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Authored by Adam Sherman
Comfort is King when it comes to footwear. Around 80% of consumers say they won't compromise on comfort when it comes to footwear, regardless of the type. (Source: Footwear Fashion Weekly). However, sandals are not always well known for being comfortable. Many people have spent an uncomfortable day in flip-flops or other sandals that did not fit and realize that not all sandals are made for all-day comfort. There are many kinds of sandals that are made for different purposes, and you should make sure that you are looking for sandals that are comfortable and feel like sneakers if you want an all-day pair of shoes.
Finding the right sandals is all about knowing what kind of fit and features are required to get a quality pair of sandals. You should be sure of your own size before you go shopping and make sure that you look into reviews and information on each pair of sandals that you are thinking about buying. Knowing about how different sandals are constructed can help you to make good buying decisions even if you cannot see the sandals or try them on before you buy.
If you are ready to learn more about sandals that feel like sneakers, you should read on!
Know Your Size
The first thing that you need to do is know your foot size and shape. Many people spend most of their lives guessing at their foot size and buying shoes that do not actually fit. You might not realize that you can get your feet professionally sized at a running shoe store or a location that sells hiking gear.
These stores can give you your exact size as well as telling you how narrow your heels are and how high your arches are. You can also get the measurements for your toe box needs. This can help you greatly with your shopping and make sure that you are able to buy shoes that will fit you without a bunch of guesswork.
One of the worst parts about not knowing your shoe size is that you might also not be picking the right kind of arch support or heel design. This is particularly important when you are shopping for sandals since they are made to be held in place by the shape of the sole and footbed and the adjustments at the heel.
If you are not sure what size foot you have or how narrow your heel is, you might end up with a long list of sandals that are nice shoes but are not made for your feet. Make sure to take the time to get your feet professionally sized before you go shopping for sandals that will be comfortable enough to be worn all day long.
Can Sandals Really Feel Like Sneakers?
About 60% of active individuals who opt for sandals are drawn to ones with athletic attributes, emulating the support and cushioning typical of sneakers. (Source: Sportswear Monthly, 2021). It's a perfect blend of fashion meeting functionality. This trend explains why a significant portion of our clientele seeks sandals that offer the feel of sneakers or tennis shoes.
But, how does a sandal match up to the comfort of a sneaker? Enter: Sport Sandals. These are designed to encapsulate the core features and benefits of sneakers, minus the laces and enclosed structure. Crafted with durability in mind, these sandals bear a striking resemblance to hiking sandals but boast a softer, more cushioned footbed. The strap design is ergonomic, ensuring minimal friction and no pinching. Moreover, many sport sandals feature supple straps that feel comfortably worn-in straight from the first wear.
In a survey we carried out in 2020, 55% of our customers expressed a desire to pack fewer pairs of shoes when traveling. The allure? Sandals that merge the comfort of sneakers, obviating the need to lug around multiple footwear options.
Identifying true sport sandals can seem straightforward, given their distinct design. However, don't be misled by sandals with only thick soles and lacking other vital support features. A handy tip: sandals without adjustable straps typically don't qualify as sport sandals and might not serve your purpose.
Can I Wear Sport Sandals Instead of Sneakers for Hiking or Rafting?
According to a 2019 survey by Lifestyle and Living, about 40% of outdoor enthusiasts prefer sandals that provide the same level of support as their go-to sneakers. This highlights the versatility of sports sandals; they're not just for leisurely strolls or errands. From beach play, hiking, and kayaking to white-water rafting, these sandals are game for nearly any adventure. Think of them as the functional equivalent to hiking or trail sandals, with the added comfort of your favorite sneakers.
Golfers, especially in warmer climates, are also trading their traditional golf shoes for sports sandals. Imagine the freedom of engaging in your favorite activities without being constrained by closed-toed shoes. Whether it's a shopping spree or a fishing expedition, the right footwear can amplify the experience.
A standout feature of these sandals is their water resilience. Whether you're trudging through muddy trails, wading in waters, or strolling along the beach, these sandals handle it all. And cleanup? Just a quick rinse and you're good to go. For me, they're a travel essential. They're not just about being waterproof; it's about ensuring foot comfort. Exploring a new city becomes even more enjoyable when you're confident your feet won't let you down.
