- Benefits Of Having Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis Comparison Chart
- Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews
- 1. Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal
- 2. Gravity Defyer Ron Men’s Sandals Great for Plantar Fasciitis
- 3. AEROTHOTIC Orthotic Comfort Sandals for Women with Arch Support
- 4. Chaco Men’s Flip Ecotread Flip-Flop Sandal
- 5. ECCO Men’s Yucatan 3-Strap Sandal
- 6. Aetrex Women’s Jillian Quarter Strap Sandal
- 7. UPIShi Mens Casual Closed Toe Leather Sandals
- 8. Birkenstock Papillio Women’s Lola Leather Sandals
- 9. Vionic Women’s, Rest Kirra Sandal
- 10. Vionic Men’s Ludlow Gil Fisherman Sandal
- 11. Rockport Women’s Ridge Sling Sandal
- 12. Clarks Women’s Manilla Parham Gladiator Sandal
- Types of Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
- Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Buying Guide
- FAQ About Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
- Wrap Up
Summer is a wonderful season, but it can quickly become terrible if you’re confined to your podiatrist prescribed shoes. There’s nothing worse than sweaty feet in enclosed footwear in the heat of the summer, but if you suffer from a condition like plantar fasciitis, you may think that you’re helpless in that situation. However, you’re definitely not. There’s a big market out there, and you can for sure find the best sandals for plantar fasciitis that will help you get through summer in style, with comfort, and without pain.
So take your socks off, it’s time to air your tootsies, and spend time in the summer heat without sweat or heel pain. We’re sure you’ll find a great model in our reviews, and in our buying guide, you can learn everything you need to know about choosing the right type of sandals for you.
Benefits Of Having Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
In the summer heat, when the pavement gets steaming hot, it’s almost impossible to feel comfortable in tight dress shoes. Sometimes, even tennis shoes get too hot to walk in, and sweaty feet feel just terrible. Of course, the most comfortable solution is a good pair of sandals.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you may think that there are no sandals that won’t make your feet hurt. But that’s not entirely true. Sure, the majority of regular sandals can cause harm, but there are some suitable options available for you too. So, what makes a pair of sandals good for someone with plantar fasciitis? It’s all about how they cushion and support your heels and arches.
1. Sole Cushioning
In a nutshell, the most common cause of plantar fasciitis is repeated strain on the bottom of your foot, on the ligament that’s called the plantar fascia. The strain that causes it comes from the shock that happens when your foot touches the ground when you take a step. Because of that, shock absorption is the key to good sandals or any other type of shoes for plantar fasciitis.
There are several ways in which manufacturers can make a shock-absorbent sole. These include air pockets, thick rubber soles, even springs, but the single most common way to achieve good shock absorbency is with a lot of cushioning.
Distributed throughout the three layers of any sole – the footbed, the midsole, and the outsole, cushioning at every level is important. However, shoes that are way too soft aren’t a good pick either. The right amount of cushioning makes stepping comfortable, but it doesn’t feel like you’re walking on a pillow – because stability and support are the other key feature of good plantar fasciitis shoes.
2. Stability and Support
You may feel that walking on a mattress or big pillows sounds dreamy, but take more than a couple of steps, and you’ll realize how uncomfortable and tiring that becomes. When there’s nothing firm to support your feet, your entire foot needs to work overtime to balance your body. On the other hand, when you walk barefoot on pavement, you feel the impact of each step on your heels, and they quickly tire and start aching. The sweet spot in between is exactly what you should look for when getting a pair of shoes for plantar fasciitis – your sandals should be soft, but supportive.
Both heel and arch support are important. Heel support usually comes with firm but comfortable padding under the heel, and contours that hold the heels in place, not letting them wobble or run to the sides. On the other hand, arch support is located right under the arch of the foot, and the material must be able to hold the arch in place, preventing overpronation.
Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis Comparison Chart
Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal
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Gravity Defyer Ron Men’s Sandals Great for Plantar Fasciitis
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AEROTHOTIC Orthotic Comfort Sandals for Women with Arch Support
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Chaco Men’s Flip Ecotread Flip-Flop Sandal
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ECCO Men’s Yucatan 3-Strap Sandal
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Aetrex Women’s Jillian Quarter Strap Sandal
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Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews
1. Vionic Women’s Tide II Toe Post Sandal
If you’re looking for a simple and comfy pair of women’s flip flops, Vionic has a great model for you. This pair of flip flops might be small and light, but they provide great padding and shock absorbency, along with arch and heel support.
