These Comfy Slides Are Made for Slip-on Convenience (2024)

These Comfy Slides Are Made for Slip-on Convenience (1)

Comfort is a major consideration when choosing which shoes to throw into your suitcase, as is versatility (if you can find a pair that works as well for city sightseeing tours as they do for evenings out at the bar, you’ll have more room to spare for those must-have souvenirs). The right pair of slides can meet both of these criteria — just look for a sturdy sole with decent traction, sufficient arch support, a snug top strap, and soft, attractive fabrics. Fit is key too, so buy ahead to give yourself time to check the size and break the slides in before you travel.

To help you choose the right pair, we put 30 women’s slides to the test out in the real world. We wore them on vacation, to work, to run errands, and out to dinner with friends. Each pair was rated for fit, comfort, support, durability, and value to determine winners in categories ranging from best traction to best for the beach. Testing is ongoing for a period of six months and results will be updated here as they become available.

Our Top Picks

Why We Love It

  • These slides are comfortable from the first step with a gently contoured, supportive sole and ultra-soft vegan leather uppers.

What to Consider

  • Some may find the floral detailing on the top and bottom of the sole to be a little too much.

We loved our pair of Reef Cushion Vera Cruz Slides so much that we now want to own them in every color. With a chunky aesthetic and nature-inspired details, they’re easy to style whether you choose natural, whisper white, or black night — and easy to transition from day to evening wear. We found them comfortable from the first step (almost as if they had been ordered to our exact specifications and pre-broken in), thanks to the gently contoured, pliable sole and extra-soft vegan leather straps. At no point did we experience chafing, pinching, or discomfort of any kind.

The thick, durable rubber outsole provides a reassuring level of support, with razor-cut siping in the shape of hibiscus flowers to increase traction and stability. We wore them over grass, decking, carpet, and cement and never noticed any issues with grip. We especially liked that the slides stayed firmly in place and were super easy to walk in. They also fit perfectly without being too tight across the top of the foot (we recommend ordering true to size). And, despite finding an excuse to wear them just about everywhere, they showed no signs of wear and tear at the end of the testing period. Welcome to your new favorite slides.

The Details: 5 to 11 | Vegan leather, rubber

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Why We Love It

  • These slides offer butter-soft comfort and have the kind of look that’s as home at the office as it is by the hotel pool.

What to Consider

  • Getting the right fit can be tricky with no option for half sizes.

By the end of testing, our T+L tester said that the Beek Pelican Slides were “without comparison, the best platform slides [she’d] ever worn.” She likened putting them on for the first time to slipping her feet into a tub of butter, due to the softness of the leather upper and leather-wrapped memory foam footbed. The molded arch support and cloud-like cushioning combine to make the slides comfortable from the first step, with zero break-in required.

We wore them over a variety of terrains and found that the rubber outsole consistently provided a reliable grip. We love the look of these slides, too, with a platform heel that elevates them from casual beach shoes to something one could easily wear at the office or out to dinner. Colors range from neutral shades (honey and black) to statement-making options (bright pink hibiscus, and vibrant orange papaya). And yes, they’re expensive, but the materials and construction are built to last, helping to justify the splurge.

The Details: 5 to 12 | Leather, memory foam, rubber

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Why We Love It

  • We found these slides to be exceptionally comfortable with superior cushioning and plenty of support along the length of the foot.

What to Consider

  • While we loved everything about these slides, some people may find them too casual for evening wear.

These are the best-fitting slides we’ve ever worn. They come true to size and make walking easy, with a grippy footbed that prevents your feet from slipping out unexpectedly. We found them almost shockingly comfortable, with plenty of cushioning and an energy-returning midsole for ample support from toe to heel. There was no break-in period, and beyond being chafe- and blister-free, we found that the slides actually helped to ease our existing foot pain.

The bandage-style upper fits snugly across the top of the foot and adds style points with its iconic triple stripe. The outsole is made from durable yet flexible rubber for reliable traction even when we got caught out in the rain. At the end of the testing period, the slides looked brand new despite us wearing them every day for three weeks. Available in full sizes only, the shoes come in a range of colorways from pure black to white with black stripes.

The Details: 5 to 14 | Synthetic material, rubber

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Why We Love It

  • These slides offer a personalized fit, integrated foam cushioning, and a fashion-forward aesthetic in a range of gorgeous colors.

What to Consider

  • They are best worn with socks in humid weather to avoid chafing.

The Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed Clog is a stylish choice with a soft suede upper in one of four sophisticated colors: taupe, mocha, mink, or black (all of which are neutral enough to suit most outfits and occasions). We recommend following the brand size guide to find the perfect fit, which made us feel as if our slides were made especially for us. We found them easy to walk in, with a minimal break-in period that saw the slides mold to our feet within two wears.

The cork footbed comes with an integrated layer of latex foam for perfect, contoured cushioning. The slides were so comfortable we looked forward to wearing them and particularly enjoyed the supportive ridges under and between the toes. It’s virtually impossible to bend the EVA outsoles, which offer thick support without being heavy or cumbersome. The overall construction and quality of the materials is high; so much so that the slides looked barely worn at the end of the testing period.

The Details: 4-4.5 to 12-12.5 in a regular/wide or medium/narrow fit | Suede, leather, cork, latex foam, EVA

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Why We Love It

  • With a contoured footbed and optimum arch support, these slides were comfortable even with plantar fasciitis.

What to Consider

  • They make a noticeable slapping sound, which may be irritating for those that prefer a silent shoe.

The Chaco Women’s Lowdown Slides are 40 percent lighter than the brand’s classic sport shoe and designed to be close to the ground for a more natural feel. They’re a great option for those that like a little extra arch support, with a contoured LUVSEAT footbed that we found comfortable even with plantar fasciitis. They fit true to size — just tighten or loosen the adjustable polyester jacquard straps as needed. We were able to walk easily without any slippage (although we wouldn’t hike in them despite the slides’ sporty look).

The non-marking ChacoGrip rubber outsoles were a particular highlight. They supported our feet through a full day’s wear and offered good traction on various surfaces, even in the rain. The shoes dry quickly too, making them ideal for trips to the beach or lake. Choose from a range of single-tone and patterned colorways, all of which are vegan. We were pleasantly surprised by how well the white sections of our test pair resisted scuff marks.

The Details: 5 to 12 | Polyester jacquard, EVA, rubber

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Why We Love It

  • These slides are the perfect Birkenstocks dupe, offering the same comfort, style, and performance for a fraction of the price.

What to Consider

  • Their quality aesthetic is somewhat let down by cheap-looking buckles.

Throughout the testing process, we found ourselves favorably comparing the Quince Nappa Leather Double Buckle Slides to our Birkenstocks. Despite costing roughly half the price, we found them just as stylish, grippy, and comfortable — and even felt we preferred the Quince slides for their velvety suede insole. We used the double leather straps to achieve a secure fit, yet could still slip them on and off easily. And the cushioned cork footbed made them comfortable to walk in for hours at a time.

The outsole is made of rugged EVA with a pronounced lug for excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces. We expected to see some wear and tear on the light-colored insoles and straps of our pair; but at the end of the testing period, they still looked brand new. Color options include white, brown, and black. Whichever you choose, the slides’ chunky look is right on trend going just as well with a flowy dress as with jeans or leggings. If you’re between sizes, size up.

The Details: 5 to 10 | Leather, suede, cork, EVA

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Why We Love It

  • These slides are sturdy, comfortable, and so lightweight that we often forgot we were wearing them.

What to Consider

  • With no half sizes, getting the correct fit can be a little hit and miss.

If you’re headed to the beach, you’ll love the Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Sandals. Made from the brand’s proprietary Croslite foam, they’re super light, quick to dry, and are just as comfortable in the water as they are on the sand. We found them amazingly lightweight, with no breaking in period required. Even with our sensitive skin that can be prone to blisters, we experienced zero discomfort. The flexible straps conformed to our feet for a secure fit while remaining easy to slip on and off.

We were able to walk around all day without getting fatigued. Flex grooves on the outsole provide flexibility while channeling water away from the shoe and providing traction on wet sidewalks, rocks, and docks. We found that they held up well despite becoming our main summer shoe and believe they offer great value for money. There is one caveat: they’re relatively flat and unstructured, so they may not suit those in need of a lot of arch support.

The Details: 4 to 11 | Croslite foam

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Why We Love It

  • These slides offer out-of-the-box comfort and an adjustable fit at a very reasonable price point.

What to Consider

  • We found that our feet sweat much more than normal in these slides, suggesting they may not be great for active use.