Moreover, high-quality sport sandals are designed for quick drying, eliminating the discomfort of damp straps and reducing the risk of chafing and sores. Their adaptability makes them a cherished addition to any wardrobe, suitable for a myriad of adventures.
Are Sport Sandals Basically Sneakers With Straps?
They can be designed this way! You will find that some hiking sandals are basically sport sandals with a slightly tougher sole. There are many different styles of sport sandals on the market that look like shoes but you need to consider the features that you want to have. You might want to pick based on the style of the soles that you need for your activities or you might want to pick based on strap design.
There are various components that make a sports sandal and the sneaker part of the design is not all of what makes these sandals so comfortable. You will find that the combination of comfortable straps, well-made soles, and comfortable heel support is what makes a sandal comfortable like a sneaker.
Sports sandals might be made to look like sneakers or tennis shoes, but they can be designed like hiking sandals with lightweight materials and improved strap designs. Hiking sandles are great options, as they're usually made to be durable rather than solely comfortable while sport sandals are made to be light on your feet as well as supportive and strong enough for tough challenges.
Sandals That Feel Like Sneakers
1. The Cortana Sandal for the Perfect Fit
This is one of the best sandals that Viakix makes. It is cute and stylish and has soft straps that are very adjustable. You will love the soft EVA midsole and the shape of the footbed that conforms to your feet right out of the box. The straps adjust at the heel to secure your foot in the sandal and keep your foot in place. These are some of my favorite sandals for traveling. They're easy to pack and I can easily adjust the soft straps around my feet. I never have arch pain, or have to worry about my ankle (which is especially handy on those European cobblestone streets).
The ergonomic outsole makes for a comfortable and supportive fit and the arch support is perfect for long walks or for times that you need to stand on your feet for an extended period of time. Wear these sandals to hike, go to the beach, or kayak, or take them camping. If you are not into outdoor sports, these are the perfect sandals to pair with your favorite skirt or shorts and enjoy a day shopping or hanging out with friends and family.
This is one of the best sport sandals that you can buy and you will feel like you are wearing sneakers with the added benefit of comfortable straps and cooler feet. There are few sandals on the market that will take care of your needs like these comfortable sport sandals. You'll still have a fashionable, cool look without having to give up comfort!
2. ECCO Women’s Yucatan Sandal
This stylish sandal comes in a few unique colors and is made with soft and pliable leather that conforms to your feet with ease. This material sheds water readily and you will not experience rubs or chafing with these sandals. You can readily adjust the straps on this sandal to make for a custom fit and you will enjoy the secure, broad heel strap that is made to prevent chafing and improve your overall fit and comfort.
The midsole is really comfortable on this sandal and the cushioning and flexibility cannot be compared to many other sandals on the market in this grouping. You can unlatch the straps on these sandals fully to be able to get a better fit and to insert your foot with ease. The ECCO FLUIDFORM direct comfort technology makes the footbed conform to your feet with ease and you will love how much these sandals improve with just a few times wearing them.
This is a great and rugged sport sandal that can be worn for camping, hiking, and walking but is also cute enough to be used during a night out or a trip to the grocery store. Being able to use the same sandals for an active walk or hike or a night out is a huge benefit of this sandal.
3. Skechers Women’s Cross Strap Sport Sandal
This cleverly designed sandal is made to look really great and perform perfectly when you are busy doing activities that you love. You will love the soft stretch fabric that the upper bands are made of and the soft straps will never rub or shift on your feet. The straps are easy to adjust and you will get a great fit due to the unique strap arrangement and design.
These sporty sandals are made to look casual and a bit like a slingback but they offer a memory foam full-length cushioned footbed. The bottom of the sole is made for grip and durability, making these a great choice for all of your outdoor wear needs. The contoured footbed will keep your foot from sliding around and you will get a great arch support experience with this sandal as well.
This is a great choice if you do not like to have to adjust a lot of straps and you prefer narrower strap material. You will get the same secure footbed and the same comfortable design as with other sport sandals with heavier straps. This is a really nice-looking sandal that can be worn for all kinds of activities besides outdoor adventures.
4. The Sloane Outdoor Sandal, For a Sneaker Like Fit
This is a great sandal to choose if you hate a narrow heel strap and you want to be able to enjoy a center adjustment option for your toe box straps. This is a really nice-looking sandal that is made with really excellent arch support and a unique strap arrangement for increased foot stability. The EVA foam midsole offers soft and secure comfort for your foot and you will have less stress on your joints when hiking or doing your favorite water sports in these sandals.
