The Ultimate Guide To Summer Comfort Shoes

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It’s here you guys! The annual guide to ALL the best comfort shoes and sandals for summer.

I’ve got 14 different categories this year!!! I’ve been researching, trying on, walking in, talking about, and pretty much obsessing over allllllll the summer comfort shoes and sandals for months now.

Slides, clogs, tan sandals, black sandals, colorblock sandals, slingbacks, espadrilles, wedges, heels, water-friendly, close-toed, flats, and some brand new exciting categories too: flatforms, sporty sandals, pillow slides and puffy sandals have all been added to the mix! I am beyond excited about all of the stylish (and of course comfortable) shoes available this summer!!

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

This photo is ridiculous (I know), but… I DO look pretty happy wearing my sensible comfortable shoes, right? The slides and jumpsuit are selling out FAST, (boo!) but I provided a few places to still find some sizing below.

It’s here! Our guide to ALL the best comfort shoes & sandals for summer (Birks, Kork-Ease, Naturalizer, etc.,). Nothing says “escape” like talking arch support & memory foam, right?

Sandals | More Sizing | Similar | Jumpsuit | Similar | Bag

Okay…back to business. A tiny bit of background if you’re new here at TME. I have designated myself the reigning queen of comfort shoes here, and have dedicated much of my time to finding the very best. The shoes that are comfortable…obviously…but also the ones that are cute! Shoes that I’m excited about wearing myself and would be thrilled to recommend to others.

I have QUITE a few strong opinions about comfort shoes and which ones feel good on my own feet (FitFlop, Birkenstock and Kork-Ease offer many of my favs this year), but I recognize that everyone’s feet are very different when it comes to comfort. That’s why I’ve created these ultimate comfort shoe guides.  

I share with you the comfortable shoes I like for my own feet and for my own personal style, Shana adds in her favorites, and then I also provide lots of options from other favorite shoe brands that focus on comfort in addition to style, so that you can find your perfect match.  

Comfort Brand Shoes Are Definitely Worth The Splurge

Also, if you’re new here…my shoe picks are often expensive. I have found that with comfortable shoes, it is worth paying more $$$ for higher quality craftsmanship and engineering. Worth the splurge to keep feet happy. I try to include some budget-friendly shoes where I can, but I often suggest it’s better to try and find some of these comfort shoe brands on sale rather than going with a non-comfort shoe brand if you’re looking for truly comfortable shoes. Your feet will thank me.  

The Cutest & Most Comfortable Shoes & Sandals For Summer

So, this is how we do it. With this handy table of contents below you can click directly on any category to go straight to the type of summer comfort shoe you’re specifically looking for. I then provide my tops shoe picks (along with Shana’s).

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 deep-dive excursion, and treat yourself to a nice leisurely scroll through this whole post. I mean nothing says “escape” like hearing me talk about arch support and memory foam, right? I know there are those of you out there who TOTALLY get me with comfortable shoes, so enjoy! 


Summer Comfort Shoes & Sandals: Our Top Picks

This collage feature our top picks for summer comfort shoes and sandals. Mine on the right, Shana’s on the left. Then below you’ll find all 14 shoe categories (as listed above in the Table of Contents) and our recommended picks from each category. Happy Shopping!

It’s here! Our guide to ALL the best comfort shoes & sandals for summer (Birks, Kork-Ease, Naturalizer, etc.,). Nothing says “escape” like talking arch support & memory foam, right?

Shana’s Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Linzi’s Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


1. Everyday Tan Sandals

Tan sandals are my most-worn summer shoe — the everyday walkable workhorse. They go with everything, can be worn on repeat, and take a prominent place next to my front door every.single.summer. Whether you like a slim minimalist tan sandal (Shana’s Kork-Ease) or a chunkier style with more support (my FitFlops), we’ve got a ton of great options below…including reader favorites from EILEEN FISHER and Sofft as well.

Whether you like a slim minimalist tan sandal (Shana's Kork-Ease) or a chunkier style with more support (my FitFlops), we've got a ton of great options below...including reader favorites from EILEEN FISHER and Sofft as well.

2. Everyday Black Sandals

Another everyday workhorse. For black comfort shoe sandals this year, you can go softer and more natural (like my Kork-Ease), a bit trendier (with puffy strapped UGGs), or stick with crowd favorites like the Sofft or Vionics.

For black comfort shoe sandals this year, you can go softer and more natural (like my Kork-Ease), a bit trendier (with puffy strapped UGGs), or stick with crowd favorites like the Sofft or Vionics.

