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Top Walking Sandals

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Updated May 29, 2014

Walkers choose walking sandals or trail sandals for both short and long distance walks. As with any walking shoe, it is important to find a good fit and to test the walking sandals at shorter distances and with or without socks. Look for stability, motion control, and cushioning features needed for longer walks. Some designs have a closed toe for more protection against rocks and roots, while others are open-toed as with traditional sandals. Popular brands of walking sandals include Teva, Bite, Keen, and Birkenstock. I steer away from flip flops, but if you prefer them, take my tips and picks for healthier flip flops

1. ABEO B.I.O.system Sandals

ABEO Capistrano Sandal full
© The Walking Company
These sandals sold at The Walking Company stores feature a built-in orthotic. At the store, they scan your feet and then give you a semi-custom fitting to best suit your arch and foot pressure points. They come in a variety of designs including slides, flip flops, hiking sandals and dress sandals. The ABEO Capistrano pictured is their outdoor model, suitable for fitness walking. It comes in models that are for neutral gait, one with a metatarsal pad footbed, and one with a posted footbed for overpronators. ABEO B.I.O.system® sandals carry the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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2. Keen Newport Sandals

Keen Newport Sandal
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

The Keen Newport gets excellent reviews from wearers, for everything from hiking to all-day city touring. The straps are waterproof leather, so you can wear them in a variety of conditions. It has an enclosed toe to provide protection against rocks and roots, and an adjustable lacing strap.

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3. Cobb Hill RevSoothe Sandals

Cobb Hill Rev-Soothe Sandals
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I am always looking for sandals I can wear for both work and walking. The Cobb Hill RevSoothe fit the bill with both fashion and function. Their technology comes from New Balance athletic shoes, to give you both lightweight cushion, responsiveness and good support throughout your walking stride. They have an anatomic footbed that supports your foot, and makes my foot feel cradled and pampered. The midsole uses REVlite technology for cushion without weight. The Dri-Lex® lining keeps moisture away. The come in narrow, regular and wide but only in full sizes. I love the adjustable straps for getting just the right fit. These are sandals I can wear for travel, shopping, or work while still enjoying brisk walks.

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4. FitFlop Sandals

FitFlops Slingback Comber
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The FitFlop sandals have a microwobbleboard in the sole helps relieve pressure points. I've been wearing their designs for a few years and love them. I choose their designs that have a heel strap so I can get a good walking stride. I've worn them all day for walking while traveling, as well as at work. Many of their designs have a toe post, as well as a few designs without.

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5. Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandals

Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandal
© Pricegrabber

The Chaco Z/2 Unaweep has minimalist straps, yet wearers report love the arch support and traction. It has an anatomic footbed that provides motion control. Wearers report the Vibram sole seems to last forever and the webbing still looks great after years of wear.

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6. Ahnu Tilden Multisport Sandal

Ahnu Tilden Multisport Sandal
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The Ahnu Tilden sandal is lightweight and has a flexible sole. The toe guard looks like it will do its job. You can adjust the fit easily with the single-pull lacing system. I was a little concerned about the design of the strap at the back of the heel - it seems to me that it might rub some of us wrong and give a blister until you have gotten used to it.

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7. Birkenstock Arizona Sandals

Birkenstock Arizona Sandals
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Birks are highly favored by their many converts for city walking. Many Birkenstock-lovers wear no other shoes. The deep heel cup is the reason, it provides a "barefoot experience" that may take some getting used to, but once converted, few look back.

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8. Teva Open Toachi

Teva Open Toachi Sandal
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For those who want their toes to breathe free, the Open Toachi has no toe cover. Its overall design is minimalist. There is a Toachi version that does have a toe cover. The sole is flexible for easy walking. I liked the cover on the heel strap, it looks like it wouldn't chafe.

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9. Dr. Weil Integrative Footwear Sandals

Dr. Weil Renew Thong
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Dr. Andrew Weil has worked with Orthaheel to produce a line of sandals with footbeds that provide arch support and motion control. The designs include flip flops and sandals. Some have a heel strap so you can get a proper walking push off.

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10. Orthaheel Vionic Sandals and Flip Flops

Orthaheel Flip Flop
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I can't force all walkers to wear sandals with heel straps, even though I think that is absolutely necessary for a good walking stride. No, many other walkers want something fashionable. Even, horrors! Flip flops. OK, if you insist on wearing flip flops, at least get a brand that has good foot support. Orthaheel sandals have motion control elements and arch support. If you overpronate but still want to slide into a pair of flip flops, look into these. Maybe you still won't be walking right to suit my tastes, but you won't be completely ruining your feet and gait. Meanwhile, Vionic also has models with straps.

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