The 12 Best Arch Support Sandals of 2024 for Pain-Free, All-Day Wear

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From strappy slingbacks to cushioned sandals that aid with sports recovery, these supportive sandals can help reduce foot discomfort

<p>People / David Hattan</p>

People / David Hattan

Arch support sandals are a game changer for anyone who’s on their feet all day, whether that's a nurse pulling a double shift or an avid hiker. They’re designed with a comfortable insole that better aligns with the shape of your foot than normal sandals, helping to absorb shock while walking and, in turn, reduce muscle strain.

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“Arch support helps maintain the foot's natural alignment, providing crucial support to the arches,” explains Dr. Casey Ann Pidich, a New York-based podiatrist and owner of Dr. Glass Slipper. She adds that arch support “alleviates muscle or tendon strain” as well as pain and discomfort associated with flat feet, fallen arches, or heel pain, known as plantar fasciitis.

Arch support sandals “can also help people with general foot discomfort or those who spend extended periods on their feet,” she says — making them particularly useful for nurses, travelers, service industry professionals, and more.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best arch support sandals for every style and occasion, with picks from podiatrists and PEOPLE editors.

Best Budget Sandal: Ubfen Women's Hiking Arch Support Sandals

$47 at

Earning more than 2,400 5-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, these sporty, lightweight sandals are great for hiking or sightseeing thanks to the excellent traction provided by their durable rubber outsole.

The cushy EVA midsole and deep heel cup offer enough padding and shock absorption to ensure your feet will still be comfortable after hours of walking around — and they only cost around $40.

Sizes: 6-11 | Colors: 9 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Everyday Sandal: Birkenstock Women's Arizona Sandal

$85 at

$130 at

PEOPLE Shopping Editor Kayla Kitts said she grew up living in the iconic Birkenstock Boston clogs that "were hot in the early aughts." However, it wasn't until a few years ago when she bought the Arizona sandals that she realized she had been missing out on the happiness that Birkenstocks provide.

"As someone with wide feet, these fit like a dream and are comfy and supportive for all-day wear," she says. "I love wearing these with jeans, dresses, skirts — you name it!"

Sizes: Women's 4-12.5 | Colors: 4 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Everyday Sandal, But for Less: Aerothotic Arete Women’s Slide Sandals

$23 at

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These best-selling sandals from Aerothotic are Dr. Pidich’s go-to for long days of walking around New York City. “Not only are they durable and comfortable, but they also help alleviate my plantar fasciitis,” she says. Designed similarly to Birkenstock’s Arizona sandals, these slides feature two thick, adjustable straps that are made from a breathable material to keep your feet from getting sweaty.

Sizes: 6-11 | Colors: 9 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Sandal for Recovery: Oofos OoAhh Slide Sandal

$60 at

$60 at

From the second you slip into these slides, it’s clear why Oofos is famous for their recovery footwear. Made with OOfoam technology, they’re designed to absorb 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear and reduce strain in the ankles by up to 47 percent, according to the brand.

This helps protect your joints and feet from unnecessary pain and pressure. Because the footed is constructed from closed-cell foam, you can just toss them in the laundry when they need a quick clean-up.

Sizes: Women's 5-16 | Colors: 14 | Adjustable: No

Best Flip Flops: Rainbow Women's Leather Double Layer Arch Support with 3/4-Inch Medium Strap Sandals

$75 at

The best flip flops offer ample support that you can feel with every step. PEOPLE Shopping Writer Cai Cramersays she relied on these Rainbow sandals for years when she attended summer camp.

"[They] are comfortable from the first wear, but get even more so over time as the leather molds to your footprint," says Cramer. "They also look more stylish than plastic flip flops, so I'll pair them with jeans and wear them out to dinner in the summer."

