The Best Comfort Sandals That Aren’t Frumpy

Every summer, I get tons of requests for comfort sandals that aren’t frumpy. This used to be a tall order, but this year, comfort sandals are very much on trend. Hallelujah!

I’ve been on a mission to find the best comfort sandals without the frump factor, and today I’m partnering with Nordstrom to style three of my favorites.

Caslon tee (S) // Mother denim (29) // Born Sloan (8)

As you might expect, Nordstrom has a wide variety of comfort sandals to choose from, and of course their free shipping and a generous return policy. And don’t forget about the Buy Online Pick Up in Store option, if you need something right away.

What To Look For in a Comfort Sandal

When shopping for comfort sandals, there are a few things to consider.

First of all, look for a molded footbed. This is when the sandals are contoured to cradle the foot in a natural, supportive way. All of the shoes pictured below have a molded footbed.

Tory Burch Miller Cloud (Spark Gold Natural) // Born Sloan Platform Sandal (Natural) // Dolce Vita Grazie Braided Slide (Cafe) // Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle Slide (Cognac Leather)

Sandals with back straps or a lower vamp generally stay on your feet better and are easier to walk in that slides.

Sam Edelman Naomi Sandal (Pewter)

Finally, sandals that are adjustable will provide the best fit for your unique foot. Also, sandals with soft straps and cushioning in the footbed will help avoid blisters.

Born Sloan Platform Sandal (Turquoise Distressed)

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to style three of my favorite comfort sandals, but I’ve tried and highly recommend all of those linked above as well.

I kept these looks simple in order to showcase the shoes, but of course there are limitless ways to wear each pair.

Born Sloan Platform Sandal

sandals (8) // t-shirt (S) // jeans (29) // sunnies // earrings // handbag

This Born sandal has a bit of a platform, but don’t let that deter you from trying them. There is lots of cushion in the footbed, and it’s not as heavy as it looks.

The strap has three settings, and it’s soft against the foot. I also really love the basketweave detail on the sides.

Born Sloan Platform Sandal

I usually gravitate towards neutral sandals, but I love how this Distressed Turquoise pops against the white denim. (They do come in some neutral colors as well, if you prefer.)

A grey t-shirt and a few silver-toned accessories complete this casual look.

This Treasure & Bond Twist Detail T-Shirt is featured in all three outfits. It’s one of my favorites from last summer, so I was thrilled to see it back this year. It’s buttery soft with an easy, relaxed fit.

The twisted scoop neck is flattering without being too revealing, and the rolled cap sleeves are the perfect finishing touch. It’s true to size, or you could size down if in between; I have the small.

And I’m wearing the Mother Hustler — an ankle-length bootcut style with a raw hem for a fresh, modern take on white jeans.

These jeans run true to size, or size up if in between. I went with a 29, the larger of my two usual sizes.

Sam Edelman Naomi Sandal

sandals (8) // t-shirt (S) // shorts (8) // sunnies // earrings // handbag

These t-strap sandals from Sam Edelman are probably the most versatile of those featured in this post because of the t-strap design and adjustable buckle. They should work for narrow or wide feet.

They’re also extremely lightweight, and they come in a myriad of great colors. This is the Pewter, and I love how it offsets these olive green shorts and grey tee.

These Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution shorts are made of a comfortable stretch twill that moves with you and doesn’t constrict. They have a 9″ un-cuffed inseam, but I rolled mine twice to bring it up to about 7″.

This is the Lily Pad, but they come in several other color options. I really love that Smokey Twilight; in fact I have them in that color, as well. These shorts run true to size; I’m in my usual size 6.

Birkenstock Siena Soft Footbed Slide Sandal

sandals (8) // t-shirt (S) // jeans (28) // sunnies // earrings // handbag

Finally, I added these Birkenstock crossover slides to my sandal collection this summer. The crossover style is very much on trend this season, and I love this Orchid Nubuck.

Yes, another color! I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Birkenstock Siena Soft Footbed Slide Sandal

These have the infamous Birkenstock contoured cork footbed with soft nubuck straps in a criss-cross style, and they’re adjustable for the perfect fit. I wear mine on the tightest setting. They also come in a canvas style, which I assume might be a bit lighter in weight and more flexible, but I haven’t tried them.

