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? 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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Great For Bunions
Brushed Suede-Like Insole
Available In Nine Colours
10 Best Sandals With Arch Support
1. Dansko Sophie
Great For Bunions
Brushed Suede-Like Insole
Available In Nine Colours
Despite being only twenty years old, Dansko is a well-known name in comfortable 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.
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.
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. 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.
2. Vionic Tide
Deep Heel Cup
Soft Toe Post
No Half Sizes
Requires Breaking In
Another contender for both form and function is the Vionic Tide orthotic sandal. Available in ten colors 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.
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.
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. 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.
3. KEEN Whisper
True To Size
Roomy Toe Box
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.
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.
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 midsole. As for the upper of the sandal, it’s coated with an antimicrobial treatment known as the Aegis Microbe Shield.
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.
4. Clarks Lexi Myrtle
Straps May Irritate
The Clarks Lexi Myrtle not only looks adorable with its slight platform and heel but the strappy cute design lets you wear this pair to evening events after the sun’s gone down. A number of colorful leather strap options help make it versatile enough to wear with many different styles of clothing, and with all the Clarks support and comfort you’ve come to know and love from the brand.
The Lexi Myrtle sounds like it should remind you of walks on the promenade, surf side milkshakes, and arcade summer fun, and it fits right into a beachy theme of footwear. Strappy leather uppers with a decorative floral accent make it casual in terms of a shoe, but a bit sexier in terms of a sandal. Great for warmer weather outings, it’s breathable and open, keeping you cool when the suns out.
Clarks consistently creates footwear with cushioning and support engrained into the design, and the Lexi Myrtle is no exception. Flexible construction utilizes an Ortholite cushioned footbed and a lightweight EVA outsole for shock absorbance. Slight heel cup and anatomical footbed design give it enough support for the arch, while still maintain comfort in your step. For a pair of Clarks brand footwear, the Lexi Myrtle is quite reasonably priced, and about average compared to those found on our top ten list. With its cute strappy design for summer and added posh accents for a little bit of flair, it’s great for evenings strolling about or to dinner. Well worth consideration from Clarks brand enthusiasts, and those soon to be!
5. Birkenstock Arizona
Made In Germany
Deep Heel Cup
Roomy Toe Box
No Wide Widths
Needs Breaking In
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 and comfortable. 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” an 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!
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.
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. 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.
6. NAOT Kayla Wedge
Cork & Latex
NAOT's Kayla Wedge may look similar to another top brand of sandals, but it has its cute style and support to set it apart from the rest. With a sportier look, it maintains soft leather straps with a hook and loop closure to keep a comfortable fit. Dual forefoot straps and crossed ankle straps give it that sport look, and its cork and latex-covered suede footbed will keep you supported and comfortable when on the run.
The footbed of the Kayla Wedge shoes an anatomical design, with toe ridge for grip when walking, and a deep heel cup to promote alignment and proper gait form. The footbed consists of cork and latex, a combination known for molding further to an individual’s specific foot shape over wear, and soft suede for that ‘feel good’ sensation. It’s a solid sandal for vacationing, walking about town, or wearing out a causal event.
The Naot Kayla Wedge comes in a variety of color options, from black, browns, and neutrals, to brighter fun options. The cute wedge is a moderate height, perfect to add some lift to your steps without putting undue pressure on the toes. Synthetic sole gives great grip and traction while being flexible enough to add soft cushioning to each step. And, with adjustable hook and loop closures, you’ll find the perfect fit for you. One of the pricier options on our list, it’s well worth a look if you are in search of a sandal similar to a Birkenstock, but with a bit more heel and flair. It keeps a sporty look, but can be dressed up for casual evenings with its colorful leather straps and clean look. Adjustable straps allow for a custom fit, and anatomical footbed will wear to your shape over time. A great pair to consider for your next pair of sandals.
7. Crocs Sexi Flip
Available In Wide Widths
True To Size
Ankle Strap is Narrow
Slippery When Wet
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.
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.
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. 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.