Sizes: Women's 5.5-11 | Colors: 4 | Adjustable: No

Best Sandals for Travel: Chaco Women’s Lowdown Leather Slide

$75 at

$75 at

While some folks are against wearing open-toed shoes on flights, they do offer exceptional functionality. These are breathable and flexible enough to accommodate foot swelling and can be worn with compression socks to keep your feet warm in the chilly airplane cabin.

They couldn’t be easier to slip on and off, helping you breeze through the TSA line. Light packers will appreciate the lightweight construction and slim silhouette, and the podiatrist-certified Luvseat sole provides enough arch support for you to hit the ground running once you arrive at your destination.

Sizes: Women's 5-12 | Colors: 3 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Wedge Heels: Crocs Brooklyn Low Wedge

$45 at

$55 at

Once Crocs introduced platforms and wedges to its growing collection, Kitts was sold. "As someone who seeks purely comfortable and supportive shoes at this point, I love these low-wedge sandals for summer outings when I may need to do quite a bit of walking but want to still wear a stylish, versatile shoe," she says. "The foam footbeds are some of the most comfortable I've tried."

Sizes: Women's 5-11 | Colors: 19 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Waterproof Sandals: Aerothotic Arcus Women’s Comfort Eva Beach Slide Sandals

$39 at

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Similar to Birkenstock’s bestselling Arizona EVA slide, these lightweight sandals offer the same aesthetic and arch support for less than half the price. The deep heel cup provides exceptional support, helping to relieve muscle tension. Even when wet, these won't cause chafing or blisters, so you can wear them straight from the beach to the bar with friends without having to pack a change of shoes.

Sizes: Women's 6-11 | Colors: 7 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Sandals for Narrow Feet: Chaco Mega Z Cloud Sandal - Women's

$71 at

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PEOPLE Senior Shopping Editor Erika Reals adores these Chacos because they support her high arches and hug her narrow feet perfectly — it's almost like they were custom-made for her. It's no surprise then that Chaco is favorited by outdoor enthusiasts: Its sandals boast top-notch arch support and are all certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Whether you’re hiking, kayaking, or sightseeing, these make ideal travel companions thanks to their lightweight, waterproof construction. The outsole features performance tread that offers great traction in extreme and wet conditions, while the adjustable jacquard webbing uppers are quick-drying.

Sizes: Women's 5-12 | Colors: 7 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Sandals for Long Walks: Teva Women's Hurricane Ampsole Volt

$90 at

$90 at

These Teva sandals are new additions to Kitts' shoe collection, but the breaking-in process has been seamless for her. "I wore these for a miles-long walk on a paved outdoor trail and had no blisters or hot spots, which is rarely the case with a sandal that has this many straps," she explains. "Plus, the rubber sole provides lots of traction and durability, so, realistically, you could take these on more strenuous outdoor adventures."

This pair also offers pain relief for those with plantar fasciitis, which can be alleviated by wearing shoes with an elevated heel. Bonus: All three straps are adjustable for the perfect fit, a plus for those with wide or narrow feet.

Sizes: Women's 5-16 | Colors: 3 | Adjustable: Yes

Best Cushioning: Merrell Women's Hut Ultra Flip

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$70 at

These ultra-supportive Merrell flip flops are what Erin Johnson, associate commerce editorial director at PEOPLE, reaches for when her feet need a little extra support. She says the cushioned sole is cloud-like yet firm, and the raised arch cradles her foot in all the right places.

"I can absolutely walk in these all day pain-free (whereas sometimes my Chaco Z Sandal's hard bottom is a little rough on my foot)," says Johnson. "While these Merrells are more expensive than your average flip flop, the support and cushioned sole make them worth it."

Sizes: Women's 5-11 | Colors: 7 | Adjustable: No

Best Hiking Sandals: Kuru Tread

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These sturdy sandals are designed to stand up to your wildest adventures, keeping you supported whether you’re descending a steep slope or walking along a rocky riverbed. With aggressive traction and made from rugged, waterproof materials, they help you hit the trail with peace of mind.

