Summer is almost here and that means its Sandal Season! I love wearing simple sandals to outdoor events but I hate what they do to my feet, ankles, legs, hips, and posture for days following.
Each season I hunt for good shoes, but it seems like an impossible mission. The shoes either look good and kill my feet, or the shoes feel like a dream and look like a nightmare. Let’s be honest, sometimes, style wins over comfort.
So, how do we address the issue of sandals, heels, and flip-flops?
Here are Studio Q 360’s Top 10 Ways to Save Your Feet from Summer Sandals
1. Find the best compromise you can.
If you absolutely must wear flip-flops, try a pair with a thick sole that strap around the heel. If you’re only considering flip-flops, rethink twice and go with a pair of actual shoes/ sandals. Sandals that wrap around the ankle cause our foot to be more stabilized than in flip-flops, with a good sole to support our stride.
2. Admit the shoes are just for show.
Don’t torture yourself for wearing cute shoes, simply admit you’ll need some time to heal post event and prepare accordingly.
3. Break them in.
Make sure to wear brand new shoes for approximately 4-6 hours the week before the event. New shoes require a period of adjustment. That also goes for last year’s sandals you want to start wearing again. Short bursts help your feet acclimate to the shoes.
Take time to stretch your feet, ankles, and calves to help keep your muscles limber. Visualize your toes as the tip of a pen and spell out the ABC’s in the air. This will rotate your foot and ankle in all directions.
5. Spread your toes.
We often forget how important our toes are to achieve proper balance. After wearing tight shoes, wear toe separators for 5-8 minutes, like those used when painting your toenails. Or, slide your fingers between your toes or a few moments as your rock your toes back and forth, side to side.
6. Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration can lead to cramps, and you may be more prone to leg cramps due to the shoes. The daily goal is half your body weight in ounces of water. So, a 100lbs. person needs to drink 50oz. of water. It always pays to stay hydrated!
7. Apologize to your feet!
After a long day of wearing the shoes, show your feet how much you appreciate their hard work hauling you around. Soak your feet in hot water with 1 cup Epsom Salts for 5-20 minutes. The mix will help relax you and aid the body in self healing.
8. Put your feet up.
If reclining in a chair or sleeping on your back, slide a pillow under your knees. Side sleepers: slide a pillow between your knees and ankles. Stomach sleepers should keep a pillow under their ankles. This will aid in keeping your hips stabilized and help prevent over stretching of the muscles throughout the legs and feet.
9. Go barefoot.
Walking around in the grass barefoot helps strengthen your feet and ankles. After a long day of wearing terrible shoes, going barefoot immediately may be uncomfortable. Instead, elect to go barefoot whenever possible the weeks before and after the event.
10. Get a massage!
After a long day, weekend, or trip wearing cute but deadly shoes, book a massage. Take a moment to relax as your toes, feet, ankles, legs, and hips are treated to healing touch. A full body massage can help address any postural changes made from wearing the shoes and help reduce muscle fatigue.