How Should Sandals Fit: The Ultimate Guide by Kosh-a

How Should Sandals Fit: The Ultimate Guide by Kosh-a

how should sandals fit

The secret to happy feet: perfect-fitting sandals

Sandals are an absolute must-have in any girl’s wardrobe, especially during the warmer months. They’re stylish and comfortable—and the perfect alternative to closed-toe shoes, allowing our feet to breathe. It’s true—the way your sandals fit can make or break your day. However, finding the perfect pair of sandals that fit *just right* can be a challenge. In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how sandals should fit.

So, let’s jump right in and discover the secret to perfectly fitting sandals that we bet nobody else on the internet is telling you!

But before we understand how sandals should fit, let’s talk about what exactly a sandal is and how it is different from any other shoe.

How is a sandal different from other shoes?

To put it simply, a shoe covers and protects the whole foot. Its sole is thick and typically made of strong synthetic material. On the other hand, a sandal is an open shoe in which straps or bands tie the sole to the foot. Shoes are more suited for formal occasions, while sandals are for casual, everyday wear.

 What is the most popular type of sandal? These include everything from flip-flops, sliders, and gladiators to mules, ballerinas, and espadrilles.

We’ve gotten a sense of what sandals are, and you’ve likely identified the types you own. Now, let’s do a deep dive into how sandals ought to fit you.

How do you tell if your sandals have a poor fit?

how should sandals fit

It's crucial to ensure that your sandals fit well to avoid discomfort and potential foot problems. Ill-fitting sandals can cause blisters, calluses, and, in some cases, even backache and a change in your walking posture. A perfect-fitting pair of sandals should provide support and stability and allow your feet to move freely.

It should almost feel like you aren’t really wearing them.

Here are some sure-shot ways to check if your sandals need swapping.

The Toe Overhang:

If your toes are hanging over the edge of the footbed, it’s likely this pair is too small for you. Consider trying a size bigger.

The Missing Arch Support:

A well-fitting sandal should provide adequate arch support. To properly confirm if your sandals come with this, your arch should align with the arch support of the sandal, ensuring proper weight distribution and preventing foot fatigue.

The Loose Heel Fit:

The heel of your foot should fit snugly into the heel cup of the sandal. There should be no slipping or rubbing against the back of the sandal. If you do experience this, it’s possible the sandal is too big or wide for you. This typically leads to blisters or discomfort when worn for longer hours.

Restrictive Toe Room:

Your toes should have enough room to wiggle and move freely within the sandal. There should be a little space between your longest toe and the edge of the sandal to prevent pressure and friction.

The Not-So-Secure Strap:

If your sandals have straps, make sure they are adjustable and secure. The straps should hold your feet comfortably in place without creeping into your skin or causing any discomfort. If you see an impression of your sandal straps upon removing them, it’s likely that the straps are fastened a bit too tightly. Consider loosening them or getting a bigger size altogether.

By paying attention to these indicators, you can easily determine if a sandal is ill-fitting.

How should sandals fit? Red flags that scream bad fit’

how should sandals fit

While we've discussed the indicators of ill-fitting sandals, there are some absolute red flags that you should always watch out for. These red flags indicate that the sandals are not suitable for your feet and can potentially cause discomfort, pain, and foot problems. So, if you spot these in the sandals you’re trying, stay a mile away from them:

Rubbing or chafing:

If the sandals rub against your skin or cause chafing, it can lead to blisters and discomfort. Avoid sandals with rough or stiff materials that are likely to cause friction.

Pain or discomfort:

If you experience pain or discomfort while trying on the sandals, it's a clear sign that they are not for you. Listen to your feet and opt for sandals that provide a comfortable and supportive fit. Prioritize comfort over style.

Slipping or sliding:

If your feet slide or slip around in the sandals, it indicates that they are too big or lack proper support. This can lead to instability while going about your daily activities and may lead to potential injuries. Ideally, the sandals will hold your feet securely in place without any excessive movement.

