Best Supportive Sandals Reviewed

As summer draws near the days are starting to grow longer. In many parts of the world, sunlight is lasting longer into the evenings and temperatures are starting to climb. It’s finally time to pack away some of the bulkier footwear and break out the spring and summer gear. Many people prefer sandals for warmer weather. For some, however, sandals do not seem to offer enough support for their arches or padding for their heel. That is where the support sandal comes in!

Featured Recommendations

ECCO Yucatan
  • ECCO Yucatan
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multiple Adjustment Points
  • Molded Arch Support
  • Price: See Here
Viakix Sandals
  • Viakix Sandals
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight and Supportive
  • Multiple Adjustment Points
  • Price: See Here
Atika Maya
  • Atika Maya
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Molded footbed
  • Cushioned Insole
  • Price: See Here

Most people have seen support sandals, though they may not have known that term at the time. These sandals often sport more straps than the usual flip-flop or Birkenstock, and the straps are often adjustable for a comfortable and snug fit. As many of these sandals are intended to be worn by someone active, a snug fit is key. Unlike athletic shoes, support sandals allow a person’s feet to dry quickly and say cooler whether on trails, beaches, boats, or tracks. Some people like them for freer range of movement and more organic walking

Not every support sandal is intended for sports or athletic use, however. There are many on the market now that are chic and sleek, their support hidden in cushioned footbeds and sturdy heel cups. Fashionable support sandals are ideal for people who spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors in more casual ways, whether it’s strolling the farmer’s market, relaxing at a cafe, or spending the afternoon at a friend’s barbecue.  They support the wearer’s arch without sacrificing a bit of style

 

 

10 Best Supportive Sandals

 

 

 

1. ECCO Yucatan

Support sandals come in many styles, but one style, in particular, dominates the market and the Yucatan by Ecco is an excellent example of this style. Though it comes in a huge range of color and print options, it has several adjustable straps for a comfortable fit every time, a footbed designed for an active wearer, and an open design to keep feet cool on hot days.
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Molded Footbed
A key feature of many support sandals is a contoured footbed, which can help reduce the slipping of the foot inside the shoe and increase overall stability when walking. Ecco takes this another level further by using a molded footbed that gives additional protection against slipping

Cushioned Midsole and Footbed
Ecco knows their market and understands that the people who buy their sandals will be wearing them for long stretches of time, whether at the beach or on the trail, through city streets or in the woods. Taking this into account, they incorporated two points of cushioning to provide additional comfort when wearing the Yucatan.

Cost and Value
These sandals do not come cheaply, but they last and are designed for support and comfort when worn during long walks or hikes
Pros
  • Range of Color Options
  • Multiple Forms of Cushioning
  • Moulded Footbed
  • Nuckbuck Uppers
Cons
  • High price point

2. Viakix Sandals

Viakix is another excellent company for those seeking athletic sandals with the support to keep them on their feet all day long. The company has an excellent customer service reputation and their sandals are reported to last and last even when put to some harsh tests in land and in water. They don't sacrifice comfort or style while providing a cushioned and customizable fit.
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Lightweight
A key factor of any athletic show, whether a traditional sneaker or an athletic sandal, is the weight of the shoe. Heavy shoes make movement harder over time whereas lighter shoes allow their wearers to move with more agility. Viakix provides a lightweight support sandal that won't weigh the foot down during a long hike.

Adjustable Straps For Custom Fit
Many support sandals have at least two adjustable straps, but Viakix is a little unique in that it offers four straps so that the fit can be adjusted every time they are worn. The adjustment range is so wide that feet of differing widths, from narrow to wide, have found the perfect fit in a Viakix sandal.

Cost and Value
Unlike most shoes, these Viakix sandals come at a fixed price instead of from across a price range. The price itself is on the high end of average, but given the ease of customizing the fit and the durability, they are worth the money.
Pros
  • Widely Adjustble Fit
  • Lightweight
  • Cushioned Footbed
  • Durable in Land or Water
Cons
  • Somewhat steeply priced

3. Vionic Karina

Stepping away from athletic support sandals for a moment and into the world of stylish support sandals. Sometimes a sandal is needed that is appropriate for a sundress or worn with a pair of casual trousers of capris. In those cases, an athletic sandal may not be the dressiest option, and sandals without support can leave feet aching after only an hour or so. Vionic has given shoppers the solution with their Karina support sandal. They come in several colors and offer many features to attract shoppers looking for fashion and foot comfort for the warmer months.
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Arch-Hugging Heel Design
Two key elements of foot comfort are arch support and a heel cup that won't let the heel of the foot slip against the shoe. The Karina covers both of these with a contoured footbed that focuses on arch support that lends itself to the security of the heel, strengthening the support of both.

