Functional Sandals
Adventure Is Calling
The sporty look is in, from head to toe. “Active sandals are hot in every tier of the shoe business right now. I see it as an extension of how hot athletics are,” Alegria Design Director Megan Gold tells us. “The athletic customer wants warm weather offerings that feature the function and support that they are accustomed to. Plus, they want to get the most mileage out of their existing go-to wardrobe.” Archies Footwear Founder, Daniel Jones, says he is seeing consumers zeroing in on sandals that can be worn in all facets of life. “Comfort has never been cooler, and active sandals and footwear aren’t only about recovery post-activity, it’s about providing something that is comfortable and supportive enough to be worn all day long,” comments the executive. When it comes down to making choices, “we’re noticing consumers are happier than ever before to compromise on some of the traditional fashion aspects in the name of comfort.” Here, brand execs tell us what’s trending right now in the active sandal category.

What’s your barometer on the active sandal category today? Tell us what trends you are seeing and how brands are adding value.

“The features that customers are looking for are great arch support, tasteful adjustability, lightweight and ideally, slip resistance. We are so excited to launch our new Alegria Fit sandals for the Spring/Summer 2025 season. We expect their functionality to hit all the marks that this customer is looking for in an athletic sandal.” – Megan Gold, design director, Alegria

“The active sandal category is evolving in response to consumer demands for comfort, versatility, sustainability and performance. Cushioning, arch support and breathability are the top priorities. Consumers also want sandals that can transition from outdoor activities to everyday wear, and are eco-friendly with recycled materials. In performance, they want technology and innovation designed to de-stress the foot.” – Logan Bird, VP of omni-channel sales, Mephisto

“There is a big opportunity to produce quality, well-made active outdoor sandals. Very little has changed in the category. Consumers want it all – something with a proper footbed with support and comfort, water-friendly, traction and easy to clean. They would like it to last forever and look good. They want a proper fit and the adjustability to customize that fit to their unique needs. Then, of course, new colors, excitement, fun fashion – a certain cool factor – in their active sandals.” – Michael Walker, head of marketing and ecommerce, täōs

“Active sandals appeal to today’s discerning consumer meeting the desire for comfort, versatility and style.
No longer just for outdoor function, active sandals
(when designed well) can take you almost everywhere. With a greater demand for comfort and versatility
this is a category that is positioned for continued year
over year growth.” – Kelly Dumpson, head of sales - wholesale, San Antonio Shoemakers

“Consumers have been going back out to travel and explore. They want something they can dress up or down, but that also has a slight athleisure flair. Many consumers are now looking for healthy features such as shoes that have better support. Consumers are more educated and know that quality footwear will keep them active longer.” – Ayelet Lax Levy, president of U.S. operations, Naot

“We’re trying to provide sandals that are suitable for everyday wear, but have the same support and benefits of a recovery-specific sandal. We’re seeing a shift from what was once ‘uncool’ to now being cool. Thicker is in, and consumers are searching for comfort before fashion in many ways. Thick and comfy go hand in hand, and what we offer is something we can meet customers in the middle with – a perfect blend of comfort, support and style.” – Daniel Jones, founder, Archies Footwear

“Sandals that fall into a popular retail area of say $129.95 to $159.95 will be winners at retail with the looming recession being discussed, along with price increases across the board affecting the average American. Consumers and retailers have reached the point where they now feeling gouged! Also, while most companies are using Euro sizing, Hälsa remains in U.S. sizes and widths, including half sizes, along with stocking medium and wide-widths.” – Phil Coward, account sales representative, Hälsa Footwear

“Consumers are requiring style and fashion with comfort. They are looking for sophistication with all the critical comfort elements. Sandals require better constructed outsoles, with contoured footbeds. Arch support is
important. Adjustable enclosures make for the perfect fit. Active sandals are popular in neutral colors, accented with seasonal color pops. – Rich Rask, president, Rieker Shoe Corp.

“In our space, we are certainly seeing a trend for dressier uppers and interest leathers, whilst not compromising comfort under foot. Our customer is wearing fun, stylish supportive sandals out for coffee, as well as pairing the same sandals or slides to her favorite yoga classes. Recently we launched our first collection of Euro-inspired sandals and slides out of Turkey. We are looking to build of the success of this program into 2025.” – Craig Truscott, CEO, revere

“Activewear has blurred the line between style and performance across the fashion world, and it’s more evident than ever in the sandal category. As the Comfort Technology Company, Skechers develops every product with the understanding that consumers deserve comfort and style in their footwear – be it for a leisurely stroll or an intense hike.” – Kathy Kartalis, SVP of global product, Skechers

“Shoppers seek more versatility in individual pieces
and want to look stylish after their yoga/Pilates class or at their health retreats. Chunkier tread/soles are in, as are flatform silhouettes, soft leathers, strappy uppers that hold onto the foot and sandals with adjustability. Underfoot comfort is key – consumers aren’t wanting to compromise in this area anymore.” – Hilary McMillan, CEO, FRANKIE4

