The Best Sport Sandals for Spring

on March 28, 2012

The Best Sport Sandals for Spring

Check out our picks for the best new sandals to take you on all your warm-weather adventures, from walking on the beach to water sports.

KEEN “Whisper”

$85; Cradle your foot in comfort with this lightweight take on the classic Keen design. The amphibious upper material, sturdy sole and tough rubber toe offer great protection for water-sports enthusiasts who may find themselves hoofing it on trails or traversing rocky riverbeds. Bonus: An antimicrobial footbed promises to keep these sandals smelling fresh and feet fungus-free.

Ahnu “Tomales”

$75; The straps on these brightly colored sandals are a mix of leather and elastic, which allows them to adjust with your feet as you move but also provides a polished look. The anti-microbial footbed feels supportive but also airy, making them an ideal choice for hot days. They’re available in red, purple, chartreuse and black; and come in whole sizes only.

Mephisto “Allrounder Isis”

$120; This classic sport-sandal silhouette offers great support and shock-absorption, whether you’re sightseeing around town or switching from hiking boots or running shoes to something cooler and more comfortable. Velcro straps at the toe, ankle and even heel insure a snug fit. Available in more pedestrian black and brown, as well as a cool white with a hint of mint green.

Ecco “Kilea”

$100; Slim criss-crossed straps give the Kilea a more delicate look than many sport sandals, but they don’t rub the way narrower straps sometimes do. The sandals are adjustable in three places, at both criss-crosses and across the heel, ensuring a precise fit. Also impressive: a cushioned insole atop an already thick rubber sole provides pillow-like padding.

Columbia “Techsun III”

$50; These water-resistant sandals impressed us with their weight and solid sole traction. We also loved that the heel strap folds forward to convert the shoe to a slide-on; the price is already right, but with this option you get two styles in one. The straps are adjustable, but one runs just across the bone, so these may not be ideal for bunion sufferers. They also run on the small side, so consider a half size up.

Teva “Zilch”

$80; For a sporty sandal with a barefoot feel, the Zilch is the way to go. The minimalist sandal features super-gripping rubber soles, two adjustable straps and a toe-loop. It’s unbelievably lightweight but incredibly sturdy. The Zilch is the perfect multi-purpose shoe for summer: Wear it on errands, to the pool, to do yard work or just to kick around. It may be the best sandal Teva has made to date!

Chacos Zx2 Vibram Yampa

$90; Chacos is constantly streamlining its styles to reduce waste, but the soles on these sandals are still hardy enough for a difficult hike. A toe strap also provides extra security, and all the straps can be adjusted for a custom fit. Post-adventure, you can wipe these off or toss them in the washing machine, then let them air dry. Choose from several patterns and color combinations, including a feminine berry hue.

Okabashi “Maui”

$14.99; Do you stock up every summer on cheap flip-flops in several colors? If so, consider trading quantity for quality. These plastic thongs offer the same look with solid arch support and a stamp of approval from the American Chiropractic Association. We liked how they contoured to the foot and stayed in place even in wet environments. The Maui comes in 12 colors and 4 sizes (S, M, ML, L).

Adidas “Hydroterra Shandal”

$95; First the skort, now the “shandal.” Blazing new territory in the footwear world, the Hydroterra Shandal combines the coverage and sole support of a shoe with the ventilation and foot-hugging features of a sandal. The fast-drying mesh upper makes it perfect for a day of canoeing or sea kayaking; elastic “speed laces” offer easy on-easy off access. We love the edgy black/turquoise/Kermit-green colors, with the three-stripe Adidas signature, of course.

Rafters “Breeze Skinny Tropicana”

$24.95; Rafters began as an outdoor water shoe manufacturer but has since expanded its line to include casual sandals. You won’t want to play any sports in these lightweight flip-flops, but they do provide far more support than the ubiquitous rubber thongs that make podiatrists cringe, thanks to a “BOUNCE” footbed designed with resilency in mind. The style is also offered with thicker straps if you prefer that look.