Adjustable Fit
Personalized fit is not limited to athletic support sandals! Vionic's Karina has a solid toe-dividing strap topped with a decorative buckle, through which is laced an adjustable strap for the perfect fit over the top of the wearer's foot.

Cost and Value
These sandals can run for a pretty penny, but if a supportive and stylish sandal is needed for frequent wear, this may be the best sandal to fit the bill.
Pros
  • Several Color Options
  • Stylish and Supportive
  • Adjustable Fit Buckle
  • Heel Designed for Arch Support
Cons
  • Can be expensive

4. Atika Maya

4. Atika Maya
Atika is a relatively small company that specializes almost entirely in water shoes and support sandals. This dedication to their style of the product shows in the reviews, most of which boast about the comfort of the sandals and their versatility of use.
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Cushioned Insole
Atika knows what a sports sandal needs and provides it. The Maya has a cushioned insole and supportive contouring under the arches of the foot. These ensure that the wearer stays comfortable no matter how long they're on their feet in Atika's sandals.

Adjustable Velcro Straps
The comfort of the Maya doesn't stop at the cushioned insole and arch support. Atika's designers have incorporated multiple Velcro-fastened straps to give the wearer as much freedom to adjust the shoe as they need without sacrificing the security of the sandal's fit.

Cost and Value
These are the most affordable sandals on our list and, by all accounts, they are more than worth the money in terms of durability and versatility.
Pros
  • Cushioned Insole
  • Arch Support
  • Multiple Adjustable Straps
  • Very Affordable
Cons
  • Run a bit narrow

5. Powerstep Fusion

5. Powerstep Fusion
Powerstep is a familiar name to anyone who needs arch or heel support in their shoes. Their insoles have been ranked as some of the best on Amazon for plantar fasciitis and they have a wide range of compression socks in addition to other orthotic options. They have several support sandal models on the market, but the Fusion is one of the best
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Casual Style
The Fusion is not an athletic support sandal, nor is it a dressy support sandal. It is a casual support sandal for daily summer wear or on trips to a beach or pool. Its casual appearance masks the arch support and cushioned midsole, giving discreet relief even at the height of summer.

Non-Slip Grip & Lightweight Construction
In addition to midsole and arch support, the Fusion is designed with a non-slip gripping sole to keep the wearer safe on wet pool decks and boat decks alike. The sandal's lightweight construction only adds to the comfort and safety of these sandals.

Cost and Value
At the lower end of their price range, these sandals are incredibly affordable. Some sized can run upwards of $50, however, so be sure and check where on the price scale a pair falls before buying!
Pros
  • Non-slip grip sole
  • Arch Support
  • Cushioned Midsole
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Limited Style Options

6. Chaco Z2 Classic

6. Chaco Z2 Classic
The Chaco Z2 was designed with a contoured footbed like most support sandals, but with its own twist. Most support sandals have footbeds designed with contours for feet in need of rigid support. Chaco, however, caters to those in need of moderate or mild support. The Z2's footbed is contoured, but just enough to keep the foot from slipping inside the straps. This may not suit some wearers, but people with neutral pronation will likely enjoy the moderate support.
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Durable and Longlasting
Review after review talked about the longevity and durability of these sandals. They've been in the water, in the mud, on the trail, on the streets, in trees, and in traffic. Many buyers point out that they take time to be broken in, but once they are, they are good to go for a very long time!

Adjust Straps for a Custom Fit
The Z2, like many support sandals, features several adjustable straps across the top and side of the foot. These are to ensure that the sandal fits every wearer perfectly, every time.

Cost and Value
Some variants run for a jaw-dropping price, but the more affordable pairs seem worth the moderate cost that many pairs come at.
Pros
  • Large Range of Style Options
  • Long-Lasting
  • Widely Adjustable
Cons
  • Must be broken in extensively

7. Skechers Louden

7. Skechers Louden
Skechers is probably one of the most familiar names in affordable sneakers, at least for a few generations of shoppers. Their support sandal, the Louden, is no less popular among wearers of support sandals, though perhaps a little less well known by the general public. It is made with the same attention to style and usability as other Skechers products, including its support features, and comes at a similar price point.
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Memory Foam Footbed
Something unique to the Louden, at least among support sandals, is the use of a memory foam footbed. The footbed does not come out of the contoured for a comfortable fit but instead adjusts to your feet as you wear them. Combined with a gripping rubber sole, these sandals have been touted by users as great options for hikes and trail walks.

