Sneakers may take up most of the time on our feet, but summer means sandals—and for runners, not any pair will do. The best sandals for women runners are styles that will support your feet and not add any further damage. That’s why recovery sandals, which have been shown to help restore foot muscles, have been so popular the last few years.
That doesn’t mean you always want to be slipping into slides post-run. Spending time barefoot is just as important as wearing the right shoe. Podiatrist Dr. Robert M. Conenello shared that standing without shoes helps your feet expand and breathe and, most importantly, helps strengthen your feet. “When we put our foot in a shoe, we almost turn our foot off. We need to get those small intrinsic muscles, the ones that start and end in your foot, going to gain more control,” he says. It’s also about quality, not quantity. Try exercising your big toe by moving it up and down, while keeping the other four toes and the outside of your foot on the ground. A stronger big toe will prevent runners from overcompensating and causing an injury. He suggested we take some direction from East African runners who immediately take their shoes off after a long race, to get back in touch with the ground. “If possible, stand on a soft surface like grass, so you can feel your feet more and move differently.”
But for summer days spent running errands—or hitting brunch—right after a run, these are the best sandals for women to slip into for healthy, happy feet.
9 Best Sandals for Women Runners
Birkenstock Arizona Platform Exquisite Sandal | $220
Not just chic, Birks’ comfortable footbed is the real reason they are a summer classic. The firm cork is stable, absorbs shock, and conforms to your foot, making them more comfortable the more you wear them.
Oofos Oolala Flip-Flop | $60
The footbed uses foam technology that absorbs 37% more impact than other shoes. It also reduces stress on feet and joints, allowing your foot to relax and use less ankle power to move forward. The slimmer silhouette will make it easier to wear with your summer shorts and dresses.
Merrell Belize Convertible Sandal | $100
Replace your beloved flips with these, which are as easy to take on and off but have a contoured footbed. Soft leather gives you all-day comfort, whether heading to the pool, the beach, or going sightseeing.
Chillos by Chaco Footwear | $50
Think of these as your unwinding slip-ons. Postrun, hike, or even to and from yoga, the contoured, marshmallow-like footbed will provide arch support and promote proper alignment. The double-strapped styles keep these minimal and perfect to pair with a maxi sundress.
Ecco Yucatan Sandal | $135
Sandals aren’t just for lounging. This hiking sandal is a lightweight and firm style that has grip and traction on the bottom to prevent any slippage on dirt or wet rocks while keeping your foot supported during summer fun.
Hoka Ora Slide or Flip-Flop | $50
Slip these on your fatigued feet after a hot, sweaty run. Just like the brand’s oversized sole sneakers, these will hug and rock your foot with each step. Plus, the toe strap is so smooth you’ll forget you’re wearing it.
Superfeet Aftersport | $59.95
Float on clouds with a cushion that will give you comfort, prevent injury, relieve pain, and re-energize you. The textured footbed allows airflow and promotes breathability, keeping your foot from perspiring and slipping out. Smooth rubber also prevents any friction.
Aerosoles Kings Park | $99
These stylish, strappy sandals have a padded memory foam footbed that will give your tired dogs some solace. A unique diamond pattern on the sole helps to distribute tension away from your feet. Extra points for the cute mixing of prints and solids and the on-trend platform.
Teva Universal Trail | $100
Thicker, sporty soles are still trending this summer, and this active sandal certainly combines function with fashion. The fun, printed 100% recycled plastic straps provide support, as does the soft midsole. The sawtooth outsole helps to provide traction if you want to take these out for hike.