Best Sandals with Arch Support Reviewed & Rated

While not exactly a buzzword, ‘arch support’ is still a term seen all over the Internet. You’ll find it everywhere from foot, shoe, and health blogs to product descriptions on official brand websites. So much attention to the topic makes you wonder, what is arch support? Why do I need it? Where do I find shoes that have it?

The long answer is in the FAQ at the end of this guide, but here is the short of it: found in the insole of a shoe, arch support protects the arch of the foot from being overworked, painful, or from collapsing. So whether you have a low-to-no arch (flat feet), a medium (typical) arch, or high arches, you may find yourself in need of one of the best sandals with arch support.

Featured Recommendations

KEEN Whisper
  • KEEN Whisper
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Metatomical Footbed
  • Price: See Here
Birkenstock Arizona
  • Birkenstock Arizona
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft Cork Footbed
  • Price: See Here
Crocs Sexi Flip
  • Crocs Sexi Flip
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Massaging Footbed
  • Price: See Here

Now, if you were to type ‘arch support shoes’ into Google and begin to shop, you would find that the first options available are athletic shoes and dress shoes. That’s great for needing arch support when exercising, or perhaps on a formal occasion; but what about just walking outside on a hot summer day? Is that not something people needing arch support do?

Of course, they do!

In this guide, we do the work for you and evaluate the ten best sandals for arch support.

 

10 Best Sandals With Arch Support

 

1. KEEN Whisper

KEEN is a footwear brand founded in 2003, created to answer the question, “can a sandal protect toes?” The KEEN Whisper sandal is one of those answers. Perfect for those with high arches, the Whisper is a water sandal featuring a hydrophobic (water-resistant) mesh lining, a rubber toe bumper, and elastic cord lacing.

The KEEN Whisper is designed to support you through all kinds of outdoor activities, from a beachside stroll to river portaging.
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Metatomical Footbed
The metatomical build of the footbed is the most significant draw of the KEEN Whisper sandal. Metatomical is a fusion of metatarsal and anatomical. This design focuses on the big toe and the natural contours of the foot to provide arch support. Furthermore, the footbed is made with compression-molded EVA for further comfort.

Stable and Supportive
The KEEN Whisper has several features that make it ideal for foot support. First, the Whisper outsole is made of textured, multi-directional, non-scuffing rubber for improved traction. Second, the KEEN Whisper has a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shank for a flexible, supportive midsole. As for the upper of the sandal, it’s coated with an antimicrobial treatment known as the Aegis Microbe Shield.

Cost
The KEEN Whisper is a moderately priced sandal and may be an investment for smaller budgets. The support for high arches is unparalleled, especially if you are an active hiker needing a good grip underfoot.
Pros

Waterproof Machine washable True to size Roomy toe box

Cons

Fits narrow

2. Birkenstock Arizona

The Birkenstock Arizona is an amazingly versatile sandal. So versatile, in fact, this isn’t even the first time we’ve recommended this shoe! Crafted in Germany, Birkenstock sandals are high-quality, comfortable, and supportive. The Arizona sandal has a simple and classic two-strap design; they are effortlessly stylish and easy to adjust all at once.

The best part of the Arizona sandal is that it can accommodate a range of arches. People with high arches will find solid support in the Birkenstock Arizona, as it has a high arch in the footbed. People with flat feet, on the other hand, will find that these sandals will “create” a supportive arch for them while retaining a flat heel.

There are two types of Birkenstock Arizona sandal: a soft footbed version and classic. This recommendation covers the soft footbed version; comfort is king!
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Soft Cork Footbed
The Birkenstock Arizona features a footbed made primarily of cork. Soft padding is fitted between the layers of cork for an exceptionally comfortable fit. The cork footbed is also contoured and, over time, will take on the shape of your foot to provide a custom fit.