8. Teva Hurricane XLT2
Water Friendly Upper
Shock Absorbing Midsole
Nylon Stability Shank
Durabrasion Rubber Outsole
No Half Sizes
Those who lead an active lifestyle know the importance of a well designed pair of footwear. Over the years, some models have become favorites among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and the Hurricane XLT by Teva definitely stood out. The second edition of the Hurricane brought back all the features that made the original such a good choice, and making improvements in terms of shock absorption as well as outsole performance. Overall, the shoe boasts a completely vegan construction, and even makes use of recycled PET for an environmentally friendly product you don’t have to feel guilty about buying.
In the upper of the Hurricane, you get a supportive design that utilizes woven nylon straps that are water friendly, quick to dry and shouldn’t cause rubbing. Adjustable at three points: the metatarsal area, instep and the back of the heel, the Hurricane is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a product they can put on quickly, that can be adjusted on the go, and that allows them to find the perfect fit.
In terms of tech, you will benefit from a midsole made out of EVA foam, with a highly cushioned heel that helps absorb shock and protects the muscular and skeletal structure over long walks. It’s lightweight and molds to the foot, while the nylon shank ensures stability over rugged terrain. The outsole uses Durabrasion Rubber that works well on rugged and versatile terrain, and that grips surfaces well thanks to the angled lugs. The model is ideal for those with a normal arch, and can be bought at an average price, making it an overall good option for most people.
9. Cobb Hill Hollywood
Loose Around Heel
Sizing Can Vary
Cobb Hill line of footwear is made and designed by Rockport brand, another leader in footwear that is practical and comfortable. Their Hollywood Button sandal keeps a stunning wood look married with strappy leather uppers and button accent to keep you looking good. With anatomically molded footbed, you’ll certainly receive all the support in the right areas, even in a heel.
Just looking at the Hollywood, you’ll notice ample cushioning to pad and support the arch, along with perforated inner arch support. Anatomically designed and molded, the footbed is made from EVA, for structural support and cushion aspects. A pigskin and textile footbed cover keeps the footbed feeling soft to the touch, and microfiber lining helps eliminate any rubbing or irritations.
On top of a grippy ruby, sole is a handsome wooden heel, giving a grainy texture that compliments the leather straps above. Adjustable fit can be made to suit your needs around the ankle and forefoot. Button accents keep this looking cute, even when you’re just running about town on errands, or headed to classes. The Hollywood comes in a number of color options, so you can find one that compliments your wardrobe. Similarly priced to many sandals on our list, the Cobb Hill Hollywood is great for those looking for a practical sandal for everyday use. Perfect for going to classes, running about town, it won’t leave your feet sore after the day is over. Anatomical footbed hits all the areas where support is needed most, and cute button design keeps this sandal looking stylish!
10. Naturalizer Danya
Wide Widths Available
Velcro Back Strap
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”.
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.
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. 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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are several types of sandals, all made for different uses, but overall, there are a few components of any pair of footwear you should consider before making a purchase. If you want to get a shoe that will work well and last for more than a few wears, one of the important aspects you should consider is the outsole.
On any pair of footwear, the outsole will vary depending on the type of use it was intended to serve. Formal models will often use leather in this part, while most pairs are made with rubber. Nonetheless, there is more to an outsole than just material.
For example, those who plan on going hiking, or spending a lot of time outdoors, should definitely invest in a product that has an outsole made for traction and durability. Deeper lugs and non-slip rubber compounds are highly recommended as they will ensure your safety on challenging terrain. If you spend a lot of time on concrete, go with abrasion resistant materials that won’t flatten after a few weeks of use.
If, however, you are looking for something that will serve you in an urban environment, or even that you can wear on casual and formal occasions, go with a model that features a less rugged outsole. That isn’t to say you should go wil hard plastic that will allow you to slip and skid on polished or wet surfaces, but, overall, you should do well enough with the basic rubber or leather. It is important to note, however, that you should only use your sandals in conditions they were made for - if they’re made out of leather, you may want to stay away from water to prevent deterioration.
