Sandals With Awesome Arch Support
It’s summer again! If you ask us, there’s nothing like that feeling when you finally get the chance to put your bulky winter boots away and throw on that beautiful brand new pair of sandals you bought for the summer. Yes, sandals definitely scream happy summertime, long walk on the beach, beautiful sunsets and weekends packed with outdoor adventures. Sadly, though, uncomfortable shoes can make your life hell throughout the warm weather months. After all, how many pairs of cute women’s sandals with completely lackluster soles and footbeds have you seen lining the aisles of shoe sections at your favorite department stores?
Don’t even get us started with high heels. Stilettos? We don’t think so. On the other hand, sandals that are supportive but stylish at the same time? You can certainly count us in for those!
Luckily, there are a lot more options available on the market than there used to be when it comes to stylish sandals with arch support. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite options, below. Whether you’re at work, having fun or maybe even traveling somewhere tropical and idyllic, it’s important to consider arch support when selecting shoes for your everyday adventures and special occasions where days will be packed with activities. That way your sandals will provide you with the comfort you need, no matter what fun warm weather activities you’re taking part in.
What do we really mean by supportive? If you weren’t already thinking it, it’s time to talk about why you need sandals with awesome arch support!
First, though, let’s take a look at the different arch types, why it’s important to know your arch type and what to look for when it comes to sandals with the right arch support.
The Three Arches
You might think there’s only one arch in your foot but you’d be wrong! Very Well Health tells us that the human foot actually has three distinct arches, the most prominent of which is what is typically referred to as “the arch.”
To give you a mini science lesson, this is also called the Medial Longitudinal Arch. It runs from the front to the back, along the inside of your foot. As the most prominent arch, it absorbs almost all of the shock of impact from walking, running, jumping, and other forms of physical activity.
Next is the Lateral Longitudinal Arch. This arch runs parallel to the medial, along the outer edge of your foot, and shows most evidently on the feet of people with extra high arches. But more on that in a moment!
Last is the Transverse Arch. The transverse runs across the middle of your foot, from the outside to the inside.
Common Arch Types
Now that you know what the three distinct arches of the foot are, what does “arch type” actually mean? When you hear someone refer to arch type, what they’re really referring to is the position of the plantar fascia ligament. The plantar fascia ligament runs along the bottom of your foot, from the ball to the heel of the foot.
There are three types of arches. Indeed, most people have either low arches (what you’ll usually hear called flat feet), normal, medium or high arches. Ideally, the arch of your foot curves slightly upward. This helps to evenly distribute the impact from the weight of your body while walking, engaging in sports and other physical activities, as well as keeping your foot muscles nice and healthy.
It’s important to know what kind of arch type you have, so that you can factor that in when shoe shopping, prevent common and painful injuries like plantar fasciitis or shop for the right corrective pair of shoes.
If you’re not sure what kind of arch you have, there’s a fairly easy way to find out.. It’s called the “Wet Test.” After stepping out of the shower, place your foot onto a flattened piece of cardboard. Be sure to press all its weight onto the cardboard. Next, do the same with your other foot, then observe the shape of your footprints.
Using the imagery in this table, you can then understand what type of shoes you should shop for based on the shape of your footprint. Indeed, the shape of the footprint correlates with each arch type.
Medium or “Normal” Arch
Since approximately 60% of the population has medium or “normal” arches, this is definitely the most common arch type. What do we mean by “normal”? According to the Wet Test, a medium arch correlates to the medium part of your foot being just about halfway filled in. Your footprint will also include a noticeable curve along the arch, and a well-defined heel and “forefoot” area.
But what about the percentage of people who don’t have “normal” arches? Well, if your footprint reveals the ball of your foot, your heel, and your toes without much else filled in between, you’ve got high arches.
Some say high arches indicate healthy arch height, while others point out that high arches can be problematic in that they don’t offer much in the way of impact absorption. For people with high arches, supportive shoes need extra arch support and cushioning to keep them feeling comfortable as the added support will help distribute the weight of your body more equally throughout your foot. Therefore, when shopping for spring and summer essentials, women’s sandals featuring high arch support are a must!
Like we mentioned above, a very small percentage of people have EXTRA high arches. If this is you, you’ll want to be even more cautious when it comes to selecting shoes with the right arch support, in order to avoid foot pain and injuries. Shoes with proper “cushioning” are the best option for those with high or extra high arches.
