Clockwise from top left:?Geox D Roxy gold sandals, $130 (geox.com for stores); Quad Comfort Charm shoes, $29.99 at Mark's Work Warehouse; leather snakeskin wedge, $79.99 at Feet First; red square heeled sandal, $148 at Browns.

Cute summer sandals don’t have to mean sore feet and a misaligned body. Follow these seven tips to find sandals that feel as good as they look.

1. Choose quality over quantity
How to find a healthy summer sandal? Buy smart, says Spiros Marinos of Nick’s Shoe Repair. When looking for a quality summer sandal, be prepared to invest. Look for a sandal made entirely from leather, insoles as well as outsoles. It’s expensive – be prepared to pay upwards of $100 – but your feet will thank you.

2. Find room for your toes
Rounded, square and open-toed shoes all help to prevent toe crowding. Cramped toes can lead to aches, blisters, corns and even bunions. Crowded toes can even result in foot fatigue and pinched nerves, so make sure that all of your toes can move freely within your sandal.

3. Choose the right heel
Wedge, tapered heels and low, square heels absorb pressure. Stiletto heels force the body forward and the buttocks back for balance. Over time, says chiropodist Salman Alam from the Complete Foot Health Clinic, high heels can cause shortening of the calf muscles and knee and back problems.

4. Choose quality soles
Look out for one-component soles as they provide more support than split soles. A rubber outsole provides excellent traction in the case of a surprise spring shower. Chiropodist Salman Alam cautions that sandal bases should not be too flimsy or allow too much flexibility – you need strong support, especially in a walking sandal.

5. The more straps, the  better
The more straps, the better, says chiropodist Salman Alam. Adjustable leather straps help to ensure fit because they accommodate either a narrow or wide foot and decrease slippage. Alam also cautions against sandals that require you to grip with your toes. Over time, gripping can cause toe cramps, foot fatigue and even clawing.

6. Find sandals that breathe, and keep them clean
Geox specializes in micro-holes in the rubber outsoles to keep hot feet dry. Heat build-up in shoes cause odours from bacterial growth, and the presence of bacteria increases your risk of foot infections. To clean most leather shoes and insoles, use a soft cloth and white vinegar for instant refreshing.

7. Pick comfort above all

Go shoe shopping at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. Comfort has to trump style when you’re on your feet all day.

Analyze your feet

Check out the recently launched website www.adayinmyshoes.ca (from Mark’s Work Warehouse). It features fun facts about feet, a lifestyle quiz, an “ask the expert” section and a discussion forum.

More from Health:

blog comments powered by Disqus