Listen. I’m not down for hating any part of your body, but my feet and I have long had a difficult relationship. And it’s not because I wore heels for years or anything…I was born this way…baby.
My dear feet kept me from dancing pointe when I wanted to and put me through a surgery at age 25 (and probably another one before too long). And though I try to thank them for letting me dance other forms of dance all those years, carrying me to many places, through many experiences and journeys, our relationship remains…taxed, to say the least.
Wanna Wear Cute Sandals But Have “Problem Feet”? Try These
Birkenstock Arizonas (my top sandals every year)
So, when it comes to putting on sandals and having to come face to face with my sad little bunions (thanks, Dad’s DNA), I just get, well, sad.
BUT have no fear, fellow friends who may have similar issues…my teammates here had no idea I had wonky feet. Because…I’ve found the right types of sandals that hide the problem areas, and still allow me to rock my style vibe and feel comfy while doing so.
Shoppable Sandals From Each Style Category
I’ll put it out there right now. This is NOT a comfort-sandal post. Linzi is the Comfort Shoe Queen, and while I want to be comfy, I’ll be completely honest, style is still my very first factor when it comes to choosing shoes.
My dad has worn orthopedic shoes his whole life and still had to have foot surgery recently, so I gave up long ago worrying about that style “choice.” No shade to those who must wear comfort shoes (and some of these definitely are!), but they HAVE to look cute to this designer type, first and foremost.
Turns out, I have a lot of feelings on this. Let’s get to the fun part!
In the collage I’m offering up some currently shoppable options in each style I love. Some are the exact sandals I have in high rotation, and some are either similar to my sold-out faves or pairs on my current wish list for this year.
**Indicates that it meets our requirements for sustainability.
3. Everlane The Day Crossover Sandals // 4. Nisolo All-Day Clogs**
Nisolo is transparent about its company practices and ratings on 200 sustainability metrics, and provides living wages + benefits to workers.
Have Bunions + Wide Feet? Here Are 10 Cute Sandals I Recommend
Just to clarify what problems I’m solving here beyond the style part I mentioned…I want to hide my bunions, and I’m looking for a bit wider toe-box area, or one that’s soft and stretches or breaks-in.
1. Birkenstock Arizona Slide Sandals
Birkenstock Arizona slides are my go-to summer sandals. They’re comfortable but also cute, fit my feet, hide problem areas, AND they’re on-trend.
I LOVE the big-buckle styles we’ve seen pop up in the past couple of years. I love the EVA options for an easy, waterproof, washable style. I’ve got the leather Arizonas in both white and black, and in silver in previous years, and love them all.
I typically size down to a 38 in Birks (I have to wear 39 in Euro sizing for other non-sandal styles), and they mold beautifully to my feet, cover where I’d like to cover, and don’t rub. These new Exquisite sandals are my jam because everything — even the buckles and sole and insole — are white. They are beautiful!
2. Leather Slide Sandals
This is my second-most-worn category as far as leather sandals go. The green Seychelles sandals above are so lovely for a pop of color, but I’ve also worn these black Dr. Scholls slides for years (this year, they have more of a pillow-slide look).
The green sandals I wear for something dressy when I don’t want heels; the Dr. Scholls slides can be more of an everyday sandal, since they come back on your foot a bit more for all-day comfort. Both hide problem areas and stretch to fit my wider toe box.
3. Gladiator Sandals
These babies are back! I used to wear gladiator sandals often, and I’m excited to bring them back into rotation. What I look for is a little more coverage with wider straps.
The styles in these are hit-and-miss whether they cover up my bunions, but when you find the right pair (for me, finding one that matches my skin tone helps), they’re a really fun option.
The Born Haidee gladiator sandals I linked in the widget are great because they have three buckles for a customizable fit. But don’t worry, they’re easy to get on and off using just the top buckle. The Beek Kingfisher sandals pictured above are a brand recommended by readers and WOW. They’re pricey but gorgeously made, and though the sole isn’t super-thick, they do have great arch support and feel amazing on.
