From flip flops, sandals, wedge heels, and even barefoot in the sand, your summer footwear options are endless. Summer footwear may be fun, but unfortunately, many of the summer options lack adequate support compared to other seasonal shoes. Fortunately, we are here to help and made a guide to protecting your feet with the right footwear this summer.
Though there are many wonderful pairs of shoes out there, when selecting the right pair, it is important to remember that everyone’s feet and foot care needs are different so it may take trial and error before you find the right pair for your needs that provide you with the best support and comfort.
Types of Shoes
Shoes are not a one size fits all approach, with different types of shoes you may need to alter your sizing for optimal support and comfort. When selecting the right shoe for the occasion, consider these tips:
Flip-Flops and Flats
Flip-flops and flats can have minimal support and can cause your foot muscles to overwork while walking. If used for long periods, it can lead to arch and heel pain from inadequate cushioning and support. We recommend only using them for brief periods such as walking around the pool or at the beach. Buy more supportive shoes with thicker soles and better arch support, if possible, or select flats with room for a cushioned insole.
Heels and Wedges
Heels can be beautiful and can make a statement, but they can place a lot of pressure on the ball of your foot, toes, and increase your risk of ankle injuries, bunions, and hammertoes. The higher the heel, the more pressure which can cause you to distribute your weight unevenly. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear heels, we just suggest wearing them for a short period, or looking for a wider heel or a lower heel to minimize the pressure placed on your feet when wearing them.
Sandals and Slides
Strappy sandals and slides are similar to flip-flops in which they offer very little arch support and cushion for your feet. Common foot concerns related to sandals can include irritation on the toes, arch pain, and calluses. Be sure to ensure a proper fit, and make sure your toes and heels don’t hang off the edge. Pick ones made from more natural materials such as leather that may be gentler and less abrasive or irritating.
Sneakers can be the best shoes to wear for long periods and are often designed to absorb shock and offer support for the whole foot. They come in various forms for running, hiking, walking, and everyday casual wear. However, be mindful of the fabrics as some may not allow the feet to breathe meaning your shoes may hold a lot of sweat. If you plan to wear tennis shoes daily, we suggest buying multiple pairs to allow them to dry out fully between each use.
It is important to wear the right type of shoes for your activity, not only for your comfort but to help reduce your risk of injury. Remember to also let your shoes rest after each wear to allow them to dry out. Changing your shoes regularly will also help reduce the impact they may have on your feet and body. We hope this footwear guide will help you enjoy a wonderful summer. For more summer footwear advice or to schedule an appointment, contact Foot & Ankle Clinic today.