Stow those fleece-lined boots, trekking shoes, and heavy harbingers of colder days (in other words, all those winter shoes). It’s time to bring out the comfy flip flops, cute beach sandals, and EVA foam soles of beach sandals.
From fuss-free and open-toed slides to ornate, fashion-forward, and feature-packed varieties, you’ll want to choose the best beach sandals for your next relaxing, rugged, or adventurous vacation.
The best beach sandals provide stability, comfort, and protection while walking across rocky shorelines, slippery piers, and sizzling hot sand or participating in water sports like jet skiing, snorkeling, and boating. Let’s not even get started on the sanitation standards of public restroom floors.
It’s essential to be particular about your footwear’s quality, material, and features before purchasing a pair to toss in your beach bag.
Whether you choose traditional flip-flops and water shoes or rugged beach sandals with high-traction soles, toe support, and a molded footbed, we’ve picked out some of the best sandals for a beach vacation.
What We Cover
- Best-Of by Category
- Best Travel Sandals for Beach Vacations
- 1. Ipanema Aphrodite II Women’s Sandals
- 2. VIFUUR Water Shoes
- 3. Teva Women’s Verra Sandal
- 4. Teva Men’s M Langdon Sandal
- 5. REEF Fanning Flip-Flop
- 6. Olukai Nohea Mesh Men’s Slip-On Sneakers
- 7. KIIU Beach Flip Flop
- 8. Sanuk Cosmic Yoga Mat
- 9. Crocs Swiftwater Mesh Deck Sandal
- 10. Birkenstock Gizeh EVA
- 11. Dr. Martens Gryphon Brando Leather Gladiator Sandals
- 12. MEGNYA Women’s Walking Sandals
- 13. Vibram Women’s FiveFingers V-Aqua Water Shoe
- 14. Body Glove Men’s 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe
- 15. Cudas Women’s Roanoke Dual-Sole Water Shoe
- 16. KEEN Women’s Ravine H2 Sport Sandal
- 17. Speedo Kid’s Tidal Cruiser Water Shoe
- 18. Columbia Men’s Drainmaker IV Water Shoes
- 19. ROCKFISH Kendall Double Strap Sandals
- 20. HOKA ORA Recovery Slides
- What is the best type of shoe to wear to the beach?
- What sandals are popular for travel?
- Are slides good for the beach?
Best-Of by Category
|Best for Water Activities
|VIFUUR Water Shoes
|Best for Comfort
|REEF Fanning Flip-Flop
|Best for Casual Wear
|Ipanema Aphrodite II Women’s Sandal
|Best for Style
|Dr. Martens Gryphon Gladiator Sandal
Best Travel Sandals for Beach Vacations
The Ipanema Aphrodite II women’s sandal combines the comfort of the best beach flip-flops with the style and wearability of a sandal. Perfect for the beach, boardwalk, or pool, they’re durable, flexible, and soft rubber with a slip-resistant PVC sole. The footbed is made of textured rubber.
The T-strap on these super cute shoes has a sleek, modern snakeskin design with a little bling for pizzazz. An ankle strap allows you to adjust the sizing for a better fit.
While casual and laid-back enough for the sand, these cute beach sandals can go from the daytime to the nightclub with no problem.
- Cute and fashionable
- An adjustable strappy style for a great fit
- Not much arch support
- No toe protection
If you’re a water sports enthusiast on a budget, these enclosed slip-on water shoes may be the best travel sandals for you. They’re made of light and breathable stretch fabric and have a top-quality rubber outsole for protection while walking over rocks and gravel on shallow shorelines as well as in other activities like doing yoga, gardening, fishing, or cycling.
These water shoes have a smooth and flexible sock-like fit. The smooth neck design prevents chafing at the ankles. This is my single biggest issue with any of the many water shoes I’ve tried, so this is a high-ranking feature for me.
Whether you’re wakeboarding, doing aquatic aerobics, or surfing the North Shore, these sleek and lightweight water sports shoes offer the traction and protection you need. The flexible fabric makes them easy to stow in a beach bag or on the boat for impromptu sandbar excursions.
