Active Clothing

7 Podiatrist-Approved Slides That Are Just As Easy To Put On As Flip Flops (and Better for Your Feet)

Allie Flinn

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Photo: Getty/ JulyProkopiv
For many of us, summer thankfully looks much different than it did last year, so break out some cute shoes for activities like "brunch with friends" versus last years' "walks around the neighborhood when you can't stand being in your apartment anymore and you've already screamed into your pillow your allotted three times that day." While flip-flops are a classic choice, slide shoes for summer are better for your feet, both in the foot-health sense and also an aesthetic one. And they're just as easy to wear.

Miguel Cunha, DPT, founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, says that he tells his patients to avoid flip flops as much as possible. "It’s fine if you must wear them at the gym or the beach to avoid walking barefoot, but walking with flip flops for prolonged periods of time causes our foot to collapse, affecting our gait and posture," he says. "[This] can lead to a tremendous amount of stress, not only to the foot but to the rest of the body." Dr. Cunha says that slides are more supportive and more comfortable.

"Summer slide shoes are somewhat similar to a surgical shoe [writer's note: sexy] as they have a harder sole than most traditional sandals or flip flops and can accommodate more uneven and hard terrain which, of course, can help minimize injury," he says. He adds that the soles are often ribbed, which gives you more traction and stability.

Ideally, your slide shoes should have about a ¾-inch wedge to keep pressure off of your Achilles tendon. Avoid completely flat slides, as these contribute to the "collapse of the arch," he says, which can cause foot pain, in addition to other issues like knee and back pain. He gives extra points for slides that have an arched footbed.

7 slide shoes for summer

Aquatalia Talia Slides — $275.00

I ran these shoes’ compatibility with my spring/summer wardrobe (picture Cher’s virtual closet, but just in my brain), and so far not a single item has been deemed a “MIS-MATCH.” So I guess dark mustard yellow is a neutral now. The weatherproof, made-in-Italy slide sandals also come in two other shades, black and white, which also go with everything. The perfect simple summer slide.

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Birkenstock Arizona Hex Slide Sandal — $140.00

Podiatrists love Birks! I love the crisp look of this white pair*, even though I am a person who absolutely could not keep them clean. Luckily, there are multiple colors to choose from, including black and brown.

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Italic Shearling Criss Cross Slides — $30.00

I like to think of these fluffy slides as the “people who refuse to be uncomfortable” iteration of the feathery boudoir slippers they wore in the 50s. They’re cute and flirty, and come in both gray and pink. Also, they’re way better than wearing socks around the house, both from a comfort/foot health standpoint and also a “keeping your recently moved-in boyfriend from realizing exactly how dirty your floors actually are” (because the dirty smudges on the bottoms of your socks would be a dead giveaway).

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Vionic Demi Slide Sandal — $100.00

These slides come in lilac snake print, white, black, and melon, and feature a wide band that keeps your feet secure when you walk and a supportive orthotic footbed. Also, they’d look amazing styled with some lightweight denim or a flowy white dress.

 

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Nisolo Isla Woven Sandal — $100.00

Another pair of go-with-everything sandals, these simple slides come in three different colors of woven leather (bone, brandy, and desert rose) and two colors of smooth leather (bone and black). They look sleek and streamlined, so you’d never guess that the footbed is super cushion-y and shock-absorbing. Nisolo is a brand sustainable, ethically-sourced, handmade leather shoes and accessories.

 

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Dr. Scholl's Pisces Slide Sandal — $50.00

The wooden clog is the OG Dr. Scholl’s shoe and, similar to Birkenstocks, it’s also been embraced throughout fashion history. I’m partial to this sportier offering from the brand, because they’re less expensive than the wooden iteration. Also, when I slip them on I can pretend it’s to go hang poolside, not just to collect the Postmates order that is the “last time I’m getting takeout this month.”

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Roam Pillar Slides — $132.00

These vegan leather slides have memory foam incorporated into the strap and have a molded footbed for support. Perfect for the long, socially-distanced walks around your neighborhood you take when you can’t stand being in your apartment anymore and you’ve already screamed into your pillow your allotted three times that day.

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