How Orthotic Sandals Can Help You
Orthotic sandals can make a world of difference if you experience foot pain or have one of many conditions which can cause walking to be uncomfortable or even painful. Unlike ordinary sandals, orthotic sandals are designed with foot comfort and correction in mind: they may contain built-in lifts, added support, or be designed to help correct various conditions that could be causing you pain.
There are a number of orthotic sandals available on the market today, including sandals designed to treat specific types of foot conditions that may cause you pain and discomfort.
If you want to know more about how you may be helped by wearing orthotic sandals, consider the following guide that will tell you everything you need to know about orthotic sandals ability to manage foot pain and discomfort.
Before we talk about specific orthotic sandals that may help you in your everyday life, let’s stop to talk about the most common foot conditions which require treatment and support; this support can include choosing orthotic footwear, including sandals.
Foot Conditions That Require Treatment and Support
There are a number of foot conditions which may because you pain and discomfort; these foot conditions can be genetic or caused by improper footwear, injuries, or a combination of all three. If left untreated, these conditions will only get worse, which is why it is important that you seek treatment for them.
You should ideally consult with your physician about the best treatment options, which will include wearing proper footwear. The right kind of footwear can help reduce the stress from these conditions or even prevent them from reoccurring, depending on the condition in question.
The following are the most common foot conditions that require treatment and support and which can be eased by wearing orthotic sandals.
Bunions are a common but very uncomfortable problem that many people struggle with, especially if they are reoccurring due to improper footwear. Bunions are enlarged bone or tissue that typically occurs at the base of the big toe; this eventually causes the big toe to move towards the second toe, creating an overlapped curve which will only get worse over time.
Bunions typically present as a firm lump that may or may not be red and swollen, depending on the severity of the bunion. Bunions can cause everything from mild discomfort to severe pain, depending on how old it is, whether or not it has been irritated, as well as the overall size of the bunion.
One of the more dangerous elements of bunions is that they can cause other foot conditions to develop due to the fact that bunions cause the big toe to be restricted in its movement.
People with bunions will subconsciously attempt to compensate for bunion pain by walking differently, which can lead to the development of corns, calluses, hammertoes and even general arch pain.
It is essential that bunions are treated as soon as possible, and that you wear proper footwear—including orthotics—to help reduce the chances of them worsening or reoccurring.
Plantar fasciitis is a type of arch and/or heel pain which is caused by an inflammation of a band of connective tissue on the foot; this tissue, called the plantar fascia, runs from the bottom of the heel to the base of the toes on the foot.
This ligament can be stretched improperly due to injuries as well as excessive pronation, and if it is routinely stretched to an excessive and unnaturally amount, this causes tearing; the tearing is what leads to the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, which subsequently causes Plantar fasciitis.
People who have high arches are prone to Plantar fasciitis due to the excessive stress placed on the plantar fascia when walking with high arches.
Plantar fasciitis causes a host of problems. The most notable is pain at the base of the heel, typically where the heel and the arch meet. The pain is usually most noticeable in the morning when the ligament is tight, and this pain may reduce throughout the day as the ligament is naturally stretched.
However, over time, it will become more difficult for this inflammation to reduce on its own, causing increased pain and more serious inflammation.
Spurs are growths which project from the bone of the foot; the most common spurs are heel spurs, which will project from the bone on the underside of the heel bone. Heel spurs are most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament; this inflammation will cause the ligament to repeatedly tug at the area where it is attached to the heel bone, causing calcification which in turn causes spur growth.
Heel spurs can be painless or extremely painful, depending on the location of the spur, its size, and whether or not it is irritated or inflamed. Heel spurs which are left untreated will typically get worse over time, resulting in an increase in the chances for pain.
Since heel spurs are often caused by plantar fasciitis, treating this condition will help with the prevention and reduction of heel spurs.
One of the ways to help prevent heel spurs from developing if someone has plantar fasciitis is to wear proper corrective footwear, as this will reduce the stretching and tugging on the heel bone.
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are thickened areas of the skin which are typically caused by excessive pressure and friction on certain areas of the foot.
Corns and calluses can be caused by a variety of issues; the most common of which is improper footwear which rubs against the foot and causes a corn or callus to develop over time. They may also develop due to trauma, though this is not as common.
Calluses and corns can be painful, depending on where they are located and the type of corn or calluses which has developed.
Corns and calluses that develop from an injury—such as stepping on something hard with all of your weight—are more likely to develop into painful conditions compared to calluses that develop from, say, walking barefoot frequently.
