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Sandals With Arch Support: 8 Picks for Sure Comfort All Summer Long

Those of us in cooler climates look forward to sandal season all year long – that sometimes-too-brief window of time when feet can be sock-free and open to the breeze.  But if you have feet that need extra support, we probably don’t have to tell you that finding sandals with arch support can be a challenge.  So we’ve rounded up a collection of great options to keep you looking good and feeling great all summer long.

You may notice many of our sandals with arch support have a back strap. This is intentional, as we recently learned from Dr. Cathleen McCarthy, a top podiatrist in Phoenix and author of Podiatry Shoe Review, that sandals with back straps are a must if you suffer from hammertoes or bunions. The rearfoot control that a back strap provides discourages toe-gripping to keep the sandal on (this motion speeds up the progression of hammertoes…and bunions.)   Even if bunions and hammertoes aren’t an issue for your feet, you may still appreciate the security of a back strap, but we’ve also included some supportive slip-on options. If you need even more ideas, check out our recent article about comfortable travel shoes: we’ve included a few super supportive sandals in the mix.

Sandals with Arch Support - Papillio by Birkenstock "Lana"

Papillio by Birkenstock “Lana.” Photo: Birkenstock

You know Birkenstock for their excellent arch support, but did you know a more feminine, dressed-up version exists? The Papillio by Birkenstock “Lana” sandal features contoured cork footbed with enhanced arch support and a deep heel cup with thin adjustable straps and a slight wedge heel. Word has it that the Lana runs a little long, yet fits a narrow to medium width foot best. Find the Papillio Lana in euro sizes 36-42 (5-11) for $139.95 from Nordstrom, Zappos, and Birkenstock.com. See a similar style by Naot, the Pixie sandal.

Sandals with Arch Support - Taos Trulie

Taos Trulie

A crowd favorite, the lightweight Taos Trulie offers aching feet a heavenly feel with its enhanced arch and metatarsal support, padded footbed and adjustability for a good fit. We love that this super sandal is offered in a euro 43 (size 12). Take a look at the reviews over at TaosFootwear.com from women with arthritis, tendonitis, flat feet and more…they love this sandal. Find the Taos Trulie in euro sizes 36-43 from Zappos, TaosFootwear.com, and Amazon.

Sandals with Arch Support - Taos Gift 2

Taos Gift 2. Photo: Taos Footwear

Cover the bunions while still supporting the arches in another crowd-favorite sandal by Taos. The Taos Gift 2 features a buttery-soft leather upper that won’t irritate sensitive spots. The contoured footbed offers enhanced arch and metatarsal support. Available in sizes 6-12 (order up if between sizes) for $115 from TaosFootwear.com, Zappos, Nordstrom, Amazon, and The Walking Company.

Sandals with Arch Support _ Waldlaufer Marigold

Waldlaufer Marigold. Photo: Waldlaufer

Waldlaufer sandals with arch support are made for walking! European made, Waldlaufer sandals feature a combination last which signifies a good fit (wider at forefoot with a snug fit at the heel). Most models offer a removable footbed so you can use a custom orthotic. Featured above is their popular Marigold sandal with two adjustable straps, removable orthotic footbed with arch and metatarsal support, and enclosed heel. The Waldlaufer Marigold best fits a medium to wide foot and is available in sizes 6-10.5 for $175 from Sole Provisions (an authorized Waldlaufer dealer with free shipping and returns).

Sandals with Arch Support - Olukai Eheu

OluKai Eheu. Photo: OluKai Facebook

OluKai ‘Eheu: Is it a fashion sandal or a sport sandal? That’s what we love about Olukai–the ability to create chic, minimalist sandals with arch support that can be worn with a skirt one day and hiking shorts the next. Five-star reviews abound for the ‘Eheu, which features full-grain or metallic leather straps, anatomical PU footbed with micro-texture for traction, and a textured outsole with an ocean current-inspired traction pod design for enhanced grip and durability. Available in whole sizes 5-11 (order down if between sizes) from Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon.

sandals with arch support : Naot Verbena

Naot Verbena (photo: Kunitz Shoes)

Naot Verbena: This beautiful transitional sandal features a full padded upper and Naot’s signature removable, anatomic cork and latex footbed, which is wrapped in sumptuous suede and molds to the shape of the foot, providing customized comfort. Sandals with a removable footbed are rare, which makes Naot a standout brand (and a godsend for folks who simply must wear an orthotic.) A faux buckle on the ankle strap conceals a hook and loop closure for convenience and adjustability. Available in sizes 4-11 from Zappos and Nordstrom.