The outsole of these anatomic flip flops is made out of TPR – a material that combines the best qualities of plastic and rubber. It absorbs impact, provides good traction, and it’s quite durable and wear-resistant. The heel measures about 1/4 inch. The midsole is made out of EVA, which is a great shock absorber. The footbed comes with anatomic contours, which will give your foot great support. In fact, these sandals have great arch support, which makes them perfect for women who tend to pronate too much when they walk.
These simple but sweet flip flops have their upper made out of a combination of synthetic textile and leather.
These flip flops come in a huge variety of colors, and you can get them in sizes 5 through 12.
- Contoured footbed
- Great shock absorbency
- The arch support piece is very dense, which may hurt people with flat feet
2. Gravity Defyer Ron Men’s Sandals Great for Plantar Fasciitis
If you feel that your heels hurt whenever they touch the ground, you should consider these men’s flip flops by Gravity Defyer.
Patented by this manufacturer, their brilliant VersoShock technology is there to help you forget about heel pain once and for all. The unique construction with a system of springs under the heel absorbs all shock from walking, making you feel like you’re defying gravity. Along with this system, these sandals come with a soft EVA footbed and rubber outsoles.
The EVA footbed is contoured to keep your feet in place and offer support to your heels and arches, without being too stiff. The upper of these shoes is made out of genuine leather combined with textile. Your toes will feel comfortable too as these have a super-wide toe bed. The toe part of the sole has an unusual shape.
These flip flops are available in sizes 9 through 15, and you can get them in grey, tan, or brown.
- VersoShock sole with springs absorbs all shock
- The contoured footbed is comfortable
- The shape of the toe area is unusual
3. AEROTHOTIC Orthotic Comfort Sandals for Women with Arch Support
Aerothotic’s flip flop model combines a great stylish look, incredible comfort, and ease of getting the sandals on and off. If you always wanted to wear flip flops, but regular models are just too flat, we recommend this wedge-soled model.
These flip flops come with both the midsole and the outsole made out of PU, which is short for Polyurethane. This material is not as common as EVA in midsoles and rubber in outsoles, but it is very close to them in quality, cushioning, and support that it provides. The footbed is very comfortable and contoured for maximum support.
The upper of the flip flops is a well-designed strap made out of man-made leather. The strap is padded, so it’s extra comfortable to wear. The thong that goes between your toes is lined in plastic, which is a bit old-fashioned and can become uncomfortable as the sandal wears down. These flip flops have a huge advantage among plantar fasciitis sandals, and that’s their very low price.
You can get these in sizes 6 through 11, and they’re currently available in more than 25 designs.
- Contoured footbed
- Flip flop thong with clear plastic case
4. Chaco Men’s Flip Ecotread Flip-Flop Sandal
If you’re just looking for a good old pair of comfortable and supportive flip flops for men, you’re in luck, because this model by Chaco offers it all.
These flip flops are simple and affordable, but they’re great for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. They come with a non-marking rubber outsole, which won’t let you slip no matter what surface you’re walking on because they have 2 mm deep lugs. The rubber used is 25% recycled, making these more eco-friendly than regular flip flops. The midsole is made out of polyurethane, and it provides good protection from impact when walking, and a nice cushioning. The footbed is slightly contoured, so it provides good support without being uncomfortable like some sandals with deep heel cups.
The upper is made out of polyester webbing, with a special high-tensile webbing for the toe post. These flip flops carry the American Podiatric Medicine Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
- Affordable men’s flip flops
- Rubber soles with 2 mm deep lugs
- Some customers had issues finding the right size
5. ECCO Men’s Yucatan 3-Strap Sandal
If you like long walks in the summer, you need superb comfort and high durability from your shoes. Ecco’s model of sport sandals for men named Yucatan is a great pick.
These sandals come with a comfortable upper that’s made out of a combination of Nubuck leather and textile. The straps are adjustable at three points – behind the heel, at the top near the ankle, and near the toes, giving you an ideal fit. They come in black and brown.