Adjustable Hook and Loop Straps
Made with imitation leather, the straps close with a hook and loop adhesive system. This gripping material allows for the user to adjust and readjust the strap closures as needed until the perfect fit is achieved, This is especially useful due to the previously mentioned memory foam footbed, as the fit of the straps will likely change as the footbed adjusts to the wearer's foot.

Cost and Value
The Louden starts affordable and can run at a fairly high price, though not nearly as high as some other sandals listed on this page. Keep an eye on sizing and styles, as this affects the cost of the sandals.
Pros
  • Memory Foam Footbed
  • Adjustable Straps
  • Quality Construction
Cons
  • Limited Style Options

8. Fila Transition

8. Fila Transition
Fila is a well-known brand, though not for support sandals. Their most well-known products are hand weights and resistance bands, yoga mats, and medicine balls. They specialize in things that will help people stay active, so it really should not be a surprise that they have an athletic sandal on the market.
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Lightweight with Strong Grip
The Transition athletic sandal is lightweight so the wearer won't be weighed down by their footwear when heading up a mountain or wading through water. Their open design allows feet and sandals alike to dry more quickly, while the rubber sole allows for a strong grip. The sole is also generally non-marking, though it is not marketed as such.

Cushioned Footbed with Mild Support
Fila designed their sandals with a more neutral pronation in mind. The footbed is cushioned and has mild contouring, but it is not intended to offer intense support to the wearer, making it ideal for those seeking a more mild form of support during hot weather months.

Cost and Value
The Transition has one of the smallest price ranges on our list. Both the highest and lowest available prices are relatively reasonable given the versatility and durability of these sandals.
Pros
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Reasonable price
  • Strong-grip sole
Cons
  • Limited design options

9. KEEN Newport H2

9. KEEN Newport H2
The Newport H2 from Keen is a bit of a departure from the standard idea of a sports sandal. Visually it is a cross between a sandal and a shoe, sporting a closed toe and foot cage made of elastic straps. But make no mistake, this is not a solid shoe. It is an open-weave sandal that offers a little more protection than most.
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Multidirectional Lug Pattern for Hikers
The Newport H2 is designed for hikers and Keen is not shy about making that clear. The closed toe and webbed foot cage are intended to keep toes safe without sacrificing breathability or comfort for the wearer's foot. The lug pattern on the sole of the sandal allows it to dig more firmly into dirt and sand when hiking, offering additional stability for the more adventurous wearers.

Moulded and Cushioned Footbed
The footbed is molded for comfort and moderate to semi-intense arch support, given the contours visible on the sandal itself. Wearers will also find support and comfort in the cushioned footbed, which will allow their foot to rest more easily in the contours of the footbed and stabilize their gait.

Cost and Value
Even the low end of the price range is climbing into the higher price points, coming in at just over $50. Their higher prices are extremely high, but a pair for a moderate price would be well worth the investment.
Pros
  • Multidirectional lug patter on sole
  • Toe cap for toe safety
  • Cushioned Insole
  • Moulded Footbed
Cons
  • High price point

10. Ahnu Moonstone Gladiator

10. Ahnu Moonstone Gladiator
Ahnu is not a particularly well-known company, but this has not stopped them from producing quality footwear in a variety of styles. From yoga sneakers to waterproof running shoes to flats, hiking boots, and beyond, Ahnu has made a habit of producing their shoes with quality and affordability in mind. This is particularly on display with their Moonstone gladiator sandal. With its shaped footbed and specialized internal support, it is an assuming yet supportive sandal for the more athletically inclined.
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Thermoplastic Shank for Internal Structure
A feature unique to the Moonstone is the internal thermoplastic shank. Designed to improve the rigidity of the sandal, it increases the footbed's strength without adding additional external structures or too much additional weight to lightweight sandal.

Anatomically Shaped Footbed
Ahnu specifically molded the footbed of their sandal to fit the approximate anatomy of a human foot. If sized appropriately, this gives a more natural feeling of support to the arches and allows the foot to relax into the footbed more thoroughly.

