It is almost summer – the most socially acceptable season to show off your pedicure! Summer is sandal weather even for those who let their toenails go au naturel, of course. Everyone loves the feel of the fresh summer breeze as it gently skims across their toes. That’s why everyone should know how to pick a good pair of sandals.
Essential Features for Summer Sandals
We aren’t talking about sandals from a fashion perspective. We’re talking about sandals that are good because they help prevent painful foot and ankle problems! Here are the features you need to look for in your next pair of sandals when you want to do all you can to avoid ankle sprain, bunion, hammer toe and many other podiatric conditions.
Arch support. Picture a cheap pair of flip-flops. Their insoles are flat as two boards – but the bottoms of your feet are anything but. Flat insoles cannot support your arches, which means they cannot distribute your bodyweight evenly across your feet. That often leads to foot, leg and back pain resulting from poor posture.
Over a long enough time, inadequate support may cause the foot’s arch to collapse. Arch collapse can lead to plantar fasciitis, a condition which usually causes stabbing pain near the heel. Extreme cases of plantar fasciitis require surgery, but the condition is typically treated with gentler methods.
All of this is to say that you don’t want a pair of cheap flip-flops. You want sandals with arch support, because you want your body to stand and move the way it is designed to.
Adjustable straps. Choose sandals with velcro straps, or with adjustable buckle straps like you would see on a pair of Birkenstocks. Adjustable straps prevent blisters by creating a snug fit that reduces friction between the feet and sandals.
Blisters form more quickly when feet are damp or sweaty. That makes adjustable straps all the more essential if you plan on enjoying a lot of boat-related activities this summer.
Backs. Sandals with backs or ankle straps will also do their part to spare your feet from uncomfortable blisters. Better yet, sandals with backs require less effort to walk in. You have to scrunch your toes every time you take a step in open-back sandals to prevent them from falling off, which may gradually give your feet tendinitis.
Correct sizing. You wouldn’t buy shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly. Avoid the same mistake with sandals. If your toes extend over the edge of a sandal, you’re much more likely to trip or scrape your sensitive feet against the ground. Undersized sandals also cause friction blisters, and may even lead to circulation issues in the feet.
Examples of Good Summer Sandals
When it has arch support, adjustable straps, backs and the correct size, a pair of sandals is equipped to give you the safest and most comfortable summer fun. Twin Cities Foot & Ankle Clinic offers foot care – not footwear – but we’d like to give you some examples of foot-friendly sandals all the same.
FitFlop Lulu. With two adjustable straps for the top of the foot and another one for the ankle, it’s easy to create a perfectly snug fit with Lulu sandals. This sandal also features FitFlop’s Microwobbleboard, a three-layered cushioned midsole that promotes a more efficient gait, reduces impact energy, and provides altogether better comfort.
Vionic Reyna Flatform. With biomechanically designed insoles that hug foot arches and adjustable ankle straps that reduce chafing, Reyna Flatform sandals prove that fashionable footwear can still be foot-friendly. The height-boosting sandal’s thick outsole also helps to reduce the amount of shock that reverberates up the ankle.
OOfos OOcandoo. Ooh! A pair of men’s sandals this time. The OOcandoo includes a full back and velcro strap that work hand in hand against chafing, as well as OOfos’ patented OOfoam midsole which absorbs 37% more impact energy than traditional sandal foam. Factor in the OOcandoo’s arch-cradling insole, and you’ve got the perfect sandal for the beach, field or sidewalk.
Sadly, the best sandals in the world cannot prevent foot injuries and conditions altogether. If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, bunion, or any other podiatric condition, then we welcome you to contact us today. Dr. Sperling and Dr. Felton are standing by for consultation and treatment at our clinic in Golden Valley, MN!