Sandals for Foot Pain: Your survival guide to finding the best pair
If you have ever experienced foot pain, then you already know that finding the right footwear for every season can be—well, a pain of its own.
Proper footwear is essential if you want to avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain due to poorly fitted shoes; improper footwear can even contribute to foot conditions that cause pain, so it is especially important to find shoes that are designed for people with foot pain and foot problems.
Sandals are a popular choice of footwear in the warmer months—or year round if you happen to live somewhere that’s always sunny!—but it can be especially difficult to find quality sandals for people with foot pain.
That difficult journey ends today! This handy survival guide will help you know what to look for when shopping for the very best sandals for foot pain.
Before we get into tips regarding shopping and examples of some of the best sandals for foot pain available on the market today, we’ll talk about the reasons why you may be experiencing foot pain and how that can impact your choices when you go sandal shopping.
What Causes Foot Pain?
There are many different underlying causes which can result in foot pain. Foot pain can be caused by genetic conditions, accidents and traumas, as well as the build-up of adverse conditions over time which leads to more serious issues.
These are some of the most common conditions and circumstances that lead to foot pain, whether they are the result of poor footwear or simply an unlucky incident with a Lego.
Bunions are an enlarged areas of bone or tissue which is found at the base of your big toe. Bunions will cause your big toe to begin to move towards the second toe over time.
Bunions present as firm bumps which may be red, swollen, and cause anything from mild to severe pain. Bunions are typically caused by people with low arches as well as tight shoes and high heels.
Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that can develop over time or due to a blunt force injury to the bottom of the foot.
Corns are hardened lumps that are typically painful to the touch; some types of corns, called seed corns, have a small hard ‘seed’ in the center which is typically the source of most of the pain.
Corns can appear anywhere on the foot, but they are most likely to appear on the toes compared to other areas, with the exception of corns caused through pointed trauma to the bottom of the feet—such as stepping on a rock or hard object with all of your weight.
Corns are painful to the touch, especially if any friction—such as a shoe rubbing against them as you walk—occurs.
Calluses are areas of thickened skin which is typically not painful to the touch, however even calluses can cause you to shift your weight while you walk, resulting in an improper gait that could lead to bunions, excessively stretching your tendons, and other situations that could result in pain.
Heel spurs are a firm growth that occurs on the bone which is just underside the fron area of the heel bone. Heel spurs are typically caused by excessive pulling of the plantar fascia ligament against the heel bone.
Over time, this can result in calcification, which causes a spur. Heel spurs can be relatively painless or extremely painful depending on the size and location. Heel spurs are typically caused by improper footwear for people who have low arches.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of foot pain in adults. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament. This ligament may be irritated or even torn over time, particularly in people who have high arches, since their uncorrected walking gait results in an excessively stretched ligament.
Plantar fasciitis will only get worse if left untreated, which is why wearing proper footwear if you have this condition is essential.
The above list is, of course, non-exhaustive. But these are some of the more common reasons why you may be experiencing foot pain, and understanding the mechanics of why you experience foot pain will be infinitely helpful to you as you begin shopping for the right footwear.
How to Relieve Foot Pain With Proper Footwear
You should think of footwear like a medical corrective device. If you break your arm, you wear a cast to ensure that your arm stays still while it heels, right?
Apply that logic to a foot condition which causes pain. If you have high arches, then you wear footwear designed to reduce the stress and negative impact that walking in proper footwear with high arches can cause; if you have bunions, then you wear sandals designed to relieve bunion pain by avoiding excess pressure on the big toe.
Except instead of a hard cast on your arm, you’ll be purchasing chic footwear that addresses the various conditions which are causing you to experience foot pain.
How, exactly, do you go about choosing the rights sandals when you have foot pain? It’s not as difficult as it seems, as long as you are prepared ahead of time and are well-informed on the most important things to keep in mind when choosing sandals for foot pain.
Tips on Choosing the Best Sandals for Your Foot Pain
Taking those final steps towards selecting the right sandals for your foot pain is exciting. If you want to make the most of your purchase, and increase the chances that you’ll be buying sandals which actually help with your foot pain, then you need to consider the following tips.
Tip #1: Know the primary cause behind your foot pain
Before you can ever hope to pick the right sandals to beat your foot pain, you’ve got to know what is causing the pain in the first place! If you haven’t already consulted with a physician regarding your feet, now is the perfect time to do so.
