Finding the Right Sandal
Finding the right sandal can be tough when you don’t know what to look for. To help make your sandal shopping a little easier, keep reading for a few features to consider when looking for a sandal.
General Features to Finding the Right Sandal
For the majority of the population, proper straps and good support are important to consider when finding the right sandal. These help with comfort and to prevent pain from occurring in the future.
Most of the time, straps are chosen based on the way they look. Next time you look for sandals to buy, consider the function of the straps as well.
In my opinion, the most important strap is the one around the top of your arch area, near your ankle. This helps to keep your foot in place and prevent your sandal from kicking off while walking. At the same time, your toes won’t have to claw as aggressively in an attempt to keep your sandals in place. This constant clawing of the toes can eventually lead to pain at the ball of the foot, and more permanent clawing of the toes while at rest. With this in mind, try to avoid the sandals with only one strap around the ball of the foot. Thong-type sandals tend to have a strap that comes higher up the foot. They fit more securely than the buckle type around the front, but it is not recommended for longer walks. Keep these types for causal time at the beach or around the pool.
Finding straps that are adjustable are also important to allow for any swelling throughout the day. This will also provide a more customized fit to your foot. One foot may be smaller than the other and these adjustable straps will help with the fit between your different sized feet.
There are many sandal brands that have built in arch support. One of the most popular brands is Birkenstock, but there are many others. Each brand will fit differently, and have a different arch shape/height. Find a brand that is comfortable for your feet.
A sandal with a removable footbed is a great option for those who wear custom-made foot orthotics. This feature will allow you to replace the original sandal insert with your custom orthotic. To provide a better fit, custom orthotics can be made specifically for the sandal. This prevents the orthotic from showing as much around the sides and there will be less gaps in the front because it is trimmed exactly to the shape of the sandal.
Finding the Right Sandal for Bunions
There are features included in some sandals that will better accommodate bunions. One of these features is a bunion pocket. This is a soft and stretchy area directly against the bunion. In addition to a comfortable fit for the bunion, it also will cover it and, in some cases, make it look like it’s not even there.
Another sandal to consider is the thong-type. This will provide an open area for bunion to prevent rubbing/irritation.
Rubbing/irritation can also be addressed with multiple straps. The more straps there are, the more you can adjust directly over the bunion. With additional straps, you can tighten the other straps more and loosen the strap around the bunion.
Finding the Right Sandal for Bony Prominences
When dealing with other bony prominences, multiple straps will work in the same way as a bunion. Loosen the strap around the bony prominence and tighten the other ones. This will provide less pressure to the bony prominence.
In addition to multiple straps, you can also find a strap configuration to avoid this spot. This will directly avoid any rubbing/irritation at the bony prominence.
Another way to deal with the prominence is to use pads and create a pocket at the area. Find soft pads, such as felt or foam, that can stick to the inside of the sandal/straps.
Finding the Right Sandal for Balance
If balance is a concern, the back strap of the sandal is very important. This strap will prevent your sandal from flying off when you least expect it. For even more support, a closed back sandal is ideal.
In general, the more straps on the sandal, the better. This will provide a snug fit on the foot and prevent extra motions that may cause a balance issue.
Another feature to look for is a solid and wide base. This will provide a more stable and secure base by preventing excessive foot motions and better addressing any sway higher up.