“Ugly” sandals had a moment a few years ago when they were all the rage at fashion weeks around the globe, and we admittedly fell in love with their ample arch support and foot-cradling soles. But Birkenstocks aren’t for everyone and we can’t just go back to flimsy flip-flops and expect our feet to be OK with it. Luckily, chunky and comfort-first styles are back and better than ever, but you need to find which pair is going to be right for you.
If your goal is comfort, podiatrists recommend leather and suede materials for a breathable feel that's also long-lasting. They also recommend trying shoes on later in the day while your feet are expanded so you can feel how it will fit your foot at its largest. You also want to keep in mind any existing foot issues you may have: Do you have bunions? A narrow shape? Plantar fasciitis? Taking these things into account will help point you in the direction of the right shoe. By the way, if you have any general concerns, you should discuss the best brands and sandal types with a podiatrist. We did some searching and found these 14 sandals with arch support that are just as stylish as they are cushiony.