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calebandjess

On the hunt for versatile sandals...

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I’m on the hunt for a versatile sandal and can’t quite find what I’m looking for. For context, I’m flat-footed, in my early 30s, and doing a 12-night Med cruise leaving in June with a couple extra days in Rome on the front end and Dubrovnik on the back end. I want a sandal that:

 

-is supportive/has good arch support

-has an adjustable ankle strap (my feet run on the more narrow side, and I get foot pain without an ankle strap)

-can be worn casually for sightseeing, also works well with dresses, and can be worn to the beach without getting destroyed 
-is cute

 

Basically I want the best of all worlds with both form and function? 🤷‍♀️ I had major foot surgery on both my feet recently and am slowly replacing all my old shoes, so I don’t have any options in my current wardrobe. (Not only am I much more concerned with arch support now than pre-surgery, but my old bunions really misshaped my sandals anyway, so they all need to be replaced to better fit my “new” feet.)

 

Before I realized how much better care I need to take care of my feet, I LOVED my Salt Water Sandals. They ticked all the boxes of versatility and aesthetics I’m looking for, but they do not provide the support I truly need. I’ve looked at Vionics, Naot, etc. and just can’t seem to find anything that doesn’t seem like they’ll get destroyed by sand/sea water. I’m packing carry-on only and really need to get a lot of mileage from the shoes I’m taking, plus I really want to be able to switch from sightseeing to beach time without having to carry a separate pair of beach sandals. (For the record, I am personally not a fan of Keens and am looking for a more traditional looking, feminine sandal.)

 

Any suggestions are welcome! There’s got to be something out there! I really wish Salt Water Sandals had arch support. 

 

 

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Hi:classic_smile: try Vionics …...they make some cute and very supportive sandals. They  are actually made

for a high arch. I have at least 10 pairs of sandals/shoes from them.   I also have some sandals called ABEO.

They can be purchased at "The Walking Company". I have several pairs from them as well.  Both brands

can be a bit pricey but when it comes to my feet? I pay what I need to pay...…...Had a case of PF a couple

of years ago and donated a bunch of my old shoes and bought new...….Both brands are more feminine

looking than Keens.

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I did carry-on to GB a few years ago, and while I was only planning on taking the shoes on my feet, it was recommended I pack a second pair. I was really glad I did; even 'good' shoes didn't feel so good 24/7. No recommendations on brands for you; just thought I would share my experience. 

ETA okay, not 24/7; I took them off to sleep lol.

 

Edited by ams1130

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Hi:classic_smile: try Vionics …...they make some cute and very supportive sandals. They  are actually made

for a high arch. I have at least 10 pairs of sandals/shoes from them.   I also have some sandals called ABEO.

They can be purchased at "The Walking Company". I have several pairs from them as well.  Both brands

can be a bit pricey but when it comes to my feet? I pay what I need to pay...…...Had a case of PF a couple

of years ago and donated a bunch of my old shoes and bought new...….Both brands are more feminine

looking than Keens.

I’ve looked at both brands but can’t seem to find something beach-friendly. Any specific recommendations? Maybe there will be more options when we get closer to summer?

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36 minutes ago, ams1130 said:

I did carry-on to GB a few years ago, and while I was only planning on taking the shoes on my feet, it was recommended I pack a second pair. I was really glad I did; even 'good' shoes didn't feel so good 24/7. No recommendations on brands for you; just thought I would share my experience. 

ETA okay, not 24/7; I took them off to sleep lol.

 

Yes, I plan to take three pairs of shoes...definitely a sneaker, probably a nicer sandal for the MDR, and a versatile supportive sandal. It’s just the latter option where I’m struggling with finding the perfect option. I really don’t want to have to pack a fourth solely for beach wear. 

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55 minutes ago, calebandjess said:

I’ve looked at both brands but can’t seem to find something beach-friendly. Any specific recommendations? Maybe there will be more options when we get closer to summer?

"Regardless of your travel destination, the [Vionics] Napali walking sandal is the only sandal you will need. The athletic sandals are lightweight, fit perfectly into any suitcase or carry-on, and can be used as a water sandal with its water-ready, quick drying webbing."

 

I am SO impressed with this sandal! Thanks @magandab!!!

