Enter, our guide to the best walking sandals for every style, hike and shape of foot. From sturdy straps and comfortable cushioning, to grippy soles – no matter the trail, trot or trek you have in mind, there’s a stylish walking sandal for you. But before you put your best foot forward and pick from the top-rated walking sandals, there are few things to keep in mind.
Types of use
What will you be using these walking sandals for? Are you more partial to a saunter through summery meadows than a hike up a mountain? Or do you intend to take your new footwear additions through streams? When it comes to picking your sandals, really consider what use you have in mind for them. If your treks will take you across various terrains, invest in a pair of walking sandals that can do it all. While if you’ll be venturing across land and sea, make sure your new investments are waterproof.
The sole of any shoe is very important. It’s what protects us from the hard ground underfoot and ultimately, it’s what will help – or hinder – us while walking. The best walking sandals come with a thick sole to guard against uneven ground and slippery surfaces. If you take long walks through woodlands and hilly areas, make sure your sandals come with deep lugs to help give you the grip you need. We’d also recommend considering sandals that come with well-moulded footbeds to cater to your natural gait.
The style vs durability
The best walking sandals have comfort and style built into their DNA. If your plan of action involves exploring the streets of a new city rather than heavy hikes and treacherous trails, the style of walking sandal you pick should be best suited to your walking agenda. Either way, in our guide to the best walking sandals for women you’ll discover styles for every surface, with podiatrist-approved options too.
Keep scrolling to find your perfect fit.
Teva Hurricane XLT 2
Fusing colour and comfort, Teva’s Hurricane XLT 2s look good and do good. The vegan-friendly shoe saves four plastic bottles from ending up in landfills thanks to its clever webbing which is made from REPREVE polyester yarn.
The second edition of the shoe also benefits from a new comfort upgrade and it’s one of the brand’s bestselling sandals, period. This time round, the Hurricane XLT 2s comes with a soft heel-strap padding, a traction-ridden sole and recycled polyester straps, which add some fun to the fit.
Other noteworthy features include: a robust EVA footbed which keeps you feeling good and looking good all hike long, quick dry webbing which also supports your foot and there are eight different colourways to pick from.
Merrell Women’s Kahuna
Boring isn’t in Merrell’s vocabulary. Feast your eyes on the outdoor footwear brand’s latest offering, the Kahuna. Colourful and comfortable in all the right places, Merrell’s technicoloured sandals have taken design inspiration from previous tried-and-tested editions with the added performance features of today – and the results are brilliant.
Once armed with these, you can hike to your heart’s content with lightweight yet grippy rubber soles underfoot, which come with traction and heel cushioning to absorb shock and add stability through every stride.
Plus, the fact that these sandals come with an adjustable hook and loop closure, means you can adjust these shoes based on how stable you want your feet to be.
Women’s Columbia Sandal
The Columbia Sandal is here and there’s a lot to like about these strappy and supportive options. Available in two colourways – Grey Ice with a pop of Red Coral and Black with touches of Grey Steel – according to the outdoor sportswear brand, these sandals are designed for roaming on the water and land. So if walking through streams and trails are is your thing, these offerings could be for you.
The midsole comes with a soft but sturdy footbed meaning you’ll have no achy feet from clocking up some serious milage. While the sandal’s frame comes with Columbia’s trademarked TechLite technology. This clever tech promises enhanced impact absorption and high energy return. So, simply slip your feet into these, adjust the strap and you’re good to trot.
Merrell Women’s Terran 3 Cush Lattice
Merrell is back but this time with a more affordable and neutral option. Introducing the Terran 3 Cush Lattice sandals, which weigh in at around 340g and come with a specially lined insole to prevent unpleasant odours. They are also fitted with hook and loop closure for ease in adjustability.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. The cult outdoor clothing and footwear brand has brought out a walking sandal that comes with choice. This includes a wide variety of colourways. There are seven different shades on offer, ranging from black and fuchsia and brown to olive. But better yet, walkers have the ability to get these sandals in medium width or wide width. Team this with Merrell’s trademarked COMFORTBASE ACTIVE contoured insole and you’ve got yourself a recipe for comfort around the clock.
