The summertime practically invites activity, and especially while exercising during the warmer weather, it can be useful to curate a wardrobe that is both comfortable and functional. If you’re going for a walk, you may be inclined to reach for a supportive pair of sneakers (check out our favorite choices here), but especially on days when the UV index is particularly high and you need some relief from the blistering heat, a good pair of sandals may actually be the way to go.
However, you can’t be wearing any old flip-flops when you’re spending time on your feet, and a well-crafted sandal that holds your foot in place and supports the arch and sole is going to be key for maintaining comfort, even while you’re on a walk.
Support is the name of the game when it comes to shoes you’ll be walking distances in, and that includes all areas of the foot. “One of the most important things I’ve learned to look for in sandals is that there is good support at the ball of the foot so that they don’t overburden the submetatarsal area (the part of your foot right before your toes start that bears much of the weight along with the bottom of your heel),” explains podiatrist Michael Galoyan, DPM.
In layman’s terms? Your shoe should not be able to bend at the sole, and it should be just as sturdy as any other pair in your closet.
Proper sizing is also a major factor in making sure your shoes adequately pad your feet as you walk, yet 50% of the population is wearing the wrong size shoe, according to Galoyan.
“There are four dimensions to take into account for foot size. You need to measure your arch length, your full length, your width and girth and go from there in determining your true size,” he explains. Believe it or not, the right size shoe may actually be slightly too long, provided it fits the other dimensions.
A good sandal is one that allows you to feel supported on both your quickest errand runs and your longest walks. It’s first and foremost important that you’re purchasing the correct size shoe (and it may be worth getting measured by a professional), but making the right choice for your specialized needs can make all the difference.
Prioritizing sturdy grip and selecting a secure, well-made sandal will make your investment worthwhile when you’re wearing them summer after summer while feeling pain-free and looking as stylish as ever.