Sandals and Heel Pain

Sandals 101: What to Avoid

Each spring, department stores fill their shelves with a rainbow array of fashion sandals. But buyer beware! Behind the buckles and jewels lurk some of the worst offenders of heel pain and plantar fasciitis.

Poorly-made Sandals

The biggest hallmark of poorly made sandal is soles that are thin, flat and unsupportive. Thin soles offer zero support to the arch of your foot, leaving your plantar fascia to absorb the full impact of every step you take and drastically increasing your odds of developing heel pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, and Morton’s Neuroma.

Whether you call them “flip flops,” “zoris” or “thongs,” this summer staple is easy on your wallet and hard on your feet. Flip flops are usually made of cheap material like foam or straw, and offer zero arch support or padding. Over time, this lack of support affects not only your feet but the connecting muscles and tissue. Flip flops are also prone to slipping and sliding as you walk, increasing your risk for tripping or spraining an ankle.

Jelly Sandals

Popular jelly sandals are made of flexible plastic and nothing more. Not only do they earn an F in arch support and cushioning, but they are notorious for causing blisters as the plastic rubs against your heel. Don’t be tempted by the fun colors or low price tags – jelly sandals aren’t worth it!

How to Find the Perfect Pair of Sandals

Summer-worthy, supportive sandals might sound like an oxymoron, but don’t despair! These tips will help you score a pair of sandals that make your feet happy all summer long.

Arch and Heel Support

For many people, summer is a season of activity–at the beach, the park, the pool, hiking, running, and playing. Your feet need more backup than ever, which is why you should make sure you insist on the same arch support you’d look for in a closed-toe shoe. Look for sandals that have contoured arch support and keep your heel from sliding around.

Don’t Forget Those Toes!

Look for sandals and summer shoes that give your toes ample room to bend and move as you walk. Don’t settle for a strappy number with a peep-toe that squishes your toes together, putting you at risk for hammer toe, ingrown toenails, and an unnatural gait.