- Easy on and off
- Quick drying
- Available in a wide variety of colors for men, women, and children
- No extra toe protection
Teva has been one of the most popular beach footwear choices for decades. Ready for an adventure but still sleek and feminine, the Teva Verra Sandals are a top choice for the best travel sandals for the beach when a simple slip-on won’t do.
These sandals come ready for the water with no break-in period required. They’re extremely durable and offer fantastic support and traction for casual beach walking or rugged hikes across rocks and slippery surfaces. They’re great for stand-up paddleboarding, crossing rocky roads, and exploring remote sandbars and islands.
Thanks to cushioned Shoc Pads in the heel that absorb impacts, Teva sandals for women are incredibly comfortable to wear. The contoured EVA footbed offers comfort and arch support, which is good to know if you have problems with plantar fasciitis.
These comfortable sandals are made of recycled polyester, with adjustable velcro straps that comfortably hug your feet and ankles. The cushioned footbed has a special zinc-based antimicrobial treatment to combat foot odor. Your family will thank you.
- Sturdy and supportive slip-resistant rubber sole
- Contoured footbed for arch support
- Good traction
- Sturdy adjustable Velcro strap for a secure fit
- No toe or heel protection
See Related: Best Travel Purses [Stylish And Affordable Options]
You can’t go wrong with the Teva Men’s M Langdon Sandal for waterproof traction and a rugged outlook. They offer a sole made of slip-resistant rubber for durability and traction and a molded EVA footbed for arch support. They’re lined with lightweight, breathable mesh to keep feet cool and comfortable.
A nylon shank on the sandals supports walking on uneven and rocky terrain. The fabric mesh strap offers a secure and adjustable fit.
These are the best sandals for a beach vacation when you are doing everything from walking across the hot sand to hiking along the shoreline, wading through rocky water, and traversing slippery slopes.
- Soft leather upper and cushioned footbed
- Water-resistant rubber soles
- Straps can become loose over time
- No toe protection
Looking for the best men’s walking sandals for travel? The REEF Fanning Flip-Flop is a brilliant creation. These flip-flops for the beach offer superior comfort and no-slip traction whether you’re a surfer, paddler, hiker, or all-around beach bum,
A 360-degree padded heel airbag, water-friendly straps, and anatomically enhanced support for arches make these the best beach sandals for a casual trip or an extended vacation, especially if you have flat feet and heel pain. The polyester upper repels water to keep feet dry.
The REEF Fanning sandals are also the signature of three-time World Surfing Champion Mick Fanning (in case the sandal’s name didn’t give that away).
The sandal’s piece de resistance is its patented Thirst Quenching Technology (TQT), a built-in bottle opener at the sole. I’m sold.
- EVA midsole and enhanced arch support
- Heel cushioning
- Bottle opener on the bottom
- No toe or heel protection
- Only men’s sandals have the bottle opener (how about we work on that, Reef?)
Olukai is one of the most well-known names in the world of beach shoes. The brand’s signature comfort makes them popular among beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts of all interests.
For a barefoot feel with protection and a non-slip grip, the Nohea is an excellent choice. This comfy shoe is made of lightweight mesh and lined with a soft microfiber lining for ultimate comfort and breathability. The anatomical PU footbed has gel inserts for all-day cushioning.
The Nohea is a two-in-one shoe/slide combo. The heel has a unique design that allows it to fold down, making this one of the best beach slides, as well as shoe. Non-marking rubber and gum outsoles make this the perfect boat shoe for those looking for something more substantial than traditional sandals.
- Wear as a shoe or a slide
- Mesh fabric for quick draining
- Sturdy outsole
- Water-friendly but not recommended for prolonged immersion
- More expensive than some brands
See Related: Best Beach Blankets
Comfortable insoles and excellent arch support take the KIIU Beach Flip Flop to the top of the best beach sandals list. These waterproof and shock-proof flip-flops look great for hiking, boating, beaching, fishing, or just walking around.
If you’re looking for the best travel sandals for multi-purpose use, KIIU’s offerings are next to perfect. These flip-flops are crafted from durable rubber with a water-friendly synthetic nubuck upper strap. If you, like myself, aren’t a fan of toe posts, you’ll be happy to know that this one is soft and flexible.
These flip-flops come with fantastic support and shock-absorbing insoles that reduce the strain on your feet. A herringbone pattern on the outsole provides traction for rocky shorelines, slippery piers, and boat decks.