A physician will be able to help you determine the underlying cause of your foot pain, which in turn will make the task of picking out the right sandals for the job much easier. Once you know the primary cause behind your foot pain, keep it in mind when looking for sandals designed to help ease foot pain.
Do you need sandals for people with high arches? Low arches? Or sandals that help reduce friction on bunions and corns? The more detailed you can be, the higher the chances are that you’ll find sandals which suit you.
Tip #2: Consider function over style—but don’t give up on wearing cute shoes
It can be disheartening to look for shoes that are designed for people with foot pain, only to find row after row of—well, duds.
Thankfully, these days when you wouldn’t be able to wear anything but clunky stereotypical looking orthotic shoes is over: sandals and other shoes designed to help relieve foot pain and correct certain foot conditions are the wave of the future, and they can be just as cute and chic as “regular” sandals.
In some cases, however, you may find that the sandal which best suits your physical needs isn’t quite as cute as you hoped for; in these rare circumstances pick function (or rather, pain relief!) over style.. just this once.
Tip #3: Shop around for bargains
If you want to save money in the long run, then you have to be a savvy online shopper. And this means that you’ll need to shop around at different sites just to make sure you are getting the fairest price.
After all, the prices that you find at one online shoe store may different from another; in turn, all of these prices may differ when you check out a retail giant like Amazon. In many cases, the most bargain friendly price might be on Amazon; but don’t forget to shop around just to make sure that no one is offering it for less.
In some cases, you may even be able to stumble upon as special sale or coupon promo that will bring the cost of your sandals down even further.
Tip #4: Create a budget and stick to it
Surprisingly, you don’t have to empty your bank account in order to purchase sandals designed for people with foot pain, regardless of whether or not you need one pair, two pairs or even more pairs than that.
There are many options out there for shoppers on a budget, so all you need to do is create a budget for yourself—and then stick to it! With the advent of online shopping, it is easier than ever to find shoes which fit a wide variety of niches, including sandals for foot pain.
Just make sure that you are filtering your search results by price or outright exclusive shoes that go above a certain price point. This will reduce the temptation to splurge when your finances are screaming at you to move on.
Tip #5: Look for brands that specialize in orthotic sandals
The best option when you are experiencing foot pain is to look for orthotic sandals. These are sandals which are perfect for people who experience foot pain due to a variety of underlying conditions, simply due to the fact that orthotic sandals are literally designed to address foot conditions which need correcting.
You can find a number of brands nowadays that specialize in providing orthotic footwear, so you are more in luck than ever when you want to specifically find orthotic sandals that will greatly reduce your foot pain.
Just make sure that you look up reviews of the brand and their shoe products, as this will give you a better idea of their quality.
Tip #6: Think about what you want to do while you wear the sandals
This may seem like a strange tip at first, but the sandals you ultimately choose will vary greatly depending on what, exactly, you plan do when you wear them.
Will you be simply lounging on the beach, occasionally getting up to enjoy a splash in the water or head to the docks to find a food stand for lunch? Or will you be heading out with friends on a hiking trek through a natural park? Once you know what you’d like to do in your sandals, you can narrow down the choices to sandals that will be able to meet your needs.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t hike in sandals unless you know they have been specifically designed to handle that type of terrain and rougher use. You don’t want to end up in the middle of a hike with broken sandals that should never have been worn out there in the first place!
Tip #7: Check online stores for greater availability
While you shouldn’t necessarily discount physical shoe stores, the fact of the matter is that physical retail stores just don’t have the same amount of stock as an online store.
Online shops can offer many different shoe options, so you will have a much higher chance of finding sandals that you like—and that actually fit—when you shop online.
Just remember to check out reviews of the site before you purchase in order to make sure that it is a legitimate site or to spot any potential customer service issues—like late deliveries—that will have you looking elsewhere for your shoes.
Sandals for Foot Pain: Orthotic Inserts—Or Not?
One of the most common concerns that you may have as someone who experiences foot pain is the answer to this sensible question: should I be wearing orthotic inserts with my sandals if I have foot pain?
There is no one right answer to this question, namely because every case—or rather every foot—is different.
If your physician recommends that you wear certain types of orthotic inserts, then you should be wearing them with every pair of shoes as much as possible.
However, if you are not prescribed inserts and simply wear them out of choice, then the decision is up to you. If you are planning on wearing your inserts, then you will need to consider whether or not the sandals can comfortably accommodate your inserts in the first place.
