Summer footwear – get the balance right
Coming into the warmer months, we need to find a balance between comfort, and support. As we discussed in a previous post on athletic footwear, most people benefit from supportive, stiff soled footwear (ie, don’t flex through the midfoot). And when it comes to sandals, this is still very achievable. For example, Birkenstocks and Reiker offer a thick, firm sole which will reduce excessive movement through the foot. At ACT Podiatry we have recently started stocking Revere and Vionic shoes which offer some great options. Remember, excessive movement of the foot increases fatigue and likelihood of injury.
Heel support is best achieved by choosing a sandal with a firm, enclosed heel counter. Ziera, Revere and Rieker offer a good range of options, and they have an orthotic friendly range. If you can’t find anything suitable with an enclosed heel, the next best thing is a sandal with strap that holds your feet securely around the heel.
If you can’t go past thongs, look for something with a thicker, stiffer sole that has some contouring around the arch. A “Vionic Flip Flop” is a good example. Personally, I am a guilty thong wearer, but restrict wearing them to times when I know I am not going to be demanding much from my feet. I wouldn’t wear them on a shopping expedition or out walking for example, but might slip them on if I am nipping out to collect the kids.
Other companies that create both stylish, supportive and comfortable footwear with the summer months in mind are ‘Archies Footwear’ and ‘Orthaheels.’ Archies Footwear is a Melbourne based company, designed by a physiotherapist with the aim to replicate a typical thong or flipflop but with a bit more support. Orthaheels offer a variety of thongs, sandals and everyday shoes available.
So, remember, it is about getting the balance right. If you are wearing the wrong shoes and feel some pain in your feet and legs, take them off. Put on your runners. Listen to your body. Do the right thing to avoid an injury. For more advice, or if you are in pain and need professional advice and assessment, make an appointment with one of our team at ACT Podiatry.