The sole of the Yucatan model is great for people with plantar fasciitis. The outsole is made out of rubber and features deep lugs for good traction. The midsole is made out of direct-injected PU. Finally, the contoured footbed is made out of dual-density EVA and covered with a sheet of microfiber that will keep your feet dry.
These sandals provide great cushioning and high-quality shock absorption. However, that comes at a price point that’s higher than usual. They’re available in many sizes, from 6 to 16.5.
- Great cushioning with EVA, PU, and rubber
- Adjustable at three points
- Not affordable
6. Aetrex Women’s Jillian Quarter Strap Sandal
Next up, we have a beautiful pair of strappy sandals for women. The ornate model Jillian is made by Aetrex, and it’s very comfortable, even if you need to stand or walk the whole day.
This model is made out of a unique combination of materials. The outsole is made out of rubber. When it comes to the midsole, the material of choice is an ultra-light cork that absorbs shock in a natural way. The footbed is made out of memory foam, and it incorporates Aegis anti-microbial technology that keeps your feet healthy and fresh. The footbed is contoured, and it includes medial support. The heel is slightly elevated and measures only about 1.5 inches, which is ideal for plantar fasciitis.
The upper of these shoes is made out of genuine leather, and the back of the heel comes with extra padding for better support.
These are available in sizes 5 through 11, and in many different colors.
- Natural cork midsole with a memory foam footbed
- Good elevation for plantar fasciitis
- Not affordable
UPIShi Mens Casual Closed Toe Leather Sandals
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Birkenstock Papillio Women’s Lola Leather Sandals
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Vionic Women’s, Rest Kirra Sandal
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Vionic Men’s Ludlow Gil Fisherman Sandal
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Rockport Women’s Ridge Sling Sandal
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Clarks Women’s Manilla Parham Gladiator Sandal
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7. UPIShi Mens Casual Closed Toe Leather Sandals
If you’re interested in getting a pair of fisherman sandals without spending a fortune, Upishi has a comfortable pair for you.
These fisherman sandals are made in a classic design, and they come in brown and black. These affordable sandals have their uppers made out of cow leather and stitched with a secure, large thread that adds to their good looks. The toe is enclosed, so these comfy sandals are also appropriate for daily use for office workers. These shoes have a Velcro adjustable strap on the top of the foot that can you get the right fit.
The outsole is made out of rubber and it features big lugs for great traction. The midsole is made out of latex that is flexible and elastic, and that cushions your feet when you walk. They have a pigskin footbed. The heel is slightly elevated, which can help with plantar fasciitis.
These sandals are comfortable, but they’re also very affordable, so you shouldn’t expect to get many years of service out of them. They’re available in sizes 7 through 11.5.
- Very affordable
- Enclosed toe fisherman sandals
- Not very durable
8. Birkenstock Papillio Women’s Lola Leather Sandals
Sandals don’t need a design with many ornaments and details to be beautiful. Birkenstock knows this well, so they created this stunning pair named Lola with a simple design.
Birkenstocks are famous for their cork midsoles, and these sandals aren’t an exception. This material is extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree, and it provides a great balance of cushioning and stability. The outsole is made out of EVA, which provides shock absorption and good traction. Your foot will be touching a comfortable leather lining, which is breathable. The footbed is contoured, and provides a lot of support to every part of your foot, with both interior and exterior arch support.
The upper of these sandals is made out of pull-up (oiled) leather and lined with suede which is soft. The strap on the back wraps around your ankle, and you can tighten it as much as you want with a belt system.
These sandals come in six different colors, and the model is designed for narrow feet.
- Cork, EVA, and leather sole is very comfortable and supportive
- The ankle strap is adjustable
- Made for narrow feet
9. Vionic Women’s, Rest Kirra Sandal
Flip flops are very comfortable, but many people have an issue with the trait that gave them their name – the fact that they aren’t secured at the back. That’s why Vionic, a popular manufacturer of medical shoes, made this beautiful, stylish flip flop with a slingback strap.
The outsole of this elegant sandal is made out of durable rubber, and the footbed is a thick layer of EVA which can greatly reduce the amount of shock that gets to your heels. The footbed is lined with microfiber to increase comfort, and it’s completely contoured so that your foot lies in perfectly. This shoe has strong arch support and a heel cup.
The upper is made out of real leather, and it’s a sleek thong design with a back strap attached to a metal hoop. The slingback strap is adjustable with a belt system.
