Sandals are among the purest pleasures that spring and summer have to offer. Whether you’re playing in the yard with your youngsters or strolling through your local farmer’s market, sandal lovers know that if the weather’s warm, there’s no reason your feet should be.
Aside from keeping your feet cool on hot days, sandals are seasonal stunners, thanks to their simplicity, wearability, and versatility. And there’s a sandal style to match any event, from casual pool parties to alfresco weddings.
Ready to discover a stylish sandal you can love all summer? From everyday casuals to dressy slides, we’ll explore summertime’s most popular shoe, and share a few of our favorites, too.
#1 Flip Flops
When it comes to iconic summer footwear, few styles can compete with the good, old-fashioned flip flop. Named for the sound the sandals make when you walk, flip flop feature:
- “Y” straps that fits between your first and second toe
- Flat footbeds
- Rubber materials
If you need to get across a patch of hot sand or concrete in a hurry, flip flops can’t be beaten. But their simple design leaves something to be desired in terms of long-lasting comfort and support. Looking for flip flops with arch support?
Luckily, supportive flip flops provide comfortable arch support and can be worn just about anywhere. They’re perfect for summer days, and you’ll have a breathable womens or mens sandal that will support you through any activity.
No matter the flip-flops you choose, make sure they combine the style you’re looking for with the comfort you crave.
Our Flip-Flop Favorite: The Vionic Tide collection includes a classic toe-post sandal that comes in a variety of trim and tread patterns for a flip-flop that’s soft, supportive, and stylish.
What is the difference between slides vs flip flops? Like flip flops, slide sandals feature an open toe, an open back, and at least one strap that holds your foot in place. However, instead of attaching to the footbed between your toes, the strap usually attaches along the sides of the shoe.
Slide styles can range from sporty to fashionable, including:
- Athletic slide sandals – These simple slip-ons epitomize days spent poolside. They’re casual, quick, easy, and popular among men and women alike.
- Dressy slide sandals –Designers have been dressing up the classic slide for decades. Styles that feature heels, wedges, or embellished straps in fine materials are chic, polished spins on the classic design.
Our Slide Sandal Favorites: Our Corlee Slide Sandal features a slip-on design with two adjustable, D-ring straps for the perfect fit for any foot. Looking for something with a little height? Our Leticia Wedge Sandal is a slide that gives you the lift you need.
Looking for heeled sandals that offer endless options for style design? Look no further than the slingback, a classic sandal style with oodles of potential.
These sandals open at the back but are secured with an ankle strap or “sling” that fits across the back of your ankle, just above the heel. They come in a variety of styles, such as:
- Classic flat sandals
- Traditional heels
- Wedge heels
Slingbacks offer a more reliable fit than their flip-flop or slide counterparts while still letting your feet catch the breeze. And because they lend themselves to a variety of design flourishes, like beading, embroidery, and unique strap designs, they’re a favorite among those looking for a classy summer sandal.
Our Slingback Favorite: Ella features a supportive heel strap and delicate metallic detailing along the front straps for added style. It’s the perfect neutral addition to your summertime look.
What are espadrilles? According to their original design, espadrilles exist somewhere between a sandal and a tennis shoe. Traditionally, they feature a flat, rubber sole that’s wrapped in jute—a long, coarse fiber that resembles twine—and a closed-toe canvas top.
That description holds true today—at least for the most part. While designs that hew closely to the original are still popular, the espadrille has undergone many mutations since its beginnings in 14th-century Spain and France.
These days, in addition to the still-popular classic style, espadrilles include:
- Sandals – Most often created in the slingback style, these espadrilles pair a more summery, open-toe look with the jute-wrapped sole of the classic. They typically come as platform sandals, but they can feature an even higher heel if you’re looking for something more elevated.
- Wedges – One of the most popular modern-day espadrille styles, low and high-heeled wedges feature jute-wrapped wedge soles in varying heights. Slingback uppers that offer extra support add to this style’s appeal.
Our Espadrille Favorite: Brooke is a sleek, elevated, and super-walkable sandal with classic espadrille details. Its dressy style makes it a perfect pair if you’re looking for beach wedding sandals or a stylish warm weather sustainable shoe!
