Part One: Women’s Dress and Casual Sandals
Summer is fast approaching and that means it is sandal season. If you have had foot problems in the past and are wondering if it is safe to ditch your running shoes for sandals, do not worry! Thankfully, the days of flimsy flip-flops are behind us. These days there are numerous options when it comes to supportive, comfortable and dare-I-say cute sandal options!
When I look at a sandal, there are three important things I consider:
- Is there any heel to them?
I am not talking high heel but just any sort of heel height. As a general rule, if you have a history of heel pain (plantar fasciitis, Achilles issues) you will want to look for a sandal that has a little bit of a heel. In other words, if you have pain in the heel, you will want a bit of a heel in your sandal.
The Dansco "Season" is an example of a great combination of stiffness and good heel height.
- Are the sandals relatively stiff?
In general, you will want the sandal to not be overly flexible. This is especially true if you have pain the forefoot or ball of the foot (conditions like Neuroma, metatarsalgia, joint pain). In this case you would likely want a sandal that does not have a very high heel (if the sandal is stiff, it is okay to have a little heel but avoid the higher heel sandals).
The Birkenstock Gizeh (left) and Dansco Cece (right) are sandals that are adequately stiff soled
- Do the Sandals have a good arch and do they have removable liners?
There are many excellent sandals that have built in arch support which can be very helpful if you have almost any history of foot conditions. There are even many sandals that have removable liners that make it possible to custom orthotics inside them! I recommend bringing your orthotics into the shoe store with you to see if they work with some of these types of sandals and if they do not, ask us if we can make a special pair of orthotics that can fit in the specific sandal you have.
The "Curie" by Earth Sandals has removable liners and is orthotic friendly.
There is of course a fourth factor to consider but this falls a bit out of my medical expertise: are they cute? Again, I am a podiatrist and not a personal stylist but I would argue, yes, there are many fashionable sandal options that are both easy on the feet as well as the eyes.
Along with the sandals pictured in this blog there are dozens of great sandals out there. Below is a list of some of the brands that tend to make great sandals as well as some local retailers that carry these brands and others and have the expertise to guide you to your next favorite pair of sandals!
Local Shoe Specialty Retailers:
Shoes and feet, Bellevue
Sole Perfection (Federal Way, Seattle, Tacoma, Everett)
Gentry's Footwear, Kent Station
We are happy to guide you through your sandal related questions at your next visit and may your summer sandal tan lines be epic!