It may be fashionable to wear flimsy, lightweight flip flops during the summer but unfortunately many of the popular styles are not good for your feet. If you are soaking up the sun on a cottage dock or a backyard deck, a pair of soft flip flops are fine but if you are doing a lot of walking you should be more selective about your sandals.
Like many of my clients, I live in sandals in the summer. Regardless of the advice I give them to the contrary many of my clients choose flip flops as their go-to option. To help them make better choices when buying summer sandals, I suggest the following shopping tips:
- Begin by looking at the sandal’s base. It should be as wide as your foot and should have a thicker sole with a low heel to provide support, shock absorption and protection.
- Next look at the length. Do your heels and toes hang over the edges? If the sandals don’t cup your heel and your toes don’t stay firmly within the base, they are not the right pair for you.
- Always select sandals with an arch contour and a cupped heel to support your foot. If your arch is well supported and your heel controlled it may help you avoid a range of foot conditions including painful plantar fasciitis which often accompanies too much time spent in flat flip flops.
- Make sure you buy sandals with adjustable straps, preferably with a buckle or Velcro. Adjustable straps will make sure your foot remains anchored in the right place in your shoe, providing more stability and support, even as the materials soften with wear.
When it comes to selecting summer footwear my best advice is to choose wisely based on your activities. If you are walking any distance leave your flimsy flip flops at home and wear supportive sandals. And if you have a full day of sightseeing planned make sure you wear a proper pair of walking shoes. You’ll be grateful at the end of the day when you can enjoy the warm, summer evening pain free.
By Lisa Irish, C. Ped (C), Burlington, ON