Purposeful Shopping: Walking Men’s Sandals Buying Guide

Nothing can ruin a sightseeing day faster than wearing the wrong shoes. The majority of the top vacation destinations and their landmarks are designed to be explored by foot, so the last thing you will want to do is deal with painful blisters and aching arches. For this reason, it’s important to pack a comfortable pair of travel shoes.

You may have already felt the benefits of having a pair of walking sneakers to rest your feet while on the go, but if you are heading to a warm-weather area, you may want to invest in some comfortable and quality pair of mens walking sandals. That being said, let’s discuss the different types of men’s walking sandals and what features you should look for when choosing your perfect pair.

Why You Need Comfortable Walking Sandals?

picture of a man's feet in black gladiator sandals and blue pants
source: dress-trends.com

The best way to see a city and all its landmarks is to walk. You will only manage that if you’re wearing walking sandals for men designed with comfort in mind. These are the kind of sandals that you can put on and forget that you are wearing them. Why is this important? This is important because when sightseeing (but also when running errands or just going on a casual walk) you will face:

  • Uneven cobblestones and broken sidewalks
  • Uphill climbs (old castles and ramparts, for instance)
  • Long walking tours
  • Dangerous curbs, pebbles and other things that want to trip you up
  • Chafing and bloating in the summer heat
  • Paths that start out smooth and then run out in the middle of nowhere
  • Lack of support if you have weak ankles
  • Nature paths with creepy crawlies

What Are the Best Sandals for Walking?

picture of two persons on a mountain sitting on the rocks, wearing pants and sandals
source: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Trail Sandals

If you are looking for comfortable men’s walking sandals designed to be used on natural trails, trail sandals are the right option for you. These shoes usually have toe guards in order to prevent stubbing your toes or picking up too much gravel and dirt. Their sole is typically more rugged and durable, but you still have to be cautious and ensure that it is flexible enough for comfortable walking. A popular trail sandal brand is Keen.

Cork Slip-On Sandals

The most popular and most commonly found cork slip-on men sandals are Birkenstock sandals. They have been a go-to choice for comfy sandals for decades, and for good reasons. In addition to the comfortable cork footbed, they also boast moisture-wicking and shock-absorbing capabilities. They come in both regular and narrow sizes and provide excellent arch support.

picture of person sitting on a cliff with a view of rocks and threes wearing brown cork slip-on sandals
source: Ben Curry on Unsplash

It’s worth knowing that cork footbeds can be damaged by exposure to concentrated heat, so don’t leave your footwear in direct sunlight or in closed cars on warm days. In case your footwear becomes wet, allow it to air dry slowly, away from direct heat.

Anatomic Sandals

The classic anatomic sandals are also made by Birkenstock. They’re designed to mimic walking barefoot. There are walkers who say that only Birkenstock has helped them overcome plantar fascitis. Anatomic shoes are so strong that they can be bent over and over again without breaking.

Features to Consider When Buying Walking Sandals

picture of a man walking on tiles beside fountain wearing shorts and sandals
source: Daniel Fries on Unsplash


Many people have problematic feet – wide, flat, with spurs or plantar fascitis, with odd arches, and some even have uneven feet. That’s why choosing the right pair of sandals for sightseeing is so important. Comfortable sandals can significantly affect your trip because you’ll be able to walk longer and to enjoy your sightseeing more.


Of course, appearance is important too. So, try to think where you will be mostly wearing this pair of sandals and choose a model that goes well with most of your outfits. A pair of simple black walking sandals are universal and you can easily pair them with different outfits for different occasions.

Stickiness, Traction & Tread

Soles should grip the ground properly even when it is wet or crumbly. Also, your feet shouldn’t slide around the insole when they get sweaty or you’ve been walking a lot. A pair of quality walking sandals will include both these characteristics – non-slip on wet surfaces, and non-slip insole.

picture of person wearing brown leather sandals on a wet rock
source: wholesalewin.com


The sandals you choose should be the perfect size for you. If they are too large and you have narrow feet, they will cause blisters. On the contrary, if your feet are wide and long, and your sandals have little ridges around the edge, then they might be unwearable. To put it simply – if the sandal doesn’t fit immediately, don’t think that you will break it in on your trip.

Rubs & Bumps

The undersides of straps and buckles are also important. If they rub in any way or if there is even the slightest bump or seam when you run a finger under them – you should avoid them because they could easily cause you blisters. It depends on the shape of your feet, but still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.