The brand’s proprietary Kurusole tech helps to protect your heel from impact while walking, while the contoured footbed provides arch support and absorbs shocks. With just the right amount of give, these offer noticeable cushioning and flexibility without feeling rigid.

Sizes: 5-12 | Colors: 4 | Adjustable: Yes

How to Pick the Right Arch Support Sandals

Look for a Contoured Footbed

The first thing to look for when shopping for arch support sandals is a footbed that will match your foot’s contour, says Dr. Pidich. It should have “adequate arch support comparable to the natural shape of your foot's arch,” she says. Some brands are designed to mold to the shape of your foot over time, such as Birkenstock sandals. This is a crucial detail, as arch support is designed to maintain the foot’s natural alignment, which helps to alleviate discomfort after hours on your feet.

Check for Firmness

“The arch support should feel comfortable and provide stability without being too rigid,” says Dr. Pidich. She suggests performing a quick test to ensure they’re supportive enough for extended use by pressing on the arch of the sandal with your thumb. While the material should have some give, it should feel resistant to the pressure you’re exerting — that means there’s a good balance of cushioning and the necessary rigid support to keep your feet in alignment.

Make Sure They’re Cushioned

“Look for sandals with cushioning, especially in the heel and the ball of the foot,” says Dr. Pidich. Ensuring there’s plenty of padding in the forefoot is key to feeling comfortable in the sandals for long periods of time. “The added cushioning will help your feet absorb shock during walking and provide added comfort,” she explains.

Brands Endorsed by Podiatrists

Brands that have been recommended by podiatrists or foot health professionals are a great place to start, suggests Dr. Pidich. These sandals will have been rigorously assessed for their arch support capabilities, ensuring they’ll provide you with the desired level of support and comfort. Keep an eye out for brands that have also received the Seal of Approval or Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Several sandals on this list have been approved by the organization, including the Oofos OoAhh Sport Recovery Sandal, Merrell Hut Ultra Flip, and Chacos Mega Z/Cloud Sandals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which shoes do most podiatrists recommend?

Several of the brands included on this list are approved by the APMA, which grants approval to products that effectively promote better foot health. Dr. Pidich recommends seeking out brands with this endorsement, explaining, “these sandals are more likely to have been designed with proper foot support in mind.” Dr. Pidich also recommends Aerothotic for their durability and comfort.

How can you tell if sandals have good arch support?

“The arch support should be visually noticeable and feel supportive when you place your foot on the sandal,” says Dr. Pidich. “To check for firmness, gently press the arch area of the sandal with your thumb. Proper arch support should feel firm and resilient, providing resistance against pressure. It should not feel too soft or too rigid.” Sandals with contoured footbeds and good cushioning are designed to provide ideal arch support for your feet.

What type of sandal is good for plantar fasciitis?

Sandals with a slightly elevated heel or wedge are best for combatting the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. By raising your heel slightly above the rest of your foot, they relieve pressure and strain on your ankles and joints. Birkenstocks are famously a go-to choice for mitigating the effects of plantar fasciitis, thanks to their firm support along the length of your foot.

Take Our Word For It

Sophie Dodd is a lifestyle and travel writer with six years of product writing experience. She spends long days exploring new cities on her feet, and knows the value of supportive sandals. When researching the best arch support sandals, Sophie considered the variety of styles she’s tried out over the years — including Oofos, Birkenstock, Chacos, and more — as well as additional options with optimal support, cushioning, and contouring. She also spoke to Dr. Casey Ann Pidich to learn about what consumers should look for when buying arch support sandals.

Erika Reals, PEOPLE's senior shopping editor, updated this article with recommendations from our editors, who are constantly testing all sorts of footwear — from hiking sandals to pool slides — and prioritize comfort over everything else.

Meet Our Expert

Dr. Casey Ann Pidich is a New York City-based podiatrist and owner of Dr. Glass Slipper, a foot wellness resource for women.

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Read the original article on People.