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I guess I should clarify that I’m not really interested in an athletic (or athletic-looking) sandal. I did find these tonight which seem to tick all the boxes and may work:

 

https://www.aetrex.com/carrie-sandal-white-AE853W.html?lang=en_US
 

I’m going to keep looking but will definitely keep these in mind. I’m a bit of a minimalist so am super particular about the purchases I make. My husband keeps telling me I’m being way too thoughtful about sandals, but I can’t help myself, haha. 

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Ooh, I like those in the "cork" color. I always really liked a sandal or shoe that "disappeared" with a beige top and like-colored sole, not a black one.

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5 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

Ooh, I like those in the "cork" color. I always really liked a sandal or shoe that "disappeared" with a beige top and like-colored sole, not a black one.

I would get either the cork or white. Wouldn’t have thought of cork myself, but I kind of like the idea of it! It’s been a lot harder to find what I had in mind than I anticipated, so I’m happy to have a viable option! 

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10 hours ago, calebandjess said:

I’ve looked at both brands but can’t seem to find something beach-friendly. Any specific recommendations? Maybe there will be more options when we get closer to summer?

Go to www.qvc.com and in their search bar, type in Vionics. They have a lot of choices!

I just looked and counted at least a dozen...….now, I don't know you if you will like them all but

they offer a good variety and as we get closer to spring, they will probably offer more choices.

 

****addendum....just go to the "Sandal Shop":classic_biggrin:.....on QVC.....you will see brands on the left

side of the screen and VIONICS are listed.....guess what? They have 45 different type of sandals!

 

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10 hours ago, calebandjess said:

Yes, I plan to take three pairs of shoes...definitely a sneaker, probably a nicer sandal for the MDR, and a versatile supportive sandal. It’s just the latter option where I’m struggling with finding the perfect option. I really don’t want to have to pack a fourth solely for beach wear. 

 

The challenge is that something that looks nice enough to pair with a dress, may not be made of materials that will stand up to the water/salt/sand environment of the beach. 

 

As for Vionics, I also have flat feet and generally love my Vionics... I have 4 or 5 pair.  But I do find that sometimes I cannot get the sandal straps as tight as I'd like.  Their fit model must have really thick feet, LOL.

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Hi Meg,:classic_smile:…..lol....I was perusing the sandal shop on QVC and they have a lot of choices.....I agree, some are really

good for the beach but may not be for "Dressing up" but they offer both styles.  Maybe the op needs 2 pairs LOL

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OK, are you ACTUALLY going to a beach on this trip?? Do you plan to do lots of walking on the beach or in the water? If not, honestly, I'd bring sandals that meet your other needs and just go barefoot if you go to the beach. I hate wearing shoes on sand, anyway, but I also hate sand in general, so maybe that's just me 😉 I agree with others it will be difficult to find sandals to wear with dresses AND be good in water/on the beach if you don't want something that is "sporty" looking at a minimum.... 

 

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I like the ones you posted above in the "cork" color. They will match everything and be easy to dress up or down. Like you, I do not like Keen/Teva or other "athletic styles." I just bought some Bob's on Zappos. They will match everything, have the straps you need, and can be dressy or casual, but they may not have enough arch support.

link: https://www.zappos.com/p/bobs-from-skechers-desert-kiss-off-white/product/9011164/color/527

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2 hours ago, Hoyaheel said:

OK, are you ACTUALLY going to a beach on this trip?? Do you plan to do lots of walking on the beach or in the water? If not, honestly, I'd bring sandals that meet your other needs and just go barefoot if you go to the beach. I hate wearing shoes on sand, anyway, but I also hate sand in general, so maybe that's just me 😉 I agree with others it will be difficult to find sandals to wear with dresses AND be good in water/on the beach if you don't want something that is "sporty" looking at a minimum.... 

 

Yes, we do plan to actually go to the beach. We’ll have several opportunities, and we want to break up some of the major sightseeing with some beach time. I’ll likely be taking the sandals off for the majority of the time but want to at least be cautious with my footwear choice in regards to damage from sand and water. A lot of the more natural or microfiber footbeds seem like they’d get nasty pretty quick from those elements. I think the pair I found last night and linked above are a good option because the description specifically states that they’re water friendly, and they seem to hit all the criteria I’m looking for. I know shoes exist that meet my criteria...it’s just been a matter of finding them. 😉

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1 hour ago, TwinMamainMN said:

I like the ones you posted above in the "cork" color. They will match everything and be easy to dress up or down. Like you, I do not like Keen/Teva or other "athletic styles." I just bought some Bob's on Zappos. They will match everything, have the straps you need, and can be dressy or casual, but they may not have enough arch support.

link: https://www.zappos.com/p/bobs-from-skechers-desert-kiss-off-white/product/9011164/color/527

My options would definitely be more numerous if I didn’t require the arch support, haha! Glad to know the cork ones I linked get another vote! I’m starting to think they’ll be my best option and will go with just about everything. 

