The sandal is one of the oldest styles of footwear available and has been worn for thousands of years by all classes of people from peasants to royalty. Still, many people do not know how the sandal should be selected for a proper fit. With most shoes this is not as much of an issue because the entire foot is covered and it is easy to tell if the shoe fits properly or not. Sandals are a bit different, but the fit is very important to the health and comfort of your feet.
Though you may not realize it sandals come in a great variety of shapes, sizes, and colors as well as many styles from casual to formal. Some are made just for use at the beach, lake or pool while others, such as those made by Teva may be more suitable for hiking. Regardless of what you are using them for they need to fit right to protect your feet.
Support is the first thing you want to be sure you have in a sandal. For many people this is the main reason that their feet hurt, improper arch support. Your arch is the feature of your foot that assists you with posture and makes you walk more efficiently. Many sandals have built in arch supports while others such as those made from cork will mold to the shape of your foot eventually.
The sole of the sandal should be a little bigger than your foot, I know this may sound like a no brainer but it is easy to get a sandal that will allow your toes to push over the front or off the sides. You want a sandal that has enough room for your foot to conform to it properly. The sandal you choose needs to not only be comfortable but also should be protective of your foot.
The sole of the sandal you choose should be fairly thick as that is the only thing protecting your feet from anything that you may walk on and they also need to absorb the blow of the footsteps. You wouldn't choose a really thin sole on a regular shoe so this should be no different.
We are speaking of strapped sandals here, not slide on flip flops so the straps should hold the sandals on your feet securely. Try to find sandals that have adjustable straps instead of elastic as the elastic tends to wear out fast and then you will have to replace it to be able to continue wearing the shoes.
HOW SANDALS SHOULD FIT
While it’s important to avoid shoes that are too loose on your feet, there’s a good chance you could stand to go up at least a half size with your sandals. As we mentioned, your whole foot should sit within the sole of your sandals when you stand upright.
Signs your sandals are too small include:
- Your heels protrude over the back
- Any of your toes extend or hang over the front
- Your toes extend or hang over the soles on either side
- The straps dig into your heels, toes, or any other part of your foot
- You have the straps adjusted to the largest setting
- You get blisters, calluses, ingrown toenails, or heel spurs
- Your feet hurt during or after wearing them
Of course, loose-fitting shoes can cause a number of foot problems, such as tripping and blisters. But as we noted, this is pretty uncommon with sandals.
Don’t Fear a Larger Sandal Size
Many assume that wearing a larger shoe size will make their feet look bigger, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you cram your feet into sandals that are too small, they can actually appear larger. And believe it or not, the difference between two whole sizes is only about one-third of an inch. Half sizes and whole sizes only differ by roughly one-fifth of an inch in length in a regular shoe .
Going up a size (or half a size) with sandals will provide you with adequate wiggle room for the perfect shoe fit. Of course, you don’t want too much wiggle room, but that extra third or fifth of an inch will go a long way. You’ll be able to walk around comfortably for hours on end while avoiding foot pain and discomfort.