The customized fit that this sandal offers cannot be compared to other sport sandals. The straps are made to adjust as much or as little as you need and you can fit these sandals to wide-width feet as well as narrow feet. The stretchy textile webbing that the footbed is made of will conform to your foot right out of the box and you will get a durable and comfortable wear experience due to this clever feature.
Wear these sandals out golfing, on a hike, when you head out on your paddleboard, and more. You can pair these sandals with shorts or jeans, or take them with you on your next camping trip. No matter what activities you want to engage in with this sandal, you will be able to do all of them in comfort. Whether I'm trekking in the mountains of Colombia or walking through the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, my Viakix sandals cover all the bases!
5. Teva Women’s Sirra Sport Sandal
These sandals are made by a well-known brand that has been revolutionizing the sport and hiking sandal space for years. Teva knows their way around activewear sandals and you will get the same classic features with this sandal. You will get a durable exterior sole that has been made from recycled plastic to help save the environment and a soft interior footbed that will grip your foot for a superior and secure fit.
The lightweight EVA midsole offers superior comfort and you will find that even the toughest terrain will not harm your feet. You will love the ladder lock enclosure at the heel which gives you a great fit without friction or rubbing on your heel or the top of your foot. These sandals have a great ankle strap design for narrow ankles and you will never have to worry about these sandals shedding water.
This sandal comes in many colors and is pretty enough to be worn with fancy clothes for a night out, as well as being durable and hardy enough for your most rough and tumble outdoor adventures. This is a great choice to make if you want to stick to the classic sandal design and still get all the benefits of sports sandals.
6. The Sneaker-Like Siena Sandal
The Siena Sandal is made to be extremely comfortable and to fit all widths of feet. These are cute sandals that can stand up to your toughest outdoor adventures. You will get a great EVA midsole to cushion your feet from tough terrain and you will love the adjustable ankle strap that is made to fit even narrow heels with ease.
The ergonomic outsole offers superior grip without being stiff and bulky, and you will love that the interior footbed is made to be soft and grippy so that your feet won’t slide around. Your feet will be cradled within these sandals and you will get the most comfortable fit experience of your life.
Take these sandals kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and more. They are waterproof and have soft and durable straps that will not chafe your feet or rub at your heels. This is one of the most attractive sport sandals on the market and you will love that you can wear this nice-looking shoe out to dinner and then turn around the next day and wear it on a tough hike. When I was in New York, I met my family for dinner in the West Village and then went on a hike in New Jersey the following morning. After the hike, I went for some beers with my friend - all in my Viakix sandals!
7. Skechers Women Reggae-Sew-Me Strappy Sandal
This is a 100% leather sandal that will not rub your feet or slide around due to a lack of adjustments in the straps. This sandal is made to adjust with ease and the soft and slender straps will not rub your feet. The simple and comfortable footbed will hold your foot in place with ease and you will love the instep strap that offers easy access to the shoe.
When you pick this sandal, you will get a comfortable and cushioned footbed that is made with shock-absorbing foam in the midsole. The fun colors make this sandal look like it’s not a sturdy sport sandal but it offers all the durability that you could ever want. Your ankle will thank you!
The rubber sole of this sandal will give you great grip and support as you navigate tough terrain or slippery surfaces. No more having to worry about stubbing your toe. You can kayak, hike, run, jump, and more in these sandals. They will look great with any outfit and they can be trusted to keep your feet comfortable when you head out camping or on a packing and hiking adventure.
8. The Acadia Hiking Sandal
While this is a sandal that is called a hiking sandal, you should not be fooled by this label. This is a sport sandal with some benefits of the hiking sandal features. You will get the same soft and comfortable midsole with this sandal and you will love the sturdy and durable outer sole that will help you navigate tough terrain with ease. The straps are thicker on this sandal than you will find with some sport use sandals, but that makes for a really secure fit if you have struggled with pinching or slippage with narrow sandal straps.
The EVA midsole will cushion your feet as you take on tough challenges and you will love that the arch support is made for superior comfort. The back strap will cradle your heel and the larger size of this strap is made for superior comfort and support. Narrow heels are easy to fit in this sandal.