Pinching or squeezing:

Sandals that pinch or squeeze your feet can cause pain and affect blood circulation. Avoid sandals that are too narrow or have straps that dig into your skin. Size up if you’re experiencing this.

Unstable or uneven Soles:

Check the soles of the sandals to ensure they are stable and even. Uneven soles can affect your gait and potentially cause foot aches. Be sure to opt for sandals with sturdy and well-constructed soles.

If you’re experiencing these, it is most likely due to the wrong sizing, which is a common foot problem. The best way to correct these issues is to measure your shoe size correctly.

How to identify your shoe size accurately for a dream fit

When it comes to finding the perfect-fitting sandals, accurate measurements are everything. We tend to assume that we know our shoe size. However, sizing can vary between brands and even between different styles within the same brand. So, we’d recommend taking the time to measure your feet. You can do this at home by following a little guide we’ve put together for you.

If you’re buying sandals online, this is truly the handy guide you need:

how should sandals fit

Step 1: 

Gather ‘em tools: To measure your feet accurately, you'll need a ruler, a sheet of paper, and a pen or pencil.

Step 2: 

Roughly trace your foot. Place the piece of paper on a flat surface and stand on it. Keep your weight evenly distributed. Ensure your foot is relaxed. Use the pen or pencil to trace the outline of your foot.

Step 3: 

Measure the length: Using the ruler, measure the distance from the tip of your longest toe to the back of your heel. This measurement is the length of your foot.

Step 4: 

Measure the width: Measure the widest part of your foot using the ruler. You now know the width of your foot.

Step 5: 

Repeat for the Other Foot: Strangely, it isn’t uncommon for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. So, be sure to measure the other foot too. If you’re seeing different measurements, go with the larger foot’s measurements while sandal shopping.

Once you have your foot measurements, you can refer to the sizing chart provided by the brand you’re currently eyeing. Each brand may have its own sizing system, so consider going over their specific chart to find the right size for you.

By measuring your feet accurately and following the brand's sizing guidelines, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect-fitting sandals. Thankfully, at Kosh-a, we follow a super-uncomplicated size guide.

If you’re shopping IRL, that is, venturing out to a shoe store, have the store manager measure your size. Measuring before you begin trying can save you oodles of time and the disappointment of ill-fitting sandals.


How should sandals fit? Green flags to look out for

how should sandals fit

Finding perfect-fitting sandals shouldn’t feel like looking for buried treasure. So, for that perfect-fit Cinderella moment, here’s what experts at the Mayo Clinic say you should look for: 

  1. A sole that gives you support and flexibility.

  2. A large toe box to hold your foot comfortably while you stand

  3. Reasonable cushion and comfortable padding between your foot and the floor.

How sandals should fit: other things to keep in mind

Foot Type:

Understanding your foot type can help you choose sandals that provide the right amount of support and comfort. For example, if you have high arches, you may need sandals with additional arch support. If you have flat feet, sandals with good cushioning and stability can help prevent overpronation.


The material of the sandals can affect the fit and comfort. Look for sandals made from high-quality materials that are soft, breathable, and flexible. Leather, faux leather (also, vegan-friendly) and suede are excellent choices, as they mold to the shape of your feet over time. These may be on the costlier side, but consider them an investment for your feet.

Closure Type:

Sandals can have various closure types, including buckles, velcro straps, and elastic bands. Consider your personal preference and the level of adjustability you require. Some may prefer the convenience of slip-on sandals, while others may prefer the security of adjustable straps.

Activity Level:

Think about the activities you'll be engaging in while wearing the sandals. If you're planning on taking long walks or hikes, opt for sandals with sturdy soles and good traction. If you'll be mostly indoors, you can choose more lightweight and flexible options.

By considering these additional factors along with accurate measurements, you'll be able to find sandals that not only fit well but also suit your personal style.

We often get asked this question when it comes to buying perfect-fitting sandals.

