The warm weather is at our doorstep, and so is sandal season. And for many of us, this means it’s time to choose our sandals for the summer. But how do you find the best model for your feet?
There are so many choices and materials available on the market! Made of wood, leather or synthetic fabric, for hiking or for the beach, sandals are designed to meet many needs. However, it is important to take the time to carefully select them in order to avoid a variety of foot problems.
Podiatrists are professionals who can provide you with the right advice when choosing your sandals for the coming summer. PiedRéseau shares some helpful tips with you.
Avoid flip-flops or Croc-style sandals
Although comfortable and lightweight, these beach sandals can cause a number of foot and back problems. In fact, with their flat shape, they offer practically no support for your foot’s heel and arch. Thus, flip-flops, thongs or “Crocs” should never be worn all day long.
This sandal style makes the foot very unstable, which can cause problems that require a visit to the podiatrist:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs (or calcaneal spur)
- Bursitis in the heel
- Corns, calluses or heel cracks
In short, these sandals are fine to wear for short periods of time, around the pool, etc., but think about bringing another pair of more appropriate sandals for walking around.
Consider the morphology of your foot
It is important to choose a sandal with a sole adapted to your foot. Carefully consider these elements:
- Width: If you have flat, hollow or swollen feet, you should select a sandal as wide as the rest of your foot. Selecting a sandal that is too tight or too large could cause significant pain.
- Length: It is important that your toes stay well inside your sandals and do not protrude at the tip.
- Curvature: the shape of the sandal should follow that of your foot arch.
- Adjustable straps: choosing sandals that can be adjusted on the sides is often a good way to adapt them to the morphology of your foot.
In addition, if you wear a custom-made foot orthosis, it is important bring it with you when trying out your new sandals.
Evaluate your foot stride
When choosing your sandals, you should also consider the biomechanics of your feet while walking. It may be pronated (movement is towards the inside of the foot), neutral or supinated (movement is towards the outside of the foot).
Knowing your foot’s stride ensures good posture and proper alignment. The following models are recommended depending on the type of stride:
- For pronated feet: select a sandal model that distributes your weight evenly and provides proper support to the Achilles tendon.
- For supinated feet: choose sandals with cushioned soles to maximize flexibility and reduce shock.
Consult your podiatrist to help you make the right choice. This foot professional can give you a biomechanical exam to help you better understand the dynamics of your feet during movement.
Think of how you will use your sandals
Are you planning to hike this summer? Choose leather sandals that breathe well and have a thick sole. If, on the other hand, you only wear your sandals at the beach or by the pool, you are better off with a different choice.
To ensure that you select your sandals correctly, tell the salesperson what you plan to do this summer. They will then be able to recommend the most appropriate solution.
PiedRéseau: podiatry clinics to help you find the right sandal for the summer
PiedRéseau has more than forty clinics throughout Quebec to provide you with expert advice on how to choose the right footwear this summer. Regardless of your condition, you will be able to find a stable and comfortable sandal for your feet, so you can enjoy the beautiful weather, pain-free!
Find the clinic nearest you to learn how to choose the best sandals for your specific needs.