sandals with arch support: SAS Pampa

SAS Pampa Sandal

Sandals with Arch Support - SAS Pampa

SAS Pampa

SAS Pampa sandal:  Every Zappos customer that left a review for the sandal awarded it five stars for comfort–every single one so far!  A contoured footbed with soft suede lining conforms to the natural arch and curves of the foot. Extra cushioning at the ball-of-foot and heel comes as a welcome relief for those suffering with plantar fasciitis or metatarsalgia (forefoot pain). Available in whole and half sizes 5-12 (including hard-to-find 10.5 and 11.5), medium and wide widths at Zappos, Amazon. Find a SAS retailer near you.

Sandals with Arch Support - Birkenstock Mayari

Birkenstock Mayari

Not a fan of the two-strap Arizona, but have heard glowing reports about Birkenstock’s arch support? Try the more feminine Mayari with delicate straps. I personally live in my Birkenstocks all year long due to the wonderfully supportive cork and latex footbed with raised metatarsal support. Just remember when ordering that a Birkenstock regular width fits more like a wide and their narrow width fits a medium best. Find the Mayari in euro sizes 35-43 (4-12) at Zappos, Nordstrom and The Walking Company. If the Birkenstock price tag is a bit out of your budget, consider a pair of Birkenstock look alikes!

What are your favorite sandals with arch support? We get some of our best info from our readers, so please chime in!

Still looking for that perfect summer sandal? Take a look at our recent sandal articles:


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35 Responses to Sandals With Arch Support: 8 Picks for Sure Comfort All Summer Long

  1. Olivia says:

    I really love the new styles from SAS. I don’t have hammer toes, but the toes on my left foot do not lay flat so any shoe that requires gripping by toes is uncomfortable and and annoying. However, I find as long as a sandal has a strap high across the foot my toes don’t need to grip. So, a sandal like the Birkenstock Arizona is fine.

  2. Judy says:

    I’ll bet if you take your Birks to a shoe repair place, they could stitch a back strap on for you. One with some elastic in it would be awesome!

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      Hmmm, that is a great idea but I have a limited edition Arizona in teal leather! Wonder if they could match it??

      • Judy says:

        They would be used to dyeing shoes, but an exact match may be tricky. If they can’t, try a strap that matches the sole instead (like black or grey) to still look cohesive. Or, a nude colored strap would more or less disappear.

        I’m no stranger to doing surgery on my shoes, but I’m limited to what can fit under my sewing machine needle (not much!) or I will hand sew if desperate. I had actually never thought about going to a shoe repair shop until I read your post today about straps. Might have to do that myself on a pair I can’t sew.
        We’ll do anything to quiet the barking dogs!!!

        • Judy says:

          One more strap idea… a much lighter or much darker teal (different enough to look intentional) for a two-tone look.

  3. Laura says:

    I love the wolky Jewel, !! So many colors and patterns, also ive had the same pair for over 2 years so they last and last.

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      Yes, of course! The Wolky Jewel is a classic–thanks for the reminder.

    • Mari says:

      What about PF shoes for small feet??? Euro 35 or 4.5 -5? I have been searching for years! Do they exist?

      • Wendelah says:

        Finn Comfort comes in sizes Euro 34 and 35. There are many, many styles to choose from, including sandals, clogs, lace-ups, even boots. They are pricey but the quality is unmatched. They last for years. For problem feet, there is no better shoe. I watch for them to go on sale at Amazon and Zappos.

  4. Linda says:

    Kirsten,
    I have to vote for an old favorite of yours, and mine, the Jewel by Wolky. All parts are adjustable for perfect fit and with a thick protective sole and that all important back strap. As it comes in about a million different colors the only problem is choosing one! I actually wore a pair of gold ones once to a wedding as I’d hurt my knee and couldn’t walk in heels at all. Every time I wear them I get at least one compliment and asked where to buy them. Although they’re somewhat funky looking, it’s a good funky?

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      You are so right, Linda. How could I have left that one off? It’s a oldie but goodie and keeps coming back year after year.

  5. Autumn says:

    I just ordered the Alegria Playa in purple. I didn’t see a referral code in the URL, so when the checkout form asked for the email of the friend who referred me, I put yours.

    I’m looking forward to wearing these sandals. Thank you so much!