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Take a look at the Jambu website.  I have several pair of their sandals/shoes.  I have some of the ones that are vegan.  I've worn them all over the world.  The one time I was in a "beach" situation, I wore them to the beach, walks on the beach, and when I was done, just slapped them together to get the sand off.  The beach was about 8 years ago, with 3 trips to Europe since and those same Jambus are going strong.  I have taken a different pair of the same type of Jambus on cruises as my "dress" shoes and no one batted an eye or put their nose up in the air in horror of seeing them on my feet 😉  

 

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I thought about suggesting Jambu but didn't see any on their site at this moment that would work for OP's requirements. I have a pair of wedge sandals that are so comfortable. Except I can't move in them. I fall off when I try to walk. Have owned 2 years because they're cute and I *want* to be able to wear them. But alas, I think this is the year they go to the thrift store.....[I've known I have problems with all heels - including wedges that others can handle easily - but I thought these would be different because they were so comfy when I tried them on. Boo hiss]

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2 hours ago, slidergirl said:

Take a look at the Jambu website.  I have several pair of their sandals/shoes.  I have some of the ones that are vegan.  I've worn them all over the world.  The one time I was in a "beach" situation, I wore them to the beach, walks on the beach, and when I was done, just slapped them together to get the sand off.  The beach was about 8 years ago, with 3 trips to Europe since and those same Jambus are going strong.  I have taken a different pair of the same type of Jambus on cruises as my "dress" shoes and no one batted an eye or put their nose up in the air in horror of seeing them on my feet 😉  

 

Thanks for the recommendation!

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1 hour ago, Hoyaheel said:

I thought about suggesting Jambu but didn't see any on their site at this moment that would work for OP's requirements. I have a pair of wedge sandals that are so comfortable. Except I can't move in them. I fall off when I try to walk. Have owned 2 years because they're cute and I *want* to be able to wear them. But alas, I think this is the year they go to the thrift store.....[I've known I have problems with all heels - including wedges that others can handle easily - but I thought these would be different because they were so comfy when I tried them on. Boo hiss]

Maybe they’ll have more styles available as we get closer to summer...I’ll keep an eye out. I haven’t owned anything with a heel in years. Even when I owned them years ago, I rarely wore them. I have bad enough feet from genetics without throwing something else in the mix, haha. 

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I also would look at ECCO, Chaco and Dansko. I hated my Chacos, but I know many people who love them and they come in a ton of colors. ECCO has some good looking shoes too. 

 

And you are not being too picky! I have a very narrow foot, so I understand the importance of “the right shoe.” Happy hunting! 🙂 

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I tried on Chacos once...….they felt SO HEAVY:classic_wacko:

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I have some chacos open-side shoes I love - but they're more an athletic shoe than a sandal. I also adore ECCO and Dansko but have never seen a beach-friendly option from those brands.

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Shoes are my passion and I've worked in multiple shoe stores and have to say... the more comfortable the shoe, the less cute it will be....but then again, cute is subjective!

 

Birkenstocks are a no-brainer. Yes, they are expensive, around $100 US/$150 CDN for the original Arizona model, but you can walk all day with them. The support is unbelievable. WARNING: They take time to break in, and you should break them in by wearing them a whole month before you pack them. But it'll be worth it!! Just don't expose these to water (the sealant that protects the cork will wear down). These are walking sandals for dry land, not the beach.

 

NAOT are another brand that I've sold to customers who come back every time for more (sometimes just for replacement insoles). They are around the same price as Birkenstocks, but have more styles and less time to break in (the insole is softer).

 

Rider sandals are good for water. They might look too sporty or casual, but perfect for the beach and for getting them wet.

 

Other brands I recommend: Josef Seibel and Clarks. Both have great support and feminine styles. I just haven't worn them all day to know how supportive they can be, but I've had customers rave about Josef Seibel for travel.

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