10 Best Running Sandals (2024) For Healthy Joints, Physiotherapist-Approved

Let your toes out free with these stylish pairs and run confidently in comfort and style.

Medically reviewed by Lalitha Bhowani-Mcsorley, MScPT Physiotherapist Lalitha Bhowani-Mcsorley Lalitha Bhowani-McsorleyMScPT Physiotherapist facebook_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , Beauty & Lifestyle Expert Priyam Gupta Beauty & Lifestyle Expert Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Associate Commerce Editor Srijani Roy Chowdhury Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , Associate Editor Shatabdi Bhattacharya Associate Editor Experience: 2.5 years
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If you are looking for the best sandals for running, you are at the right spot. Not everyone likes running in covered shoes. There are various reasons for that, the biggest being the lack of air reaching your feet. While many runners prefer running barefoot, it might worry you about the sharp objects you might step on and injure your feet. The closest thing to feeling natural while keeping your feet protected is running in sandals. When we say sandals, we don’t mean running in heels; there are unique sandals crafted to make your brisk walks and jogs flawless without wearing covered shoes. They are also ideal for your other forms of workouts, like strength exercises, pilates, and yoga. These cushioned sandals give you optimum support for carrying out short distances and relieve pressure on your joints. With its rising popularity, many regular runners and joggers opt for it to keep their feet lightweight and give up on the chunkiness of oversized and heavy shoes. These aren’t just statement footwear; they also reduce foot fatigue and maintain happy feet! With that said, here are the 10 bestselling sandals to invest in!

Top Picks
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Best For Traction:Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals
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Best Flexible:Vibram Five Fingers Women’s V-Soul Shoes
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Best For Wide Feet:Viakix Siena Walking Sandals For Women
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Best For Support:Teva Women’s Original Universal Sandals
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Best Water-Resistant:Skechers Women's On-The-Go 600-Brilliancy Sport Sandals
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Best Stress Relieving:OOFOS OOriginal Sandals
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Best Abrasion-Resistant:MEGNYA Women’s Hiking Sandals
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Best Lightweight:LUNA Mono Winged Edition Hiking Sandals
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Best For Forefoot Support:KEEN Women’s Rose Sandals
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Best Anti-Collision:Dream Pairs Women’s Summer Sport Sandals
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10 Best Running Sandals To Keep Your Joints Well-Supported

1. Best For Traction:Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals

4.3
Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals Image: Xero Shoes

These Xero running sandals are made to be 76% thinner and lighter than others, but they still extend ample comfort and support while offering enough sole durability. These comfortable sandals have a 5,000-mile warranty that allows you to complete marathons without worrying about them abandoning you in the middle. With a non-marking Z-style webbed rubber sole for traction, this pair of running shoes has a zero-drop non-elevated heel, so you can maintain your natural posture. Water-resistant and equipped with the ability to dry quickly, these adventure sandals are so flexible that you can roll them up and stuff them in your backpack while you travel!

Pros

  •  Available in 3 colors
  •  Flexible and lightweight
  •  Offers great traction
  •  Water-resistant
  •  Quick-drying
  •  Non-elevated heel

Cons

  •  Some may find the toe box to be slightly narrow.

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are really durable. They enhance balance without restricting my movements. I like that they are suitable for long walks and do not hurt my feet."


2. Best Flexible:Vibram Five Fingers Women’s V-Soul Shoes

4.4

Looking for something specifically designed for Pilates and yoga? Vibram’s trail running sandals extend optimum articulation and ground-feel with a secure and adjustable fit. The XS Trek Sole helps with wet traction and flexibility, so you can wear these versatile minimalist shoes for both indoor and outdoor activities. Even on unpredictable terrain, you are guaranteed security against slippage, while the wool-poly sockliner keeps your feet warm. The XS Trek Compound in these barefoot-inspired sandals is engineered to lend you an impressive amount of stability for any movement.