Shopping for a good product often requires you to know at least a little bit about the type of item you are buying. For footwear, this will often include knowledge about the various materials used in construction. Because sandals are such a versatile category of shoes, you need to ensure that they have the qualities you need to serve you well. There is a variety of options available, and these are some of the most popular ones:
High-quality footwear is crucial in providing you with everything you need from your shoes. Not only do you want them to look good, but they also need to fit you perfectly to ensure comfort and bear throughout the day. Add breathability to your list of requirements, and you will easily come to the conclusion that you need a pair of sandals made with health benefits in mind.
Most summer footwear will have completely flat, rubber or foam soles which may cause you pain or discomfort. When shopping for footwear, you need to look for the features that will work for your feet. This depends heavily on the type of foot you have. Size is just one aspect, and it’s important that you also consider the width of your forefoot, the height of your heel, the stability of your ankles, as well as your gait cycle. Even more, it’s possible that you suffer from foot-related issues such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs or that your pronation is not neutral but rather sees you bearing your weight on the inside or outside of your feet. The right type of shoes will not only feel good while wearing them, but they will also prevent the further development of such issues.
When shopping for your next pair of sandals, there are several points where you need to look for prop up features:
We all know why comfort is so important. Besides relieving you of pain, if you wear footwear that is right for your foot and that has a good amount of cushioning, you will not suffer from many common foot problems. You might even cure your lower back and knee pain, who knows! All of the options on our list are meant to bear your feet despite being a low-profile sandal. That means that every piece of footwear on here comes with added:
Considering the fact that there are no two feet that are the same, it’s only natural that someone else’s perfect pair of shoes won’t do a thing for you. While running shoes, athletic sneakers, and most other footwear will boast laces, sandals with this type of closure are extremely hard to find. You might be tempted to just buy a universal pair of flip-flops or sliders, but these are likely to make your problems worse.
Luckily, a good fit is easy to achieve if you decide to purchase the right pair of sandals. Most items on this list have straps that are completely adjustable. Whether this is through buckles, elastic closure systems or hook and loop closures, the more points of adjustability, the better.
For example, people who suffer from bunion pain will need to look for footwear that not only has a roomy toe box and wide forefoot area, but the adjustable strap that hugs their metatarsal area will be the dealbreaker. Similarly, those with weak ankles will need shoes that will be absolutely secure in this area, which will help prevent any sprains or twists that could take weeks or even months to heal completely.
When purchasing your next pair of summer footwear, think about what it is you need from the perfect model of shoes. If you intend to wear your sandals for hiking trips or the beach, you will need footwear that is completely secure and won’t break or fall off in the middle of your trip. If you only need sandals for running everyday errands, you will still want as high a level of adjustability as possible, seeing that your feet might swell, especially during the hot summer months.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Along with your sneakers, arch support in sandals is important for those hot summer months, or work when you may find yourself on your feet most of the day. Arch support in your footwear helps to relieve foot fatigue and sore muscles that help support the arch after extended hours upright. It provides stability when muscles get tired, and can help your feet to feel better at the end of the day.
A simple test using paper and damp feet can help you determine what kind of arch you have. Dampen your feet with water, and step onto the paper to make a imprint. If you see a sharp 'S' shape, it's likely you have higher arches than normal. If you see little to no 'S' shape at all, it's likely you have fallen arches. A gentle 'S' curvature indicates you have neutral (normal) arches.
Other Factors to Consider
Finally, a good pair of footwear will have all the characteristics needed to ensure you can wear it to a great variety of places and events. This list includes different supportive sandals, made with different types of activities in mind, ranging from athletic to dress too casual. If you work in a casual environment, you might even be able to wear some of these at your place of employment.
When making our choice for the best ten items currently available for purchase, we made sure to pick models which would work in multiple environments. Thus, you will find that the majority of sandals on this list work in athletic environments, or can be worn to the beach. Nonetheless, if you prefer to wear them during hot city summer days, you will find that they work just as well as they would in nature. No matter the terrain or weather, the products listed in this article will serve you well and for plenty of time.
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 shoes. These are brands that were created for this sole purpose (pun maybe intended) and are good places to begin research into contemporary sandals.
