Summer is right around the corner. Your toes can’t wait to see the sun again!
When searching for the right summer shoe here are a few suggestions to help you along the way. I will provide links to several websites that you may find helpful. Also, when searching for shoes you may find certain brands or styles have been accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Search for a summer shoe with good support. Many shoes are now made with supportive soles and some with a more specialized insert. Some styles will have a cork foot bed, which provides increased shock absorption. A rubber sole will provide good traction and stability. A deep heel cup, padding at the ball of the foot, adjustable straps and a breathable upper are all excellent aspects to look for in a good summer shoe.
To flip-flop or not? Flip-flops provide minimal to no arch support. Prolonged use can lead to foot strain, knee and low-back pain. Which can then lead to tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, among other problems. They are inherently an unstable shoe, increasing one’s risk of falls and sprains. But Wait! If you cannot live without them, there are several shoe brands that come to mind that do offer a more supportive flip-flop option. I will provide the links below.
Avoid shoes with pointed heels and narrow toe boxes. Be conscious of where the straps cross over your toes. Those with digital deformities such as, hammer toes and bunions, need to be cautious about the placement of the straps. Friction from the straps can cause inflammation, painful blisters and lots of pain.
Individuals with Diabetes, PAD (peripheral arterial disease), and severe digital deformities can discuss their shoe options with their podiatrists. Bring in any new summer shoes you have purchased for evaluation. Feel free to also bring in old shoes from last year.
Here are several brands that have incorporated function and support into their designs. Happy shopping!
Jennifer Kirchens, DPM, FACFAS, CWS