This article is part of spring fashion month, we’ll be breaking down your must-have fashion pieces over the next few months. From denim jackets to cozy sandals, we asked editors, influencers, and experts about their must-haves for spring and beyond.
It’s the season, your favorite sandals are looking worn out, and you’re ready for a new pair of everyday sandals. But let’s face it, the footwear division feels like an exam of reasoning and decision-making. Not only do you have to juggle price and size, but you also have the dilemma of style versus comfort. Would you choose a fashion piece that will stay in your wardrobe forever? Or a comfy pair you won’t see outside the house?
When choosing sandals, you want a sandal that is both comfortable and stylish. After all, no one wants to be stressed out with sore feet, bruises, or blisters. So we consulted fashion experts and podiatrists to find the best sandals for comfort and style lovers.
Who doesn’t love this classic double strap design? Dr. Elizabeth Daughtry, who specializes in podiatric medicine, loves the sandal’s adjustable straps, padded suede footbed, and especially the sole. “The EVA sole is supportive and has an anatomical cork and latex insole,” she says. “This allows the arch to support and shape the individual foot structure. EVA is an elastic material and is considered one of the best shock-absorbing materials on the market today.” The brand also designs styles for men.
Take everything from Santa Barbara, but make them vegan! Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle or not, these slides are stylish, comfortable and supportive. Daughtry recommends them for travel as they are lightweight and easy to pack.
According to Solomon, “Birkenstocks are still one of the best options because of a few features. The deep heel cup and arch support stabilize the heel, preventing excessive pronation and spreading your weight over a larger surface area. Metatarsal pads help reduce forefoot pain or metatarsalgia by shifting weight further to the back of the foot.”
Ah, how we love the return of alligators! They were also given vouchers by Jane Francis, a multidisciplinary designer with 35 years of experience in the fashion industry. “Mixing high and low is always the winning formula in fashion,” she says. “I love how wearers of all ages and genders can personalize their Crocs.”
These Oofos sandals have been popular for a good reason: For those with heel pain (and those who don’t), the foam padding provides support and reduces shock. Plus, the Underscored editor-favorite Original thong style is made with a non-slip footbed for wet conditions. Rain or shine, you don’t have to worry about slipping.
Have you ever heard the term “gorpcorp”? This is a trend that focuses on practicality and functionality. For fashion, leather and textiles expert Tjacob Hooker, who holds a master’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Chacos was the way to go. “I gravitate toward more ‘gorpcorp’ brands because of their respect for the human body,” he says. “Their design philosophy is dedicated to ergonomics and continuous use.”
How can something so stylish be comfortable? These half espadrille half wedge sandals are the sparkle you need to elevate any look. Obregón describes them as elegant for any occasion, but you can still walk for miles.
This is considered a hiking shoe, but it’s just as stylish off-road. Hooker loves the one-piece style of these durable slip-ons. For an environmentally conscious option, there is a vegan version called Hydro Moc with Bloom.
For fashion designer Alla Eizenberg, she loves Sorel Kinetic wedge sandals for their clean look, affordable price and high quality. “I wore them on a recent vacation in Italy and the South of France,” she says. “I walk around and they gracefully endure mid-century cobblestone streets.” Neon colors and chunky platform styles make for a phenomenal team.
You can’t go wrong with this Nike staple. “Jordan Brand successfully straddles the line between fashion and function and is beloved by athletes and everyday consumers alike,” said Angela Finochio, Class Assistant at Fashion Institute of Technology. You’ll want to wear these sporty lightweight sandals everywhere—if you don’t already have one. “The rise of athleisure fashion has increased the popularity of slipper styles, a casual style that now appears in many high fashion collections,” she said.