What are Fisherman Sandals?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 January 2020
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Fisherman sandals are a style of casual footwear which can be worn by men and women. They are also a very ancient form of footwear, with illustrations and writings suggesting that variations on this style of sandals have been worn in numerous cultures for century. The connection to fish and fishing is unclear, but it may be related to the open design, which would allow water to drain away from the foot, rather than pooling in the shoe. The design probably would also have been comfortable to wear around the house after a long fishing trip.

The soles of fisherman sandals are usually thick and comfortable. A center strap runs from the toe up the foot, and connects to the sole at intervals with side straps. These straps are usually not designed to be adjustable. The sandal is kept on the foot with a loop along the back of the ankle, which is sometimes adjustable with the help of Velcro® or a buckle. The open design keeps the foot cool and ventilated, but also protected, because of the well placed straps.


The majority of fisherman sandals are made from leather, although synthetic materials are used as well. The traditional and classic colors are brown or black, but many variations are also available. Both men's and women's versions are available, along with small fisherman sandals for children. Leather versions should be cared for with leather conditioners to keep them supple, and may benefit from waterproofing to prevent damage to the leather.

The shoes are usually worn casually, and would not be considered appropriate for formal events. In many countries, fisherman sandals are equivalent to sneakers or tennis shoes. Special designs intended for hiking and walking are also available. Hiking sandals tend to be more sturdy, and have especially supportive soles and straps. They are comfortable for long walking trips, whether hiking a mountain or shopping in a city.

Numerous shoe shops carry fisherman sandals, allowing you to try them on before you buy. You may want to consider whether or not you will be wearing socks with the shoes, as leather can be chafing. Fisherman sandals can also be ordered through online retailers, although you may not achieve the perfect fit this way. In either case, be sure to purchase shoes which fit well and support your feet, so that you will feel comfortable no matter how long you have been wearing them.


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Post 5

There are now some running shoes that you can buy that use the fisherman sandals design to create airflow to the foot. These shoes are sturdier than the sandals and are advertised as a way to enjoy summer footwear without having to give up your ability to pursue fitness.

I have a pair of these hybrid shoes and find that it is a great break for my feet so they don't get so sweaty when I am out exercising. I love how the openings in the shoes help the sweat dissipate, as there is nothing worse than having damp socks.

Post 4

Fisherman sandals are a great option if you have to be on your feet a lot. I stand a lot at my job and find that things like flip-flops and more stylish sandals just don't give me the support I need.

While fisherman sandals are available in synthetic materials I would suggest you pay for the leather version as these can better adjust to the form of your foot. I find with all the slats on fisherman sandals that if I get a material other than leather they tend to chafe my foot and not feel as comfortable with extended wear.

Post 3

@Windchime - I think you'd do fine with fisherman sandals for women. They tend to come in various slight style variations so it isn't difficult to find something you like. Those with a closed toe are fine for work too.

The one thing you need to watch out for is sizing. Because some run big and some can be narrow or run small, it's safer to buy them from a store where you can try them on.

Having said that, there are some good bargains available online. That's especially true for the famous brands. So if the possibility of having to return them doesn't put you off you may want to have a look around.

I got some Dr. Marten fisherman sandals from an Internet auction site and they were a bit small. I managed to pass them on to a friend, and the next pair I ordered were a perfect fit.

Post 2

Most weekends in the spring and summer you'll find me in the footwear section of every store in town, drooling over the pretty women's sandals on display.

I rarely buy any because I've been cursed with large, wide feet. Even if I can find something that fits they are rarely comfortable.

Would women's fisherman sandals be a stylish and comfortable option for me?

Post 1

Women usually have lots of choices when it comes to footwear. Men, on the other hand, tend to stick to deck shoes when the weather gets warm.

When I discovered men's fisherman sandals on sale at the local store it seemed like a miracle. If possible I'd be barefoot all summer, so having something that at least lets some air circulate is very welcome.

I had to laugh when my girlfriend called me a 'geek chic' trendsetter, though she still forbade me from wearing them with socks!

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