The most common issue that occurs due to corns and calluses is improper gait caused by a natural avoidance of the pain or pressure on the corn or callus.
If left untreated, this can cause the development of other foot conditions, ranging from tendonitis to plantar fasciitis and more. Proper footwear, including orthotic footwear, can help reduce the friction on corns and calluses and their impact on your feet.
Achilles Tendinitis--sometimes referred to as tendonitis--is an inflammation of the tendon. The tendon attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone and, if placed under too much stress and irritation, this tendon will tighten up and become inflamed.
This inflammation can cause serious stress on the tendon and, if left untreated, may cause the tendon to actually tear.
Tendinitis causes discomfort and pain which can range from mild discomfort to serious pain as well as ankle stiffness and the limitation of ankle flexibility. Tendinitis pain is usually towards the heel of the foot and presents itself as a red, sore heat over a specific area.
Tendinitis is typically caused by putting too much pressure on the tendon, which may be done during excessive exercising, exercising without warming up the calf muscles, or walking with high arches that aren't corrected through lifts or orthotic footwear.
Chondromalacia, more commonly called "runner's knee," is an irritation of the cartilage found underneath the kneecap. When this cartilage becomes inflamed, it will cause pain and swelling; in more severe long-term cases of untreated Chondromalacia, you may notice the grinding down of cartilage when extended or flexing the knee.
The most common cause of Chondromalacia is exerting too much pressure on the knee, such as excessive running downhill, pressure caused by obesity, knee trauma, as well as excessive pronation (or high arches) that is left untreated with lifts or other orthotic footwear. High arches can contribute to Chondromalacia due to the fact that, when left untreated, it causes the knee to become misaligned during walking.
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint; in the case of foot related arthritis, it is the inflammation of one or more joints in the feet. Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness and general discomfort, which will worsen over time if left untreated.
There are several different types of arthritis, ranging from osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) to rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease) to posttraumatic arthritis (caused after an injury) and more.
Arthritis can cause serious pain as well as the development of other foot conditions due to the foot’s natural attempts to exert less pressure on areas that are currently inflamed with arthritis.
Depending on the cause of the arthritis, this improper foot gait can be corrected with corrective footwear, including orthotic sandals.
And remember—these are not the only foot conditions which can be eased, prevented or treated with a plan that includes wearing orthotic sandals. There are many other conditions and issues which can benefit from wearing proper orthotic sandals; these are just some of the most common.
Benefits of Orthotic Sandals For Your Feet
If you have one or more of the above foot conditions or another foot condition which is causing you pain and discomfort, you may be wondering: can orthopedic sandals really help much all that much?
The truth is—yes! Proper footwear, including orthotic sandals, can make a serious difference in the amount of pain and discomfort you feel due to your condition.
Depending on the condition, wearing orthopedic sandals may be a way for you to prevent the condition from reoccurring or worsening while you seek treatment, since orthotic footwear is designed to help correct foot problems while easing the various stresses and pressures on your feet. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.
Orthotic sandals can provide correction to foot conditions
One of the best ways to begin treatment and later prevention for foot conditions is through correction. Orthotic sandals can provide correction to the issues that cause pain and discomfort through foot conditions, including: high arches, excessive pressure/friction, lack of heel and arch support, and more.
When you wear sandles that are designed with correction in mind, you are essentially working to ease foot conditions and pain at the source.
If you combine this with a broader treatment plan, you will be well on your way to much happier—and less painful!—feet.
Orthopedic sandals can help reduce or even eliminate pain
One of the most frustrating aspects of having a foot condition is the development of pain. This pain can make it difficult to go about your everyday life, whether you’re experiencing mild uncomfortable pain or severe pain that leaves you in agony.
The disruption to your everyday life can be frustrating, since it can impact your ability to do things you love—or even run practical errands, such as walking around the grocery store or walking around for your job.
The reduction of pain is a serious benefit that will have you appreciating the nearly immediate way that the right orthotic sandal can make your feet feel more comfortable and less painful as a whole.
Orthotic sandals can prevent continued stress on feet
Another benefit of wearing orthotic sandals is the fact that they will reduce the continued stress and pressure on your feet caused by a variety of foot conditions.
Continued and untreated pressure and stress can not only worsen your initial foot condition, but cause further conditions to develop! The longer that your feet are placed under stress, the more likely it is that the symptoms will be serious, more painful, or even result in some permanent damage.
The right kind of orthotic sandals will relieve this unnatural pressure on your feet; this not only eliminates pain, but perhaps more importantly, relieves the stress on your feet that can lead to more serious consequences down the line.