Should you be sizing up?

It turns out that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It ultimately depends on the brand, style, and individual foot characteristics. Remember, sizing up doesn’t always mean a better or more comfortable fit. Some brands may recommend sizing up if you're between sizes or if their sandals tend to run small. On the other hand, some brands may advise sticking to your regular shoe size.

Next, let's address the topic of finding the right size for wider feet.

Finding the right sandal size for wider feet

how should sandals fit

Wide-footed girl problems are real! If you have wider feet, finding sandals that accommodate your foot width can be tedious. However, your feet and back will thank you for investing time in finding the perfect-fitting sandals. Here are some valuable tips to help you find the right size for wider feet:

Look for Wide Width Options:

Many brands offer sandals in wide width options, specifically designed to accommodate wider feet. These sandals provide extra room in the toe box and throughout the footbed.

Adjustable Straps:

Sandals with adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit according to your foot width. Look for sandals with multiple straps or Velcro closures that can be loosened or tightened to your comfort level.

Avoid Narrow Styles:

Steer clear of sandals with narrow or tapered toe boxes, as they can squeeze your toes and cause discomfort. Instead, opt for styles with more generous toe room to accommodate wider feet. You may feel like you’re making a compromise today, but you’ll thank us later!

Consider Material:

Flexible and soft materials like leather and suede can be more accommodating to wider feet as they have some stretch and give.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can find sandals that provide the perfect fit for your pretty, wider feet.

Now that we've covered various aspects of how sandals should fit, let's move on to style recommendations based on different foot types.

Sandal style recommendations based on foot type

how should sandals fit

While finding the perfect-fitting sandals is essential, it's also important to choose styles that flatter your feet and blend with your personal style. Here are some style recommendations based on different foot types:

Flat Feet:

If you have "flaaaat feet" (*cue Barbie screaming*), be sure to look for sandals with good arch support and cushioning. Opt for styles with a slightly raised heel or a contoured footbed to provide stability and prevent overpronation. Avoid flat sandals without any arch support, as they may cause foot fatigue.

High Arches:

Got high arches? Sandals with ample arch support are crucial. Look for styles with built-in arch support, or opt for sandals that allow you to add custom orthotics or arch inserts. You’ll need to avoid sandals that are completely flat, as they may not offer the necessary support for your high arches.

Wide Feet:

If you have wider feet, choose sandals with a roomy toe box and adjustable straps. Styles with multiple straps or those made from stretchy materials can accommodate wider feet more comfortably. Kiss goodbye to pointy-toed sandals that can squeeze your toes and cause discomfort.

Narrow Feet:

For those with narrow feet, sandals with adjustable straps are ideal. Look for styles with straps that can be tightened to get that snug fit. Avoid sandals with wide straps or those that are too loose, as they may not provide enough support for narrow feet.

Neutral Feet:

If you have neutral or average feet (you're lucky), you have the freedom of being able to wear a wide range of sandal styles. Experiment with different designs, materials, and heel heights to find the sandal styles that provide the most comfortable fit and functionality 

While these are general recommendations and guidelines, we’d recommend you try on a bunch of styles and see what feels most comfortable and flattering for your feet.

So, that was our all-in-one guide on how sandals should fit.

In conclusion, finding the perfect fit for your sandals can mean everything for your comfort and foot health. By understanding the different types of sandals, checking for ill-fitting signs, measuring your feet accurately, and considering other factors such as material and foot type, you can ensure a comfortable and stylish fit.

Explore effortlessly stylish sandals by Kosh-a.

So, go ahead and elevate your fashion game with perfectly fitting sandals! And if you're on the lookout for stylish and comfortable handmade sandals, be sure to check out Kosh-a. Want to learn more? Speak to our shoe experts to understand more about how sandals should fit and find the perfect pair for you; write to us at

Happy sandal shopping!

This article is based on information sourced from credible sources such as the Mayo Clinic and Thread Curve.