The Best Sandals for Your Feet: Here Are 5 Foot-Care Tips for Sandal Season From a Podiatrist by Belinda Lichty Clarke
- Limit your use of flip flops. Flip flops are only acceptable for short-term use, if they have at least some arch support, a cushioned sole and supportive straps. Flip flop use should be avoided for prolonged periods of walking and standing and in no circumstances should they be worn for activities that involve running or hiking. Walking with flip flops for prolonged periods of time allows our foot to collapse, affecting our gait and posture, which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress not only to the foot but to the rest of the body.
- Opt for a wedge vs. a heel. The platform-sandal style that will most benefit your feet is the one that best supports your arch. An arch angle of less than 3/4 inch in relation to the front is actually better for you than sandals that are completely flat, because it takes the stress off the Achilles tendon, which can help with the alignment of your posture, ankles, knees and spine.
- Select a heel with a 1.5 inch height. Look for a shoe that has a 1.5 inch heel or wedge height rather than one that is completely flat, as it places less tension on the Achilles tendon and will feel more comfortable. High heels or stilettos are also very harmful to your feet. A square toe is better than a tight confined shoe with a narrow toe box, but generally these stilettos exceed the recommended heel height of 1.5 inches.
- Purchase your shoes at the end of the day. You should always buy your shoes in the evening when your feet are most swollen. If the shoe feels comfortable at the end of the day they will most likely feel comfortable throughout the day. The best way to break in shoes is to wear them in two-hour increments per day for four days and then wear all day on the fifth day.
- Avoid slides that are completely flat. Slide shoes that are completely flat will contribute to pronation and collapse of the arch, which may contribute to planter and posterior heel pain, shin splints, knee pain and back pain. A slide shoe that has an arched footbed incorporated into its design can also help minimize discomfort.
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