To choose the best sandals, consider where you'll be wearing them and for how long. For instance, fashion sandals aren't practical to wear on a walk and athletic walking sandals aren't appropriate for fashionable evening wear. Rubber flip flops are great for the pool or beach, but they don't provide any support for walking. The best sandals for general wear should support the feet and fit comfortably.
Look for straps that don't dig into or rub against the skin. Rather than plain inner soles, the best sandals are contoured to fit and hold the feet. For example, good sandals include arch supports rather than just a flat surface, like plain rubber flip flops have. If you want to choose the best sandals to support your feet, look for those that have a slightly sunken area at the heel to keep heels from moving around. If heels move around too much in footwear, this can lead to calloused, or hardened and cracked, skin.
If you run or jog and want a warm weather alternative to athletic shoes, the best sandals to choose may be the running type. Running sandals have special straps to keep feet secure. Many sandals designed for running or jogging also have a toe guard. The toe guard is a raised ridge that keeps the toes from touching the ground during running. Choose the running sandals that give you the best fit as well as the features you prefer.
For hikes in warmer months, it's often a great idea to take along a pair of hiking sandals. They're usually quite lightweight to carry in a backpack, and well-made hiking sandals have arch supports. Even if you choose the best sandals for hiking, keep in mind that they should be used for short hikes only. Hiking sandals shouldn't totally replace hiking boots on longer hikes since they can't provide ankle support.
To choose the best sandals for dressy occasions such as a summer social event, look for materials such as leather or good quality synthetics that look like leather. Canvas sandals or rubber flip flops are too casual for wearing with dressy clothes meant for special occasions. While some offices allow dressier types of sandals, most workplaces do not permit flip flops or athletic sandals. Flip flops and canvas sandals may be the best choice for wearing on a home patio or deck as they are easy to slip on and take off.