Crocs Brooklyn Low Wedge
Crocs have made a huge comeback in the last few years with their signature divisive comfy clogs. And now Crocs’ Brooklyn Low Wedge options are making a welcomed entrance into the walk wear scene too. Bringing a little colour, height and style to your walking set-up, the wedge heeled sandal could be just what your city-break wardrobe has been missing.
Once you secure your feet inside with the pushpin closure, you’ll notice the brand’s unique LiteRide foam technology which places your comfort at the forefront. Plus, the deep heel cups ensure your foot stays secure and stable as you stride.
But just be warned: if hiking over hills is more your thing than wandering through a new city, it may be best to save these sandals for lesser treacherous climbs.
Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit – Cruise Around
No shoe-drobe is complete without a pair of black sandals. And the same can be said for your walk-wear wardrobe too. So if you’ve been searching for a sandal that can do it all, look no further than Skechers’ GOwalk Arch Fit Cruise Around.
Comfortable to wear from AM to PM, these sandals magically mold to your foot to reduce shock and increase weight dispersion. The result? A sandal which ensures your feet come first. These sandals also come with the brand’s patented Arch Fit, which means it has a contoured footbed and a podiatrist-approved standard of arch support.
Better yet, when they get a bit grubby from all your walking, you can chuck them in the wash and they’ll come out looking brand new. We think they’re worth every penny.
Hoka SKY Hopara
No matter the elevation, the sky is the limit with Hoka’s aptly named Sky Hoparas. Coming with a rubber toe cap for protection against debris, deep 4mm multidirectional lugs for grip and more coverage than any other sandal in our line-up, these shoes are made for walking.
The sandals are quick to do up thanks to their easy-to-tighten lace system and the neoprene construction means you can wear these sandals come rain or shine. Despite the hefty price tag, at £95, you get a lot of walking shoe for your money. And, if you ask us, protecting your feet and looking after their wellbeing while you trek through different terrains is priceless.
Quechua women’s walking sandals
Great walking sandals don’t have to cost the earth. And these functional fits from Quechua prove that. Priced at just under £25, you can wander along country trails, off-road or through streams (if you really wanted to) with the French hiking brand’s reliable options. They’re sturdy, slip-less, and waterproof.
As we’ve seen, when it comes to walking sandals, cushion and grip is key and Quechua knows that. Which is why the brand has tested its hiking sandals on just about every surface, from woodland footpaths to tarmac and everything in between. Plus, the soft cushioning means you’ll be blister free even after you’ve done a solid amount of trekking.
The Birkenstock design is a cult classic. One reason being that the German-born brand creates a shoe that adjusts to the contours of your sole. So why not add some serious style and peace-of-mind to your walk with the Kairo sandals? The shoes give you the luxury of looking good and the comfortability of fit.
You can choose from regular and narrow fits in this sandal, so you can really tailor them to ensure they meet your levels of comfort. Plus, these Birkenstock’s come with a thong design, supportive leather straps (which are super soft-to-the-touch) and a layer of foam for added comfort. This makes them dreamy for on-foot adventures, big or small.
The hardest choice you’ll have to make is picking just one colour. Will you choose the pretty pecan colourway, or the fun faded aqua? Just note, like all Birkenstocks, these sandals will need a little bit of breaking in to really give the cork time to flex to your foot.
Clarks Brookleigh Sun Rose
City stroll booked? Whether you have or not, these Brookleigh Sun Rose sandals from Clarks will make you want to fill your diary with outdoor adventures. One of the best things about these pretty in pink sandals is the fact they come with an ergonomic design. This means they puts your foot first and foremost – like all good walking sandals should.
These fits also come with a contoured footbed so your foot can slot right in and you can also say buh-bye to sweaty tootsies, thanks to the breathable lining. The only downside to using these sandals is the fact they don’t have a fastening strap – which is a must if you’re intending to walk for miles. However, the fitted and super snug design, with the two strap buckle ensures, will keep your feet secure.
Depending on the intensity, all walking shoes in our line up are worthy walking contenders. But if we had to choose, we’d pick Teva’s Hurricane XLT 2. The sandals combine style and comfort. They also have sustainability credentials etched into their sole (quite literally). So you can stroll through nature knowing these sandals have got you, the planet and your feet covered.