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Best Beach Sandals

Chris Riley by Chris Riley Updated on July 24, 2020. In Reviews

If you’re planning on heading to the beach this summer – or even just want to spend a few hours out on the boat, casting for trout – then you need to invest in the appropriate attire. 

After all, you can’t wear your favorite pair of sneakers to the beach. They’ll get covered in all kinds of sand, mud, and muck – you’ll ruin them in no time.

Instead, you need to invest in a pair of light, airy, and comfortable beach sandals. Gone are the days when beach sandals were flimsy, ugly, and uncomfortable. Today, there are plenty of beach sandals on the market that will work with any outfit, occasion, and budget.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of kicks, consider this list of the best beach sandals.

1. Reef Women's Cushion Breeze Sandal

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These shoes are some of the cutest sandals for women, offering excellent support and cushioning. They have rubber soles and come in two colors – cloud and black. 

They are not only comfortable, but they are also durable. You can wear them right into the water and then back out, without having to worry about the sandals getting damaged or staying wet all day. 

Don’t worry about having to break them in at first, either. You can wear them immediately, since they’re loaded with features to increase your comfort and support. For example, the sandals come with a PVC free strap so you don’t have to worry about sliding around or tripping over your own feet. You can adjust the strap so you feel comfortable wearing these shoes in any environment. 

Pros

  • Come with a modest heel to add support
  • Designed for women but with unisex sizing
  • Waterproof materials

Cons

  • Tend to run small

2. Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandals

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Birkenstock is a company that has always had a solid reputation for producing high-quality sandals for men and women. These unisex beach sandals are no exception. 

They’re available in several colors, including black, scuba blue, pink, turquoise, and more. They are made out of comfortable EVA foam and have a thick rubber sole for ultimate comfort. Not only that, but the footbed is anatomically designed to fit your feet – the shoes will work with your feet instead of against them.

These beach sandals are waterproof and washable so you can wear them in any setting. They are also super lightweight, making them the perfect choice for a day on the beach, an evening in the kayak, or an afternoon spent fishing

Pros

  • Waterproof and washable
  • Footbed conforms to your feet
  • Available in dozens of colors and designs

Cons

  • Shoes make noises as you walk

3. REEF Men's Fanning Flip Flop

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These flip flops by Reef are designed for men, but could be worn by women and men alike with their seamless, unisex design. The shoes are not only comfortable, but come with a built-in bottle opener too! How cool is that?

To use the bottle opener you’ll just flip the shoe over and use the bottle opener that’s integrated into the rubber outsole of the shoe. It’s the only men’s beach sandal with this unique feature. 

Not only that, but these shoes are comfortable to wear. They come in several colors, including black, teal, and silver. They have anatomical arch support so you’ll feel comfortable and at ease whenever you slip your feet inside. 

Made out of molded EVA foam, these shoes have a 360-degree heel airbag enclosed in soft polyurethane. You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals like PVC, either. You’ll enjoy strong traction control and a comfortable fit, no matter where you choose to wear these shoes.

Pros

  • Great arch support
  • EVA foam footbed
  • Comes with a built-in bottle opener

Cons

  • Can get a bit smelly

4. adidas Men's Adilette Shower Slides

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Adidas is another top brand to know when it comes to the best beach sandals. These shoes are available in a range of sizes and colors, including white navy, black, silver, red, and more. They are available for both men and women, too. 

These shoes have a solid rubber sole to support your feet as you walk – and to present slip sand falls. Adidas has a long history of providing some of the best athletic gear, so it should come as no surprise that these shoes have an exceptional design that will hold up well to even the most intense activities. 

The shoes are quite comfortable and are waterproof, too.

Pros

  • Great for athletic beach activities
  • Comfortable, secure fit 
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Some customers report that the shoes warp after multiple uses

5. Teva Women's Original Universal Sandal

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Teva is another popular brand to consider when you’re shopping for the best beach sandals. These shoes have a unique, ergonomic design that makes them perfect for all kinds of athletic activities, including hiking and fishing. 

They are made out of synthetic materials, with a durable sole and water-ready polyester webbing. The shoes dry quickly and have easy hook-and-loop closures so that they are easy to get on and off.

Not only that, but the shoes have rugged durabrasion rubber outsoles, supplying you with all the traction and durability you need. You’ll love wearing these shoes to the beach as well as any other outdoor occasion – plus, they come in several colors, including dark purple and coral.

Pros

  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Has an easy hook and loop closure
  • Water-ready polyester webbing 

Cons

  • Some customers report that the soles delaminate

6. Nike Men's Benassi Just Do It Athletic Sandal

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One more pair of beach sandals for you to consider is this exceptional pair by Nike. They are made out of durable synthetic materials and equipped with flex grooves so the sandals move with your foot, instead of against it.

These Nike beach sandals also have foam outsoles to protect your feet from impact and sharp surfaces. They come with one-piece, synthetic leather straps for added durability and a soft jersey lining – no more blisters!

The sandals are lightly cushioned so you can enjoy comfort and athletic style at all times.