With a contoured, cradling footbed and plenty of cushioning, the Nike Offcourt Adjust Slides are ideal for slipping on after a hard day on your feet. We liked that the adjustable top strap made it possible to customize the fit, and found the shoes super comfortable right out of the box – even the strap is padded. The only downside to the dual-density foam construction is that it can make your feet a little sweaty. We struggled with this even when we wore socks, and even on days when we weren’t particularly active.

Nevertheless, the slides remained odor-free despite our concerns that the porous material might absorb sweat. The grooved outsole provides reliable traction (so much so that we felt they would be fine for any terrain you’d choose to wear slides on). We wouldn’t necessarily want to wear them in the rain for fear of the footbed becoming slippery, or outside in hot weather because of the sweating issue. They are durable though, and ideally suited for indoor comfort.

The Details: 5 to 12 | Dual-density foam

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Why We Love It

  • These slides offer a unique design that molds to the feet for unrivaled comfort, and they’re also super easy to clean.

What to Consider

  • Their relatively high price tag may not suit every budget.

Handcrafted in Portugal, the Message Mullen Slide offers a simple aesthetic comprising an upcycled wine cork footbed and a stretch-knit strap. After wearing them for everything from flights to beach trips, our in-house T+L tester felt these were “the most amazing slides [she’s] ever owned.” We love their unique design, which allows you to pull the slides on like socks and then let them mold quickly to your feet for exceptional barefoot-like comfort. They’re breathable, flexible, and surprisingly supportive.

There’s no break-in period, and we didn’t experience a single chafe or blister despite testing them while pregnant and prone to swelling. They don’t slide, and the traction provided by their natural rubber flex sole is so good that we’d feel comfortable doing everything short of hiking in them. The fact that the slides are machine washable is another major perk, especially because you can see the outline of your foot on the insole after a while. Just use a gentle cycle with cold water and leave them out to air dry.

The Details: EU sizes 36 to 46 | Cork, stretch knit, rubber

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Why We Love It

  • These slides retail for roughly a fifth of the price of a pair of Birkenstocks but look just like the originals.

What to Consider

  • The buckles tend to stain the vegan suede straps after a while, so make sure you’re happy with the fit before securing them.

If you love the idea of a pair of Birkenstocks but can’t quite justify the expense, you’ll love this amazingly affordable alternative. The Cushionaire Lane Cork Sandals look just like the famous slides and offer comparable comfort and quality — for around a fifth of the price. We found that they fit great and are true to size, although we were in between notches on the adjustable straps. The cork footbed features a soft leather insole and a cushioned heel cup, making for an outrageously comfortable slide with plenty of support and bounce.

They felt broken in on the first wear and we didn’t experience any discomfort or pressure. The EVA sole is reassuringly thick and protective, with ridges for good traction on multiple terrains. Having said that, we wouldn’t choose to wear them in wet weather just because of their open-toed design and for fear that we’d mark the vegan suede uppers. Color choices include classic, sophisticated taupe, stone, black, and brown.

The Details: 5 to 13 in a medium or wide fit | Vegan suede, cork, leather, EVA

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Why We Love It

  • These slides offer a fun, futuristic aesthetic, impressive durability, and the kind of comfort that makes you excited to put them on.

What to Consider

  • The fit can be a little inconsistent; we’d recommend sizing down if you wear a half size or have narrow feet.

With their squared-off toe, sleek profile and mix of matte and gloss finishes, the Nike Jordan Hex Slides offer great street-savvy style for casual occasions. We loved their unique, futuristic look almost as much as we loved the level of comfort offered by their molded foam construction. These are the kind of slides you look forward to slipping into, with a soft, pliable footbed and a just-right fixed strap.

The deep heel cup and raised toe bar provide stability and help to keep the slides securely in place whether you’re running errands, walking the dog, or lounging around the house. We found the shoes really lightweight, yet surprisingly durable. They keep their shape well and have a thick, protective sole with a decent level of arch support. Molded traction keeps you on your feet even when the ground is wet, while colors range from sensible black to show-off pistachio frost or pulse yellow.

The Details: 5 to 16 | Molded foam

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Other Slides We Liked

  • Chaco Women’s Chillos Slide: We found these slides to be instantly comfortable, with good arch support and an adjustable strap; however, we felt their lack of style limited how much we would use them.
  • Reef Cushion Vista Hi Sandal: These slides feature an attractive platform look, ample protection, and reliable support but lost points for a painful breaking-in period and questionable durability.
  • Slinky 30 Platform Slide Sandal: These slides made us feel nostalgic with their ‘90s aesthetic and were comfortable from the first wear. They’re better suited to narrow feet, though, and can be quite noisy.