Product Dimensions: 10 x 15 x 6 inches | Weight: 2 Pounds.

Pros

  •  Available in 3 colors
  •  Soft PU foam insole
  •  Flexible and lightweight
  •  Optimum traction
  •  Warm sockliner
  • Suitable for all-terrain conditions
  • Suitable for slippery surfaces
  •  Adjustable hook closure

Cons

  •  Some might find the straps a bit too short.

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals give me a snug fit. They are comfortable and give me a great fit. I like that they are suitable for both casual wear and workouts."



protip_icon Trivia
The process of making women’s lingerie inspired the innovations in running shoe fabric since both needed to be supportive and stretchy.

3. Best For Wide Feet:Viakix Siena Walking Sandals For Women

4.3
Viakix Siena Walking Sandals For Women Image: Viakix Siena

If you are someone who keeps up with shoe trends, this is a must have! These rather good-looking women’s running sandals use soft and stretchable webbing, which embraces the curves of your feet and makes them feel secure. Featuring a unique stabilizing technology, this pair of sandals for daily wear comes with an ergonomically designed insole and a contoured sole that grips the ground in all the right places. The adjustable straps provide you with a fit that doesn’t fail, while the toe loop is roomy enough for wider feet. You can rest your feet comfortably on the soft EVA foam midsole no matter where you go, whether it’s the beach, a hilltop, or your favorite running trail.

Pros

  •  Available in 6 colors
  •  Contoured foot support
  •  Adjustable straps
  •  Roomy toe area
  •  EVA footbed
  •  Offers wet traction

Cons

  •  Might not be ideal for narrow feet

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are comfortable and stylish. They fit both wide and narrow feet snugly. The design has great cushioning with solid arch support. I like that I can clean them easily and use them for day-to-day purposes."


4. Best For Support:Teva Women’s Original Universal Sandals

4.5
Teva Women’s Original Universal Sandals Image: Teva

The Teva running sandals have a utilitarian style with a chunky rubber sole to protect your feet from feeling the pressure on all kinds of terrains. The printed straps on these barefoot sandals are not only adjustable but also lend your athleisure attire a chic edge. They are made of traceable and verifiable recycled plastic, making these sandals a great choice for those who look for sustainability. Comfortable and supremely flexible, running in Teva’s sandals will keep you energized throughout your daily jogs, becoming your favorite footwear. Lalitha Bhowani-Mcsorley, an expert in Musculoskeletal & Vestibular Injuries, recommends them, saying,” They provide superior arch support to help cushion the feet, reduce stress on the feet and ankles, and assist in preventing potential foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis. The ergonomic design of the sandals also helps to reduce fatigue and muscle tension, providing a comfortable fit for long periods of wear.”

Product Dimensions: 3 x 8 x 10 inches | Weight: 6.6 Ounces

Pros

  •  Available in 31 colors
  •  Adjustable and printed straps
  •  Eco-friendly construction
  •  Comfortable footbed
  •  Flexible and lightweight
  •  Provides excellent support
  •  Expert-approved

Cons

  •  Might not provide enough traction on wet surfaces

Our Tester's Experience

"I like these sandals because they are comfortable and adjustable. I wear them even when my feet are swollen. They are quick-drying and ideal for rough terrain."


5. Best Water-Resistant:Skechers Women’s On-The-Go 600-Brilliancy Sport Sandals

4.5
Skechers Women’s On-The-Go 600-Brilliancy Sport Sandals Image: Skechers

When it comes to all-around comfort, few footwear offerings can hold a candle to Skechers. This pair of minimalist running sandals is a top contender in the 5Gen category, thanks to the plush heathered fabric exterior and a customizable fit that is also secure. Ultra-light with responsive and unique cushioning, its Goga Max high-rebound insole lends your feet ample comfort. The synthetic rubber sole adds a bit of height and gives you a brilliant grip, so you can deliver high performance and improve the quality of your runs in no time with this sport-sandal style. The footwear has been tested and approved for machine washing.