If you have been looking for a really durable sandal that can handle any challenge that you throw at it without being heavy in weight, this is the right choice for you to make. You will not have to beg these sandals to get broken in and you will feel like they were made for you right out of the box.
9. Chaco Women’s Z1 Classic Sandal
This is a really simple sports sandal that is made to be easy to put on and it comes in many, many colors. This is a lightweight sandal that has a great midsole that will conform to your feet and help to support your arches as you hike, climb, or kayak.
The soft web straps are made for superior comfort and they will not slip or slide on your feet. These are highly adjustable sandals that can be made to fit narrow feet or wide feet with ease. You will love the comfort of the LUVSEAT PU midsole and this sandal is made with antimicrobial technology to prevent odor.
The non-marking ChacoGrip rubber outsole offers a thorough and protective grip that has a 3mm lug. This means that this sandal will stay locked onto slippery surfaces with ease no matter what kinds of activities you are engaged in. This is a great simple sandal design that offers many benefits and features that you will not get from other sandals.
10. The Samara Walking Sandal, Instead of Sneakers
This sandal is made for all kinds of uses and you will get the right comfort and stability from this sandal for hiking and sports activities despite its pretty looks. This is a really attractive sandal that looks like it would not hold up to tough activities, but this is not the case at all! The rainy weather doesn't have to be your enemy. The price and color are an added bonus, too.
You will love the soft EVA midsole that this sandal and the durable footbed that is made to conform to your feet with ease. You can adjust the heel fit on this sandal with ease and the soft crisscross straps will conform to your toes with comfort and ease.
You will get a grippy exterior sole on this sandal that will stick to tough surfaces with ease and you will be able to wear these sandals for golfing, hiking, or water sports without a single issue. The Samara comes in many colors and will go with any kind of clothing that you want to pair it with. This is the best sandal to choose from if you want a sandal that feels like a sneaker but acts like a performance sports sandal.
11. Teva Women’s Hurricane 4 Sport Sandal
These are really nice sandals that offer all the benefits of classic Teva sandals. Their quick-dry webbing straps are made to handle water as well as sweat and you will never have to worry about these sandals rubbing your feet or your heels. These sandals adjust correctly and comfortably with the unique bungee cord lace design.
You will love the EVA midsole that is lightweight and comfortable against your feet. You will enjoy a comfortable footbed that secures your foot due to the shape of this part of the shoe. This sandal can be worn for hiking, watersports, and golfing with ease. You will get a lot of great traction from the rugged spider rubber outsole and you will never have to worry about slipping as you are working your way over tough terrain.
This sandal comes in many colors and you will love the simple design that is made with easy adjustments. The heel strap will secure your foot comfortably and you will never have to worry about blisters or other problems that sandals with poor-quality strap designs might cause.
12. The Napali Hiking Sandals
This sandal is named for the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii and it offers the right blend of comfort and design features that will make sure that you are comfortable no matter what you are up to. The Napali Sandal is made with a really supportive footbed and you will get great ergonomics from every aspect of this design. The EVA midsole will cushion your foot from the challenges of tough terrain and you will love the way that the sole conforms to your foot with ease. These walking sandals will be your best friend. These are the best ones if you're looking for substantial arch support or aid with your plantar fasciitis.
13. Teva Women’s Verra Sandal
This is a great simple design that will be comfortable for all kinds of needs. You will love the curved and protective interior sole that will keep your foot in place with ease. You will be able to secure the heel with ease and the soft strap design will prevent blisters and chafing. These sandals come in many colors and you will love how simple and comfortable the design is.
The Shoc Pad in the heel will absorb a lot of impact of your hiking and walking and you will love the hook and loop closures that make adjustments easy. Each strap can be fitted per your needs and you will find that the lightweight of the sandal does not impact their performance.
This is a really nice Teva sandal that is perfect for those who want a minimalistic design that offers all the right support and comfort for your active needs. You can wear these sandals with jeans, a skirt or camping and have the same great experience with their design. There is something really nice about being able to wear a sandal that fits like a glove and is still durable and sturdy enough for tough terrain and more. There are plenty of benefits that come with these walking sandals!
14. Teva Open Toe Sandal
This is a sport sandal that is made in the style of traditional Teva sandals. You will love the classic strap design and the durable soles that these sandals offer. This is the perfect blend of classic styling along with simple to use hook and closure straps. The soft EVA midsole will cup your foot and protect your arches and heels from concussion as you hike and climb and play sports.