On the other hand, brands like Clarks, Birkenstock, and Naturalizer were founded well before 1930. These are brands that have created comfortable sandals for decades, even centuries.
While style is often a matter of personal taste, we've checked thousands of online reviews to see what people are saying about each of the products on our list. Some things, such as sleek design, seamless construction and overall weight and shape of the shoe, were common likes or dislikes among buyers of each product.
To evaluate style, we considered everything from the design, color, shape, weight, lines and overall construction of the shoe in question. While no one wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe, they also don’t want a comfortable shoe to be ugly on the eyes. We’ve selected all of those on our top 10 to be not only stylish, but also comfortable, true-to-size, supportive and durable.
The higher the score on the “style” metric, the more fashionable we and the community of buyers we surveyed deemed the product to be.
The price of a shoe can sometimes be a deal breaker. That’s part of the reason why footwear manufacturers invest time and energy into creating cost-effective technologies to incorporate into their shoes to make them durable, long-lived, versatile, and inexpensive.
Durability & Longevity
Footwear, usually, lasts more than a few months, because shoes that are going to fall apart after a few months of use aren’t worth the investment of more than a few dollars. Leather and synthetic overlays can be used to make the shoes more durable without sacrificing flexibility. Firm leather or synthetic uppers provide durability and support.
Great footwear can be used for more than one activity. Walking and running shoes, for example, can be used in some casual sports. Stylish athletic footwear could be used in informal work environments. Sandals can be used in casual and semi-formal settings. The more situations you can use the shoe in, the more value it offers for the price.
Good footwear is easy to maintain and clean. They don’t require a lot of expensive shoe treatments or time-consuming upkeep. Shoes that need a lot of effort, time and money to maintain, don’t sell as well as shoes which are easier and cost less to keep.
As mentioned earlier, removable inserts in footwear make it customizable, but that’s not the only bonus to removable inserts. Removable inserts increase the longevity of the shoe, which is why some come with removable inserts.
A hefty price tag can be a deal-breaker for people on a budget. That’s why many can be found in the low-to-middle price range. They’re affordable, and if they are priced a little higher than others, then they offer many features to make the footwear worth the extra investment.
We actually started off the buying guide by scanning through a couple dozen different types of footwear. We looked at the price range and came up with an average or an estimated market value. This number was then used in choosing the best products. For example, we would look at a product and ask ourselves:
No matter the type of good you are planning on purchasing, by asking questions like above, it can really help to ensure you are receiving your money’s worth for a purchase.
If you’re looking for a pair of summer shoes that are supportive in the arch area and that will help prevent pronation issues, encourage proper alignment, or won’t cause foot, knee and hip pain, you will find that there are plenty of options out there, depending on what you need.
With a wide variety of models, from formal, to casual to athletic styles, you will see that finding the ideal pair of sandals isn’t that hard once you know what to look for. For an easy shopping experience, you can choose one of the products listed above, or you can follow the Criteria for Evaluation section, finding the best possible fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is arch support?
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?
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:
From there, you can determine your arch height and the support you can require using the following guidelines:
The entirety of the bottom of your foot will be seen in the imprint
The ball and heel of the foot, along with an inside curve, will be seen in the imprint
Only the ball and heel of the foot will be visible in the imprint
q: Are certain shoes recommended for those with plantar fasciitis?
We usually recommend that those with plantar fasciitis use a prescribed orthotic or other tool to help them with their orthopedic condition. That being said, if you can't make it to the podiatrist, many of the shoes on this list can help alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition. Read the shoe description in depth to find the best pair for you.
q: What is the main consideration when choosing a lighter sneaker over a heavier one?
A lighter sandal will feel more weightless on your feet, and is often less clunky and minimalist in style and design. The surface that you will be primarily using the shoe for will require a lighter or heavy styling as well. Of course, a heavier sandal is often going to last longer because the materials it is constructed with are more durable. But it will not be as flexible as a high-quality lighter sandal made for running or cross-training. If you are considering moving away from walking activities into more running activities, it would be advised to also move away from a heavier, maximum-stability sandal, and select a more flexible one for maximum comfort.
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