Flat Feet / Low or “Fallen” Arches
How to tell if you’ve got the dreaded flat foot? If, on the Wet Test, your entire footprint or almost your entire footprint shows, without very much of an inward curve showing in the center of your foot, fallen arches it is.
Low or “fallen” arches, more commonly known as flat feet, can be the source of a whole lot of pain and suffering if not treated properly. Unfortunately, heel pain, arch pain, and plantar fasciitis are common ailments if you’ve got fallen arches. They can also cause pronation which happens when your foot rolls inward while walking or running.
We all have that friend with flat feet and if it’s not a friend, it’s us! Dealing with low arches can make it hard to keep up while walking with others, much less engaging in team sports and other fun activities that involve running or getting physically active. This is especially true if your feet don’t have much flexibility.
The same way there are different arch types, there are also different types of flat feet. Some are more extreme than others! Medically, flat feet are separated into two types: Flexible or rigid. If you’ve got flexible flat feet (try saying that 5 times fast), it’s flat only when weight is put onto the foot.
You can test your foot flexibility in two ways: The first is by standing on your tip toes and having someone check to see if your arches reveal themselves. If they do, that means your feet are fairly flexible.
The second way is by sitting with one leg over the opposite knee. Does your foot look more arched than was revealed by your footprint on the Wet Test? If so, this means your low arches are caused by weight bearing, which means they are flexible. Basically, the weight and impact of your body isn’t being optimally distributed.
If not, you most likely have rigid flat feet. While flexible flat feet are more common, a rigid flat foot is “rigidly flat both with and without weight being placed on the foot.” According to Very well Health, “Rigid flat feet may be due to the tarsal coalition (a condition in which the bones have grown together), arthritis and congenital conditions.” Ouch.
So, why is it so important to wear sandals with excellent arch support? Well, in addition to it potentially helping stave off fallen arches occurring later in life, wearing the right shoes can help improve balance and posture, help maintain structural integrity of the feet, and lessen foot pain, among other reasons. Got you hooked? Keep reading to find out more.
Help Improve Balance and Posture
We all know the important role healthy feet play in improving one’s sense of balance, as well as posture. If your feet aren’t aligned, after all, how can you expect the rest of your body to be?
Good posture starts from the ground up, literally. So, when you invest in orthotic insoles or orthopedic shoes with arch support for women, you’re investing in your health. Indeed, orthotic insoles will help you maintain an overall straighter spine, adopt a better posture and positioning for your entire body.
You can also do simple stretches, focusing on your calves and fascia especially, as well as making sure that you walk on the balls of your feet instead of landing hard on your heels. Some stretches people with flat feet can do to improve flexibility include picking up marbles or other small items, like a napkin or handkerchief, with your toes.
Check out this video for some great foot stretching exercises:
Surprisingly enough, it’s been suggested that those with flat feet should go barefoot more often! Indeed, walking barefoot is thought to improve the strength of the muscles of the foot. Because people with flat feet are believed to have less intrinsic muscle strength, walking barefoot is therefore a great way to strengthen their foot muscle and improve foot stabilization overtime. . Intrinsic muscles are the muscles along the bottom of the foot.
If all these solutions are a fantastic way to prevent pain and heal from foot conditions, investing in sandals with cushion and arch support is also a crucial part of making sure you have healthy feet. Sandals are one of your best options when it comes to getting the proper arch support on a regular basis. After all, it’s not like we can go barefoot all the time.
Distribute Pressure More Evenly
The right sandals can also help improve a lot of different issues such as pronation and other gait abnormalities. Both of these issues will affect your posture, too. An adequate pair of sandals can also really help providing proper arch support and evenly distributing pressure across the foot if you have high arches for instance.
Feet, legs and back are all connected and adequate footwear is extremely important in helping maintain pain-free posture and a straight spine!
Again, the alignment of your feet is optimal in absorbing impact and distributing pressure more evenly as you walk, run, jump, or take part in any kind of physical activity.
Because our feet can bear 200,000 to 300,000 lbs. of stress each mile, we walk (!), wearing shoes that distribute the pressure more evenly will help maintain the structural integrity of the foot for years to come.
Making sure your shoes help distribute pressure more evenly across the foot can, therefore, prevent and alleviate pain, improve foot conditions such as calluses, fix your posture and protect your back and legs.
Lessen Foot Pain
Another reason arch support in shoes should be a priority is to lessen foot pain and typical ailments like blisters, foot swelling and inflammation, and more. When your feet are stable, you’re less likely to face any of these common foot problems.
