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Shoes vs Sandals – Obvious Differences?

Here is an in-depth study on the differences between sandals and shoes showcasing the pros and cons in terms of style, comfort, movement, feet health and occasion.

These are various shoes and sandals.

Why don’t you wear shoes at the beach? Or have some sandals on while hiking? You would probably answer ‘because they are not a match’ or, ‘are you nuts?’

Hey! Of course not. This is a fact that just like our apparel, our shoes and sandals play a key role in determining our overall appearance and dressing sense. Hence, to select and wear them wisely is an art itself.

A shoe covers and protects the whole foot. Its sole is thick and hard, usually made of strong synthetic material. A sandal is an open type of shoe in which straps or bands hold the sole to the foot. In comparison, shoes are of more formal value than sandals.

Wait! There is a lot more to explore. Everyone deserves to know what should be the right choice of footwear at different times, seasons, and occasions. Don’t you think your footwear must be impressive, just like you?

Shoes vs Sandals: The Differences And Similarities

A wide spectrum of footwear exists in the world of lifestyle and fashion. Besides being different in appearance, there have some other dissimilarities too. Let us compare shoes and sandals based on their:


This is a woman wearing running shoes.

Shoes prove to be more comfortable when you play sports, go hiking or walk a long distance. Some medicated shoes are made with fluid-filled soles to prevent foot sores and pain during long hours of walking or standing.

On the other hand, sandals are the best fit while roaming around in the house, visiting some friend/relative, and at the beaches due to their coziness. Also, I guess no one will put on shoes in the bathroom, right!


This is a woman wearing a pair of fancy sandals.

Shoes enjoy a higher price than sandals because they are made of expensive materials like genuine leather and polyurethane. The sandals do not cost too much due to the economic stuff used in manufacturing, except for the high-end fancy sandals. Well, the price does not matter for the ladies. We can pay more for our sandals because WE LOVE THEM!!!


A close look at a man with foot fungus.

Your feet will feel free and airy in a sandal because of its not-so-closed type of structure. This is why wearing shoes for long durations can lead to fungal growth in fingers and nails.


This is a woman wearing a pair of gladiator sandals at the beach.

Sandals and shoes both have several styles, but sandals are still number one in styling. There is no limit to the colors and designs of sandals. From sports to flip-flops and gladiators to wedges, sandals offer a wide variety of styles and color schemes compared to shoes. As a result, sandals are mostly worn by ladies while men generally prefer shoes.

Shoes vs Sandals: Costume Match

This is a woman wearing a black gown with black shoes.

Are you planning to dress up in a maxi at the party this weekend? Then put on a high-heeled sandal to glamorize your look. Remember that matching your footwear with your outfit gives a complete and impressive expression to your physique.

Shoes mostly go with formal dresses and events like official dinner, a ball night, or workplace. In contrast, sandals are casually worn at home, parks, malls, and beaches.

Among the most popular casual shoes, Sneakers are worldwide in demand on account of their versatility. They present you like young, stylish, and chick. For that reason, everyone, including myself, loves to wear sneakers with jeans for sports, playing games, at the gym, or any public place.

Shoes vs Sandals: Season-wise

This is a woman wearing flip-flops at the beach.

Summers and sweating go hand in hand. You should better wear sandals during hot days for long hours. It is because putting on shoes for so long will dampen your feet. Moisture, more sweating, and lack of ventilation will ultimately initiate fungal infections.

On the counterpart, you should wear shoes during the winter season. They are hard enough to protect your feet from any harsh weather effects. Rubber footwear is highly recommended to be used in the rainy and fall seasons to keep your feet off getting wet.

Shoes vs Sandals: What Not To Wear

A bad choice of shoes can create health problems for you. You should not wear shoes or sandals which:

Are Small Or Oversized

The shoe is too small for the foot.

Footwear that does not fit your foot will be a source of continuous discomfort to you. Too small, tight, or oversized shoes or sandals do not only affect your walking style but can also lead to extreme foot pain.

Are Damp Or Wet

This is a close look at a man running on a puddle.

Because moist and warm places are ideal habitats for the rapid growth of bacteria and fungi. Wearing wet shoes is the main cause of an Athlete’s foot, a contagious fungal disease that causes itchy white patches between fingers and toes.

Have Hard Sole

Wearing hard sole shoes or sandals for a long period or regularly will produce corns in your foot skin.

Have High Heels

A woman with red heels suffering painful feet.

No matter how much you love high heels, please avoid wearing them frequently because it is the general cause of ankle and back pain. About 2 million women in America suffer ankle pain developed due to wearing high heels. In severe cases, high-heeled sandals have been found to result in ankle dislocation also.

Choose Footwear That Is Right For You

This is a close look at a woman relaxing in a car while wearing sandals.

When it comes to looks, always wear what suits you best. Take your age, sex, and profession in the count and dress up accordingly for an impressive personality. Never try to copy any other person’s choice, be it in dressing or footwear.

What looks good on them may not always look good on you too. When your choice matches your overall figure, you become a brand yourself.


It is not tough to decide whether to wear shoes or sandals. All you have got to do is think for a while about the footwear that suits the type of your apparel style, venue, event, and tadaaaa!!!! Go bananas.

Shoes and sandals both have their value and benefits. Before buying any footwear, make sure that it is cozy, right-sized, and looks cool on you. Can you rhyme with me? “Have on your sandals or have on your shoes; think ‘bout it twice whenever you choose.”


WikiDiff: Shoe

Cleveland Clinic: Heel Pain

Medical news Today: Everything you need to know about athlete’s foot

Winchester Hospital: Foot Problems: Could You Be Wearing the Wrong Shoes?

Shoe Zone: Sandals vs. Other Shoes