The Ultimate Guide To Comfort Shoes: Summer

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It’s sandal season, and what’s better than super-cute sandals that look ah-mazing with all the summer looks? Super-cute sandals that look ah-mazing with all the summer looks AND are designed for comfort, of course.

Many of you know I do NOT tolerate miserable feet for the sake of fashion…ever…so for the sixth year in a row, I’m researching, trying out and talking about the cutest and most stylish shoes available in the comfort-shoe world.

**If you’re in a hurry, Shana and I give you our top picks here!**

For the 6th year in a row, I'm researching, trying on & talking about the cutest summer shoes & sandals, from Birkenstocks to FitFlops.

Clockwise: White | Silver | Black | Gold | Black | Tan | Beige
Quick Note: The tan sandals above are SUPER-cute and budget-friendly, but gave me blisters (boo); if you’re ordering the beige heels, size down; and the new metallic FitFlops are bulkier than I thought they’d be (I like the older version better).

Classic Or On-Trend: Comfortable Sandals & Shoes For Summer

For 2023, I’m definitely taking a look at the on-trend metallic sandals (LOVE this easy-to-wear look), plus I’m looking at at the cushiony-comfy sandals in fashion-forward bright highlighter colors (way too fun not to include!), trendy chunky flatforms (ummmm…this trend was BUILT for comfort), fabulous-for-travel walkable wedges (oh, yes!), Y2K-inspired comfortable heels, and of course my current favorite 2023 style…flip-flops (which to be honest…I refuse to ever recognize WEREN’T “in style”…that’s just ridiculous).

And for those of us not always desiring the latest and newest trend? There are a TON of oldies-but-goodies in here. Comfort-shoe brands often stick with styles and designs that are tried and true, and then just switch up the color or details to freshen them up a bit. We can either keep in rotation what we wear and love from our own closets (awesome cost-per-wear year after year), or update our worn-and-loved sandals easily with the newest version.

I personally am having a LOT of trouble branching out to any pair of slides other than my beloved Birkenstock Madrids (shown below in my latest color purchase) and any flip-flops other than my also beloved Lulus (like walking on clouds).  

There are a TON of new sandal trends in the comfort-shoe world (metallic sandals, I'm looking at you), but my tried-&-true pairs are Birkenstock slides & FitFlop Lulu flip-flops.

At Nordstrom | At Saks | Arizona Style

The Cutest & Most Comfortable Sandals & Summer Shoes: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re new to TME, I’m the self-proclaimed queen of comfort shoes and have spent countless hours searching for the cutest and most stylish options in the comfort-shoe world. Although I do insist on comfort features in all my shoes, I don’t necessarily desire all my shoes to scream orthotics (although, let’s be clear — I do appreciate a good orthotic insert hidden in certain shoes).

So…I’ve created these ultimate comfort-shoe guides, featuring a variety of beloved brands. I recognize that everyone’s feet are different when it comes to comfort and comfort-feature requirements, so in each section, you’ll find a range of options to suit different preferences.

You’re going to see a lot of Birkenstocks & FitFlops (my personal summer faves), but you’ll also see a few of Shana’s fave brands (Sarah Flint & Reef), as well as reader favorites (Soffts, Naot, Vionic, EILEEN FISHER) and more. I hope that by providing a variety of these beloved comfort-shoe brands in each section, everyone will be able to find their feet’s perfect match.

Once we get into the season, I’ll likely do a pro/con review post of the sandals I’ve tried and tested out, but at the beginning of the season I like to do a HUGE roundup of all the ones that have caught my eye from our favorite comfort-shoe brands.

So, this is how we do it. With the handy Table of Contents below, you can navigate to a specific category or…you can take a break from whatever you’re “supposed” to be doing right now, give yourself permission to take a little comfort-shoe escape, and treat yourself to a nice, leisurely scroll of this entire post. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments!

  1. Everyday Tan Sandals
  2. Everyday Black Sandals
  3. Metallic Sandals
  4. Highlighter Bright Sandals
  5. Chunky Sandals & Flatforms
  6. Flip-Flops
  7. Walkable Wedges
  8. Closed-Toe Summer Shoes
  9. Y2K Minimalist & Chunky Heels
  10. Water-Friendly Shoes

Summer Comfort Shoes & Sandals: Our Top Picks

This collage features a quick roundup of our top picks for summer comfort shoes and sandals — mine on the left, Shana’s on the right. Then, below you’ll find all 10 shoe categories from the Table of Contents and our recommended picks from each category. Happy summer shoe shopping!

Step into *the* guide to the best comfort sandals & summer shoes (Birks, FitFlop, Naturalizer), straight from the Comfort Shoe Queen. Why have miserable feet for the sake of fashion?

Linzi’s Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Shana’s Pick: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

1. Everyday Tan Sandals

My personal workhorses for every summer. Tan sandals are absolutely my most-worn shoes of summer, so I tend to have several pairs. I wear my tan as well as my beige Birkenstock Madrid slides a TON, and I usually have some tan FitFlops in the rotation as well.

I’ve been impressed with Vionic’s selection of nice-looking sandals this summer too. The sandals listed below aren’t great for my feet (my toes don’t love the between-the-toe thingy), but Vionics have a ton of arch support and have pretty much a cult following (the feet like what they like).

Tan sandals are my most-worn shoes of summer, so I tend to have several pairs, like Birkestock Madrid slides & FitFlop Lulu flip-flops.

