Women's Sandals Fit Guide


Women wearing red paco sandals



It is finally summer meaning there is one thing for you to do and that is break out your favourite pair of sandals! They’re casual, easy to wear and letting your feet breathe when the sun comes out can only be described as refreshing. Now more than ever they have also become the perfect go to shoe for day to night wear! Sandals aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so we’ve put together this guide explaining how your sandals should fit.


Your feet are important to us and we want to make sure you get the right fit for your feet when buying our summer sandals! One of the most common problems we encounter with buying sandals is getting the right fit. So, if you’ve ever wondered how women’s sandals are supposed to fit, our fit guide will show you how they should, whether yours are too big, how to make your sandals fit even better and much more

How Should Women’s Sandals Fit?

Paco women's silver gladiator sandal

You may have never given much thought to how your sandals should fit on your feet but getting the right size is really important for both your comfort and the health of your feet! this much thought, but to get things started, we’re going to look at how your sandals should fit on your feet. Firstly, aesthetically having a sandal that is too small for you will make your foot look squished in your sandal, probably not a pretty look for summer! 

Sandals that are too small can cause pain, discomfort and even damage to your feet. Similarly having sandals that are too big can have their own bunch of risks and hazards such as creating tripping hazards, slipping off when you really need them to stay on and loose sandals can even rub on your feet or toes to the point where they give you blisters! Not fun!

Not having the right shoes can not only cause foot pain but can cause muscle tightness in your legs, back pain, shoulder pain and even neck pain. Even though you may not feel it initially if you are wearing unsuitable sandals all day and your body is not getting the right support from your feet up then this can lead to a number of issues in your posture! 

So how should sandals fit? Well your whole foot should be supported by the sole of the sandal. This will ensure that they are supporting your full weight when you walk and giving your feet and legs the support they need to keep you comfortable all day! If your toes or heel are overhanging from your sandal, then they are too small! If your foot is sliding around the sandal and can not get support then they are too big! You put yourself at risk of stubbing your toes or damaging your heel if they are overhanging. Shoes that are too small worn over an extended period of time might even cause bunions! Sandals should not move around much on your feet, they should be taught but comfortable and your toes and heel should have a little space to manoeuvre when you walk however they should stay in place when you walk and there should be no need for adjustment when they are on!

Are My Sandals Too Big?

While it is pretty obvious when a sandal is too small due to the overhang of the toes or the heels it can be much harder to spot if your sandals are too big! Keep in mind when trying on sandals in the store that even though you may want some extra space ask yourself is that a good idea when your feet get warm and start to sweat? That extra room that you thought you might want when you initially tried them on could become a hazard when you are walking for extended periods of time especially if you are in a hot country! 

Going back to the conversation about posture sandals that are too big for you can be an issue because when you walk you are going to have to adjust your posture to make sure the shoe stays on your feet which can lead to numerous issues in terms of leg pain, back pain and even shoulder pain! 

Finally you know your sandals are too big when they slap against the floor rather than stay firmly against your foot! This slapping noise on the floor when you walk is definitely a sign your sandals are too big for your feet

Should Sandals Be a Size Bigger?

Although we’ve just been warning you about sandals that are too big, if you are planning on wearing them in a hot country and you are a person who deals with swelling feet in hot weather then you should consider getting a bigger size. Swelling occurs when the blood supply to the skin increases which also radiates heat; fluid moves out of the blood vessels and into the tissues causing swelling. Many women suffer from foot swelling in hot weather and this can be uncomfortable for them if they have brought themselves a pair of sandals that “just fit”. If you know your feet are going to swell when you get into warmer weather then it may be a good idea to get yourself a pair of holiday sandals! These sandals should be slightly bigger than needed but can accommodate your feet comfortably when they swell! 

How Should Women’s Sliders Fit?


Paco white women's slider

Sliders follow a similar principle to sandals and should be more immediately obvious whether they fit or not. There are still a couple tips worth mentioning that may not be immediately obvious.

Again, you want there to be some distance between the edge of the sole and your feet. This will prevent you from banging your feet against anything. You want to make sure the strap over your foot is comfortable and provide your foot with support when you walk, seeing as there is no back strap to keep your foot in place! 

If your sliders have fabric, leather or cloth top strap then you’ll want to make sure that they don’t rub the top of your feet. This can cause skin irritation which can lead to cuts or even blisters. For these types of sliders make sure that they have a snug fit and that the top strap is soft and supportive. 

