It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about what we are going to wear on our feet during those hot, humid summer months. For some people, a good supportive sandal is sufficient to keep their feet happy and healthy. For those who need a little more, there are options that are both stylish and comfortable! Here is a brief rundown of a few different categories of summer footwear:
The basic sandal
There are several sandals that provide a moderate amount of support built right into the sandal itself. These sandals typically have a molded footbed that incorporates arch, metatarsal and heel cup support. Keen, Merrell, Mephisto, and Birkenstock are a few examples of brands that make supportive sandals.
Some sandals are made with a removable footbed that allow for your custom foot orthotics to be fit inside. These sandals are built with similar features in the removable footbed as the previously mentioned sandals, but allow for the support to be exchanged for custom built support when needed. Naot, Finn Comfort, Aravon, Alegria and Wolky are some examples of brands that make sandals with removable footbeds.
Summer activity shoes
Depending on the actitivy you want to participate in, there are various summer shoes and sport sandals to suit your needs. For the more casual activities, like walking the zoo for the day, there are sporty, supportive sandals to serve the purpose. Keen, Teva and Merrell are some examples of companies that make supportive sandals designed for activity.
What to avoid:
Bare feet. While it is often tempting to free your feet and roam around without footwear, we put our feet at a higher risk of injury when we go without shoes. Shoes provide two important things for our feet; support and protection. If you simply must go barefoot, be cautious how far you walk without footwear, and be mindful of the environment to avoid injury.
Flip-flops provide no support and only minimal protection from injury to the feet. While they are an easy, slip-on option for going from the cottage to the water, or from the house to the backyard, they are not the best choice for your feet. Flip-flops tend to be ill-fitting which comes with an increased risk of slip and fall injuries. The foam soles of flip-flops don’t provide much protection from things like broken glass or other hazards.
The best choice for summer footwear is always a sandal or shoes that both supports your feet and protects from injury. Talk to your pedorthist about what sandal will be right for you this season.