Because the straps come pretty high on the the foot, they stay in place better than most slides. I have no trouble walking miles in these. They are true to size for Birks, but they’re designed for more narrow feet, so be aware of that. (That is why they are listed as having a B width.) I have the size 39.

Birkenstock Siena Soft Footbed Slide Sandal

These would look great with the white denim outfit above, but I changed into blue jeans to show another option.

I’ve worn this exact outfit several times in the past couple of weeks because these jeans are so incredibly comfortable, and I love the ultra-casual styling with the raw step hems and ripped knees.

And here’s your PSA for the day. If you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop.

You also get to enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events — like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which is just around the corner! (Sign up to get #NSale-specific updates HERE.)

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photos: Alison Cornell

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18 Responses

  1. Ok – I just ordered the grey t-shirt – you have convinced me that I NEED it .. lol I have a few colored birks from years past and I’m SO glad color is in this year!!

  2. I love all of the sandals especially the turquoise, I am just wondering if I can get away with wearing with other colors beside white? Great post!! Another question are the white flares non see thru? And perhaps a link for the blue jeans without distressing please. Thank you again for a wonderful post. I am excited to try out these items.

    1. Oh, sure, you can wear the turquoise with almost anything. I’ve worn them with blue jeans too (the pic at the very top of the post.)

      Here’s a pair of the Mother Insiders without the distressing. I think Walking On Coals is probably the same wash as Dancing On Coals: https://shopstyle.it/l/bHRsI

  3. Hi Jo-Lynne, I love your posts! Thank you for doing what you do:)
    Can I ask about your Apple watch? Which size and model do you have? Do you like it? Where did you get your watchband (I really like it).
    Thanks again!

  4. Thank you for this post. I live in Germany and Birkenstocks are popular over here, even with young women. I now own two pairs and I find I can walk a lot in them. At work we have to have a strap at the heel for health and safety reasons and I am relieved that more and more shoes over here are comfortable without looking frumpy.

  5. Love the post, already have the grey top from last year, so easy to wear and seems to elevate the outfit. I have the Sienna orchid on order since you showed them the other day, haven’t worn this style yet but love the look and can wear with a lot of outfits, have in mind a navy top and white shorts and a navy t-shirt dress. I really love Birks since I can’t wear anything too flat (years of being on my feet and wearing Dansko’s). Have a nice week!

    1. By the way, those sunnies look great on you, look like they fit really well. Still on the hunt for smaller ones.

  6. Love your style but everything is priced WAY (way) out of my price range. I don’t mind spending *a bit* more on quality items but $200+ for an Apple Watch band? Yikes! I would love to see you do a post with ideas that are priced for those with more of a lower-middle income (but not from Amazon). Lots of people are really hurting financially right now but still want to look fashionable.

  7. Great post! The majority of the sandals in my closet are Birkenstock’s because of the great arch support and the ability to adjust them for a proper fit on my skinny feet. I am glad I ordered the Sam Edelman sandals from Zappos. I found them to be very comfortable yesterday, but the soles made me feel like I didn’t have good contact with the brake and gas pedal in the truck, so I ended up taking them off to drive home. That may be because they are brand new. I just ordered the Treasure and Bond tee in the grey. I hope you are having a great day!

  8. The great thing about those t-shirts is they are soft but durable. Often my shirts get little holes around the belly from my jeans’ hardwear after a wear or two. So irritating! I have not had that problem with these shirts. I have two blacks and one gray…..I’m thinking of ordering another gray. I hope they do some additional colors. I think they did last fall but I failed to order any. Sigh. 🙂

    1. Chandra, do you have stone countertops? Like quartz or granite? I only started to notice little holes in my T-shirts around the belly after we put in quartz countertops. I discovered small chips in the counter are causing the holes, probably from where the hardware of the jeans rub.

      1. To clarify I’m talking abiutbyhe Treasure and Bond tshirt with the twist detail. And re the countertops yes we do and I hadn’t thought about that. But we have corian in our old house and I think I got them there too. I’ll have to investigate that as a possible cause. I do tend to spend more time than I’d like leaned up against a kitchen countertop doing chores!

  9. I bought the Born in the Distressed Turquoise & love them. Very comfy & my favorite color. Also got the Sam Edelman Pewter. Great shoe too. Appreciate your good taste in comfortable sandals.

  10. Ok, can I just say that I love that you used the same fabulous grey t-shirt for all outfits?

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