These sandals come in several colors, and you can get them in both medium and wide, ranging from sizes 5 through 12. The sizes run a bit big, so you should order half a size smaller.
- Elegant design that combines flip flops and slingback sandals
- Great arch and heel support
- Runs big – get half a size smaller
10. Vionic Men’s Ludlow Gil Fisherman Sandal
Vionic makes these extremely comfortable fisherman sandals that are made specifically for people who need strong arch and heel support. These stylish shoes come in brown and black.
Their upper is made out of real leather, and it features a slingback strap that is adjustable with a buckle like on a belt. The construction of the upper is solid, and the way that the straps are intertwined gives a very interesting look to the shoe.
However, the most important part of these fisherman sandals is their superb sole. The footbed is covered in leather, and it’s made out of EVA. It’s contoured to give great support to your arches, but it also features a heel cup and relief to the ball of the foot. The outsole is made out of rubber. This combination will make living with plantar fasciitis much easier, because it provides good shock absorption, and gives all the support that your foot needs.
This pair of sandals comes in sizes between 7 and 13.
- Adjustable on two points
- Leather-covered, contoured EVA footbed
- The heel is not elevated
11. Rockport Women’s Ridge Sling Sandal
Lovely flip flops with a slingback strap don’t have to be expensive. Case in point, these ridge sling sandals made by Rockport are beautiful, supremely comfortable, and come for a reasonable price.
Let’s start at the top. The upper of these shoes is made out of man-made leather and cut and decorated in a whimsical design. The leather is lined with microfiber on the inside so that they’re completely comfortable and don’t cause blisters. The slingback strap is adjustable at the back, so you can be sure you can get a good, snug fit.
The footbed is made out of thick EVA, which can trap and break down a big portion of the shock that comes with each step. The insole is molded so that your heels, arches, and toes are fully supported. The outsole is made out of rubber and has slight lugs so you won’t slip. The heel is just above an inch tall, so your heels are elevated just enough to promote good posture.
This model is available in sizes 6 through 11, both medium and wide. Keep in mind that this sandal runs a bit narrow.
- Contoured, thick EVA footbed
- Beautiful flip flop with a slingback strap design
- Runs narrow
12. Clarks Women’s Manilla Parham Gladiator Sandal
If you’re looking for a beautiful pair of gladiators that rocks anatomical design with premium comfort at the same time, consider this model by Clarks. What’s better – these sandals won’t leave you with an empty wallet.
The upper of these beautiful gladiator sandals is made out of genuine leather. Since the shoe is ankle-high, these feature two adjustable straps with a belt buckle design.
While these sandals weren’t made particularly for people with plantar fasciitis, they’re very comfortable to walk in due to their design. The soles of these sandals are slightly raised and measure approximately 1 ¼ inch. The outsole is made out of rubber, and it has shallow lugs that provide good traction. These sandals come with an Ortholite footbed, which is very cushioned to break down any shock that would impact your stride. The footbed is anatomical, and it’s contoured, but it doesn’t have pronounced arch support. If very stiff arch support bothers you, these shoes can be the right pick for you.
These gladiators are available in gold and black, and you can get them in sizes from 5 to 9.
- 1 ¼ inch tall heel is a great height
- Reasonable price
- Don’t have pronounced arch support
Types of Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
There are so many beautiful types of sandals out there, but not all of them are an equally good choice when you have plantar fasciitis. Let’s take a look at different features that make a pair of sandals good or bad for your condition.
1. Sole Types
The soles of your sandals are the bottom that you walk on. Their main role is providing good support to your feet with every step.
Completely flat sandals are very common these days. However, even though it may sound like the most natural option, flat shoes are not a great idea when it comes to plantar fasciitis. In flat shoes, your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon can overstretch, causing further strain. Additionally, flat sandals don’t usually come with a whole lot of cushioning, and taking each step can cause a lot of stress to your feet because the soles simply aren’t very shock-absorbent.
1.2. Wedges and platforms
Wedges are usually the ideal choice for plantar fasciitis. If you like wearing elevated shoes, wedges are a much better choice than high heels because they let you distribute your weight evenly, and they don’t change your posture. But, don’t go too crazy: wedges that are higher than 2.5 inches can also cause harm. The ideal sandals for plantar fasciitis have an elevation between 1 and 2 inches.
