The sun is shining and temperatures are high: two clear indications that sandal season is here! Across the country people are kicking off their covered-in shoes and slipping on snazzy summer footwear instead.
The problem is that many sandals, particularly those with flimsy fastenings or hazardous high heels, are shortcuts to foot complaints and injuries. To avoid blisters, strains, pain and a host of other issues, you need sandals that’ll protect, not punish, your feet. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to foot care for sandal season, full of essential advice.
Choosing the Best Sandals for Your Feet
When shopping for foot-friendly sandals, it’s advisable to visit a reputable shoe shop, where you can have your feet properly measured and footwear properly fitted. You’re also more likely to find sandals there that offer the following key features.
Because they’re breathable and malleable, leather sandals will keep your feet cool while also feeling extremely comfortable. By contrast, synthetic materials can make your feet sweat excessively, leading to foot odour, irritation and sores.
The ability to adjust straps is invaluable – without it, your sandals may dig in when your feet swell up on humid days.
Another tip is to look for straps that are at least half an inch wide; narrower ones are likely to feel like cheese wire cutting into your feet when worn for prolonged periods. Ouch!
Sturdy buckles or Velcro will help to hold your feet in place and contribute to a snug fit.
Slip-ons should be avoided; otherwise your toes will claw at the insoles in a desperate attempt to stop your sandals falling off.
Strong Arch Support
Dense foam in the midsole can protect the plantar fascia (thick tissue running along the sole of the foot). Plenty of arch support is essential to guard against the agony of plantar fasciitis.
Strong Heel Support
Look for covered-in backs or sturdy straps around the heel area. You don’t want your heels sliding around – that’ll only make you vulnerable to injury, as well as creating excess friction, which leads to blisters and dry, cracked skin.
Padded, Flexible Soles
Well-cushioned, flexible sandals provide superior shock absorption. The ‘slap-slap’ sound some sandals make when you walk around in them is a sign that the soles are too flat, thin and rigid to protect your feet against the impact of striking the ground.
Sandals with heels that are less than a couple of inches high will help to ensure that your feet and ankles remain stable. Don’t be tempted to totter about in stiletto heels or wedges.
Comfortable Doesn’t Mean Unfashionable
It’s important to point out that prioritising foot health no longer means losing out in the style stakes. As Vogue emphasises in its summer sandals guide, today’s trendsetters are ‘not buying anything that will potentially gnaw at the feet’. Instead they’re opting for sandals that combine comfort with aesthetic appeal (a well-concealed orthopaedic sole is one example highlighted by the magazine). So you can be both fashion-conscious and kind to your feet.
Looking After Your Feet When Wearing Sandals
There are several practical steps you can take to make the transition from shoes to sandals as smooth as possible.
- Break in new sandals by wearing them with socks indoors before venturing outside.
- Rub sun cream all over your feet to protect them against sunburn.
- Apply an anti-chafing gel to reduce friction, especially if you’ll be walking long distances.
- Leave your sandals to dry out thoroughly in a well-ventilated area at the end of each day to stop them getting smelly.
Foot Care for Sandal Season from London Chiropodists
You can ensure that your feet are in tip-top condition before you put them on show by visiting our London chiropody specialists. We have the expertise to make calluses, cracked heels, fungal nail infections and other frustrating foot problems a thing of the past.
For specialist foot care throughout sandal season and beyond, please call Feet By Pody today on 0207 099 6657 or book an appointment online.