Looking for a new sandal to take you through spring and summer? We all love their simple style, but we should put some serious thought into the types of sandals we actually buy. It’s surprising to see all the different sandal styles that fall under the category. From walking sandals to dress sandals, read below to learn the different types of sandals and a few of my favourite picks. Discover a stylish sandal below to take you through the warmer seasons!

Flip Flops


This style features “Y” straps and a lightweight, flexible medium-density EVA midsole. Generally, flip flops are just simple rubbery straps and footbeds that aren’t much good for anything other than getting across hot sand or hot pavement at a beach or pool. However, Vionic’s sandals provide comfortable arch support and can be worn just about anywhere. Perfect for summer days, you’ll have a breathable sandal that will take you through any activity.

Flip Flop Favourites:

  • The Vionic Tide collection includes a classic toe-post sandal that comes in a variety of trim and tread patterns.
  • The Anitra Platform style is a dressier wedged sandal with a cork-wrapped outsole, microfiber-covered footbed, and leather straps in rich color options.



Slide sandals can be pretty much anything open at the back into which you can “slide” your foot. Styles can range from sporty to fashionable.

Slide Sandal Favourite: The Randi Slide Sandal features a slip-on design and perforated pattern, perfect for a day by the pool or a summer evening.



farra sandal

These sandals open at the back but are secured with a heel strap. Slingback sandals could be flats, wedge heels, or regular types of heels. The options are endless for this classic sandal style.

Slingback Favourite: The Farra Sandal has a supportive heel strap and metallic detailing along the front straps for delicate detailing.



What are espadrilles? This style has a classic jute-wrapped flat rubber sole with canvas uppers; though many different variations exist these days. Espadrilles typically come as platform sandals, but can even come with a higher heel, if you’re looking for something dressier.

Espadrille Favourite:

  • The Brooke Wedge Sandal is a sleek and elevated super-walkable wedge with classic espadrille details. The dressy style makes it a perfect pick if you’re looking for beach wedding sandals or a stylish summer shoe!


Think lots of leather straps, could be flats or heels. Typically, the gladiator style is the most dressy or elegant. If you’re wondering how to wear gladiator sandals, many use these strappy sandals to dress up an outfit.

Gladiator Favourite: The Sami Heeled Sandal is amongst one of our favourite gladiator sandals. The block heel provides elevated style while the built-in arch support provides ultimate comfort. You can find this sandal in a variety of colors and prints, all with luxurious leather material for the straps.

Regardless of Type, Invest in Supportive Sandals

Regardless of the style you’re after, I recommend investing in supportive types of sandals, like those from Vionic, that you can wear to save your feet, prevent foot issues, and heal from a variety of other pains. Vionic sandals offer a design that will do all this, in practically every style, that are equally fashionable and comfortable.

Why is Support Important?

Why supportive sandals? As I said above, we love sandals because they’re a nice break from shoes, especially in warmer weather when we want to dress lighter and feel freer…which for many people means less substantial footwear. As lovely as the idea is, unsupportive sandals do our feet no favors, leading to foot pain and other problems that I’ll get into later.


Don’t Go Barefoot, Opt for Supportive Sandals

It can be very tempting, especially in the summertime, to be barefoot or live in flip flops, I really encourage you to avoid being barefoot on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

Why? Well, our feet were designed for walking on natural surfaces, like sand. When you walk on the sand the ground gives way and spreads out the pressure of walking. Unfortunately, most of us don’t spend much time walking barefoot on the sand. When we do walk, it’s generally on hard, man-made surfaces; the ground is unforgiving, so our foot is forced to adapt to soften the forces of walking by letting the arch collapse more.

This increased mobility in your foot places repeated stresses to all of the structures that support it, particularly the plantar fascia. “Plantar” simply means the “bottom of the foot” and the word “fascia” refers to the strong strap-like bands of tissue that hold us together. This is where the problems from wearing unsupportive sandals can come in. As always, there’s no gain when it comes to foot pain…so take my advice and sandal-up wisely.

Again, invest in shoes and types of sandals with arch support, cushioning and shock absorption, limit use of high heels, very flat or thin types of sandals and flip flops. Also, make sure your shoes are not old and worn out!


When to Replace Your Summer Sandals and Shoes

The general rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 8-10 months, but you may
need to do so sooner if you are particularly hard on your shoes. Warm-weather shoes, like all
different types of sandals, may need to be replaced after one or two seasons.

Sole Wear

The best indicator of needing to replace your sandals is sole wear. Flip your sandal over and examine the sole; if they are uneven or worn out it is definitely time to replace them.

Tabletop Test

Take your sandals and put them on a tabletop and examine the soles at eye level. Are they even? Are they worn? Then, flip them upside-down and examine the tread. Is it smooth? Does it have holes? If so, resole — or better yet, replace!

Old and worn-out shoes and sandals can hurt your feet and overall skeleton. Any shoe with worn-out soles forces your foot to land at an increased angle. This can stress out bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can cause sprains, fractures, strains, inflammation, and injury. Old shoes may feel good because they are broken-in and comfortable (just like junk food may taste great), but they are not good for you!

Alternate Your Shoes Instead

Alternate your shoes throughout the day and week. The repetitive stress of walking and wearing the same shoes every day, all day, can inflame ligaments, tendons, fascia (discussed earlier), and even cause pain, injury, and stress fractures.

Try switching from slippers during early morning and late evening hours, and alternate between casual/workout sneakers for commuting and supportive types of sandals or ballet flats during the day. Again, Vionic’s Tide, Brooke, Pepper, and Daniela are my go-to’s for the warmer weather! Save heels, if desired, for a few hours here and there, or just for parties and events.


Vionic’s Supportive Sandals

No need to sacrifice style for comfort. Vionic’s sandals come in a variety of trendy styles and each one has a signature “Three-Zone Comfort with Ultimate Arch Support” — that means a supportive innersole with contoured arch mid-foot, a deep-seated heel cup for rear stability, and ball-of-foot cushioning for superior shock absorption upfront. Browse our women’s comfortable sandals today to find a style you love!

Wishing you happy sandal season and wellness always.

– Written by Vionic Innovation Lab member, Dr. Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM.

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