Pros

  •  Available in 8 colors
  •  Soft exterior
  •  Adjustable straps
  •  Grippy rubber outsole
  • Lightweight cushioned footbed
  •  Water-resistant

Cons

  •  Some might find the toe box slightly small.

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are great for island hopping to city strolling. They are comfortable and give me padded support. They are also easy to clean and don't hurt my legs during difficult terrains."


6. Best Stress Relieving:OOFOS OOriginal Sandals

4.5
OOFOS OOriginal Sandals Image: Oofos

A sleek, open-backed design combines with the revolutionary OOFoam technology to bring you this impact-absorbing and stress-relieving runner’s sandal. OOFOS’ patented footbed supports and cradles your arches to minimize energy exertion in the ankles and allow for better recovery. These long-distance running sandals also perform the essential functions of reducing load, decreasing compressive forces, and supporting impulsive mobility, thus keeping your feet in the best possible shape. The shoes keep your feet cool. They have undergone testing and are suitable for washing in a machine.

Pros

  •  Absorbs impact
  •  Relieves stress
  •  Offers arch support
  •  Minimized energy exertion
  • Flexible sole
  •  Aids recovery
  •  Available in 4 colors

Cons

  •  Slightly less breathable

7. Best Abrasion-Resistant:MEGNYA Women’s Hiking Sandals

With MEGNYA’s running sandals, women’s daily activities become a whole lot quicker and safer because of the anti-slip rubber outsole. These classic sandals also feature cotton straps that are softer on the skin than they look and can be adjusted, while the elastic button at the rear gives you a snug fit so that the sandals don’t come undone repeatedly. The cherry on top (and bottom and sides) is that the ergonomic foot design conforms to your shape. Many reviews indicate that it contours along the curves of your feet for enhanced comfort while staying resistant to wear and tear.

Product Dimensions: 5.91 x 4.72 x 0.59 inches | Weight: 15.84 Ounces.

Pros

  •  Available in 6 colors
  •  Anti-slip rubber sole
  •  Adjustable cotton straps
  •  Elastic adjustment button
  •  Wear-resistant
  •  Abrasion-resistant

Cons

  •  The arch support might be slightly lacking for some.

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are comfortable on my feet. They have soft footbeds that help me place my feet well. I use these sandals for light strolls on concrete or gravel."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Use Vaseline or coconut oil on the area where the sandal strap touches the skin of your foot to reduce friction and prevent shoe bites.

8. Best Lightweight:LUNA Mono Winged Edition Hiking Sandals

4.4
LUNA Mono Winged Edition Hiking Sandals Image: Luna

With the LUNA sandals, running and hiking become a breeze, thanks to the lightweight and flexible design intended for better freedom and mobility. The Vibram Morflex and LUNA’s unique Monkey Grip Technology come together to create a base that allows you to perform casual and high-intensity exercises. For these running sandals, LUNA uses a single, continuous tubular webbing strap with easy-slide adjustment buckles. Many reviewers have noted that the strap provides you with a safe, secure, and comfortable fit.

Pros

  •  Lightweight and flexible
  •  Rubber sole for traction
  •  Easy adjustment buckle
  •  Webbing strap
  •  Cushioned back strap

Cons

  •  Might be slightly wide for narrow feet

Our Tester's Experience

"These minimalist sandals are great for my outdoor adventures and city strolls. They cater to my wide feet and allow toe freedom. They also offer solid traction. I usually wear them on wet surfaces because they stay put."


9. Best For Forefoot Support:KEEN Women’s Rose Sandals

4.4

KEEN’s leather running sandals have a chunky rubber outsole with a multidirectional lug pattern that allows you to perform any sport with no shoe-loosening worries whatsoever. The closed-toe running sandals have a lightweight design and are great for when you could use some extra forefoot support. With a non-slip midsole that keeps your feet well-protected, an upper crafted from washable polyester, and the Aegis Microbe Shield-treated lining that keeps bacteria away from your skin, these make for the ideal minimal sandals to crush those miles in. Many reviewers have noticed that the adjustable hook and loop mechanism at the ankle straps offer a custom fit.

