Design isn’t very secure

  • No half sizes

  • Weight (per pair)
    8.6 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    Two
  • Closure
    Strap (buckle/Velcro)
  • Outsole
    1/2″ thick FeelLite with rubber grip pods and 3 mm lugs
  • Best for
    Those who typically like going barefoot

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Barely there feel

  • Eco friendly

  • Ultra lightweight

  • Comfortable


  • Not ideal for uneven, bumpy terrain

  • Not as durable as other sandals

  • No half sizes

  • Weight
    9 oz.
  • Adjustment zones
    N/A
  • Closure
    N/A
  • Outsole
    2″ thick EVA foam with 1.5 mm lugs
  • Best for
    Recovery or lifestyle sandal

The Best Sandals for Women of 2023


  • Extraordinary amount of padding

  • Super lightweight

  • Reasonable price point


  • Runs slightly wide

  • No half sizes

Women’s Sandals Comparison Chart

XERO Trail EV Sandals Apres
Security, comfort, and weight are important factors when considering an everyday sandal; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

How We Tested Women’s Sandals

Rebecca Ross, a longstanding resident of the Pacific Northwest, has called the area her home for more than twenty years. With the Cascade mountain range and the coastal area at her disposal, she has put these sandals to the test while using them for water sports like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding on the Oregon and Washington beaches and rivers, several craggy hikes, and steep approaches in the North Cascades, including the tough approach to Mt. Baker.

Furthermore, the athletes at GearJunkie have a wide range of active interests and have tested countless pairs of footwear, from gnarly mountainous terrain, including volcanoes, in the Pacific Northwest to the high plains and canyons of the Colorado Rockies and everything in between. Our testers sport feet from size 6 to size 11, and run the gambit from wide to narrow to just downright trail-worn.

For our first look at women’s sandals in 2023, we’ve narrowed in on ten of the best from across the spectrum — from casual kicks to pair with a sundress to adaptable and comfy trail hounds that can put up with a few more miles. We then dove straight in, slinging these sandals across the PNW and testing them against one another.

While testing these recommended sandals on ourselves, we made sure to examine comfort, grip, stability, and durability, and brewed up a specific testing regimen for each. Sandals were worn up, over, and across the same terrain, and given relative scores to match their performance in each metric. We’ve evaluated each model thoroughly in accordance with their intended use and the requirements of our own athletes, so you can choose the right sandal for your needs.

HOKA ORA Slides at the Beach
Good testing requires a realistic test bed, and flip flops belong at the beach; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women’s Sandal

No two sandals are identical, and we wouldn’t want them to be — which means selecting the ideal sandal can be a challenging endeavor. Each one of us has a unique foot shape and needs, whether we’re hiking, running errands, or just relaxing.

And that’s why below we’ve compiled a list of helpful features that will assist you in finding the right sandal based on your preferences.

Women's Sandals Hero
Sandals offer different features, including closure type and adjustment zones; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Sandal Use Types

Adventure Sandals: Adventure sandals are designed for all-day comfort, toughness, and excellent traction to handle different kinds of trails. These sandals will often be a bit heavier, like the Teva Tirra, because they’ll have thicker outsoles to shield your feet from the uneven, rocky terrain and prevent bruising and fatigue. 

Additionally, these trail-ready sandals will sport multiple adjustment points to make sure they stay on your feet securely and comfortably without friction. Although many of our sandals are geared toward hiking, we often wear them just about everywhere.

Watersport Sandals: Water-ready sandals are specially made to handle both water and trails while maintaining their structural integrity — with no shrinking or wearing out faster than anticipated. They also will incorporate the grippiest outsoles with water-friendly rubbers that won’t give up the ghost when walking through water.

Many sandals can handle the water, but if you want a sandal that will see its fair share of water and dry land, then we recommend a hybrid sandal like the Bedrock Cairn Adventure, or ones that specifically state they are water-friendly, like the Keen Whisper.

Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals
The Bedrock Cairn Adventures are equally at home in the water or on dry land; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Recovery Sandals: These comfort-first sandals are exactly what they sound like — giving your feet a break thanks to their plushness. These types of sandals will focus on providing a high stack height of soft foam or rubber under foot, like that found in the OOFOS OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal and HOKA ORA Recovery Flips.

Feet tend to get neglected when we are shoving them in mountaineering boots, ski boots, running shoes, climbing shoes, or simply standing on our feet all day at work. Taking care of our feet helps us rebound to the next adventure that much faster.

Flip Flops: Beach-ready and just plain easy to use, flip flops are simple sandals — with only a footbed and strap that meets in between your first and second toes. Because they are so simple, a good flip flop really comes down to the comfort of the midsole, and a number in our testing made the grade, such as the HOKA ORA Recovery Flip Sandals. Know too that some models of flip flops buck convention and slap on a more rugged outsole, making for a better beach scrambler.

Lifestyle Sandals: Depending on your preferences, lifestyle sandals can be pretty much any pair from our list. Sandals that are comfy, lightweight, supportive, match your style preferences, and are durable enough to last are the best for everyday wear. The pair we gravitate toward most when trail-to-town is on the docket are the Birkenstock Arizonas.

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals
The classic styling of the Birks meant they went well with pretty much anything; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Closure Configuration

Slides: Free your feet! You don’t need much to keep your sandals on your feet, and often a simple loop of fabric will provide enough hold to keep you kicking down the road. No closure system is found on the HOKA ORA Recovery Flip and the OOFOS OOahh Luxe Slide Sandals, and since neither of these sandals has a closure system, it is simple to slip them on and take them off quickly without having to deal with any form of closure.

Straps (buckle and Velcro): This is the most common closure configuration on our list. Straps can be closed with either buckles, like the Chaco Women’s Z/Cloud, Velcro, like the Teva Original Universal, or utilize both like the Xero Z-Trail EV

The best closure system to use is largely a question of preference. Of the two strap options, we prefer buckles since they don’t fray or collect debris, which could eventually lessen their effectiveness over time. Velcro, though, is usually a little quicker to put on.

XERO Trail EV Sandals Outsole Flex
The Xero sandals use both a cinch buckle and Velcro closure to strap up; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Bungee Closures: Strap systems involving elastic cord like those found on the Keen Women’s Whisper are less common, but are remarkably efficient at anchoring and locking your feet into place without coming undone. Sandals with these types of closure systems are often excellent for water use, as the sandals tend to move with you and won’t degrade when in contact with water.

T-Style Straps: Passing between your first and second toes, T-style straps are a bit unique and provide a stripped-down feeling that some will love, and some not so much. This style of sandal gives your feet the most wiggle room, but the drawback is that it has less support to keep your feet from slipping off the footbed.

Look to the sandal offerings from Bedrock to provide this type of hang-ten foot freedom, which incorporates the T-style strap as well as a multiple-point adjustment system to ensure that the straps lie on your foot in the most comfortable way possible.

Floating Straps: These designs are unquestionably noteworthy because, even though both the Chaco Bodhi and the Chaco Women’s Z/Cloud make use of the buckle, they incorporate a unique single sole and single adjustable strap design — a feature our tester raved about while testing them on Mt. Baker. 

With this style, you can adjust the webbing in several places for a custom, secure fit. The drawback is that it takes some getting used to, but once you do, you’ll be able to adjust when needed.

Chaco Bodhi Sandals
The Chaco Bodhi sandals sport toe loops and feature its unique one sole, one strap adjustment design; (photo/Rebecca Ross) 

Fit and Sizing

Like most footwear, you want a secure fit for ultimate comfort and stability. Several sandals on our list don’t come in half sizes, which is why we advise trying them on in person to know which size is the best fit, especially while moving around. When worst comes to worst, we almost always advise sizing up a bit. Your exposed toes will thank you.