3. Statement Sandals

Adding a playful statement shoe to any of your summer wear-on-repeat outfits is such an easy way to bring more energy to a look. Chevron wedges, hot pink slides or adorable gingham sandals are just the shoes to shake things up a bit in your wardrobe. Just add a pair of statement shoes to your breezy black dress, denim and white tee combo, or any monochromatic look.

Chevron wedges, hot pink slides or adorable gingham sandals are just the shoes to shake things up a bit in your wardrobe. Just add a pair of statement shoes to your breezy black dress, denim and white tee combo, or any monochromatic look.

4. Flatforms

Flatforms are on fire this year, and I’m so here for it! They’re such a great option if you’re wanting a bit more elevated look (literally height-wise and style-wise). And most importantly…they’re fabulous for comfort. UGG makes great flatforms, but I’ve also been eyeing these incredible Vince sandals (one of the few non-comfort shoe brands my feet approve of).

Flatforms are on fire this year, and I'm so here for it! They're such a great option if you're wanting a bit more elevated look (literally height-wise and style-wise). And most importantly...they're fabulous for comfort.

5. Wedge Sandals

My feet ADORE wedges. The wedge often allows for more built-in arch support (compared to super flat sandals), so my feet naturally gravitate to low and tall wedges. Gentle Souls are fantastic for traditional espadrille styles, and Cordanis are my top pick for special wedges with interesting detail. There are several good, everyday casual wedges below from well-known comfort brands Naot, Pikolino and Mephisto as well.

My feet ADORE wedges. The wedge often allows for more built-in arch support (compared to super flat sandals), so my feet naturally gravitate to low & tall wedges.

6. Slides: Birkenstocks, Minimalist, Puffy & Pillow

We had to divide “Slides” into four subcategories this year, because this style has become SO ridiculously popular. Of course, we’re starting with my favorite slide sandals — Birkenstock. The gold standard of slides for my particular feet, but I also include some similar alternatives in the minimalist (traditional slide) category before getting into some of the new slide trends.

Although the puffy slide trend has not totally taken off in the comfort shoe brands, Vionic actually has a couple of cute options, as do a few other brands who are dipping their toes into the “slightly puffy” pool. It’s also hard NOT to cover the pillow slide trend. Although there are less expensive options out there on Amazon, we wanted to take a look at what some of the comfort-focussed brands are doing, finding J/Slides, Oofos and FitFlop with the best options.

For slides, we're eyeing Birkenstocks, Minimalist, Puffy & Pillow. We're also taking a look at what some of the comfort-focussed brands are doing, finding J/Slides, Oofos and FitFlop with the best options.

a. Birkenstocks Slides

b. Minimalist Slides

c. Puffy Slides

d. Pillow Slides

7. Flip Flops

Those of you who have been reading TME for a while know that FitFlops take the prize for me every year in the flip flop category. They provide just the right amount of cushion and support for my feet, and the between-the-toe thingy doesn’t bother me with this brand. Lots of other good options out there, as well, though. Folks LOVE the Oofos and Olukais, and of course you could go with the crowd favorite: Birkenstock Gizehs.

For flip flops, folks LOVE the Oofos and Olukais, and of course you could go with the crowd favorite: Birkenstock Gizehs.

8. Clogs & Clog-“Esque” Sandals

Clogs are a year-round personal favorite shoe style for me. My feet love the traditional wooden clogs; they love the cushioned versions and all the sandal clog-esque shoes as well. While I adore the comfort of Danskos, Kork-Ease is winning my love this summer with their open-toe and closed-toe clogs. If you’re a traditionalist, though, Swedish Hasbeens has some gorgeous options below as well.

While I adore the comfort of Danskos, Kork-Ease is winning my love this summer with their open-toe and closed-toe clogs.  If you're a traditionalist, though, Swedish Hasbeens has some gorgeous options below as well.

9. Sporty Sandals

My personal style is not very sporty, but I can absolutely appreciate the look of sporty sandals on others and can also absolutely appreciate the comfort of sporty sandals when I’ve worn them. Sorel hands-down has the best selection right now…so many good styles…so many good colors…but also Teva has totally stepped up in the style and color game!

I can absolutely appreciate the look of sporty sandals. Sorel hands-down has the best selection right now...so many good styles...so many good colors...but also Teva has totally stepped up in the style and color game!