 

Pros

  • Come with adjustable straps
  • Flex grooves make the shoes comfortable to wear
  • Outsole protects your feet from impact

Cons

  • Sizes run a bit small

Buying Guide: How to Find the Perfect Pair of Beach Sandals

Fit 

This might sound obvious, but the first thing you want to pay attention to when purchasing a pair of beach sandals is how well they fit. Make sure you get a pair that will fit you well, particularly after they have been broken in. Poorly-fitting sandals don’t only look bad – they can give you blisters and cause foot injuries if you’re not careful, too.

You might be tempted to get beach sandals that are too large – resist the urge. As you break your shoes in, the shoe will expand and provide you with more room. Err on the side of caution and get shoes that are almost too snug (but not quite too snug) so they will form to fit your foot. 

Multi-Strap Options 

You’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the straps on your sandals, too. If you are prone to slipping and twisting your ankle, you may want to get sandals with criss-cross straps that form to your feet. This can prevent slipping and turning an ankle. These kinds of sandals are best for people with weak ankles or feet, as well as for children. 

It’s important to note that there are also slide-on sandal options, too. If you aren’t fond of how flip flops feel between your toes, you might want to get sandals that consist of a single strap across the top of your foot.

Weight

Walking around in clunky, oversized shoes isn’t just uncomfortable – it’s unsafe. A heavy pair of beach sandals can make you more likely to trip, plus it can put unnecessary stress on your legs and feet. 

Look for beach sandals with thin soles so you don’t have to worry too much about the weight. 

Arch Support

If you’re young, you may not think of arch support as being an important factor to consider when you’re shopping for beach sandals. However, as you get older, you’ll notice that your feet begin to wear down and your arch gets weaker over time. 

Therefore, you may want to buy a pair of beach sandals with built-in arch support. These kinds of sandals normally have extra cushioning around the bottom of your foot, helping to keep your arch comfortable and secure. 

Open or Closed Toe

Most people choose open-toed sandals when they’re shopping for beach sandals, although this isn’t an absolute necessity. The benefit of an open-toe design is that it will keep your feet comfortable and cool (while it will also drain sand and water with ease, too). 

However, there are plenty of closed-toed designs to choose from, too. These are great if you plan on using your beach sandals for activities other than swimming and lounging on the beach, like hiking. That way, you won’t have to worry about stubbing your toe.

Water Resistance & Drying Time 

How well does your beach sandal of choice shed water? This is one of the most important features to consider when you’re shopping for new beach sandals. After all, if you’re on the beach or out on a boat, you’re going to be dealing with water.

If your sandals don’t resist water well, you’re going to wind up with blisters and other foot ailments that make it tough for you to walk around. 

Regardless of how water-resistant your beach sandals are, look for a pair that dries quickly. If they aren’t water-resistant or waterproof, you’ll find that they take more time to dry. Rubber and plastic, again, are the best options when it comes to quick-drying beach sandals.

Materials

You’ll find beach sandals in all kinds of materials, including leather, plastic, foam, rubber, and natural fibers. There are even wooden sandals out there, believe it or not!

Of course, some materials shed water and sand better than others, while some other materials (like rubber) offer more stability and support. 

To find the material that’s right for you, consider how long you want the sandals to last. If you only need them to last for a short amount of time, plastic or foam are fine. However, if you want your sandals to last longer, choose those made out of rubber or leather, which tend to be more durable. 

Adjustments 

There are some beach sandals that come with straps so you can make adjustments based on your preferences. If you have a wide foot, this is essential. That way, you can adjust how loose or tight the strap is fitted to your foot. Any pair of beach sandals you buy should have adjustable straps so you can have more flexibility and space. 

The Slip Factor 

Sandals can be tough to walk in. As you’re getting used to a pair of beach sandals, you might find yourself sliding around a ton. Therefore, you’ll want to choose beach sandals with a bit more flexibility and traction – that way, you can avoid “the slip factor.”

Look for sandals that have soles made out of rubber or another flexible material, like vibram. This flexibility will help your sandals stay more stable, resist slipping, and last a bit longer, too.

Heels?

While it might sound odd to consider beach sandals with wedges or heels, remember that you might wear this kind of sandal if you’re headed to some formal occasion on the beach. Lots of people get married on the beach, for example, so if you’re headed to a more formal event, you might want to consider investing in sandals like these.

One word of caution when buying beach sandals with wedges or heels – make sure you get a pair with a heel that’s thick enough to support your weight and that’s sturdy enough for walking in the sand. Wedges often offer better stability since they have more surface area. 

Versatility 

Do you plan on wearing your beach sandals to other events? If so, you’re going to want to choose some that have a more versatile design. Many beach sandals are simple, with muted colors and laid back designs. However, there are others that are gladiator-style, have fancy straps, or even have rhinestone-studded features story take your outfit up a notch. Buying beach sandals like this can provide you with extra versatility for other events and occasions.

Invest in Comfortable Beach Shoes for Your Next Day on the Water

There are plenty of options out there when you’re searching for high-quality beach sandals. If you aren’t sure where to look, consider our top picks and handy buying guide above. With any luck, you’ll be headed to the beach in style soon. 

Don’t forget your towel! 

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