Another thing to remember while trying on sandals is to identify any hotspots or pressure areas. In some cases, straps and outsoles are not designed for everyone’s toes, leaving some people’s toes to pinch while others hang over the edges. You’ll want to ensure your entire foot is well covered and secured without any discomfort.

Sandal adjustments are another feature to consider. For the most optimal fit, you’ll want something that has multiple adjustment zones so that you can get a secure fit over the entire foot. 

Lastly, arch support can play another role. Too much arch support can leave your feet feeling awkward and uncomfortable, while too little can leave them feeling fatigued and put pressure points on your joints. Overall, you want something that feels secure, supportive, and doesn’t cause any discomfort.

Teva Original Universal Sandals
The most budget-friendly sandal, the Teva Original Universal, incorporates two Velcro adjustment zones; (photo/Rebecca Ross) 

Weight and Packability

When it comes to weight, sandals can vary depending on their purpose. Hiking sandals tend to be heavier on the scale because they are designed for durability, have thicker soles, and may include arch support, deep lugs, and more coverage across your feet like the Teva Tirra (18 ounces), which is made for all-day wear and will provide protection for your feet across various terrains. They also tend to last longer.

On the lighter end of the spectrum, sandals like the Xero Z-Trail EV weigh a scant 8.6 ounces, and are great for watersports, blazing around town, or bringing them along to base camp to give your feet a reprieve from your heavy mountaineering or hiking boots. Although, keep in mind that the lighter and more bare-bones the sandals are, the less durable they will be for long distances, rough terrain, or heavy wear.

In general, we tend to aim for the middle-of-the-road option, like the Chaco Bodhi (14.6 ounces) or Teva Original Universal (11 ounces), which aren’t the heaviest on our list nor the lightest, but their packability and functionality are something we put high praise on.

XERO Trail EV Sandals Womens
The Xero Z-Trail EV features a minimal design with a thin sole for excellent packability; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Sandal Outsoles

A sandal’s outsole is the rubber that protects your feet from the abrasive, hot terrain. And when considering which outsole is best for you, it depends on a few different factors.

Decide what kind of activity you want to do first. For an active hiking sandal, you should consider deep lugs for traction over varied terrain. And for even better traction in any direction, we suggest multidirectional lugs.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is the thickness of the outsole for durability. The harder and more inflexible the rubber composite is, the longer your sandals will last. For example, we love the Xero Z-Trail EV sandals because of their comfort and minimal feel when we want our feet unencumbered, but they wouldn’t have the same lasting power as the Keen Women’s Whisper or even the Birkenstock Arizona’s would. Although the good news is that most sandals can now be resoled, which will save you money and is eco-friendly.

Last but not least, we tended to favor outsoles that feature the bright yellow Vibram label. And the reason for that is that Vibram soles are recognized for their quality, toughness, and traction. As a result, the Bedrock Cairn Adventure blew us away with its traction.

Women's Sandals Outsoles
Consider lug direction and depth when choosing a sandal for excellent traction capabilities; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Support and Comfort 

Compared to hiking boots, sandals don’t offer as much support. However, there are many sandals available that are designed primarily for hiking but can also accommodate support and comfort, such as Chacos, which offer a lot of support and comfort for extended wear. 

For increased comfort and a less abrasive feel, some sandals like the Teva Tirra and Keen have a molded footbed and soft nylon lining underneath the straps for even longer wear.

While the lighter, more simplistic sandals on our list are still comfortable, they don’t provide the same level of support as the ones we’ve already highlighted. This puts you in contact with bumps and other objects on the ground, like the XERO’s Z-Trail EV, because they have thinner soles.

Overall, it depends on how much support you need, but if you need a solid walking or hiking shoe, seek a sandal with a sturdy sole.

Teva Tirra Strap Detail
The Teva Tirra offers three adjustment points, robust traction, and amazing comfort; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Foot protection is generally a good feature to have if you plan on taking your sandals over rocky terrain where there’s a chance of stubbing or injuring your toes.