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      Well, thank you! I’m wearing mine around for a while before writing review. I love how lightweight they are, good arch support. They may bend a little too much at forefoot for my stiff big toe, but it’s a new style with more flexible sole.

  6. Rosie pollard says:

    Loving my new Spenco backstrap sandals with moderate arch support. Worth a review.

  7. Beatrice Hive says:

    I love the site and want to ask a question myself, but I can’t figure out how to do that except by commenting. I’m always on the lookout for sandals with both backstrap and covered toes. Keen Venice H2O has been my standard for years. Any other suggestions? Also, what is your recommendation for best shoes to wear to stand a long time? Walking around a little but mostly standing for 6 hours — bottom of feet get SO sore! Thank you for your site!

  8. Beatrice says:

    I’m going to give the Arataki a try. Nice looking! I usually can’t do ankle straps (Keen Rose doesn’t work for me) but this looks like a lower strap. Are you recommending these also as shoes that work well for standing 6 hours?

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      That I don’t know, but the cork latex footbed feels similar to Birkenstock which is somewhat firm but shock absorbing.

  9. Clara says:

    The Earth Bay has been an amazing sandal for me. I have bad bunions, and these are the only sandals besides FitFlops that don’t hurt either my toes or my foot. The straps on the Champagne version have a dark edge, which adds interest and makes them especially nice with a black sundress. I wore them through a graduation weekend (lots of standing and walking on both grass and pavement) and they were comfortable. Thumbs up from me.

  10. Natashya says:

    Have you tried the olukai ones you have listed here? They are adorable but I’ve read mixed reviews on how much support they have so I’ve been hesitant to try them.

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      I personally have not. I don’t think they’d have the same support as a Vionic or Birkenstock! I liked the low profiles of this particular style, but it is super low to the ground, so I wouldn’t expect aggressive arch support. Do what I do and order a few from Zappos and send back the losers!

  11. Scott Adams says:

    I’m so glad that you mentioned cork shoes. My wife wants new shoes for summer and I have been searching nonstop. She wanted something comfortable, and that could mold to her foot. I’ll keep looking for various cork sandals. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Bette says:

    I highly recommend the Naot Norah from their Elegant Flats line. I absolutely love this sandal — it’s got the usual cork and latex sole, with adjustable straps across the forefoot and ankle. I wear a 10-10.5 shoe and the 42 is perfect for me.

  13. Angela says:

    I bought my first Aetrex sandals (Lori) last summer and wore them teaching and all over the UK with no plantar fasciitis or arthritis. Lots of compliments too. The red Jillians you reviewed are adorable!

  14. Renee says:

    Hi I am desperate leaving for a major biking trip and the claw toe , Mallot toe is acting up like crazy while I have been training in my usual wide and firm toe bed Salomon ultra 3 , and with my orthotics and my toe silicon cover on my toe. I am thinking should I try switching to a open sandal to bike , if so which one would be stiff and wide enough to try out . I have 5 weeks before having to cancel this very expensive trip

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      I hope you don’t have to cancel your biking trip. A few to try: Ecco Offroad Sandal–firm support, but doesn’t run especially wide (comes in a toggle version too). The Teva Tirra has more adjustability, good support but sole isn’t as thick as the Ecco. The Naot Harbor has excellent support and is fully adjustable (perhaps more than the Ecco). And of course there’s always Chaco, but I’ve never been a pro at adjusting the straps…

  15. Joanne Frasca says:

    I have bunions and a hammertoe and am a big fan of Abeo sandals. They are so adjustable and comfortable. I have many pairs of the Brynn sandal but have recently ordered a new style that I think will be a new favorite the Abeo Quartz.
    https://www.thewalkingcompany.com/abeo-quartz-neutral-black/72432

    • V says:

      The Abeo Quartz are awesome, with a nice heel cup
      The bijou is also similar to the brynn, with a cork footbed. The Una from Abeo is my all time favorite!

