Our Favorite Women's Performance Sandals

Posted by Whole Earth | 03.22.2021

An underwater view of a couple walking on a large rock in performance sandals.



Our Favorite Women’s Performance Sandals


You may be wondering, what makes a sandal a performance sandal? Basically, they’re sandals made for outdoor activities.  Performance sandals are made of durable materials, with grippy soles and are rigged to stay on our feet. Some are equally at home in water and on dry land. And as more women discover just how comfortable these sandals can be, they’ve become everyday shoes as well as trusted travel companions for exploring new cities and landscapes.

The first performance sandals were made for use in water by cobbling together flip flips with large bands to keep them tied firmly on feet in turbulent waters. It wasn’t long before soles became thicker offering more protection, and straps with Velcro and side release buckles made personalized fit a possibility. Today’s performance sandals can have multilayered soles for added comfort and stability or can be minimalist giving a sense of the terrain beneath our feet. Another development in the saga of performance sandals is covered toes. There are times in water or on the trail when protecting our toes makes sense, and they’re still airy enough to deserve the name sandals! Here are a few of our favorite women’s performance sandals for 2021.


Chaco Z/1 Sandals

Chaco Z/1 Women's Sandals with Errorweave Navy webbingChaco’s Z series has been around for 30 years. That should tell you all you need to know about its classic status. These sandals have a thick contoured footbed that is supportive and comfortable, a rubber compound outsole for good grip, and straps that are adjustable for a custom fit. This popular performance sandal loves the water, the beach and the trail but is also an everyday sandal ready for daily walks, shopping and hanging out. And if you’d like a toe strap, try the Chaco Z/2!





Teva Women's Verra Performance SandalsTeva Verra Sandals

Teva has been making performance sandals for over 35 years. The Teva Verra features a feminine look with the toughness you’d expect in a classic Teva sandal. The contoured footbed offers arch support and stability while the Rugged Spider Rubber outsole is durable and offers good traction in wet conditions. The Teva Verra can be adjusted to your foot using Velcro straps. Take this shoe traveling or to work on days when you’ll be on your feet for hours and you want the comfort of a performance sandal combined with style.



Keen Ravine H2 Sandals

Keen Women's Ravine H2 SandalsKeen set itself apart over twenty years ago when it introduced a protective toe covering for its performance sandals. The toe guard reduces the potential for hurt toes when wading through cloudy water, hiking on trails with skree or clambering over rocks. The Ravine H2 is water ready with quick-drying webbing and lining. It can also be tossed in a washing machine for cleaning and then line-dried. It has an EVA footbed and arch support for all day comfort, and the Velcro backstrap is removable so the sandals can be worn as slip-ons as well.





HOKA ONE ONE Hopara Sandals for WomenHOKA ONE ONE Hopara Sandals

If HOKA ONE ONE’s running shoes are a favorite, then you’ll love the HOKA ONE ONE Hopara! They’re made for the trail and for water.  Hopara has a rubberized toe cap for protection and a sticky rubber outsole for traction in dry or wet conditions. Cutouts on the side let water drain away and help keep feet cool. And thanks to HOKA’s EVA midsole, the Hopara brings you ‘Cloudwalking Part II,’ while the quick lace system keeps the sandals firmly on your feet.



Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals

Bedrock Cairn Adventure Sandals for WomenThe “new” kid on the block is Bedrock, maker of Cairn Adventure Sandals. These performance sandals have a lighter, minimalist footbed that offers superior ground feel and flexibility and a tough Vibram outsole. Topside, this sandal combines a thong with an ankle strap plus side wings for added stability as well as three adjustment points for a secure fit. The lightweight Cairn performs on the trail, in water and for everyday wear.





Performance sandals have been with us for many years, but we now have a surprising range of styles, footbeds, soles and strapping options to choose from. The bottom line is that performance sandals are great for outdoor activities, travel and everyday wear. Experience the comfort and stability for yourself in one of our favorites!





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