While targeted at men, they’re good beach sandals for women who like rugged and supportive shoes with a simple design.
- Available in a variety of colors
- Waterproof rubber outsole for excellent traction and support
- No toe or heel protection
See Related: Best Travel Gifts [Gift & Present Ideas]
If you’re looking for comfortable and good-looking flip-flops for a beach vacation, you can’t go wrong with Sanuk. The brand has been popular with surfers, beachgoers, and camping enthusiasts for years. The company was started to “make people smile … and pass it on.” Sounds like a plan to us.
From the cotton upper and leather-lined footbed to the soft toe post and yoga mat insole, Sanuk Cosmic flip flops are the best beach flip flops to prevent tired feet. It’s like walking around on a yoga mat (try it, we bet you’ll agree).
These beach flip flops have a rubber sole with a textured bottom for traction and support at the pool, on the sand, or along the boardwalk and pier. Quick-drying polyester straps are soft and comfortable. The low-profile design easily transitions from a day at the beach to a night on the town.
I’ve been wearing Sanuk yoga mat flip flops for the past 20 years. In that time, I’ve tried many others from dozens of different brands, but I keep returning to these because they are just way too comfortable.Kim Magaraci, Managing Editor
- Soft yoga mat footbed
- Waterproof rubber outsole
- Not a lot of arch support
- No heel or toe protection
Is there anyone else out there who’s vowed never to wear Crocs? This pair might change your mind. I have to admit, I’m seeing possibilities with this beach footwear option.
Rather than sporting the typical wide, bulky, and (let’s face it) rather unsightly look of the original shoe, these have a more streamlined, minimalist, and athletic look.
Comfort and functionality come standard in these waterproof sandals. Crafted from 100% textile with a synthetic sole, this pair features excellent traction. Wide ports on the sides allow water to drain away, preventing cold and wet feet.
They’re the perfect companion for wading in the water, hanging out at the beach, walking along rocky shorelines, going fishing, or paddling along in a kayak.
- Large side ports to channel water away
- Closed toe for protection
- Adjustable strap for fit
- No heel protection
If you’re a proud supporter of Birkenstock or looking for dressy beach sandals, you’ll want to check out this choice. Gizeh is one of Birkenstock’s most popular classic thong sandals. The Gizeh is crafted from extremely lightweight and flexible synthetic with a design similar to its cork counterparts.
An anatomically-shaped footbed offers superior comfort, but this pair’s ace card is its sophisticated and fashionable design. If you aim to snap some beach OOTDs, these sandals can elevate your Insta status.
Fit-wise, they’re good for narrow feet. These comfortable summer sandals have a deep molded heel cup, an EVA-shock-absorbing sole, soft suede lining, and an EVA T-strap.
They’re water-resistant, washable, and skin-friendly, making them the best travel sandals for beach vacations, garden parties, or spa areas.
- Bright color choices
- Lightweight, flexible, and ergonomic
- Synthetic toe posts could be uncomfortable
See Related: Best Travel Totes: Top Bags & Luggage Options
Docs for the beach? Sign me up. If you’re looking to take the company’s signature bouncing soles everywhere, these may be your best bet for beach vacations or the next Emo Night on the Sand.
While not water-friendly, this fashionable pair is the best travel sandals for those looking to complete their summer outfit and channel their inner ’90s glam, goth, grunge, and punk.
These ultra-stylish unisex gladiator-style sandals can amp up your outfit’s cool factor. They may look slightly over the top or aggressive compared to your simple slim sandal, but the airy gladiator design still makes them a great summer staple. Also, Doc Martens are known for durability, so expect to be able to wear this pair for multiple summers.
Wide straps and two buckles guarantee a perfect fit, while an air-cushioned insole offers superior comfort. The elements that make Doc Martens footwear are visible stitching, grooved edges, and heel-loop adjustable buckle fastening.
Over time, this full-grain waxy leather sandal develops a beautiful worn-in vintage look, making them the best travel sandals to wear for years.