Comfort Build
In addition to the cork footbed, the Birkenstock Arizona sandal has a proprietary synthetic upper material known as Birko-Flor. It is leather-like and lined with soft suede. The outsole of the Arizona sandal is crafted from EVA, which aids in shock absorption and also provides extra cushioning.

Cost
More expensive than the KEEN Whisper, the Birkenstock Arizona is an investment sandal. However, if you’re still not sold on these due to price, check this: the average life expectancy of a pair of Birkenstock sandals is 4-5 years.
Pros

Made in Germany

Deep heel cup

Roomy toe box

Cons

No wide widths

Needs breaking in

3. Crocs Sexi Flip

The comfort and support that a pair of Crocs offers is the least controversial thing about them. The Sexi Flip sandal from Crocs lives up to its name, featuring an alluring thong design and ankle strap. These sandals are easy to dress up or down.

The Crocs Sexi Flip features moderate arch support. This amount of arch support makes these sandals best for feet with medium, low, or no arch. Unfortunately, those with extremely high arches may find that the Sexi doesn’t provide quite enough support.

Available in six lively colours, the Sexi Flip sandal is crafted using the same sturdy, lightweight Croslite material featured in other Crocs styles.
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Massaging Footbed
The Sexi sandal has a footbed full of raised nubs, also called “circulation nubs.” The nubs are designed to massage the soles of your feet with each step and, as a bonus, provide toe traction.

Durable
Though it’s entirely important, the Croslite material that the Crocs Sexi sandal is made of isn’t just lightweight and comfortable. The Sexi can withstand the stresses of long walks, hiking, and even a full day at Disneyland.

Cost
The Crocs Sexi Flip sandal is an incredibly affordable shoe and is cheaper than both the Birkenstock Arizona and the KEEN Whisper. If you need a new flip-flop (or three) to get you through this upcoming summer, the Sexi sandal is the perfect budget-friendly option.
Pros

Available in wide widths

Non-scuff sole

Waterproof

True to size

Cons

Ankle strap is narrow

Slippery when wet

4. FitFlop Pietra

4. FitFlop Pietra
Founded only eleven years ago, FitFlop is a relative newcomer to the footwear scene. With a goal of creating the world’s most comfortable shoes, FitFlop has come very close to it with the Pietra sandal. The FitFlop Pietra is a leather thong-style sandal with a 1” platform, 1.5” heel, and rubber sole.

The Pietra sandal features pronounced arch support and is suitable for a range of arches. Everyone can slip on a pair of these sandals and find comfort. Sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis may find the FitFlop Pietra especially good for support and pain relief in the feet and legs.
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Microwobbleboard Midsole
The FitFlop Pietra sandal is crafted with an exclusive, proprietary midsole known as ‘microwobbleboard.’ Designed by biomechanists, the microwobbleboard midsole is three layers thick, made of EVA, and is fused to create a seamless platform. It also provides shock absorption, pressure spot diffusion, and a bit of an extra workout.

Fashionable
Decorated with three square gems, the FitFlop Pietra is the perfect mix of style and function. Many sandals with arch support choose function over form, so they only fit the aesthetics of a handful of occasions. Sexy in a chic and understated way, the Pietra sandal can be dressed up or down and taken around town.

Cost
The FitFlop Pietra is a moderately priced shoe; they are significantly more expensive than the Crocs Sexi sandal, but not as costly as the KEEN Whisper or Birkenstock Arizona sandals. If you are in the market for an attractive, durable walking sandal, the FitFlop Pietra fits the bill.
Pros

Flattering design

Stabilizing toe grip

Endorsed by Uma Thurman

Cons

Runs narrow

5. Vionic Tide

5. Vionic Tide
Another contender for both form and function is the Vionic Tide orthotic sandal. Available in ten colours and studded with sparkly sequins, it’s hard to believe the Vionic Tide isn’t just another run-of-the-mill flip-flop. For example, unlike typical sandals, wearing the Tide frequently can aid in the complete healing of Plantar Fasciitis.