Choosing the Right Orthotic Sandals For You
Do you know how to choose the right orthotic sandals? If you are having trouble deciding, don’t worry: the following are some key considerations that you need to keep in mind when you are searching for your first pair of perfect orthotic sandals.
These considerations apply no matter what reason you have for searching out orthotic sandals.
Before you begin searching for a pair of sandals, you should consult with a podiatrist or orthopedic doctor about any underlying foot conditions you may have. There are some conditions which require a broad treatment plan in order to manage them properly, and it’s essential that you do this sooner rather than later; when left unchecked, untreated foot conditions can lead to more pain or even injuries down the line. A physician will be able to give you advice on the type of corrective footwear you need for your foot condition, which will in turn help you when you begin your search for orthotic sandals.
Select orthotic foot sandals from trusted brands
Once you have a general idea of the type of orthotic sandal you need, it’s time to begin your search. The best way to narrow down the thousands and thousands of options out there is to search for the best reviewed most trusted brands in the orthotic footwear industry.
There are many brands which specialize in comfortable orthotics—sandals and otherwise—and it’s best to shop from these well-reviewed brands whenever possible.
For instance, one of the most trusted brands in the orthotic footwear industry today is Viakix.
Viakix provides highly comfortable orthotic walking and athletic sandals which are designed to provide excellent arch support for those with plantar fasciitis and/or foot pain due to a variety of foot conditions.
One of their most popular products, the Samara Sandal, is well reviewed for its ultra-comfortable support combined with a chic design that doesn’t stick out as being “medical” like some other orthotic sandals.
This sandal is ideal for everyday wear, since its fashionable design will make it enjoyable to wear while providing much-needed foot support.
Another trusted brand to consider is Propet, which offers a range of orthotic-based shoes, including sandals. One of their most popular sandal products is the Breeze Walker sandal, which is designed to provide comfortable foot support with a sensible design for long-term walking; this particular sandal is ideal for people who enjoy long walks but are hampered by unsupportive footwear.
Additional Tips for Buying Orthotic Sandals
Finally, let’s cover some additional tips that will help you make the most of your decision to purchase orthotic sandals for your feet. These tips will help you find a pair that is sensible, affordable—and that actually benefits your feet in the long run.
Tip #1: Shop around for the best prices
When you can, look around at different online shops to compare prices for the same shoe. You will often be able to find discounts and sales when you check out different shops, so don’t be afraid to look for a second, third or even fourth retail option once you’ve decided on the shoe you want to buy. Many online shoe retailers have generous return policies for trying on shoes, so if all else fails, you will be able to return your purchase if you are unsatisfied with the price to quality ratio.
Tip #2: Make sure you know the return policy
On the subject of return policies, make sure that you fully understand the return policy of the online shop you use to buy your orthotic sandals.
Most modern online shoe retailers have generous policies that let you return shoes that didn’t fit correctly, but these policies can vary from shop to shop, so make sure that you read up on the return policy before making your purchase.
Tip #3: Don’t feel limited to one pair of sandals
You don’t need just one pair of orthotic sandals! If you are struggling to choose between a few different pairs due to their style or color, don’t be afraid to plunk down and order yourself a few pairs in order to create some variety in your shoe wardrobe.
If you are like many people with foot conditions, you have likely suffered over the years from not having as many footwear options as your friends with “regular” feet, so take the chance to liven up your shoe options when you find orthotic sandals that are the right (and most comfortable) fit for you.
Tip #4: Know your foot condition before you shop
The best way to find the right pair of orthotic sandals is to know what foot condition or conditions you have and search for sandals from there; when you know what condition needs to be corrected, you will find it much easier to look for sandals which can help you manage that problem using online search engines. For example, if you have high arches, you will be able to search for orthotic sandals designed to provide arch support to people with high arches.
Likewise, if you have plantar fasciitis, you can look for sandals designed to support people with that particular condition. The more detailed you can be, the better!
Final Thoughts: Orthotic Sandals and You
Long gone are the days when people with foot pain and problems would have to cringe while wearing uncomfortable, flat flip-flops when they wanted to put on warm weather footwear.
Today, the multitude of orthotic sandal footwear options out there make it easier than ever for you to find corrective orthotic sandals that will help reduce and eliminate pain, provide foot support, and ultimately help you on your journey to treat your feet.
If you are ready to get rid of unsupportive flip-flops and generic supermarket sandals for good, start looking for orthotic sandals today. You won’t believe the difference it makes at first, but once you’ve worn orthotic sandals, you’ll never go back to wearing unsupportive shoes again!