What do you have planned this spring and summer? Whether it’s hiking, walking for miles around a new city, watersports, or just hitting the pool, I’ve found the perfect sandal for you. They’re all travel-friendly, plus you’ll find cool features like anti-odor properties (crucial for those sweaty summer days) and surprising levels of arch support.
Crocs have been maligned in the fashion industry since they first came out, but this famously comfortable brand goes way beyond clogs now. Plenty of travelers embrace Crocs for their easy-clean properties, support, and cushioning. Lina from adventure travel blog Divergent Travelers writes: “Crocs hands down for walking and sightseeing in comfort. I have been living on a tropical island in Belize for the last 10 years and I can honestly say that 85 percent of the time I wear my Crocs, and I walk a lot. I own eight pairs; most are sportier and a couple that can go with a dress. They have got me through puddles in rainy season up steep ruins, and to a nice dinner.”
The unisex Modi flip flops are more easily identifiable as Crocs, but also they’re super affordable and comfortable.
I’m a sucker for anything with memory foam, and that’s exactly what makes Aerosoles Chlassified’s sandals so comfortable. The spongy memory foam is cushiony yet supportive, and the adjustable T-strap with back keeps the sandal firmly on your foot.
Vivobarefoot Achilles Active Sandal
For men looking for a good T-strap sandal, the Vivobarefoot Achilles is a wise choice. This unique shoe mimics the natural movement of your bare foot by locking your big toe and the ball of your foot in place. The back strap is also removable, so you can wear these both on a hike and to the beach.
Sperry Gold Cup Sandal
Sperry’s Gold Cup Sandal is my favorite example of a shoe that’s both stylish and comfortable. I wear these out to nice dinners in warm weather, thanks to the neutral color and intricate gold hardware details. I’ll also walk miles around a city to get to that nice restaurant, since the Gold Cups have a cushy memory foam footbed and adjustable strap for the perfect, secure fit. The outsole is specifically designed for traction, so these are great for wet conditions as well.
Anyone with bad ankles can relate—Edith Bernier, author of The Ultimate Guide to Plus-Size Backpacking, tells us: “As a plus-size, female traveler (with flat feet and bad ankles!), I have recently tried Merrell’s Lattice and I was amazed! Equally cute and comfortable, it’s a change from the bulky, all terrains sandals we usually see. Other good news, it suits feet that can be a bit wide and they are available up to size 11.”
For men, a similar style by Merrell is the Moab Drift Strap Sandal. These feature three adjustable straps for a custom fit, plus an air cushion in the heel to absorb shock.
Superfeet Flip Flops
I’m obsessed with Superfeet’s insoles, which are biomechanically designed to help correct foot health-related issues, and help all your shoes feel as comfortable as your favorite pair of sneakers. So I was extra excited when I saw the brand’s new sandal line. Superfeet’s flip flops are available for women and men, and the women’s shoes are designed using dimensions specific to female feet (which means a reduced arch length and narrower heel). Unlike regular flip flops, these have plenty of arch support, a deep heel cup for extra cushioning, and a quick-drying synthetic leather strap.
Every time I write a story about travel footwear, readers always chime in to sing the praises of Ahnu shoes. The brand’s sandals are equally awesome, with a fashionable look and plenty of comfort.
For women, I like the Karma Latitude, which have a closed toe (a feature that can be hard to find in summer sandals). And the cork-wrapped footbed with antimicrobial treatment keep odors at bay no matter how hot the temperatures.
Men will love the Del Ray sandals, which have a special shock dispersal plate built in to the forefoot to protect against rough terrain.
Sperry Calla Jade
Whenever I have to pack light for a warm weather vacation, Sperry’s Calla Jade sandals are the first on my list. These shoes are super lightweight, and they’re also really flexible, which makes them easy to fit in any bag. I also love the slip-on style for easily going through airport security.
Clarks Riverway Webb Flip Flops
Everyone needs a solid pair of flip flops for the beach and the pool, and those rubber store dollar ones just don’t cut it. The Clarks Riverway Webb Flip Flops up your sandal game with comfortable cotton webbing between the toes (to prevent irritation) and a molded footbed that works both on the boardwalk and in the sand.
Chaco footwear has long been popular with travelers who rely on these durable shoes, and the recently launched Zclouds are some of the brand’s best. Chaco has taken its classic sandals and added some pillow-top cushioning to make the Zclouds crazy comfortable (and they’re podiatrist-certified). Available for women and men.
More From SmarterTravel:
- 9 Most Comfortable Travel Shoes for 2018
- 5 Worst Shoes for Travel
- Seven Things You Should Always Wear on a Plane
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.