Those with high arches may benefit the most from a pair of Vionic Tide sandals, but don’t let that stop you if you have normal or flat feet.
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Podiatrist Designed
The Vionic Tide sandal has the benefit of being designed by podiatrists — foot doctors — that know feet better than anyone. These sandals feature a synthetic, softly lined upper; a biomechanical orthotic footbed, and a rubber sole for multi-surface traction. For further stabilization, the Tide has raised dots along the length of the footbed. The raised dots help in keeping your feet from working too hard to grip the sandal.

Pain Relief
An additional benefit of the Vionic Tide sandals’ design is the stark, nearly instantaneous relief wearers get. Helping to align the body from the feet up, the Tide obliterates foot, ankle, knee, and lower back pain.

Cost
Settling between the Crocs Sexi and the FitFlop Pietra is the Vionic Tide sandal. If you have a small budget but a little wiggle room to splurge, consider this sandal. For all its ailment-alieving ability, it would be a shame not to have a pair of these on which to rely.
Pros

EVA midsole

Deep heel cup

Soft toe post

Built-in Orthotics

Cons

No half sizes available

Requires breaking in

6. Dansko Sophie

6. Dansko Sophie
Despite being only twenty years old, Dansko is a well-known name in supportive fashion. The Sophie sandal lives up to the hype with a classic two-strap design, a 2.5” heel, and rubber outsole. Like most Dansko shoes, the Sophie sandal provides excellent support for arches across the spectrum.
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Unparalleled Stability
The Dansko Sophie sandal is built, first and foremost, for stability. The Sophie features a thick, beveled heel, a shock-absorbing foam midsole, and a treaded outsole. Adjustable straps help create a custom fit, so the Dansko Sophie stays snug and secure on your feet. Lastly, these sandals have a flexible and strong nylon shank to keep you steady on uneven surfaces.

Simply Designed
Leather, foam, and Dri-Lex. These are the simple materials the Dansko Sophie sandal is made of. The upper is soft, supple full-grain leather. The lining of the upper is made of Dri-Lex, a fabric designed to wick away moisture and keep feet dry. The foam midsole also features additional cushion through a removable forepart insert.

Cost
The Dansko Sophie is the most expensive shoe in this guide, edging out the KEEN Whisper by a small margin. However, Dansko is another brand known for incredibly durable, high-quality shoes. Think of it this way: the Sophie sandal is an investment in a comfy, pain-free future.
Pros

Great for bunions

Brushed suede-like insole

Available in nine colours

Easy on/off

Cons

Runs small

7. Teva Mandalyn Ola

7. Teva Mandalyn Ola
The Teva Mandalyn Ola sandal is a happy marriage between style and support. Great for casual occasions, the Mandalyn Ola is a thong-style, platform wedge flip-flop. These sandals are lightweight and provide exceptional arch support for those with low-to-no arches. If you have high arches but not extremely, the Teva Mandalyn Ola can still support and accommodate you.
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Mush Insole
Like many shoes in the Teva catalog, the Mandalyn Ola sandal has a specially crafted insole that molds to your foot. Over time, you’ll get a custom fit that hugs the entire surface of your foot. The cushiony comfort of the Mush insole can be likened to having memory foam mattresses underfoot.

Easy to Clean
The Mandalyn Ola is made of a durable polyester webbing upper, while the outsole is made of the ever-popular EVA foam. While these sandals aren’t waterproof, they are “water-ready.” Most dirt can be washed off with a hose but, if you wish to go the extra mile in cleaning them, the Teva Mandalyn Ola can also be dropped into a washing machine.

