this thing's incredible

The Surprisingly Sexy Orthopedic Sandals I’ve Worn 3 Summers in a Row

Photo: Liza Corsillo

Editor’s note: Since we first published this story two days ago, all available pairs of these shoes have sold out on both Amazon and eBay (though you may still be able to snag a pair in white). Until Arcopedico reissues them (if ever), we found a similar pair of mesh sandals from the same brand available on Amazon, albeit at a higher price, as well as sexy knit clogs that are great for fall.

A few years back, pre-COVID, I was having a nice little Saturday to myself, wandering aimlessly around Park Slope, when something caught my eye in the window of a mom-and-pop shoe store called Good Footing: a pair of orthopedic mesh sandals with an ankle strap and cushy footbed. They reminded me somehow of ’60s Bond girls, ’80s artists, and ’90s club kids all at once. I went in to try them on.

I am not exaggerating when I say that these shoes are the closest thing to actual clouds I have ever worn. They weigh next to nothing and are inordinately soft — even more comfortable than Crocs. They are also somehow extremely sexy — the black mesh fabric made me feel cool and a little bit naughty, like slipping a health vest or fishnets over my toes. The Antalia sandals also come in white and blue, but I would only recommend the black or the white (the blue doesn’t have the same sex appeal, in my opinion).

Since then, I have worn the Antalia sandals over and over and over again. Because they are so light and flat, they pack really well and have accompanied me on many weekends away. They make jeans look dressier, perfectly complement a black swimsuit, pair well with any length skirt, and add a bit of edginess to jean shorts, white overalls, palazzo pants, and certain summer dresses. (It may sound odd, but to me they have the cool factor of smoking a cigarette outside of a bar in Berlin. I don’t know how else to put it.) I can wear them for hours on end and to walk long distances, but somehow they never look dirty (even after an all-day bike trip to Rockaway Beach). Three years in they still look as good as they did the day I bought them. Sadly, the brand is no longer making new pairs of the Antalia sandals, but there are still sizes available on Amazon and eBay. Arcopedico, if you’re reading this, please consider a reissue.

While not exactly the same as the Antalias, Arcopedico’s Ema sandals also feature a mesh design and the brand’s comfortable sole with great arch support. They come in black, tan, and navy, but I would probably go for the black.

As we head into fall, I’m considering buying a pair of these lightweight knit clogs from the brand. They have the same transparent allure, the same cushy soles, and come in a handful of different colors — the black and navy are my favorites. I also love how much they look like the mules from another Strategist-approved comfortable footwear brand: Hopp.

Some other sandals we’ve written about

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The Surprisingly Sexy Orthopedic Sandals I Wear All Summer