Summer is the time to get out your sandals and give your feet some fresh air, this can often contribute to many foot problems including overuse injuries and nasty blisters. Finding the right sandals that fit and function well can be a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips to make sandal season more enjoyable for you and your feet!
Be sensible: Although it may be popular and fashionable to wear sandals that are flimsy and lightweight you may be causing more harm than good if you wear them for extended periods of time. Our best advice is to choose your footwear based on your activities, making sure to wear your more supportive sandals while you are the most active. Keep those flat flip flops for around the pool or relaxing on the backyard deck.
Fit: Sandals that fit loose and sloppy will cause your feet to work hard to keep them on by over gripping with your toes. This extensive gripping with your toes can lead to overuse injuries and could cause hammer or claw toes. To avoid this, look for sandals with 2-3 adjustable straps, preferably with a buckle or Velcro, to help ensure a snug fit.
Function: If you have well fitting sandals that contour your arch and cup your heel your feet will be well supported. This will help to avoid a range of foot conditions including plantar fasciitis, a common painful heel/arch condition often related to spending too much time in flat flip flops. If you wear orthotics, you should be choosing a sandal with a removable foot bed to accommodate your orthotics.
Another factor that can contribute to injury of the foot is the condition of the sandal itself. Over time the sandal may lose some of its structure whether it be at the level of the upper or the sole. Sometimes it’s hard to part with a comfortable pair of sandals; modifications such as resoling, can be done and allow the sandal to continue fulfilling its function. Shoe modifications are another way that Canadian Certified Pedorthist can help treat conditions/deformities and ensure the proper fit of footwear. Spot stretching, adding arch and metatarsal support or adding a lift are a few examples of common modifications that can be completed.
A couple of great sandal options to consider are Sole and Cambrian. Sole is a brand of “flip flop” style sandals that we carry at Healthy Steps. These sandals are cool and comfortable and have an anatomical shape for natural toe splay and a metatarsal pad. We also carry a large selection of Cambrian sandals that provide the ultimate in comfort and support; Cambrian sandals have supportive removable foot beds that can be removed to accommodate your custom orthotics.