Cost
The Mandalyn Ola is priced only slightly higher than the Crocs Sexi sandal, making these sandals a great budget-friendly choice. With average use, you can expect at least a year of life from the Teva Mandalyn Ola.
Pros

Runs large

Machine washable

1.5” heel

Stabilizing criss-cross straps

Cons

Outsole tread wears quickly

8. Clarks Helio

8. Clarks Helio
As a footwear brand, Clarks has a long and storied history of comfortable, innovative shoes. The Helio sandal is no exception. Grab moderate arch support and a height boost at the same time with a 3” wedge heel; add a dash of style with the cross-toe straps.
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Ortholite Insole
The Clarks Helio sandal features an Ortholite footbed designed for comfort, cushion, and fit. Ortholite is a material comprised of recycled rubber and polyurethane, imparting superior shock absorption and breathability. However, the best part of an Ortholite insole is the long-term cushioning. While all footbeds experience some level of compression over time, the Ortholite footbed undergoes less than 5% compression. It’s almost a guarantee that the Clarks Helio sandals will be comfortable for the long haul.

Stylishly Stable
Just a wedge heel alone improves the stability of a sandal, but the Helio sandal has a wedge heel wrapped in durable, economical cork. The addition of cork provides extra softness, shock absorption and gives a chic, trendy element to an otherwise simple sandal.

Cost
The Clarks Helio is a dressier sort of sandal, so it’s a bit more expensive than other options in this guide. The price point lands between the KEEN Whisper and the Dansko Sophie sandal.
Pros

Adjustable back strap

Nubuck leather

Available in wide widths

Cons

Runs Narrow

9. Taos Thelma

9. Taos Thelma
Taos is a footwear brand with a simple mission: create uncompromisingly stylish and comfortable shoes. Available in two neutral colors, the Taos Thelma sandal is a perfect example of fashion and comfort. The arch support in this sandal is pronounced enough to see it in the footbed itself and, while it may be too high for some, flat-footed wearers will benefit the most. Sufferers of Morton’s Neuroma can also find chic relief with this sandal.
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Effortlessly Fashionable
At first glance, the Taos Thelma is just a simple open-toed sandal. Upon closer inspection, there are small studs scattered across the supple leather straps and a larger jewel at the center of the ankle strap. The Thelma also features a low 1” heel for a relaxed, everyday style. The synthetic outsole has a thick tread in the shape of ovals.

Comfort Comes First
The Thelma sandal is part of the Red Willow by Taos line, a collection of shoes focusing on casual and supportive designs. Not only does the Thelma have an adjustable ankle strap with two closures for a custom fit, but there is also soft padding lining the back strap. Hands up for no more heel chafing!

Cost
The Taos Thelma sandal is moderately priced and a good option for those with 1) a larger budget, and 2) a need for contemporary styling. It falls between the FitFlop Pietra sandal and Birkenstock Arizona.
Pros

Fabric lining

Removal footbed

Easy on/off design

Cons

Top strap not adjustable

10. Naturalizer Danya

10. Naturalizer Danya
Yet another brand well-known for top-notch fusions of style and comfort, Naturalizer doesn’t disappoint with the introduction of the Danya sandal. Unlike the rest of the sandals in this guide, the Naturalizer Danya is primarily a formal/semi-formal sandal. Unless dressy is your casual, the Danya won’t be the sandal you reach for every day this summer season.

That being said, the Danya provides a gentle lift that is suitable for arches across the spectrum. A 3.25” heel may seem high, especially concerning comfort, but 1” platform brings these sandals below the true height of 3.25”.
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N5 Contour Technology
No matter the type of foot discomfort you have, it’s likely wearing high heels will make the problem worse. However, the Naturalizer Danya features a comfort technology known as N5 Contour. The N5 Contour technology is designed to aid in balance and security, while provided superior comfort. The Danya sandal has a footbed with a molded arch and heel cup for support, dual-density cushioning, and the ability to lightly conform to the shape of your foot.

Contemporary Styling
The Naturalizer Danya is a strappy, interesting sandal that shows a lot of skin. Nevertheless, with an upper of polished faux leather, it is elegant enough to transition from conferences to cocktails and back again. The Danya is also available in eight colors, ranging from simple black to brushed silver.