- Cushioned insole
- Adjustable ankle straps for a perfect fit
- Breathable liner for summer comfort
- Not waterproof
See Related: Best Places to Go on Vacation with Friends
Beach-friendly and water-resistant, these braided Bohemian-style sandals look great for a summer vacation filled with beach days, boardwalk afternoons, and weekend shopping trips. The MEGNYA braided sandals offer form, function, and fashion for travel.
The braided hand-woven straps are soft and specially designed so your feet can move freely without being constricted. Shock-resistant and durable rubber outsoles offer excellent traction. The incredibly soft and comfortable EVA-cushioned midsole makes wearing these babies feel like walking on air.
You can safely wear these braided sandals for a variety of water-based activities without having to worry about ruining them.
If you normally wear a half-size, you may want to size up with these sandals, which are great for beach activities.
- Support for arches
- Anti-slip traction
- Braided straps with lots of color choices
- No heel or toe protection
Some swear by Vibram FiveFingers. Some hate FiveFingers. Gotta admit, that separated toe action is a bit weird for my tastes. Designed for a barefoot feel with protective properties, these unique beach shoes are available for men, women, and children.
The design allows for natural movement in and out of the water. They’re described as easy to slip on and off, but some reviewers (and my mind) say that trying to get your toes into those slots could be an issue. The lightweight, thin, and flexible foot delivers a snug fit.
Comfort features include a 2 mm EVA insole and an adjustable Velcro ankle strap. The Megagrip outsole provides superior grip and stability on uneven surfaces. It has perforations for drainage, making them a great choice to wear while surfing, fishing, canoeing, swimming, diving the cenotes, and more.
- Allows for natural foot movement
- Drainage holes on the outsole for quick drying
- Separated toes can be hard to get used to
- Could be difficult to get on
If you’re intrigued by FiveFingers, but not quite ready to go full five toes, these sandals are a good place to get started. Known as three toes, the first and second toes each have their own space, and the other three are together. This water shoe maximizes toe articulation (you’ll get that barefoot feel) while providing protection, traction, and support.
Body Glove has been in the watersports shoe and apparel industry for years, and they know what they’re doing. This design has a stretch-fit upper, an ultra grip outsole, and an adjustable fit with a shocklace system for easy on and off.
Made with quick dry materials, they’re breathable, flexible, and lightweight. Best of all, they have an Integrated Drainage System (IDS) that allows water to flow out for quick and easy drying action.
- Easier to get on and off than five-toe shoes
- Low profile for packing and stowing in beach bags
- Three-toe design might be uncomfortable for some
This dual-sole aqua shoe is made of water flow mesh with a rubber bottom with a separate forefoot and heel for natural foot movement, traction, and flexibility. If you’re not into the thick and rugged soles of other sandals for women, these may be just what you’re looking for.
A padded EVA insole is perforated for drainage and has cushioned arch support. The open-sided design allows for fast water flow and quick air-drying action.
One of the biggest issues I’ve found with sandals and aqua socks is that they’re difficult to remove when feet are wet (go figure). This pair has adjustable bungee straps to loosen as well as a pull tag on the back to help with that.
- Allows flexible and natural foot movement
- Protective rubber toe and heel bumper
- Dual soles could be hard to get used to for some
- Not as much support for arches as some sandals and flip flops
KEEN Ravine sport sandals are the best beach sandals for women who like rugged and comfortable sandals for the beach, the boat, the pier, and the trails. If you’re into spontaneous adventures where you might be on the beach or boat one minute, and then walking on trails and rocky sandbars the next, I recommend KEEN.
I actually own this exact pair, which I immediately purchased after borrowing a friend’s KEEN beach sandals for women. They’re comfortable, protective, and easy to put on and off. If you have wide feet, you may want to size up.
They have a closed-toe cup and a deep-heel cup for support, comfort, and protection on any type of terrain. A contoured lug sole offers excellent traction. Features include sporty quick-dry webbing, adjustable bungee straps on the front, and an adjustable Velcro strap at the back. My favorite feature is the back strap, which can be removed to wear as a slide.
- Adjustable bungee and Velcro straps
- Excellent toe protection
- The back Velcro strap can be removed to wear as a slide
- No enclosed heel protection
- Bulky for packing
- The back strap can be difficult to adjust and sometimes comes loose
We can’t leave out the mini beach bums. These beach sandals for kids feature a 100% neoprene upper for a soft feel and a rubber bottom for traction.