Think about it: Wearing spindly heels, too-tight shoes, or any of the other less-than-ideal typical women shoes we can all find in the women’s footwear aisle today, you’re doing the exact opposite of placing your feet in stable conditions. You’re not only hurting your feet but also potentially damaging the rest of your body. As high arches and flat feet can cause tibial stress fractures, it’s important to wear adequate footwear featuring arch support.
Inadequate shoes is the reason you end up in excruciating pain, and sometimes with a foot covered in blisters, at the end of a night out spent on towering high heels. Making the switch to comfortable and fashionable sandals with fantastic arch support, or at least bringing along a pair of adequate sandals in your bag to change into later on in the night when the party is over, can work wonders. Blisters begone!
Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Speaking of inflammation, plantar fasciitis is a very common inflammation of the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot), connecting your heel to your toes. It’s also sometimes referred to as “policeman’s heel.”
Because our feet tend to tense up when raised, tension can build over time and cause inflammation in that particular tissue. Because the plantar fascia is crucial to stabilize the foot and provide support to arches, you can imagine just how painful plantar fasciitis must be!
Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis usually report that the pain starts from the moment they get up in the morning. The reason plantar fasciitis hurts more in the morning is because after lying all night, the first few steps put sudden tension of the plantar fascia (ligament).
Therefore, pay attention to the warning signs. If you notice that your heel pain is worst in the morning, or when you stand after an extended period of sitting, you’re most likely suffering from plantar fasciitis. While we’d suggest a visit to your doctor for a true diagnosis, you can read more about plantar fasciitis and supportive shoes here.
Maintain A Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Because our arches can change with age, or are affected by various medical conditions, proper arch support should be a priority at any age. In fact, according to Livestrong.com, “Age itself may bring about changes in foot shape through fluid retention, relaxing ligaments, and the effects of gravity and weight over a lifetime.”
Another fun thing to look forward to when it comes to getting older! That’s why, to prevent arches from falling in the future even if they’re perfectly fine now, let’s just say that comfortable sandals with arch support are exactly what a doctor would recommend you to wear.
Arch Support: What To Look For In Shoes
Now that we’ve covered 5 of the most important reasons wearing sandals with excellent arch support is critical, let’s go over what to look for exactly when you pick your shoes.
If you’re looking for some cute and stylish options when it comes to women’s sandals with arch support, we’d suggest first considering several factors, including the type of material used to make the shoe, the design, how it was constructed, and last but certainly not least, the style.
These criteria will tell you whether or not the sandals you’ve chosen will give you that much-coveted support you need for walking around all day, but also just maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall
Now, orthopedic shoes can cost a pretty penny, and it makes sense, since they pretty much cover all the bases with regards to foot health. That’s why we’ve included a range of options, at different price points, to ensure you’ve got plenty of great arch support sandals to pick from. Check out some of our favorites below.
Vionic Kirra Backstrap Sandal
Want a fashionable yet comfortable pair of sandals to wear this summer?
Not only do these orthopedic sandals come in a variety of totally on-trend prints, have a sophisticated leather upper design but they’re supportive and comfortable as well. Perfect for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, the Kirra Backstrap Sandal from Vionic features an adjustable elastic strap, rubber soles, AND it’s received the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of acceptance. This means they’ve officially been recognized by APMA podiatrists as beneficial to foot health What’s not to love?
Our personal favorite would have to be the snakeskin print! You can purchase these sandals directly here.
The Napali Hiking Sandal
For those in search of a cute and comfortable pair of outdoor hiking sandals, look no further! The Napali Hiking Sandal by Viakix is water-resistant allowing your feet to dry quickly to avoid the development of foot conditions such as fungi. It also features serval adjustable straps so you can customize to each of your foot and make sure they mold to the shape of your feet. The best feature of these sandals you ask? It’s durable, with a rubber outsole that will actually last through many hiking trips and the most adventurous vacations.
With a cushioned EVA foam midsole, this sporty walking sandal is particularly touted for its ability to absorb impact, making it a great pick for those with high arches. Besides, all Viakix orthotic sandals feature a shank stabilizer, which provides unique arch support on any kind of terrain. Hiking, camping, water sports, you name it! The sky is the limit when it comes to the activities you can do with these amazing sandals on!
Got an adventurous weekend coming up and want to give them a go? You can purchase the Napali Hiking Sandal directly here.
