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Best Summer Sandals For Runners in 2021

 

Protecting your feet is essential for runners. But it’s just as important when you are not running as when you’re on the road or trail.

When it’s hot out, chances are you want to wear open shoes. The best summer sandals for runners need to be sturdy to support your feet. So that when you strap your running shoes on, your feet are in prime condition.

We recommend the Hoka One One ORA Recovery Flip if you’re looking for a pair of excellent sandals. They’re anatomically designed slip-ons that feature a meta-rocker and a comfortable textured footbed.

Keep reading to find the perfect pair for you!

Top 3 Best and Favorite

 

Hoka One One ORA Recovery Flip 2

 

  • Anatomically-friendly
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker
  • Textured footbed
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Vionic Wave (Men) Vionic Hightide (Women)

 

  • Biomechanically-designed
  • Flexible EVA midsole
  • APA Seal of Acceptance
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Teva Katavi 2

 

  • Suede leather upper
  • Three adjustable straps
  • Contoured EVA footbed
CHECK MEN’S PRICE

 

OOFOS OOlala Sandal

 

  • Cradles the arch
  • Great color options
  • Streamlined footbed
CHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Slide

1. Hoka One One ORA Recovery Flip 2

Looking for a stylish and funky slide-on sandal that will feel great and help you recover faster? We recommend the Hoka One One ORA Recovery Flip 2.

Just like the Hoka One One running shoes, their slide sandals feature a thick base of EVA foam. The dual-layer footbed does an excellent job of dampening shock, protecting your feet from impact even when you’re relaxing.

The top layer of EVA is soft and non-abrasive, providing a comfortable and luxurious feeling as soon as you step into the shoe. Underneath is a more durable, firm layer that serves as both the shock-absorbing midsole and the grippy outsole.

These sandals also feature a meta-rocker, easing foot fatigue and helping you to make more efficient heel-to-toe transitions, whether you’re at home or on the beach.

The rubber toe strap is also soft and easy on the feet, which adds an extra element of comfort to these sandals. Underneath the shoe, strategically-placed grooves allow you to flex your foot naturally and get a good grip on any surface too.

It’s entirely possible that this will be the plushest sandal you’ve ever put your foot into. Enjoy the comfort and the recovery benefits that come with it!

PROS:

  • Anatomically-friendly
  • Soft top layer of EVA
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker
  • Textured footbed

CONS:

  • Some may feel that the to strap is somewhat uncomfortable
 

Top Flip Flops

2. Vionic Wave (Men) – Hightide (Women)

The Vionic Wave and Hightide are flip-flops that are comfy, stylish, and lightweight.

These are surprisingly supportive for a flip-flop, using Orthaheel Supportive Technology. This features a deep heel cup to help realign the feet, easing pressure on joints and providing structure that most sandals don’t offer.

This feature is excellent for runners who suffer from overpronation, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or any other foot conditions. Keeping the foot aligned even when in recovery or relaxation mode is essential, and keeps the joints and muscles from taking extra strain.

These podiatrist-designed flips use a generous slab of EVA foam underfoot to reduce jarring on the joints. The surface is textured to prevent your feet sliding around.

A rubber outsole gives you stability on every surface, with a patterned tread underneath. It also increases the shock absorption factor.

On top, the straps are non-adjustable but made from comfortable mesh webbing with a soft neoprene lining. The toe post is cushioned to provide optimal comfort.

If you aren’t convinced, these sandals have achieved the American Podiatry Association’s Seal of Acceptance, proving that they do good things for foot health!

Be aware that there’s a bit of a break-in period, which may feel uncomfortable. But once you’re used to them, you’ll wonder how you did without them before.

PROS:

  • Biomechanically-designed
  • Padded jersey-lined sandal strap
  • Flexible EVA midsole
  • APA Seal of Acceptance

CONS:

  • Have a break-in period, which may be uncomfortable at first
 

Top Clog

3. Crocs Classic Clog

If clogs are your thing, you can’t beat Crocs. They’ve been the subject of much debate and discussion, but there’s no denying that they’re incredibly comfortable and practical.

One of the best things about Crocs is that they’re totally resistant to the elements. Whether you want to take these into the ocean, through the mud, or take a walk on a rocky trail, they can do it happily.