Pros

  •  Available in 13 colors
  •  Forefoot support
  •  Non-slip midsole
  •  Washable upper
  •  Anti-bacterial inner lining
  •  Non-marking durable rubber outsole for grip
  • Suitable for everyday wear

Cons

  •  Takes a little more time to dry

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are my go-to for random walks in the city. I like that they also help me through challenging hikes. They have adjustable straps that give me a comfortable fit."


10. Best Anti-Collision:Dream Pairs Women’s Summer Sport Sandals

4.2
Dream Pairs Women’s Summer Sport Sandals Image: Dream Pairs

Dream Pairs’ summer running sandals are all about speed and convenience, with the hook-and-loop closure on the rear for quick wearing and removal. Taking the weight out of the cushioning are the EVA mat lines the inside, while the bungee elastic lacing helps keep the fit secure and snug according to your preference. The toe is closed with an anti-collision design to protect your toes from painful stubs or injuries and absorb any impact that comes their way better than traditional shoes. “They provide an optimal balance between cushioning and orthopedic support with an ergonomic design that promotes healthy foot positioning. The combination of these features helps to promote better alignment of the feet, ankles, knees and hips which can reduce the risk of injury,” explains Lalitha Bhowani-Mcsorley, an expert in Musculoskeletal & Vestibular Injuries. The ergonomic design allows it to be used for all kinds of activities, including water sports.

Pros

  •  Available in 8 colors
  •  Adjustable elastic lacing
  •  Anti-collision design
  •  Absorbs impact
  •  Lightweight cushioning
  •  Quick and easy Velcro straps
  • Suitable for water activity

Cons

  •  Might be lacking in arch support

Our Tester's Experience

"These sandals are great for hikes and long walks. They are true to size and give me an adjustable fit. They also offer decent arch support and traction and remain durable."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Now that we have looked at some of the best sandals for runners out there, let’s talk about all the different types you can choose from and how to pick the right pair for your specific needs.

Types Of Running Sandals

  •  Zero-drop sandals

With no drop from the heel to the forefoot, this type supports your natural running style. It allows you to strike with the forefoot and not the heel, which keeps running-related injuries at bay.

  •  Strappy sandals

These are further divided into straps that are vertical or horizontal. The former is thong-styled and people prefer this because there isn’t much material surrounding the foot that can lead to abrasion. Horizontal straps are a good choice for those who want a secure fit that can also be adjusted according to their needs.

  •  Closed-toe sandals

This type of sandal doesn’t give you a minimalistic feeling, as it more or less resembles a shoe. But if you happen to be running on hazardous or rocky terrain, they can prevent collisions and keep your toes protected.

  •  Open-toe sandals

Even though foot protection is not optimum in this type of sandal, it is more airy and breathable without causing the feet to sweat, making it ideal for running as well as the beach.

  •  Trail sandals

With a solid sole unit, a deep lug pattern, and a thick rubber outsole, these sandals are great at giving you the right amount of traction to help you tread unpredictable surfaces.

  •  Off-trail sandals

Similar in design to trail sandals, these have a closed-toe design for superior protection. They keep very few parts of the foot exposed and increase your safety from hazardous surfaces and terrain.

After looking at the various kinds of best barefoot running sandals, let’s learn how you can choose the right pair for yourself.

How To Choose Running Sandals For Women

  •  Materials

Since you are going to be running, you need to look for something lightweight, as this impacts the overall weight. Synthetic fabrics have a backing and an external layer, which make them both breathable and lightweight for runs. Foam is the best for shock absorption and is also ultra-light.