Vionic Atlantic Pepper Adjustable Platform Wedge Sandal
Who said orthopedic shoes couldn’t look stylish?
Don’t let yourself be impressed by the heels. These leather platform wedge sandals from Vionic feature concealed orthotic arch support, making them another ideal option when it comes to orthopedic shoes that certainly don’t look orthopedic. What’s not to love about these stylish platform wedges? You can now wear trendy wedges with your dresses or jeans while looking after your feet, your posture, your back and your legs. How does that sound?
The hook and loop straps are adjustable, making them easily customizable to each foot so they‘re also a great option if you have bunions and need space in the shoe box. Plus, all Vionic arch support sandals come with a podiatrist-designed footbed that is basically a hug for your arches. Comfort guaranteed 😉 Win-win!
You can purchase the Vionic Atlantic Pepper Adjustable Platform Wedge Sandal directly here.
EAST LANDER Braided Hiking Sandal
Are you a fan of colorful summer sandals? We are, too! These braided hiking sandals from EAST LANDER come in a range of fun, splashy and summary colors, from lime and olive green to coral, bright pink and burgundy. 13 colors to pick from to match them to your favorite outfits. They’re made of high-quality materials, with natural rubber outsoles and EVA midsoles.
Featuring adjustable straps and water-resistant materials, these sandals also have proper medial and lateral arch support, which means they’ll provide you with the shock absorption you need while adventuring near the water, in the sun, on the sand, or wherever your gorgeous East Lander sandals take you!
You can purchase the EAST LANDER Braided Hiking Sandal here.
Vionic Women’s Naples Platform Sandal
Another Vionic platform sandal made it onto our list and for good reason! These chic platform sandals come in an array of colors, ranging from lavender to navy and champagne, and they even have sweet rhinestone details for added style.
With suede uppers, an EVA footbed, and durable rubber outsoles, the Vionic Naples Platform Sandal is a glamorous option, which means you can bring them along with you on a fun night out and put them on as soon as your feet start aching from wearing high heels. You can also wear them the next day for brunch or at the beach. They’re definitely a great addition to any wardrobe!
One of the top features of these sandals is the phenomenal arch support they provide to the wearer. Comfort and style checked 😉
You can purchase the Vionic Women’s Naples Platform Sandal here.
Rainbow Sandals Double Layer Leather Sandal
Fans of the popular Rainbow Sandals brand will rejoice over this double layer leather pair. While they do take some time to break in, hundreds of Amazon users weighed in with positive reviews. To avoid the pain during the break in period make sure you only wear them a couple of hours a day and alternate days. After a few days they’ll become extremely snug and comfortable, trust us and the hundreds of amazon users!
The double layer provides extra foam as great cushioning against impact, with shock absorption and well-defined arch support for high arches and more.
You can go for classic shades such as tan, brown, black, or choose from several other beautiful colors. Plus, this pair is stink-free, so you can happily wear and re-wear them with no worries. Yes, please!
You can purchase the Rainbow Double Layer Leather Sandal here.
New Balance Women’s Traverse Leather Sandal
One of the most well-known athletic sandals with arch support on the market right now has got to be New Balance. So, we’d suggest you get yourself a nice pair! These leather sandals are sturdy, durable, perfectly fitted, and super comfortable. If you know you’re going to be out and about all day, hiking or adventuring on rugged terrain, these will undoubtedly become a go-to pair.
Plus, the footbed contains a 360-degree heel cup and anatomical arch support, with adjustable uppers that feature hook and loop closure details. A solid option!
You can purchase the New Balance Women’s Traverse Leather Sandal here.
The Siena Sports Sandal
Are you super active and love to stay busy on your days off? The amazing Siena Sports Sandal were made for you!
Like with all Viakix shoes, they’ve been carefully crafted so that they provide the wearer with maximum arch support and comfort. The EVA foam midsole has been engineered to provide extra cushioning and help relieve the pressure from your joints and bones. No more backache or sore feet at the end of a day packed full with fun and adventures! They’re even water-resistant so you can enjoy water activities without having to dread the soggy feet and smelly shoes. Because the outsole has been designed to provide great traction, you know you’re safe to indulge in any outdoor activity with these incredible sandals on your feet.
The Siena Sports Sandals retail at $49.99 and come in four different colors to match your favorite outfits.
Now that you have a good reason to pick up a new pair of sandals, along with some great recommendations, why not treat your feet to a little R&R? Go ahead…you deserve it!