Keep this in mind if you’re getting sandals with flat platforms as well. Remember that flat shoes aren’t great for feet with plantar fasciitis because the ligament and the connected Achilles tendon can suffer if they overstretch. What’s important is that your heel is an inch or two elevated compared to the balls of your feet.
1.3. High heels
Even though the slight elevation is the way to go, high heels are not a great idea if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. That’s because high heels change the way you distribute your weight, compressing your heel. Additionally, as you walk in high heels, all of the impacts that comes from the contact between the ground and your heel is directed to a single spot on your foot. As you can imagine, this can negatively affect the condition of your plantar fascia. If you still choose to wear high heels, opt for low heels no higher than 2.5 inches, and choose a pair of shoes with a blocky heel that distributes the shock a bit better.
2. Upper Types
The upper of your shoe is, essentially, everything but the soles. When it comes to sandals, this usually includes leather, textile, or rubber straps, or pieces of fabric with openings for maximum comfort in the summer heat. However, if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, along with temperature control, you should make sure that your feet feel secure and stable inside the sandals so that they don’t move inside the shoe.
2.1. Flip flops and slides
Flip flops and slides are types of sandals that are very popular because they’re extremely easy to put on and off. They’re usually made of some type of rubber or plastic, which also makes them waterproof: perfect for summer activities at the beach or the pool.
If this type of sandals is designed well, so that your feet get enough stability and return to the right position on the sole after every step, these types of sandals can be a good pick for people with plantar fasciitis. However, regular flip flops are super flat and don’t provide sufficient support or cushioning, so it’s recommended to only use the specially made, contoured and slightly elevated flip flops and slides if you suffer from this foot condition.
Slingback style sandals come with a strap set around the heel that secures the shoe in place. This type of sandal looks retro, and it’s very popular in open-toed dress shoes. The slingback strap provides good stability of the foot inside the sandal, since it doesn’t let the foot slip out of position, so this type of upper is recommended.
2.3. Ankle strap, gladiator, and fisherman sandals
Ankle strap sandals come with a single strap attached to the heel counter (the piece of material behind the heel). This strap is very effective at keeping the heel part of the sandal in place, so this type is a good pick for people who need plantar fasciitis sandals.
Gladiator sandals come with many straps running across the foot, holding it tightly in place. They often also come with a set of straps that you can tie around your calf, up to your knee. Traditionally worn by Roman gladiator warriors, this type of sandal is difficult to put on, but it stays securely in place. However, gladiator sandals are typically very flat, so only elevated and cushioned models are recommended for people with plantar fasciitis.
Finally, fisherman sandals are among the most popular types of sandals for men. They come in a unique design with several straps interwoven. More often than not, they have a type of a slingback strap at the heel, and completely or partly closed toes.
2.4. Sport sandals
Sport sandals are traditionally made with a textile upper and a rubber sole with a slightly elevated heel and anatomical support. Unlike most sandals, they also come with deep lugs (textured sole), which gives them supreme traction. They usually have a couple of points where you can adjust the straps for a perfect fit. If you like long walks and hikes, sports sandals are the right way to go. This type of sandal is a good pick for people with plantar fasciitis, especially if it comes with a contoured footbed.
2.5. Ballerina flats and loafers
Ballerina flats and loafers are not what you’d traditionally call sandals, but they are a common type of comfortable summer shoes. Usually, ballerina flats are, as the name suggests, too flat for a comfortable stroll if you have issues with your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, or calves. However, loafers come in many forms, and there are usually a lot of models perfect for plantar fasciitis available on the market.
Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Buying Guide
Dealing with an issue like plantar fasciitis is difficult. For most people, it’s not really an option to cease all activities so they can rest all the time until their feet recover, yet standing and walking about can be very tough and painful. That’s all made worse by the summer heat which can make your feet sweaty and your podiatrist-recommended pair of shoes even more uncomfortable. To get the right pair of summer sandals, you should pay attention to a few important features that will make walking with plantar fasciitis much easier.
1. Upper Materials
The upper of your summer shoes need to have one important quality: they should let your feet breathe. The more of your foot is covered in the material, the more important this quality is because sweat is your worst enemy in shoes you wear without socks.