Our Testing Process

For this article, our team of travel experts trialed 30 products according to the same real-life testing process. First, we unboxed the slides and examined them carefully to get an impression of materials, construction, and overall quality. Then we attempted to bend each shoe in half and wring it like a dish towel to establish flexibility and arch support. We wore them for at least an hour on the initial wear to determine out-of-the-box comfort, fit, ease of walking, and whether there was any break-in period.

The slides were worn at least two more times for a minimum of two hours each. Most pairs were worn much more frequently for an array of activities from traveling to shopping, running errands, and dining out. During the testing period, we considered which activities the slides were most suitable for. Afterwards we checked for signs of wear and tear and scored the slides on a scale of one to five for fit, comfort, support, durability, and value. Testing is ongoing for six months and results will be updated after that time.

Tips for Buying Comfortable Slides

Look for cushioning and traction

When choosing your next pair of slides, California-based podiatrist Cory Clement, DPM recommends looking for “a cushioned rubber or EVA sole that provides good arch support and stability, with a molded footbed that conforms to your feet.” He says that doing so will help prevent foot fatigue, whereas flat slides can be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods since they offer almost zero shock absorption. Clement says that outsoles with a rugged lug or siping are advisable too, since they provide reliable traction on a greater range of surfaces — leaving you better prepared for wherever your adventures take you.

Consider your destination

If you’re packing for a city break where you’ll spend most of your time sightseeing, shopping, or hopping from one foodie destination to the next, you may not need your slides to be as rugged or to offer as much traction as you might if you plan on wearing them to the beach or for easy trail walks. If you’re headed somewhere more adventurous, durability and support are likely to be more important than trend-setting style. Climate is a relevant consideration too. Some upper materials (foam, polyester) hold up better in wet weather than others (leather, suede), while certain footbed finishes are more breathable in high humidity.

Make sure they fit before you travel

No matter how pretty or how well-made a pair of slides are, they’re useless if they don’t fit properly. In fact, fit is more important for slides than for many other types of shoes simply because a pair that isn’t snug enough is liable to slip right off. There’s a fine line between “snug” and “tight” though, so it’s important to test new slides properly to make sure they don’t become uncomfortable after a few minutes of wear. Buying your shoes in advance of your trip also means you’ll have a chance to break your slides in. While some are comfortable right out of the box, others require a few wears to conform to the shape of your feet and become truly comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should slides fit?

    With just a top strap (or two) to hold them in place, slides need to fit well to avoid them flying off unexpectedly. There should be approximately 5 millimeters of space between your toes and the front of the shoe and your heel and the back of the shoe; while the top strap should be snug without being too tight. Many slides come in full sizes only which can make finding the right fit tricky for those that usually take a half size. Consult manufacturer guidelines and customer reviews to figure out whether to size up or down, but if in doubt, we always recommend going for the tighter fit when it comes to slides.

  • How do you style slides?

    The short answer is, of course, however you want. Depending on the type of slide and your own personal style, slides can look great with almost any outfit from feminine summer dresses to cropped pants and leggings. Pair neutral black, white, or beige slides with denim and patterned clothing; or use bright, boldly colorful slides to add a statement-making pop to a chic monochrome ensemble. Certain fabrics (we’re thinking leather and suede) are easier to dress up than ones like polyester or foam that put durability and/or comfort first. Choose these if you want your slides to be able to transition seamlessly from day to evening wear.

  • How do you clean slides?

    Cleaning methods differ depending on the materials, so we always advise checking the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines. Many materials (including foam and natural or smooth leather) can usually be spot cleaned with a damp cloth. Others (like polyester webbing, suede, and nubuck) may fare better having dried dirt or debris removed with a soft-bristled brush. If your slides are made of leather or suede, you can usually buy a specialized shampoo to help with deep cleaning. Outsoles are best cleaned with a brush and warm water. However you clean your slides, they should be air dried completely before being packed away.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Jessica Macdonald has been writing about travel gear, clothing, and accessories for more than 10 years. She spent several hours researching the slides mentioned above, which were chosen according to the results of real-life tests carried out by Travel + Leisure’s expert team. We also consulted the professional opinion of California-based podiatrist Cory Clement, DPM.

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These Comfy Slides Are Made for Slip-on Convenience (2024)


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