Cost and Value
The Moonstone starts out at an incredibly reasonable price and climbs from there. Keep an eye on where certain sizes and styles fall. If a pair can be found at the lower end of the range, it's worth the purchase.
Pros
  • Thermoplastic internal shank
  • Anatomical Footbed
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Only offers mild support

 

Whether the sandal in question is needed for a long day at a wedding on the beach, a hike up a mountainside trail, or simply trekking around town in the warmer months, there is a support sandal for every occasion. Support levels range from neutral to high, allowing buyers to find the right fit for them even in a footwear category that is not designed for custom insoles. Prices range even further, often depending on size and style. But rest assured, there is something on the market for everyone from the most athletic summer reveler to the casual barbecue attendee.

 

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Supportive Sandals

Types of Support Offered

Different sandal companies choose different kinds of support. Some opt to offer more, some less, but every sandal on this list offers at least one form of support for the wearer’s arches and gait. Whether it is a thermoplastic shank to stabilize the footbed, adjustable straps, or a contoured insole, every sandal on this list offers at least two forms of support for wearers. The more support a sandal offered, the higher it was ranked, particularly if the support did not add to the weight of the sandal to any great degree. A range of support levels was also included, from the serious supported needed for those suffering from conditions such as plantar fasciitis to minimal support for those with neutral pronation.

 

Adjustability

Adjustable straps are the bread and butter of most support sandals. There is one or two pairs listed that do not have adjustable straps, but the vast majority are made to enable a customized fit. This is particularly important with athletic sandals as there are no laces to ensure a snug fit and loose footwear can lead to injured ankles or worse. But with the adjustable straps on these sandals, wearers can rest easy, or hike easy, as they prefer.

 

 

Versatility and Durability

An attempt was made to ensure that this list covered a range of support sandal styles, from athletic to dress to casual. The majority of the sandals listed above are athletic in nature, as the market itself is geared for more athletic buyers. But there are still options to be found for the summer wedding, the casual barbecue, and the jaunt through the farmer’s market. Beyond that, the sandals provided should each function in a range of terrains, particularly the athletic sandals. Whether rain or sun, trail or sidewalk, the sandals above are almost entirely up to the challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q: If my sandal is loose, should I return it?
A: If the sandal arrives with a looser fit than the buyer is comfortable with, try adjusting the straps before returning. The majority of the sandals listed above have been designed with adjustable straps at several key points so that wearers can get a custom fit every time. They may arrive loose to allow people with different foot widths and sizes to comfortably get into the sandal before adjusting the straps.

Q: Are these sandals waterproof?
A: For the most part, yes. The majority of the sandals listed above are designed to function in wet environments as well as dry without causing any damage to the shoe or loss of functionality due to slipping or size changes. They may need to be washed and left to dry once they are out of the wet conditions, but none of the materials should react poorly to water.

Q: Do these sandals need to be broken in?
A: Most of the sandals above are not noted for having a breaking in period, though there are exceptions to that rule and they are noted in the reviews of those specific sandals. That being said, every shoe has at least some breaking in period during which the footbed softens at key points to allow for the most comfortable fit possible for the specific foot paired with the sandal.

Q: Should I order them sized without or without socks?
A: Many people prefer to wear these without socks as they are not full shoes. While it would be possible to order the same size and simply adjust the straps to account for the added bulk of socks, anything worn inside the sandal will reduce its ability to keep feet cool and to dry quickly after submersion in water.

Q: What if a strap breaks?
A: Many of the companies listed above are known for their excellent customer service. If a strap breaks it is recommended that the buyer return the sandal, as a broken strap on a support sandal can greatly increase the chances of damage to the wearer’s feet and ankles as well as an effect on their gait which can negatively impact hips and knees. This is a general rule for any shoe but is especially true for shoes that rely on straps to maintain a snug, secure fit.

Q: Can I add custom inserts?
A: Unfortunately most support sandals are not designed with removable insoles as the footbed and outsole are all one molded piece. A custom insert could, in theory, be layered on top of the existing footbed but there would be no way to ensure it would not slip thus putting the wearer in danger of injury.

Q: Can the sandals be washed?
A: Much like water submersion while being worn, the sandals listed above are by and large machine washable or hand washable. Depending on the activity they are intended for, there are even some users who suggest washing regularly to prevent mud and other buildups from affecting the grip of the sole or the comfort of the sandal’s interior.

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