Cost
Comparable in price with the FitFlop Pietra sandal, the Naturalizer Danya is a smart choice for a mid-range budget. If the Danya ends up being just out of your budget anyway, it’s worth waiting for this sandal to go on sale — few sandals can pull off being sexy and ergonomic simultaneously.
Pros

Wide widths available

Velcro back strap

Laser-cut design

Cons

Runs narrow

Whether your need is purely for comfort, fashion, or a combination of both, there is a best sandal with arch support for you.

 

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Sandals With Arch Support

Barefoot-Feet-Best-Sandals-Arch-Support

While we’d like to think that this guide is all you’ll need for finding the perfect, arch-supporting sandal, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll want to review sandals with your personal gait in mind. Below are the standards we used to create this guide.

 

Insole

Insole-Best-Shoes-Arch-Support

Sandals don’t have a lot going on, regarding the upper portion of the shoe. One or two straps is about all that’s there so, when reviewing sandals for arch support, the insole (or footbed, or midsole) is where support will be found.

Material

  • EVA
    The material of an insole is the most important indicator of its supportiveness. Many supportive insoles are made with EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate. It’s a common man-made material that is both rubber-like and foam-like in consistency. The density, softness, flexibility, and waterproof nature of EVA make it the perfect base for cushioning and molding to feet. EVA is also popular because it is man-made; it’s a staple in vegan footwear.
  • Cork
    Footbeds made of cork material are also popular in sandals made with arch support. Cork is natural, created from the bark of the Cork Oak tree, and vegan. A prime example is Birkenstock sandals, which feature cork footbeds exclusively. Cork is incredibly elastic and lightweight, allowing it to conform to the shape of your foot. With a custom footbed that adheres to the planes and curves of your foot, comfort is impossible to avoid.

 

Brand

Sandal-Variety-Best-Sandals-Arch-Support

Some companies have a better reputation than others. This is true in any industry. For our guide, we included a wide range of brands that could be considered synonymous with ‘comfort.’ Choosing to research a brand that has a history of making shoes focused on comfort, cushioning, or pain relief means that the likelihood of finding the right support sandal increases.

Brands such as Crocs, Taos, and FitFlop were created after the millennium, and have staked their reputations primarily on producing comfortable, supportive shoes. These are brands that were created for this sole purpose (pun maybe intended) and are good places to begin research into contemporary supportive sandals.

On the other hand, brands like Clarks, Birkenstock, and Naturalizer were founded well before 1930. These are brands that have created supportive and comfortable sandals for decades, even centuries.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is arch support?
A: To understand arch support, you first need to understand what the arch is. As mentioned briefly in this guide, the arch of your foot is the curved area of your foot that sits between the heel and ball of the foot. The arch, though often talked about in a singular context, is truly a triangle of three interconnected arches.
The arch of your foot grows and matures with you, so the need for arch support can evolve.

Q: How do I know what kind of arch support I need?
A: There is a quick and easy test, called the ‘wet test’, that can be performed to find out what kind of arches you have. Here are the steps:

  1. Wet the bottoms of your feet.
  2. Stand upright on a flat surface, such as cardboard or newspaper, so that an imprint can be seen.
  3. Move away from the flat surface and look at the imprints.

From there, you can determine your arch height and the support you can require using the following guidelines:

Low Arch
The entirety of the bottom of your foot will be seen in the imprint

‘Normal’ Arch
The ball and heel of the foot, along with an inside curve, will be seen in the imprint

High Arch
Only the ball and heel of the foot will be visible in the imprint

 

 

Sources

  1. OluKai, What is EVA?
  2. Shoe Zone, All About Insoles
  3. Englin’s Fine Footwear, We Love Cork Footbeds
  4. Dr. LaMour, What Does Arch Support Really Mean?

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