Sliders can come in so many different variations with flat soles, flatform soles and even wedged. They should all be worn with the same priority though and that is are they fitting your foot, providing you with support across the top and is the material soft and suitable to your skin? 

Sliders are not the most mobile shoe and should not be considered when you know you are walking long distances. However they are beautiful stylish sandals that have a simple design that come in a wide variety of styles and colours! This makes them an ideal shoe for summer as they are so perfectly paired with denims, shorts or summer dresses making it a suitcase must have for beach days or evening dinners! 

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How Should High Heel Sandals Fit?


women's navy paco heeled sandals

High heel sandals should fit in a very similar way to normal sandals that they should neither be too big or too small, they should be just right!. The main thing to avoid with high heel sandals is the overhang of your toes. When wearing heels your feet are pushed forward more so than they would in normal shoes because of the angle you are wearing them at. This means that you will find an issue with a toe overhang much more than a heel overhang. 

Whatever the debate around high heel sandals are there really should be no overhang. Why? Well, when wearing any open toe shoe there is always the risk of cutting your toes the more your toes are overhanging from the front of your sandal than the more at risk you are from damaging your feet! Nobody wants to cut their toes

Buying a size bigger is definitely recommended for high heel sandals. As they tend to be open-toed, like wedges, overhang will stick out and it’s not a good look. As we have mentioned that naturally push forward of our feet down towards the edge, sizing up in your sandal will help prevent this from happening! Again, try them on first as sizes can vary!


Paco Ireland women's white wedged sandals

How to Make Sandals Fit Better

If your favourite pair of sandals aren’t as comfortable as they used to be then you will want to stretch them out so that they fit a little bit better! Normal sandals are not the best piece of footwear for everyday wear however when the weather turns nice and you have a favourite pair to wear then of course we will want to break them out! Here are some tips below that will help you stretch out your sandals that have become a little smaller over time.


  • Too small? If your sandals are a bit too tight, then you’ll want to stretch them out.  A really easy way to do this is by wearing them around the house with thick socks. Bundling balls of newspaper and stuffing them inside your sandal and leaving them for a few days to stretch out. There are also shoe stretchers readily available in stores and online that will do a good job.

  • Just remember to try and never get your sandals wet, if you are wearing sandals that are made from PU leather and they get wet and then dry out again in hot weather this can lead to the material shrinking and the shoe becoming smaller!

  • Too big? For this you’ll need the help of some insoles which you can pop into the inside of your sandal and cut them to fit your favourite pair of sandals!
  • Just like our tip not to leave your sandals out in the heat especially when wet as they will shrink -  if your sandals are too big then you could leave them out in the sun for a few hours and this will shrink the material! Just dab the areas that are too loose with some water making sure to not soak through the material OR to get any water on the insole of the shoe. Once you have done this leave your shoes out in the sun to work it’s magic! You can also use a hair dryer for this trick making sure to keep the hairdryer 6 inches away from your shoe at all times and keep the hairdryer on a medium heat. Do this until your shoe is dry and make sure to check the progress continuously throughout the drying process to make sure you do not overdo it! 
  • Stop blisters and pains from summer shoes There are many sandals that can cause blisters and irritation when they are first worn. Wearing them around the house with some thick socks before you plan on wearing them for an extended period of time is a good plan! If you do not have time to do this then you can purchase some gel insoles that are specially made for sandals. There are also solutions which you can prep your feet with before wearing a sandal that may give you blisters. These blister elixirs can be found on Amazon! Finally make sure to bring blister plasters with you. There are specially designed plasters which can protect your feet and toes from blisters!
  • Now you can shop for sandals this summer with confidence. By using our tips, you can make sure you get the most out of your sandals and most importantly you can make sure you have picked the correct sized sandal for your feet! Using our top tips you can make sure you have purchased yourself the perfect sandal this summer and you now have some top tips on how to make your sandal bigger or smaller and how to prevent skin irritation of blisters on your feet!

    Make sure that if you’re going to wear sandals for something that requires you to walk around a lot that they provide support for your feet and they keep your posture in check! Wearing any shoe for an extended period of time should fit correctly on your foot and provide you with the support you need to help keep moisture correct to prevent muscle soreness and back pain! 

    Now Shop Our Sandals

    Be sure to check out some of the sandals that we have available on our website. We have made sure to search high and low to bring you a great selection of summer sandals, wedges and sliders with cushioned insoles that are gentle on your feet but do not compromise on style and affordability! 

    June 01, 2021 — Rose Procter