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Birkenstock Women's Madrid Big Buckle White Birkenstock Women's Madrid Big Buckle White
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Birkenstock Women's Arizona (Narrow Width) Mocha Birkenstock Women's Arizona (Narrow Width) Mocha

Top Features to Look for In A Good Women's Outdoor Sandal

Sandals used to be thought of as only shoes that were meant for outdoor use, but that's not true anymore, and sandals now come in a wide variety of styles and categories.

If you're planning on spending some time walking, doing or being near water activities, or just having to step on some rocky terrain a bit, you'll need some supportive sandals and not just the average everyday wear pair. 

So, take a glance at our quick guide to help you pick the best women's sandals for that outdoor adventure.

What to Consider When Picking the Perfect Outdoor Women's Sandal

From the obvious comfort to the important support and desired style and design, these are the top 10 features you might want to consider before deciding on that next pair of sandals for being outdoors, walking, or you just know will need to be a bit sturdier (and trendy) than the minimalist sandals you have at home.

1. Comfort

Look for sandals with cushioned footbeds and ample arch support to ensure comfort, especially during extended periods of wear.

When choosing women's sandals for outdoor use, it is important to also consider your foot arch type to ensure comfort and support. For flat feet, opt for sandals with good arch support to evenly distribute weight and alleviate strain. Look for sandals with cushioning under the arch for added flat feet relief.

If you have high arches, select sandals with ample cushioning to absorb impact and prevent discomfort. Supportive sandals designed for high arches can help maintain proper alignment, reducing the risk of injuries and foot pain. Understanding your foot arch type is crucial in finding the right sandals that meet your specific needs, providing a comfortable walking experience, and promoting foot health.

2. Durability

Choose sandals made from high-quality, durable materials such as leather, synthetic materials, or sturdy rubber soles. Reinforced stitching and strong straps contribute to the overall durability of the sandals.

3. Traction

Opt for a pair of sandals with non-slip, grippy rubber outsoles to provide traction on various surfaces, including wet or uneven terrain. This is crucial for outdoor activities where stability is important. Hiking sandals are the go-to option if traction is your main worry.

4. Adjustability

Adjustable straps or closures (such as buckles, Velcro, or bungee cords) allow for a customized fit, ensuring that the sandals stay securely on your feet during active pursuits.

Here are three reasons why adjustable straps are crucial for an excellent outdoor experience: 

  • Personalized Fit: Adjustable straps enable you to tailor the fit of your sandals to your individual foot shape, offering custom comfort. This can be extra useful for women with narrow feet or wider feet than average.
  • Enhanced Support: The capability to modify the straps ensures proper support for your feet, reducing the likelihood of discomfort or injuries while on the move.
  • Adaptability: By having adjustable straps, you can effortlessly adjust your sandals for various activities or terrains, guaranteeing a secure fit regardless of your destination.

Consider opting for soft or padded straps for enhanced comfort, particularly during walking. These strap style should be gentle on your skin, preventing any chafing or discomfort during extended walks.

5. Water resistance

If you anticipate being around water or encountering wet conditions (boat decks, pool areas, rainy days, water crossings,) consider sandals with water-resistant or quick-drying materials.

This feature helps prevent discomfort and reduces the risk of slipping. You'll find these features more on hiking sandals and hiking shoes, so go straight to those if you really need some water-resistant sandals. But protection against slippery surfaces is not something just for hiking, so really keep an eye on that feature.

6. Toe protection

Some outdoor activities may involve rough terrain or potential hazards. Sandals with toe guards or closed-toe designs offer added protection against stubbing toes or injury from debris compared to open-toe sandals.

7. Supportive design

Look for sandals with a supportive design that cradles the foot and provides stability during movement. Features such as contoured footbeds, flexible soles, heel cups, and ample arch support enhance overall comfort and reduce the risk of foot fatigue.

And don't just consider your foot size. Your foot shape will also be a key factor, as maybe it's a big, taller one that needs more comfortable straps or narrower, and it needs adjustable straps that can hold your foot in a bit more.

8. Breathability

Choose sandals with breathable materials to help keep your feet cool and comfortable, especially if you typically have sweaty feet, even in cool weather or for any time spent in hot weather or during strenuous activities.

9. Lightweight

Lightweight pairs of sandals are ideal for outdoor activities as they minimize fatigue and allow for easy movement. However, ensure that the lightweight design does not compromise durability, traction, or support.

10. Style

While functionality is important, consider your personal style preferences as well. Many outdoor sandals are available in various colors and designs, allowing you to find a pair that suits your aesthetic tastes.

Sandals can be both functional and fashionable, offering fun, elegance, trendiness, modernity, or dazzle according to your preference.

While a comfortable footbed remains crucial, here are some tips to maintain a fashion-forward look:

  • Opt for versatile designs from brands like Teva, Sovella, Birkenstock, or Halsa sandals that smoothly transition from beach strolls to casual outings.
  • Select slides made from water-resistant materials for durability and easy cleaning after walking near water or wet surface and can provide excellent traction.
  • Embrace the potential of straps: Strappy sandals strike a balance between comfort and fashion, allowing you to elevate your look with stylish straps or embellishments like pins.

By considering these features, you can select a pair of women's sandals that are well-suited for outdoor activities while providing comfort, durability, and support.