2. Everyday Black Sandals

Another summer workhorse. I like wearing comfortable black sandals with breezy black dresses, jeans, and black cotton-gauze or linen pants. I’m super-excited about my new Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle sandals (below, size down), but TONS of other great options are in the mix as well from Ecco, Paul Green, Vionic and more!

Everyday black sandals = summer workhorse. I'm especially excited about my new Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle sandals, as well as pairs from Ecco, Paul Green, Vionic & more.

3. Metallic Sandals

One of the easiest new shoe trends to get behind. There are TONS of awesome metallic shoes in the comfort-shoe world. FitFlop has these gold slides, as well as the “thing-between-the-toe” flip-flops too in yellow gold, silver and rose gold. Note…they’re bulkier than I thought they’d be, and I personally like the FitFlop Lulus (available in metallic too) better. Shana loves the soft-footbed Birks (in shiny silver), and I’m also loving these silver Sofft wedges for a sporty look with jeans and an edgy tee.

Metallic sandals are 1 of the easiest new shoe trends to get behind — TONS of options in the comfort-shoe world (think: FitFlops, Birks & Soffts).

4. Highlighter-Bright Sandals

I don’t know if I can do the highlighter-color bikinis that are being rocked by many this summer, but I can definitely do some bright, comfortable summer sandals. I’m most drawn to the idea of wearing a neutral swimsuit with a pop-of-color flip-flop or a fun, bright platform slide. The cool Sorel sandals below are also easy to pair with jeans or a simple summer dress.

I can do some bright, comfortable summer shoes! These cool highlighter-yellow Sorel sandals would be easy to pair w/ jeans or a simple summer dress.

5. Chunky Sandals & Flatforms

I love when the current style trends support the design and engineering of comfortable shoes. I’ve always loved chunky sandals and flatforms, so I’m thrilled there’s such a great selection now. The flatform FitFlops below are nice and cushiony, and come in lots of colors options (as well as slides), but the EILEEN FISHER, Sofft and Gentle Soul sandals (in the roundup) also look QUITE fantastic and are three of my favorite comfort-shoe brands (besides Birks and FitFlops).

I love when shoe trends support the design of comfortable sandals, & these FitFlop flatforms are nice + cushiony.

6. Walkable Wedge Sandals

I wear my Naturalizer heels to weddings and special events, but for travel, and any time I’m dressing up in “normal” life, I wear walkable wedges. Cordani is my favorite for unique styles (while still having plenty of comfort features), and these Birkenstock Papillio wedge sandals below are my new faves for travel (SOOOOOO comfortable on your feet).

When dressing up in "normal" life, I wear walkable wedges. These Birkenstock Papillio sandals are my new faves for travel (SO comfortable on your feet).

7. Flip-Flops

So, apparently Flip-flops are on-trend right now…which means that someone thought they WEREN’T on-trend before, which to me is ridiculous! If it’s summer, I’m going to be wearing flip-flops. Period. My favorite flip-flops of all time are absolutely FitFlops with the Microwobbleboard footbed. They’re amazing. Lots of other cute options, though, for those of you who like Vionic, Sofft, Birkenstocks and other comfort-shoe brands.

My fave summer flip-flops of all time are FitFlops w/ the Microwobbleboard footbed — they're amazing. But I also love Vionic, Sofft & Birkenstock.

8. Y2K Minimalist & Chunky Heels

Lots of Y2K inspiration in the heel category this year. Naturalizer has some fabulous minimalist heel options, but there are also some fun chunky heel options available too. Naturalizer is definitely my comfort-shoe brand of choice when it comes to weddings and special-event heels, and it has a great selection this summer…you’d never know they’re “comfort shoes.” Shana adores her Sarah Flint heeled sandals, but I wrote a whole article on why they’re not for my feet here… I will say, though, they’re SIGNIFICANTLY more comfortable after being stretched by the cobbler.

Naturalizer is my comfort-shoe brand of choice when it comes to weddings & special-event heels (both minimalist & chunky), & it has a great selection this summer.

9. Closed-Toe Summer Shoes

Finding closed-toe shoes that feel light and summery can be a challenge. Whether you need them for your work setting or just want options for unfortunate toenail situations, we have you covered. Shana and I both often go with Everlane’s Day Glove flats (way more comfortable than they look and tons of gorgeous color options), or you could go with these summery EILEEN FISHER shoes. Plus, sling-back clogs are also another great comfortable-shoe option, or you could always go go with crowd-fave Toms.

Finding closed-toe shoes that feel light & summery can be a challenge, but I love Everlane's flats & the crowd-fave Toms.

10. Water-Friendly Shoes

Whether you’re at the stage that you’re frequenting the spray grounds and baby-pool parties; schlepping teenagers to the beach for surfing; or going on family hikes through creeks and across slippery rocks, it’s important to have the right water-friendly shoes.

Whether you're walking all day, hiking or going to the beach, it's important to have water-friendly shoes, like sandals from Birkenstock, Teva & Chaco.

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Again, feel free to shout out your personal favorites in the comments. Anyone who loves Birkenstocks and FitFlops find any new brands they’re loving? Love hearing from you guys and talking comfort shoes.

-Linzi

Step into *the* guide to the best comfort sandals & summer shoes (Birks, FitFlop, Naturalizer), straight from the Comfort Shoe Queen. Why have miserable feet for the sake of fashion?