Warm weather is finally here, which means 1) you can actually walk from point A to point B, instead of having to bundle yourself up in a parka and hurl yourself from your building into a taxi or train car, and 2) it is officially sandal season.
Unfortunately, as my feet are currently well aware, those two things can be a lethal combination. I’ll spare you the vivid description of my numerous blisters and cracked skin, but let’s just say that my two-mile commute (or as I like to call it, strut) to work has taken a serious toll… mostly because I’ve been wearing the wrong shoes.
The good news: You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort when it comes to finding the best sandals to walk in—as long as you know what you’re looking for. “For those looking to walk some good distances in their sandals, more than a simple flip flop is important,” says NYC-based podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS. “Some of the recommended features include a built-in arch support, such as that provided by Aetrex Sandals, straps that wrap around the ankle for stability, and quality materials such as cork that are absorbent to impact forces.”
While all sandals can technically be worn for walking, that doesn’t mean they should be. “The risk of foot pain is higher in less appropriate sandals, including very flat sandals with no arch support, flip flops that have no true attachment to the foot, plastic sandals that are cheaply made, and wedges, as this decreases foot awareness and ankle stability,” Dr. Splichal says.
Well, that explains why my feet are so torn up after trekking miles upon miles in a pair of rubber flip flops. Here are five pairs of sandals that actually won’t leave your dogs barking, no matter how many summer strolls you take them on.
Tevas Original Universal ($50)
It’s a good thing Tevas are cool again (it’s true—don’t @ me), because they are probably one of your best bets for comfort. “These provide good attachment and stability to the foot, so would be good for walking,” says Dr. Splichal.
While plain ol’ flip flops don’t offer enough support and stability for longer walks, Dr. Splichal notes that thongs with ankle straps, like this one, are a great option.
When you’re picking out a shoe to walk in, your mantra should be “support, support, support.” This shoe has two front straps and an ankle strap, which means it checks all the boxes and your foot will be supported from every direction.
All of Aetrex’s shoes are crafted with an orthotic memory foam arch, giving them the podiatrist stamp of approval. These thongs are easy to throw on with everything from jean shorts to swingy skirts, and will let you strut your stuff all day long.
Fit Flop Heda Chain Strap Sandal ($105)
Similar to a Teva, this shoe offers enough attachment and stability that you’ll be able to bop around in it all day long. Plus, it will look really, really cute with all of those summer dresses.
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