They’re made of mesh for ventilation and quick drying. There’s a grab tag on the back to easily pull the shoe off as well as hang it to dry.
This shoe is perfect for a day at the beach. It may not be the best for a really rocky shoreline, but if you’re hanging out on soft sand, you’ll be set. Speedo’s Tidal Cruiser water shoe is available for the whole family.
- Easy on and off
- Traction on outsole
- Toe and heel protection
- Not much arch support
- May need to be replaced after one season
Looking for a rugged alternative to flip-flops, aqua socks, and traditional sandals? When a trip to the beach involves trekking up a mountain trail or traversing across boulders and gravel, you want a shoe that can handle it all. Columbia is the brand to get it done.
The Drainmaker IV is designed in the style of a hiking shoe. It encloses the entire foot but has midsole ports that allow water drainage and enhanced airflow to help keep feet cool and dry. The mesh upper delivers breathability and quick drying.
A Techlite midsole provides superior cushion comfort. Omni-Grip non-marking outsoles with razor siping offer excellent traction and stability on the trail, along the fishing pier, or on the boat.
- Midsole ports for water drainage
- Nonmarking outsole with razor siping for traction
- Complete protection all around
- Better for rugged wear than the basic beach day
- Bulky for packing
Searching for the Birkenstock look without the Birkenstock price tag? These easy breezy slides are just the ticket. They have two leather straps with adjustable brass buckles and natural cork footbeds. They’re lightweight and have flexible EVA outsoles.
The cushioned and shock-absorbing footbeds have the unique ability to mold to your feet. This provides arch, metatarsal, and heel support.
You’ll want to wear them all the time. I have a pair of sandals with cork footbeds, and they’re easily the most comfortable summer sandals I own.
With antibacterial and odor-resistant properties, these are a great choice to take you from the beach to a day of shopping or a night on the town.
- Easy on and off
- Adjustable buckles for fit
- Comfortable natural cork footbed
- Not a lot of arch support
These space-age-looking sandals are designed for men and women and make excellent shoes for the beach, pier, boardwalk, or rocky terrain. The unique design delivers a Meta-Rocker rocking type of motion. Slots in the upper allow water to drain away.
Dual-layer construction and cushioned oversized midsoles provide comfort, protection, and support. Grooves on the bottom offer traction and stability on uneven surfaces.
A slide design will appeal to those who don’t like the toe post of a typical flip-flop. They come in a rainbow of colors, including scuba blue, amber yellow, and fiesta red.
- Slide on and off
- Cushioned midsoles
- Synthetic EVA is easy to clean
- No closed heel or toe protection
- Meta-Rocker design may be hard to get used to
What is the best type of shoe to wear to the beach?
When choosing the perfect footwear for a trip to the beach, nothing beats the reliability and comfort of a trusty sandal. Offering a myriad of benefits, sandals prove themselves to be an ideal choice for beachgoers around the world.
One of the critical advantages of sandals is their lightweight nature, making them easy to pack and carry and ensuring that your feet won’t feel weighed down during your sandy adventures.
Furthermore, the slip-on design of sandals allows for quick and effortless removal, enabling you to transition from the sandy shore to the cozy comforts of your beach towel. Moreover, the open structure of sandals allows your feet to breathe and stay cool even in the scorching heat of the sand, preventing any discomfort or excessive sweating.
Additionally, opting for sandals with a rubber sole provides a layer of security and stability, particularly on wet or slippery surfaces near the waterline. This enhanced traction ensures you can confidently walk along the beach without fearing unexpected slips or falls.
The advantages of sandals make them the ultimate footwear choice for a day at the beach, offering both comfort and practicality for all beach enthusiasts.
What sandals are popular for travel?
As fashion trends constantly evolve, predicting which specific sandals will be popular each year is challenging. However, some current trends in footwear that may continue to be popular this year include chunky platform sandals, strappy gladiator sandals, and sporty slides with bold logos.
Are slides good for the beach?
Slides are a type of sandal that can be worn on the beach. They are typically made with a rubber sole and a single strap over the top of the foot. Slides are a good option for the beach because they are easy to slip on and off and can be worn in and out of the water without causing discomfort or damage to the shoe.