10. Closed-Toe Summer Shoes

Every year we are asked for our help with closed-toe summer shoe options. Whether readers need them for their work setting or just want options for unfortunate toe-nail situations, we have you covered. If I was sticking to closed-toe options, I would personally wear my new favorite clogs on repeat. EILEEN FISHER always has nice closed-toe espadrilles or you could go with a woven type summer shoe like these or crowd (and Shana’s) favorite espadrilles from Toms.

If I was sticking to closed-toe options, I would wear my new favorite clogs on repeat. EILEEN FISHER always has nice closed-toe espadrilles or go with a woven type summer shoe like these or crowd- favorite espadrilles from Toms.

11. Chic Ballet Flats

Shana and I have both happily worn Everlane Day Gloves for years, but FitFlop makes several more cushiony bouncy pairs of chic ballet flats, and don’t forget about Rothy’s. They have by far the best patterns and colorways, and Rothy’s wearers are a dedicated bunch.

Shana and I have both happily worn Everlane Day Gloves for years, but FitFlop makes several more cushiony bouncy pairs of chic ballet flats and don't forget about Rothy's.

12. Fancy Heels

Naturalizer all the way in the fancy heels category. I’ve worn Naturalizer heels for years to weddings and special events. Naturalizers distribute my weight more evenly throughout the entire shoe, which makes them much more walkable and supportive than most dressy heels. Note: I do feel more supported and secure in the Naturalizers that have an ankle strap. If your budget is higher, try Sarah Flints. I had two separate women at a special event come up to me to show off their Sarah Flints and rave about how comfortable they are. A nice variety of heel shapes and heights, too in classic styles that will last a lifetime.

Naturalizer all the way in the fancy heels category. I've worn Naturalizer heels for years to weddings & special events. Naturalizers distribute my weight evenly throughout the entire shoe making them much more walkable & supportive than most dressy heels.

13. Water-Friendly Sandals

There are three kinds of water-friendly shoes in my life. Cute water-friendly city shoes good for spraygrounds, water fountains, baby pools, and sidewalk water fights. Melissas, Birkenstock Arizonas and Saltwaters are the brands that do the trick there. For my out-of-the city water shoes that have to engage in more serious waterplay — water hikes, creek crossings and all the slippery rocks— Chacos, Tevas and Keens do the trick. And for the beach…simple flip flops.

Cute water-friendly city shoes good for spraygrounds, water fountains, baby pools,  and sidewalk water fights. Melissas, Birkenstock Arizonas and Saltwaters are the brands that do the trick there.

14. Wide-Sizing

There should be more wide-sizing options out there. Period. Frustrating that all the comfort shoe brands don’t carry at least SOME wide sizing in certain styles. So a big shout out to the brands that do! Birkenstocks, Naturalizer, Vionic, Comfortiva & Chaco are where I find many of my recommendations each year.

Frustrating that all the comfort shoe brands don't carry at least SOME wide sizing in certain styles. So a big shout out to the brands that do! Birkenstocks, Naturalizer, Vionic, Comfortiva & Chaco are where I find many of my recommendations each year.

For you ladies with narrow feet, once again, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you completely. I’m still hesitant to do a whole section on narrow shoes because I’m just not in love with the selection…still. For many of you, I know you are often able to make it work with brands who don’t necessarily have formal narrow sizing, but do run on the narrower side.

Shana has narrower feet than I do (but not so narrow that she has to buy narrow size) and finds Naturalizer, UGGs, Everlane, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole and EILEEN FISHER often work for her. TME readers with narrower feet have also suggested Fly London, Clarks, Camper, Wanda Panda, Ecco, Saltwater, Naot, Sorel, Beeks, some UGGs, Sam Edelman, Eccos, CC Corso Comos, Tevas and anything with adjustable straps and buckles.


Absolutely shout out in the comments your own favorite comfort shoes you’re wearing on repeat and which brands make YOUR feet happy! This is a collaboration for sure, and it’s always helpful for others to hear about the shoes that work for different feet. Thanks!

-Linzi

Oh hey, Pinners! This one’s for you…

It’s here! Our guide to ALL the best comfort shoes & sandals for summer (Birks, Kork-Ease, Naturalizer, etc.,). Nothing says “escape” like talking arch support & memory foam, right?

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Do you have any recommendations for water shoes? We are going to Croatia this summer and I hear the beaches are pebbly.

  2. Skechers are my “happy feet” brand. I always let out a sigh of relief when I can put on one of my pairs of Skechers!

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