On our list, the only sandal that features foot protection is the Keen Women’s Whisper, which is closed-toed and can be worn for pretty extreme adventures while giving you peace of mind on protection. Our testers particularly like the closed-toed feature when crossing big boulder fields. But be aware that a rubberized toe guard is liable to add some bulk and weight to the sandal.

Keen Women's Whisper Sandal
The rubber toecap on many Keens lends them heaps of protection; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Durability

Sandals with deeper lugs, thicker outsoles, and strong straps will typically hold up better over time than sandals made of less material. For instance, we love the Teva Original Universal sandals for both being comfortable and budget-friendly, but their less-than-durable outsole is more prone to damage than some of the other sandals on our list.

A sturdy outsole and footbed are other signs of durability. And when it comes to toughness, we instantly think of the Chaco Women’s Z/Cloud because it impressed us all with its capacity to withstand the approach to Cascade volcanoes with no issues.

Chaco Cloud Z/2 Sandals Straps
On the ascent to Mt. Baker, the Chaco Women’s Z/Cloud offered outstanding traction; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Sustainability

The outdoor clothing and footwear market has increased its use of sustainability practices over the years, moving toward eco-friendly alternatives like recycled and vegan-friendly materials.

Among several, Teva is a brand that uses webbing from recycled plastic by using REPREVE yarns. We also like KEEN’s utilization of recycled and durable materials while avoiding the use of harmful “forever chemicals”. Last but not least, we admire Bedrock’s resole and repair program, plastic-free shipping, and the use of material printed with algal and soy inks for a more environmentally friendly approach.

When they’ve hit the end of the road, the soles of the Bedrock Cairn Adventure sandals can be resoled; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Socks and Sandals

If you want a sandal that can be worn all year around, even when the weather dips into the freezing range, then we recommend sandals without toe loops or the T-shaped strap between the toes for an easier, less bulky, and more comfortable wear.

While we don’t think all sandals can accommodate socks, there are some sandals that pair well with socks, like the Birkenstock Arizona, which is a good one to consider because its suede material allows for better stretch than nylon or recycled material does. We also like the sturdy brass buckles as opposed to Velco, which won’t come unfastened while wearing thick socks.

Birkenstocks aren’t the only sandals that go well with socks; additional options include the Chaco Bodhi and both Teva sandals. However, we suggest sizing up, especially if you plan to use bulky wool socks.

Socks and Birks
Some sandals like the Birkenstock Arizona, can be worn with thick socks; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

FAQ

The most comfortable sandals are the ones that make your feet feel good while wearing them all day and won’t give your feet blisters, hot spots, sores, or any pressure points. And once you’re done wearing them, your feet should still feel good afterward.

Finding the most comfortable sandal depends on your activity. A bare minimal sandal will feel great on your feet but wouldn’t provide support on long hikes, while hiking sandals can be great for hiking but won’t offer the same amount of plushness as a recovery sandal can.

Your choice of sandal will depend on the activity you intend to engage in. Good support, a thick outsole, good traction, and one to three adjustment points are necessary for a hiking sandal. A sandal that simply complements your style and still feels lightweight and comfy is a terrific option if you want to wear it every day. Finally, if you want a sandal for around the house that will provide you with the most comfort, consider a recovery sandal.

Sometimes, there isn’t just one sandal that works for everyone. If you’re like us, you might think about buying a few different kinds that suit several of your needs.

The most comfortable lightweight sandals are those that keep your feet secure and prevent sliding or slipping. The Xero Z-Trail EV is a great option because of its outstanding lightness (4.3 ounces per sandal), comfort, coverage, packability, and natural flex.

XERO Trail EV Sandals Detail
It’s hard to argue with 4.3 ounces per sandal when it comes to going lightweight; (photo/Rebecca Ross)

Not all sandals are designed to be worn frequently in water, despite the fact that many of them can. Additionally, even if some sandals can get wet, they may cause your feet to slip and slide around. And some like Birkenstocks may be composed of suede, which is not water-friendly. 

Consider sandals that are explicitly made for water or are regarded as hybrids if you’re looking for one that can handle watersports.

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