Weighing in at around 7 ounces, they’re also extremely light. Made entirely from thermoplastic EVA, they’re soft on every part of your foot, easy to clean, and very comfy. Ventilation ports also keep your feet cool and prevent water from pooling within the shoes.

According to the manufacturer, these clogs should have a loose fit. There’s a pivoting heel strap on each shoe for comfort and to keep the shoe loosely on your foot. It’s also removable if you’d prefer to do without it.

Arch support is built into the EVA footbed, providing an effective platform for both support and shock-absorption.

PROS:

  • Built-in arch support
  • Pivoting heel straps
  • Resistant to the elements
  • Spacious shoe

CONS:

  • May not be appropriate for narrow feet
 

Best With Toe Protection

4. KEEN Newport H2

Planning on wearing your sandals on excursions in which your toes could get injured? These sandals offer all the airiness of open shoes but provide excellent toe protection, similar to wearing trail running shoes.

The polyester upper is lightweight, flexible, and durable. It also dries quickly, making it ideal for outdoor use. The sandal also offers exceptional foot lockdown thanks to the Secure-Fit Lace Capture system, which is more adjustable than most sandals.

Newport’s Metatomical footbed is designed to support the arch and be soft and comfortable on the underside of the foot. It’s textured to reduce slippage and odor-resistant.

Underneath that, a compression-molded EVA midsole offers excellent impact absorption while remaining flexible enough for the wearer to navigate off-road terrain easily. Hidden inside is a TPU stability shank, which counters overpronation and keeps the foot properly aligned, reducing the chance of injury.

The non-marking rubber outsole means these are floor-friendly as well as providing great traction on more slippery surfaces. Low-profile lugs give you the best grip while not getting in the way of movement.

The KEEN reinforced rubber toe cap provides extra protection for the toes, keeping them safe from debris, rocks, and other hazards on tough terrain. These sandals are also machine washable!

Just take note that the warranty begins from the date of manufacture, not the date of purchase. This could cut months off of it by the time you purchase the shoes.

PROS:

  • Quick-drying web upper
  • Secure-fit lace capture system
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Metatomical footbed

CONS:

  • Warranty on the shoes starts from the date of manufacturing, not the date of purchase
 

Best Recovery Unisex

5. OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandal

If you’re looking for a sandal to wear that will help with recovery, we recommend the OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandal. It’s a one-piece slip-on sandal that’s gained the APMA Seal of Acceptance, so it’s good for your feet!

It’s a unisex design but built using a men’s last. Women may find it to be a little wide, as may men with narrow feet.

OOfoam closed-cell foam cushioning provides arch support, shock absorption, and is resistant to water and odor. You can wear these in the shower, at the beach, or at home and they’ll be able to handle whatever you throw at them.

Their slide-in design is super easy to slip on and off. A contoured traction pattern on the outsole offers decent grip, wherever you are.

PROS:

  • Unisex design
  • OOfoam cushioning technology
  • Odor-resistant materials
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance

CONS:

  • Women and people with narrow fit may find these shoes to be a bit too wide
 

Best Cork/Birkenstock Unisex

6. Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

This is a good-looking sandal, featuring a cork footbed and oiled leather upper. The cork is 100% sustainable, and also provides excellent support to your arch and feet.

Underneath the cork is a layer of foam, designed to offer better cushion and impact absorption. On the bottom, a lightweight EVA outsole gives extra shock absorption, but may not be as durable as rubber, especially in the heat.

There’s a deep heel cup for support and it helps to distribute weight more evenly too. A unique feature is the raised toe bar, which encourages the gripping motion of your toes, exercising the foot muscles without causing fatigue.

PROS:

  • Contoured cork footbed
  • Raised toe bar
  • Deep heel cup
  • Memory foam cushioning

CONS:

  • Cork and EVA can be damaged by heat
 

Best Sandal For Men

7. Teva Katavi 2

This suede leather sandal offers the best of both comfort and stability so you can walk comfortably wherever you want to go.

The outer layer of the upper is tough suede leather, resistant to the elements and stylish too. Underneath that is a mesh layer that allows for excellent airflow to keep your feet cool all around.

