Seventy-five percent of Canadians will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives. More importantly (to us at least!), your feet are the base of support for your entire body, and persistent foot issues can cause problems further up the chain in your body, in your knees, hips and spine.
Most of us gravitate towards sandals in the summer, which is okay. However, it is important to make better choices in terms of the TYPE of sandals that you wear. A few tips to make better sandal choices…
- Buy sandals that are made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation, which can further change how you step and walk as you compensate to avoid the pain.
- When you are shopping for sandals, bend the sandal from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half (*cough cough*, *cheap flip-flops*).
- Flip-flops are appropriate to wear around the pool to protect your feet from plantar warts and other fungus. However, flip flops are NOT ideal to wear for outdoor work (safety risk), walking long distances (lack of support), or playing sports (So. Many. Injuries!) and definitely not driving!
- When shopping for shoes, it’s best to try them on later in the day, when your feet are tired and slightly swollen. Make sure that you try the shoe on both feet, as most people have one foot that is larger than the other. This way, you won’t buy shoes that are too small!
- Any sandal with a footbed that bends at the ball of the foot and has arch support is a better choice than a flat sandal. Your feet are amazing feats of biomechanical engineering, so if you can give them a base of support that allows them to do their job, your body will feel much better.