“Active sandals continue to be spotted in unconventional environments due to performance features transcending initial product expectations. With innovation for new materials and free expression on the rise, brands have become more ambitious experimenting with combinations of materials, colors, prints, scales and embellishments. Product stories have become a big factor when it comes to connecting with consumers, adding relevance, value, and importance to the brand.” – Jennifer Sokso, director of marketing, Propét

“Consumers are demanding comfort, functionality, and versatility in all footwear categories. Specifically, in active sandals, they want something they can wear to multiple events, so having silhouettes that can accommodate multiple purposes is key. Sandals that are too tight or pinch the feet but ‘look cute’ aren’t performing as well as sandals that truly fit, offer adjustability and other comfort elements.”– Sydney Simas, VP, Simco Imported Shoes

“Soft squishy midsoles seem to be the marketing buzz, but is soft good for most people? At Xelero we don’t think so. Xelero sandals feature a patent pending technology providing the perfect balance of support & stability.” – Dan Werremeyer, CEO, Instride Shoes

Mephisto/Jeanie Jeanie’s Soft-Air technology and cushioned footbed provide shock absorption and cushioning, while its high-quality leather and durable design make it ideal for active endeavors. A stylish and versatile silhouette tackles both casual and dressy occasions. MSRP $299.

FRANKIE4/Thompson Soft, buttery leather gives Thompson a luxurious look and feel that travels from city to studio. A fully adjustable upper with triple layer cushion and support system under foot. Rice husk with thermoplastic rubber provides flexibility within the mid foot and allows the footbed to mold appropriately. MSRP $225.

Naot/Kayla Sport Combining an athleisure look with comfort technology, Kayla Sport is an active offering in the Athena collection. The athletic-inspired bottom provides slip-resistant traction. Naot’s anatomic cork and latex footbed is wrapped in suede that molds to the shape of the foot. MSRP $169.95.

Remonte/Jocelyn Available in multiple color and material combinations, the Jocelyn can be paired with pretty much any outfit. A leather upper offers adjustability on both the quarter strap and front band. The soft contoured insole is removable. The lightweight and comfortable polyurethane sport outsole is long-wearing. MSRP $125.

Skechers/GO WALK Arch Fit Affinity This sandal features a geo woven mesh upper with a supportive Arch Fit contoured footbed, along with lightweight ULTRA GO cushioning. Adjustable hook and loop closures at the toe, instep, and heel straps help tailor your fit. A durable dual-density traction outsole offers stability. MSRP $75.

täōs/Super Z The täōs Z Strap sandal is crafted with premium waterproof leather and nylon straps for full adjustability. The lightweight construction, energy return midsole and all-terrain rubber outsole makes the sandal ideal for walking, hiking and outdoor adventures. MSRP $140.

Biza/Lavish The Lavish is kicking it in retail right now thanks to its comfortable stretch knit upper and lightweight construction. A dual density EVA footbed with memory foam provides cushion and support. MSRP $99.95.

Arcopedico/Sumava The brand positions the Sumava vegan walking sandal as “fatigue-free” thanks to its comfort and adjustability for a customized fit. The soft, non-binding upper conforms to the top of the foot. Twin arch-support soles protect and allow the distribution of body weight through the entire plantar surface. MSRP $135.

Revere/Palma 2 Strap Slide Custom fit is possible with this sandal, thanks to bonus strap extenders and medium/wide width options. A removable footbed allows the wearer to insert custom orthotics, ankle-foot orthoses and braces. An oversized square buckle adds to the fashion quotient. MSRP $139.95.

Hälsa /Desiree Features an adjustable hook and loop strap with unique tooling and fabric gore design. The sandal will keep the foot properly aligned and supported throughout the day thanks to an Equilibrium Plus insole. Silver Ion technology assists in killing odors, bacteria or fungus that tends to accumulate in footwear. MSRP $109.95.

Alegria/Ova8tion The standing Ova8tion can be prolonged thanks to a built-in molded EVA footbed with arch support and manageable heel height. This water-friendly sandal has Alegria Fit contouring to support natural toe shape, and a padded mesh upper/lining and adjustable hook-and-loop strap for a personalized fit. MSRP $80.

Archies/Arch Support Slide A step above regular slides, these Archies (for men or women) are packed with an almost one-inch arch support, a memory foam footbed that molds to the shape of the foot and a thicker heel support to provide the recovery benefits that consumers are searching for. MSRP $60.

SAS/Maverick Available in five colors, the Maverick can complement any look. A dual density contoured, molded midsole has an extra layer of memory foam on top, while a dual density rubber outsole offers flexibility, cushioning and traction. Three-way adjustability provides a customized and secure fit, with extended sizes and widths also available. MSRP $215.

Propét/Elio This Spring ’25 men’s active sandal boasts a substantial multi strap design with durable leather and a moisture-wicking neoprene lining. A stretchy bungee harness back strap secures fit, and an ultra-cushioned footbed provides comfort and support for all-day wear. MSRP $99.95.

Xelero/Tru Trek Xelero sandals strike a balance of support and stability. The contoured footbed, with built-in rocker and control plates, helps wearers who suffer from supination, pronation, and planter fasciitis. The soft polyurethane upper is waterproof. A women’s version is also available. MSRP $119.99.