The strap has three adjustable points, at the forefoot, at the instep, and at the heel. Once you have a good fit for your feet, the Velcro hook-and-loop strap makes for a quick one-and-off.

A contoured, textured EVA midsole offers impressive impact absorption and comfort too. It’s light underfoot and provides the necessary cushioning to keep your joints safe and your soles comfortable and prevent slipping.

There’s also a nylon shank within the midsole, to prevent overpronation. Those who have a neutral foot may find it uncomfortable, but even mild overpronators will appreciate the extra stability.

Underneath, a Durabrasion rubber outsole sports lugs designed to keep you stable on just about any surface.

PROS:

  • Suede leather upper
  • Three adjustable straps
  • Contoured EVA footbed
  • Durabrasion rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Those with a neutral foot may find the nylon shank to be uncomfortable
 

Best Sandal For Women

8. OOFOS OOlala Sandal

These comfy and easy-to-wear slip-ons come in a wide variety of colors to suit every girl’s style. But they’re not just pretty; they’ve been given the APMA Seal of Approval for promoting good foot health.

The entire shoe is made from OOFOS’ closed-cell OOfoam, which is resistant to moisture, odor, and is super easy to wash if it gets dirty. It also reduces jarring thanks to its impact absorbency and cradles your arch comfortably without restricting movement.

They also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with these sandals for any reason, they’ll give you a refund, no questions asked.

PROS:

  • Cradles the arch
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Streamlined footbed
  • Closed-cell foam

CONS:

  • The color tends to peel off of the straps
 

Top For Variable Terrain

9. ECCO Yucatan

If hiking is your thing and you’d prefer to wear the most breathable shoes possible, these sandals are great for walking over variable terrain.

They’re made to be light on your feet, without sacrificing comfort or support. They also feature a meta-rocker in the forefoot, assisting with an effective toe-off on all terrain and reducing foot fatigue.

The upper is made from soft nubuck leather with a neoprene lining, easy on the skin but tough enough to provide support too. It features a 3-point adjustability, so the wearer can get a custom fit for their own foot.

In the midsole, molded FLUIDFORM DIP PU EVA foam gives you an effective shock-absorber that’s layered with soft microfiber on the top for a hygienic and comfortable experience.

A thick rubber outsole comes with Receptor technology, which provides support and stability on all terrains.

PROS:

  • Nubuck leather upper
  • FLUIDFORM DIP P.U midsole foam
  • 3-point adjustability
  • Rockered sole

CONS:

  • May run narrow and don’t come in wide
 

Best Skechers

10. SKECHERS GOwalk Arch Fit

Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit shoes are made to be supportive and easy on the feet, and their sandals would be a great option for recovery.

The Arch Fit contoured footbed was designed by a podiatrist and shaped using more than 2 decades’ worth of data. It’s made to mold to your foot and provide exceptional support for your arch, reducing vibration and dispersing weight properly.

ULTRA GO cushioning is light underfoot and fairly responsive too. Up top, a soft and sleek jersey knit upper is designed with comfort in mind. Down below, a dual-density outsole provides adequate traction and is a wide and stable base.

PROS:

  • Supportive Arch Fit
  • ULTRA GO cushioning
  • High-rebound ULTRA PILLARS
  • Leather upper

CONS:

  • May make feet sweat in the heat
 

FAQs

Wondering how to choose the best summer sandals for runners? Here‘s some of the most asked-about information on the topic.

What to Look for in Sandals for Runners?

To protect the feet, the shoes you choose should have a durable, well-cushioned footbed to absorb shock. Adequate arch support should also be present, and the ability to remove the insole and add a custom orthotic is always a bonus.

To keep your feet as safe as possible, some kind of coverage at the front of the foot might be a good idea to lock your toes down if you’re going to be doing quite a bit of walking in them.

What’s the Difference Between Sandals and Flip Flops?

Sandals have a main strap that goes over your instep and offers good ankle support too. Flip flops usually have a Y-shaped strap (also called a toe strap or thong) instead of a strap.

What Material is Usually Used?

Flip flops often feature rubber, plastic, or foam. Sandals are generally made of more durable material and can include leather, suede, cork, thick rubber, or even rope.

The Wired Runner