  16. Marjorie says:

    Kirsten:

    THANK YOU for mentioning a web site (Sole Provisions) that has Waldlaufer sandals. Nice to see a Brick & Motor Store that ALSO offers Free Shipping (if purchase is over a certain amount). I tried on SO MANY sandals & clogs from Finn Comfort – but my foot is NOT a Finn Comfort foot. I am about send back 8 sandals (slide & flip flop WITH good arch) to Zappos. So….I will give Waldlaufer another try. I wasn’t considering Waldlaufer because last Summer I tried on 1 sandal style that had “too much volume” for my wide toes (1 Bunionette), Narrow heels & “Bony” (Thin) feet. I want to try the Waldlaufer: “Angie”, “Blair Hilda”, “Gretta Halisha” and “Taylor Hanila”. EVERY strap is adjustable! If none of those fit…..than maybe the clunky “Zander”. What is great about a Brick & Mortor store having a web site is BEING able to call and ask how a particular style fits! Eventually, I will find an “everyday” sandal to fit!

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      Hi Marjorie–will you report back and let us know what you think of Waldlaufer if you get a pair?

      • Marjorie says:

        YES:
        I did try on 2 Waldlaufer sandals: “Eva” in a “G” width (European medium-wide) and “Angie” in an “H” width (Euro Wide).
        They were pretty – but not so practical: bottom of soles didn’t seem to have good traction. Neither worked for me: edge of strap bothered my Tailor’s Bunion (or rubbed below it). Re: width of the “G”: my foot felt like it was “over the edge”. The person helping me disagreed & focused on my narrow heel.

        I tried on a Helle sandal which fit (4 adjustable straps). But the the arch OR type of sole felt very strange to walk on!

        So….NO sandals after 3 hrs.
        (1 hour drive each way to store & 1 hr + in store).

        It’s NOT good when the staff becomes unprofessional.
        My friend reminded me that I’ve been searching for shoes & sandals for TWO years (1 year Pre-bunionette & 1 year since developing Bunuinette).

        Right Now: I can’t leave the house without taping on gel pads to wear Chaco sandals OR padding heel & bunionette for Ahnu Tilden water shoes.

        NEXT STEPS:
        1) My husband says to move to an island where I can ALWAYS go barefoot in the sand.

        2) Turnpike Comfort Footwear has a NICE selection of Waldlaufer https://turnpikeshoes.com/

        I hope this practical (& dorky) Waldlaufer “Zander Heria” will fit!!
        https://turnpikeshoes.com/collections/sale/products/zander-heria-black-glitter-408002-175-099-black?variant=29572473925

        Sole Provisions carries it in GOLD!

        Also saw a nice brand of cork sandals: Sabatini. https://turnpikeshoes.com/collections/vendors?q=Sabatini%20Calzature%20s.r.l.
        They carry sandals with removable footbeds for people wearing orthotics “Alivio Orthotic Friendly Footwear”.

        Plus….I think have their “own brand”.

        They are 1 hr. 45 min drive from me IF traffic is “Normal”.

        But…..it might be worth going In PERSON because they have Certified Pedorthists at store & It is a family owned business.

        YES – almost 2 hours. I will call first & ask IF the shoes I am interested usually work for my type of feet.

        Kirsten:

        Yes – I will report back IF I try on Sabatini or Alivio.

        Thank You again for responding to my messages on Facebook. It is WONDERFUL that you spend time researching & providing your readers with NEW shoe info. It is great that your frustrated readers have a place to share info and to vent (if necessary) after a shoe shopping disaster.

        • Kirsten Borrink says:

          Marjorie–you are a doll to report back in such detail. I’m so sorry for the trouble you have gone to in order to find a shoe that fits well, but I’m crossing my finger for you. Good info about Turnpike shoes, too. I appreciate hearing about the non-typical comfort brands–they can be so hard to find!

  17. Janet Pierson says:

    Mephisto Hellen has been a lifesaver for me for years! It has a great footbed. I’ve always been curious how it compares to any Birkenstocks. The latter has never made sense in the store but Birks are so popular I keep wondering if I should try.

  18. ellen says:

    Well……I tried on 3 Waldlaufers Sandals in their “G” width (med- wide) and “H” (Wide) width. Even though they have a “Combination last – the edges of 1 sandal strap bothered my bunionette. Maybe it was the WRONG day to go to a shoe store……when they let you know that nothing they have is for you!!! (and you know that they WANT you to LEAVE) O.K. they actually let you know they are DONE helping you and can do NOTHING else. I guess other people might have had the same unpleasant experience. Finding shoe is hard enough!!! There are 2 more stores each a big distance (1 hr. 45 and 1 hr. 30 min away WITHOUT traffic). However…..the SOLES of the Waldlaufer sandals REALLY felt nice in the “Eve Sina Sky Foil” and “Angie Tanya Grey Foil”.

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