Since there’s more natural movement within a sandal compared to an enclosed shoe, there’s also going to be more rubbing. Combined with sweat, and the design that includes many straps and thus many edges on your shoe, this rubbing can cause blisters or painful spots. Sandals that are made of a badly sewn or simply a low-quality or bad choice of material can cause a lot of discomfort. Great sandal uppers are made of soft, breathable materials, just like with work boots and dress shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Even though many wouldn’t imagine leather to be very breathable, this natural material has unparalleled breathability along with great water resistance, and it also lasts a long time. However, it’s also quite expensive.
Many types of man-made leather, including PVC and PU based materials, are used in the shoe industry, and they’re particularly popular among sandals. Man-made leather (also known as synthetic leather) is not great when it comes to enclosed shoes, but it does a good job when it comes to sandals that are strappy or include a lot of openings. Sandals made out of man-made leather are comfortable because of the soft material, but they’re not typically very durable – the material might start peeling quickly, typically in two or three years.
Textiles are a common pick for sandals, and there’s a big difference between different types of textiles. There are many good choices including both natural and man-made textiles for sandals. In general, textiles are very breathable because of the ways they’re woven. However, they’re very rarely water-resistant, so your sandals might get ruined in the rain.
2. The Sole
When the first step of each morning hurts, you become aware of how important the surface you’re walking on is. In the case of shoes, the sole is the single most important part, especially for someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis.
The role of the sole is to provide you with the comfort you need when walking, whether that’s on pavement, grass, or hardwood floor. With plantar fasciitis, you need to find the right balance between softness and supportiveness in shoes. For that, you need to consider every part of the sole: the inner footbed that touches your feet, the midsole under it, and the outsole that is your contact with the ground. You can find more info about the anatomy of a shoe and get acquainted with the vocabulary here.
Otherwise known as an insole, the footbed provides the most direct support to your foot as you stand on it. Unlike with other types of shoes, sandals don’t normally give you the option to replace the footbed with your own orthotics. That’s why it’s essential to pay special attention to the footbed of the shoe when getting a new pair of sandals.
The footbed should be firm, and keep its shape even after you’ve stood on it for hours. However, the footbed should also provide some padding, though shock absorbency is primarily the job of the other two parts of the sole.
A good footbed provides firm heel and arch support. This is normally achieved by contouring the footbed: denting it so that the foot fits inside of it. That’s right, the arch area that’s raised and made of dense material is not for flat feet only, even though it surely helps with it too. Arch support helps reduce overpronation, which is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. When it comes to heel support, the best footbeds come with a cavity for the heel. When it fits in, the heel doesn’t move or twist within the shoe.
The midsole is the inner layer of your soles that you can’t see. Even though not visible to the eye, the midsole plays an important role in reducing the impact that your feet feel with every step. This part is typically the most cushioned part of the sole, and as such, it does a great job of providing comfort and absorbing shock. Some shoes have a thick footbed instead of the separate footbed and midsole parts.
In most types of shoes, the midsole is typically made out of EVA or Polyurethane. If you’re looking for shoes that can reduce overpronation, you should opt for dual-density midsoles. These typically have an area of denser material under your plantar fascia (called a medial post), which is a great addition that enhances stability when you walk and stand.
The outsole is, as the name suggests, the outer part of the sole that you can see. That includes the part of the sole that touches the ground. Because of that, this part of the shoe is of crucial importance both for how much shock your foot suffers from each step, and how much stability and traction you get when you walk.
The most important and universal role of the outsole is good traction. Typically, good traction is achieved with a combination of material choice and texture (lugs) on the shoe, similar to the pattern on your car tire. Generally, most shoes on the market provide decent traction, but if you plan on walking on wet tiles around the pool in your sandals, good traction is even more important to avoid accidents.
When it comes to plantar fasciitis, shock absorbency is the key to a good outsole. In general, the thicker – the better, but that doesn’t count for rigid and hard materials like wood or hard plastics. Instead, you should look for rubber outsoles, because these are great at absorbing impact, and additionally provide good traction.
3. A Good Fit
No shoes can be comfortable if they don’t fit well. That’s why you should double-check to make sure that the sandals you’re getting fit your foot perfectly. Here’s how to do it.
3.1. Foot Dimensions
While there are standardized shoe sizes, many manufacturers use slightly different molds to make their shoes. That’s why you should never rely on standardized shoe size alone when getting shoes.