There are many strap adjustments that you can use to make these sandals fit perfectly for your needs. Your heels will not slide around and the arch support is perfect for your activewear needs. The rugged Durabrasion rubber outsole will make sure that you never lose traction and that you can do any activity with ease.
The soft and wide straps will cup your heels and protect your feet from rubbing or chafing. The straps are made to dry quickly so that you are never uncomfortable or stuck with wet feet when you are on adventures. These are sandals that are a great blend of hiking design features and the comfort of sport sandals.
Lightweight hiking sandals are the perfect solution for your needs if you do not want to have to wear a heavy sandal but still want all the protection and durability of these tougher sandal designs. There are so many benefits to current sport sandal designs and you will love how technology has created fabrics and sole materials that can make these kinds of lightweight sandals that are still durable a possibility.
15. Camel Crown Women’s Hiking Sandals
If you want sport sandals that have closed toes for a little added support and security, these are the right choice for your needs. These are waterproof sandals that are made with a clever bungee cord strap design that will provide the perfect flexible fit for any size foot. The heel support is perfect for narrow heels and you will love the soft midsole that cushions your feet from all the possible concussions of tough trails and terrain.
These are essentially sneakers with all the right benefits of sandals and you will get the best of both worlds when you choose these sandals for your hiking and camping needs. These sandals come in fun colors and you will love the custom fit that is offered by this clever design. There are so many great features about these walking sandals that you will want to consider adding them to your closet for a whole host of reasons. They'll likely become a pair of sandals you wear on a daily basis.
Usually, these kinds of closed-toe sandals can cause moisture to be trapped against your feet, but these sandals are made with quality materials that will not make your feet wet and that will shed water while walking. Wear these sandals for hiking or rafting or take them out on the town the next time that you want to go out. Whether you want to head out wine tasting or whitewater rafting, these sandals can take care of all of your needs and more.
Sandals That Feel Like Sneakers Are a Real Possibility
If you love sandals and wish that you could wear your favorite sandals to go out on a run or a hike, then you need to invest in some sport sandals. These sandals are made with all of the benefits of sneakers or sport shoes and you will love that you can get all the benefits of a sandal along with the comfort and sturdy design of a sneaker. If you are tired of wet and sore feet after a long day of hiking or outdoor adventures, then you need to get a sports sandal for these needs.
Sports sandals are made to be attractive as well as effective at taking care of your activewear needs and you will find that new design features are made possible daily by new materials that are created to be waterproof as well as durable and comfortable. The design features of these sandals would not have been possible even ten years ago, and the benefits of being able to access all the features that you love about sandals and sneakers all at once are due to these technological advances.
Modern sport sandals are so comfortable that you might never want to wear sneakers or other kinds of shoes ever again!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do sandals that feel like sneakers compare to regular sandals?
There are a few factors involved when making sandals that feel like tennis sneakers. Sneaker-like sandals are usually more comfortable than regular sandals. They're versatile and can be worn in all sorts of weather, giving you more options and plenty of times you can wear your sandals. These sandals provide more cushioning and support, which is ideal if you suffer from plantar fascitis or struggle to find sandal sizes that fit your feet. Foot pain will become a foreign concept!
How are sandals that feel like sneakers made?
To make sandals that feel like tennis or athletic sneakers, they'll use a combination of tradition sandal-making techniques and modern sneaker-making technology. You'll have a variety of different materials like foam and mesh. When combined with materials that provide durability, structure, cushioning and breathability, you'll get an ideal sneaker-sandal hybrid. Bring these sandals on your travel destinations around the world. Two-for-one never hurt, especially when you're saving lots of room in your bag.
How do sandals that feel like sneakers work?
These sandals provide the same, if not better, comfort that sneakers provide. You won't have to worry about socks, and for a better price than a sneaker, get a lightweight sandal that has a flexible sole. The cushion and support of these women's sandals moves with the foot, making every step breathable. You don't have to give up fashion this summer in exchange for comfort! Keep in mind that these sandals are versatile and can be worn for plenty of activities. Whether you're wearing these sandals on your travels and sightseeing in another country, or are one of those shoppers looking for a comfortable sandal, these sandals will provide everything and more that sneakers provide.