Leather, in addition to keeping your sandals lightweight and breathable, is also long-lasting and quite sturdy. It is known for wicking moisture away from the skin to keep you free from sweat. Speaking of moisture, mesh is also a preferred material because it facilitates constant airflow, ensuring your feet are dry and cool no matter how long you run.

For added protection, you can look for inner linings that are treated with antimicrobial coatings that keep odor and sweat-causing bacteria at bay. Ensure that the material is has undergone fabric testing.

  •  Comfort

This is a necessary feature to ward off foot fatigue and extend optimal support to your joints and ankles. Otherwise, you might face injuries that can impact both your performance and recovery. EVA is a foam polymer that’s both soft and flexible. It has a thin, lightweight profile and offers superior cushioning. Look for sandals that use this synthetic in the footbed.

Rubber outsoles are the best for much-needed traction as they keep you up and running on uneven or hazardous terrains without any slippage. Along with giving you excellent hold, they are also weather-resistant. For perfect comfort, ensure you get a fit assessment done properly.

  •  Sole

Thin soles are not only useful for reducing the weight of the sandal, but they also provide you with a better ground-feel. This, in turn, helps you run safely and enhances your physical performance. Check the sole durability to see if it is able to withstand many terrains as well.

Infographic: Maintenance Tips For Running Sandals

Running sandals are durably designed and can withstand a lot of force and friction. However, regular rough handling of them can lead to early wear and tear. Therefore, it is important to properly take care of them to ensure safety and comfort. From cleaning to doing regular inspections, following some maintenance tips will increase the longevity of your running sandals. The infographic below will help you get started on these care tips. Check it out!

Maintenance Tips For Running Sandals (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Running sandals can help you run flawlessly. There are many running sandals available in the market that can also help you in workouts including yoga and pilates. They offer maximum support to you while relieving stiffness and pressure off your joints. While the Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals have a wide toe box, the Vibram Five Fingers Women’s V-Soul Shoes have a durable rubber outsole. Try the Viakix Siena Walking Sandals For Women for an excellent cushioned footbed. These footwear are supportive while you try to maintain your natural posture. They have rubber soles for traction, and to avoid unwanted accidents. Lightweight and super flexible, these arch-friendly running sandals come with a non-elevated heel that can provide the ultimate comfort. Moreover, the sandals support your feet and provide good security against sudden slipping. However, while purchasing the right running sandals for yourself, it is better to steer clear of products with short or tight straps. Overall, you might choose sandals that can help you walk with style, grace, and comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it hurt to run in running sandals?

No, as long as you choose high-quality sandals that feature a strong sole and optimum cushioning. Sandals give you better contact with the ground and help expand your range of motion, allowing you to move without limits.

Are sandals good for running?

Yes, specially designed running sandals have a supportive sole that gives you optimum traction and is flexible enough to not restrict your movement.

Is there such a thing as running sandals?

Yes, running sandals are specifically engineered to remove stress and fatigue from your feet while you perform. They absorb impact and allow you to run for longer with comfort.

Can you run in sports sandals?

Yes, sports sandals are ideal for anyone looking to establish more ground contact and keep their joints well-supported.

Is running with sandals bad for you?

If you have any foot-related problems, check with your doctor before running in sandals. Otherwise, this type of footwear is great for traction and absorbing impact for longer runs.

What are the benefits of running in sandals?

Running in sandals allows your skin to breathe, absorbs impact, and lets you move freely while establishing better ground contact.

Can you run in walking sandals?

No. Walking sandals have a low-absorb impact and low traction. Running in these sandals can hurt your feet.

Is it a good idea for runners to run longer miles in sandals?

Yes, you can run long distances in sandals but only if they are specially made for running. Running sandals feature a thicker sole that provides optimum support to your feet and prevent feet pain.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Priyam Gupta, loves to keep up with fashion so she can help her readers purchase the most amazing items that are trending. Understanding that running sandals are widely loved, she tried some herself, read many product reviews, and made a list of the best ones. The listed products are lightweight and comfortable.

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