The best way to make sure your new pair fits you perfectly is by measuring your feet, so grab a ruler.
You should measure both of your feet because most people have one foot slightly bigger than the other. This is completely normal. You should use the measurements of your larger foot.
When measuring the length of your feet, you should measure the distance between the edge of your heel and the longest toe when it’s straightened up (not when it’s relaxed and curved – remember, your toes straighten up when you stand).
You shouldn’t forget about width either. Measure across the widest point of your foot, which is usually the width of the area where the ball of your foot is. Shoe widths are labeled with letters, and they’re relative to the shoe size. For example, a size 8 woman’s shoe is 9 ½ inches long and the medium width B is 3 9/16 inches. On the other hand, a men’s size 8 is 9 15/16 inches long and the medium width D is 3 ¾ inches (notice that medium for women is B and for men it’s D). Consult a sizing chart that will help you determine whether you need narrow, medium, or wide shoes.
3.2. Adjustable Straps
While running shoes and hiking boots can be adjusted by tying your laces, some sandal models can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the straps. This is not a universal feature, but it’s a very useful addition to consider because it can make your new sandals fit even more comfortably.
FAQ About Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
1. How should sandals fit?
Just like with most shoes, you should be able to feel right away if your sandals don’t fit well. However, if you’re not sure, here are some general guidelines to follow.
If your sandals are too small, that will be visually obvious. The sole of the sandal should go all-around your foot and have a little bit of extra space everywhere. If there’s overhang anywhere, your sandals are likely too small.
On the other hand, if your sandals are too big, the telltale sign is that the shoes move around on your foot, or you feel like they’ll slip off. When you take a step, they will also slap on the floor (though this is normal for flip flops and other sandals that don’t have a way to secure at the heel). Sandals that are too big can cause a lot of issues with your posture and way of walking, and you’re also risking slipping or falling in them.
So, how should sandals fit? They should feel secure around your foot, but not put too much pressure on your skin (adjustable straps may fix this issue if the shoe fits otherwise). There should be a bit of space between the edge and your foot, ideally around half an inch all around.
2. How to clean sandals?
Unlike hiking boots or dress shoes, your sandals don’t require a complex maintenance routine. There are only two steps to cleaning your summer footwear: brushing the sole and washing the upper.
To clean the sole, you need a big brush. Take your sandals outside or work above a big dust can. Brush out all debris and dirt from the soles. If there’s too much dirt, it can help to put your sandals in a bowl of lukewarm water and clean out the mud with a brush when it softens.
To clean the upper of your shoes, you need a sponge for leather sandals or an old toothbrush (or another medium to soft-bristled brush) for textile sandals.
Leather sandals are best cleaned with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Use a sponge to apply and wash out any spots you see. When you’re done, wait for them to dry, and apply a leather conditioner.
For textile sandals, get a couple of spoons of baking soda and add an equal amount of water, then stir until you get a paste. Use a toothbrush to apply and brush out any dirty spots, then rinse the shoes under running water, and let them dry naturally.
3. Is it illegal to drive in sandals?
While each state has slightly different regulations, driving in sandals is not technically illegal in the US. The issue with sandals, especially flip flops and slides, is that these are too loose, making accidents with controlling the foot pedals more common. If an accident does happen, for example, your flip flop gets stuck in the gas pedal, you may be facing charges for reckless or negligent driving. If you’re in your comfy pair of flip flops, but you don’t feel confident driving in them, it’s completely legal for you to take them off and drive barefoot. Overall, no laws prohibit driving in sandals, but if an accident does happen and your footwear is to blame, it can be taken into account when determining fault. The most important advice here is: wear sandals that fit well, and only drive in footwear that feels comfortable and reliable.
Summer is a wonderful time to spend a lot of time outdoors. However, it’s not fun to take strolls in the sun when your feet hurt due to plantar fasciitis. Choosing a great pair of summer footwear will make a huge difference in how you go through your day, whether you need to stand and walk for work, it’s time to run errands, or you’d simply like to take a walk. In our buying guide, we tried to give you all the info you need to choose the best sandals for plantar fasciitis and gave some suggestions of great models we found on the market.
We hope you found everything you wanted to know about this essential part of your summer wardrobe. If you still have some questions, or you want to share your own experience with some of these models, please do so in the comments below!
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