Looking for a strappy sandal? They might be named after the violent warriors who thrilled and entertained ancient Roman audiences, but these days, the gladiator sandal is among the dressiest, most elegant of all sandals types.
Gladiators are recognizable for their signature leather straps, which bring a timeless glamor to sandals. Featuring either heels or flats, gladiator sandals are the ideal way to dress up a summertime outfit.
Our Gladiator Favorite: Luelle is one of our favorite gladiator sandals. The block heel provides elevated style, while the built-in arch support provides ultimate comfort. You can find this sandal in a variety of colors and prints, all with luxurious leather material straps.
Regardless of Type, Invest in Supportive Sandals
Finding a style that appeals to you is certainly one thing to consider when it comes to choosing your next pair of summer sandals, but it isn’t the only thing. Regardless of the style, you’re after, it’s important to invest in supportive sandals, like those from Vionic.
Wearing a pair of sandals that offer the right amount of support can help:
- Protect your feet
- Prevent foot issues
- Promote healing from a variety of other bodily pains
Vionic sandals offer a fashionable, comfortable design that will do all this, in practically every style.
Why is Support Important?
When spring and summer roll around and the temperatures start to rise, you want to dress lighter and feel freer. And if you’re like a lot of people, that means chucking your clunky, constraining boots and tennis shoes in favor of your favorite sandals—or going barefoot altogether.
But as lovely as the idea is, wearing unsupportive sandals or going barefoot doesn’t do your feet any favors.
Why? Well, our feet were designed for walking on natural surfaces, like sand. When you walk on the sand, the ground gives way and spreads, dispersing the pressure of walking. Unfortunately, most of us don’t spend much time walking barefoot along the beach. Instead, when we do walk, it’s generally on hard, unforgiving, man-made surfaces.
In an attempt to compensate for this, the arches of our feet collapse more than they should, placing repeated stress on all of the structures that support it. This sort of stress can:
- Irritate ligaments
- Inflame tendons and plantar fascia, the strap-like bands of tissue on the bottoms of feet
- Cause pain, injury, and stress fractures
That’s why it’s so important to invest in shoes and sandals with arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption that mimics the feel of natural surfaces.
Other Ways to Care For Your Feet
There’s no gain when it comes to foot pain, so it’s important to take care of your feet by putting them in comfortable, supportive footwear. Here are our top tips for caring for your feet this spring and summer:
- Wear heels sparingly – Although towering above the crowd makes a statement, limit how frequently you wear high heels. Save the stilettos for special occasions where you’ll only wear them for a few hours.
- Avoid very flat or thin soles – Certain types of sandals and flip-flops feature paper-thin soles that do nothing to protect your feet. You should avoid these at all costs.
- Alternate your shoes – Alternate the shoes you wear throughout the day and week. Try switching from slippers during early morning and late evening hours and alternate between casual/workout sneakers for commuting and supportive types of sandals or ballet flat sandals during the day.
When to Replace Your Summer Sandals and Shoes
Old and worn-out shoes and sandals can hurt your feet and your body. Any shoe with worn-out soles forces your foot to land at an increased angle, stressing out your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Old shoes might feel good because they are broken-in and comfortable (just like junk food might taste great), but they are not good for you! That’s why the general rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 8-10 months.
You should consider replacing sandals and other warm weather shoes after one or two seasons. But if you are particularly hard on your shoes, you may need to replace them sooner.
Not sure if it’s time to ditch your sandals? Here are some tips to help you determine if it’s time to bring in replacements:
- Sole wear – The best indicator of needing to replace your sandals is sole wear. Flip your sandal over and examine the sole. If they are uneven or worn out, it’s definitely time to replace them.
- Tabletop test – Take your sandals, put them on a tabletop, and examine the soles at eye level. Are they even? Are they worn out? Then, flip them upside-down and examine the tread. Is it smooth? Does it have holes? If so, resole—or better yet, replace!
Vionic, the Best Sandals with the Most Support
When it comes to summertime footwear, there’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort. Vionic’s sandals come in a variety of trendy styles, each featuring our signature “Three-Zone Comfort with Ultimate Arch Support,” which indicates:
- A supportive innersole with contoured arch midfoot
- A deep-seated heel cup for rear stability
- Ball-of-foot cushioning for superior shock absorption upfront
Browse our women’s comfortable sandals today to find a style you love!