Yes and No. Now that summer is here, its time to break out the sandals and let your toes relax in the summer breeze, but are those summer sandals good for your feet?
Most sandals, including flip-flops, thong type sandals and “fashion” sandals, with thin leather soles are not substantial enough to support the arch in the foot and the foot structure. Foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions and arthritis can be aggravated with thin sole shoes. Flip flops and slip-on type sandals especially require the muscles in your legs and toes grip the shoes to hold them on your feet. This can cause sprains and strains and in general are not very protective for your feet.
A better choice is a more supportive sandal like a Dansko, Birkenstock or Orthaheel** brand. These sandals have a thicker sole and contoured heel and arch areas to support the foot and therefore avoid excessive muscle and tendon strain. They are also thicker on the bottom and provide more shock absorption and support for the foot.
Another consideration is heel height and shape. The higher the heel, the more pressure on the ball of the foot and the more concern there is for pressure on bunions, hammertoes and neuromas. The thinner the heel, the more pressure on the forefoot, so look for a wider heel, possibly with a platform or wedge style.
As with all good things, wear sandals in moderation. For weddings and parties, go ahead and enjoy your dressier high heel sandals, but for every day wear, pick a supportive sandal that is reasonable and comfortable to avoid common foot ailments.
Ann Anderson, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Dr. Anderson is in practice with Allentown Family Foot Care, PC. She has 20 years of experience as a ballet dancer and loves to treat patients that are active, with the goal of maintaining their activity level throughout their treatment.
** Allentown Family Foot Care is currently carrying Orthaheel brands in their Allentown office located on 26th and Walbert streets. Come in now and purchase your pair before it’s too late!!**