4. Sport Sandals
Teva Hurricane Drift sandals have been my favorite sporty sandals for the past few summers. They’re like the Birkenstock EVAs but are even better for hiking, river time, theme parks, etc. They’re more cushiony and really stay on your foot, while having a nice, wide toe-box area too.
Classic Tevas are also some I’ve loved in the past, and I’m eyeing up this gorgeous pair for this summer!
5. Pons Avarcas Sandals
These Spanish-style sandals are a fabulous pair I’ve loved for years. Pons Avarcas are nice, more-covered shoes that break in beautifully with just a bit of wear…but I’ve had multiple pairs and zero issues with rubbing or blisters.
I prefer the classic 510 style best, but there are a couple of other options. And they’re great for kids too! Size down in these because the back strap will stretch with wear. The prices weren’t showing correctly here, but they run between $99 and $115.
6. Pillow Slides
J/Slides Squish slide sandals (similar)
We’ve all seen these hilariously clonky shoes by now, and while, yes, pillow slides are trendy and a little cartoonish…they’re SO freaking comfy. You can see how I wore them all summer long here with my favorite shirtdress from Amazon.
Be aware that the cheap Amazon pillow slides were much more narrow on the toe box than some of the other styles I’ve linked here. I wound up giving them away after getting the J/Slides Squish sandals.
7. Sport Slides
Stella slides (similar)
The most popular sport slides are definitely from adidas, but I went perusing in the designer kids section last summer and came up with these slides from Stella McCartney. Haha. I know that’s not always gonna work for everyone, but there are some fun options if you can wear a youth 6 or 38 EUR or below.
I’m SUPER-curious now about the Lululemon Restfeel slides because people love those things. They look super-comfy!
8. Crisscross Sandals
These Everlane The Day Crossover sandals make me happy just looking at them because they’re SUCH soft leather. And while they don’t have a super-thick sole, there’s plenty to keep my feet happy for most of the day. These sandals are so lightweight and cute, they’re a great pair of travel sandals. TTS and just lovely. I want another color.
Criss cross sandals are a great option for our kind of feet, especially with soft wide straps like I’ve linked in the options here. They show off a pretty pedicure but keep the rest of the toe area covered.
Huaraches are not only nostalgic and so summery, but they also make a lot of sense for my feet. The woven construction stretches easily with wear and accommodates the varying widths of my foot shape quickly. My favorite styles are open-toe huaraches, but the closed-toes are a cute covered style too!
There are lots of styles out there, but I’ve tried my best to link to companies that are Latinx-owned or are upfront about providing living wages, health insurance and more.
10. Clog Sandals
clog sandals (similar)
Clog sandals are the style I wear in summer when I want a bit of a heel or wedge but with sturdy support. I’ve tried many over the years, and Swedish Hasbeens and No. 6 are my favorites (sadly, my exact style isn’t available anymore). The more I see them, the more I’m intrigued by the cushiony and still cute clog sandals from Nisolo, though!
Whew. There we have it, friends. Cute and comfy sandals to cover the tootsies.
Does this mean I never wear any shoes that don’t? No. But these are all the styles I feel most comfortable and confident in. Props to my other pals who deal with the foot struggles too. I know there are a few of us here who have these issues.
And on a final note, something that works well for me for relief is to roll my feet on something like these regularly to stretch the arches out. And wearing my beloved shearling-lined Birks around the house as slippers helps too.
Here’s to cute sandals that we can still rock all summer! Sad feet deserve fun shoes!
Want to keep up with everything else I’m into? Pop over to my Instagram @laurajansenstyle where I love talking about food, sharing OOTDs, posting travel pics, and chatting everyday mom-life-stuff from Portland, Oregon. Oh, and lots of sarcastic memes and cute pet videos because what is social media without plenty of those? xoxo