For all of summer’s salubrious powers in other respects—glowier skin, vitamin D, shoulders that aren’t hunched over a computer 12 hours a day—the season has an uncanny ability to wreak havoc on your feet.
At a time when pedicures are, if not mandatory, then certainly generally appreciated, suddenly your feet seem to need them once a week. Blisters pop up in places you didn’t even know could get blisters—the inner arch? How?!—and even your most forgiving pair of shoes leave you wincing after a while.
We’re only two weeks into summer, technically speaking, and already I’ve managed to sprain my big toe (note to self: slides and subway stairs do not mix), amass an assortment of half-healed cuts and blisters, and go through half the Band-Aids in my bathroom drawer. But all is not lost: After years of living in a city where the usual mode of transportation is your own two legs, I’ve realized the key to making it through the summer is to diversify.
Don’t kid yourself and think that what’s comfy on the first day of June will still be painless come the Fourth of July. With a collection of sandals—all with heels under an inch, because we’re talking about walking shoes here—you’re pretty much guaranteed to find at least one pair that doesn’t pinch or chafe every time.
Ahead, shop 25 pairs of flat sandals—slide, ankle-strap, and gladiator—that’ll make getting dressed this summer a whole lot easier.