Not all sandals have deep enough footbeds or removable footbeds which are needed to accommodate an insert, so this may potentially limit your options.
Another factor to consider is whether or not your foot pain is caused by an underlying condition that can be eased, prevented or even treated with the additional boost that inserts can provide. Foot inserts can help provide some much needed cushion for maximum pain relief; they can also provide contoured foam for a sturdier walking gait, as well as a contoured design that will help ease pain as you walk.
Top Sandals For Problem Feet
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of different sandal options out there for women who are experiencing foot pain.
If you don’t want to have to slough your way through hundreds of search results, you’ve got better luck than you ever imagined: we’ve curated a lengthy list of foot-friendly sandals that are sure to ease the pain and discomfort experienced by people who were formally only wearing ill-fitting footwear.
The following 6 sandals are the best of the best when it comes to choosing sandals for people with foot pain. This selection includes sandals which meet a variety of needs—ranging from simple sandals to sandals that can hold up under hiking—and you are sure to find a pair that will meet and exceed your expectations.
Samara Walking Sandal (Viakix)
A trusted brands in the athletic 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.
The Samara Walking Sandal for Women from Viakix combines everything you could want in a comfortable sandal: a chic design, several color options, and plenty of features designed to provide ultra-comfortable support as well as corrections to certain underlying conditions which may exacerbate foot pain.
All Viakix sandals come with their own novel built-in shank stabilizer to provide outstanding arch support. The stabilizer sits in the middle of the insole and outsole and absorbs all the shocks, so your bones and joint don’t have to.
Best of all, this particular sandal isn't just for lounging at the beach: they are cute athletic sandals which are perfect for wearing when you want to head out for an afternoon hike or even take a dip in the lake. They were designed to be an active, stylish sandal that will hold up to plenty of wear and tear when compared to other brands.
BALTRA Sandals (Footminders)
For around $45, this sandal from Footminders isn't the most chic, but it features a comfortable walking design that provides much needed support for weary feet. This foot is designed to mold to your feet for maximum comfort, and features a midsole made from quality compression-molded EVA which not only provides arch support but actually helps reduce the physical impact and shock that feet must endure with regular use. It only comes in black at this time which fits in perfectly with its rather plain and subtle design.
Naples Womens Sandal (Orthofeet)
These orthotic style sandals are designed for maximum walking comfort. They feature a quality cushioned insole made from material that actually conforms to your feet as you walk, reducing unnecessary friction and pressure over time.
The wide toe box design is especially ideal for anyone with toe pain from conditions such as ingrown toenails and bunions, as it is designed to avoid placing unnecessary friction on these areas of the foot. Women who long for colorful sandal options will rejoice to find out that this sandal comes in dark blue/light blue, Gray/pink and tan/light tan.
Breeze Walker Sandal (Propet)
Propet is well known for their orthotic shoe line, which runs the gamut from chic evening shoes to ultra-stability walking shoes to—you guessed it—sandals which are ideal for anyone experiencing foot pain. This orthotic sandal features a heel cup of 1.25" for added stability, a quality polyurethane sole designed to provide support and reduce the shock pressure on the bottom of the feet, and an understated design that makes this pair of sandals perfect for a casual summer BBQ, grocery shopping to stock up on supplies, or heading to the local mall.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this Propet orthotic-friendly design is the sheer number of color options available to consumers. The color options that are available for this sandal are: blue, dusty taupe, black grain, white grain, teak brown, black, white, denim, pearl pewter, coral, blue smooth, bone, taupe-nubuck, brown, pewter, and teak. If you are looking for a foot-friendly sandal that is available in many colors, then this is definitely a great option for you.
The Napali Sandal (Viakix)
The Napali hiking sandal is designed to help women looking for more arch support stay active. Crafted with the Viakix stabilizer technology, it allows those who need more support to enjoy normal, outdoor activities. For women who need the support, the Napali outdoor sandal provides an effective way to participate in sports.
When it comes to women’s sport sandals with arch support, the water resistant Napali hiking sandal ranks at the top in functionality. With adjustable straps that allow people to find a customized fit, these shoes provide one of the most comfortable wears around.
In terms of style, the Napali hiking sandal is available in gray, brown, blue, and black. These sandals are currently at www.viakix.com.
Jenna Fisherman Sandal (Propet)
As with other Propet offerings, this particular sandal is designed with maximum comfort in mind. This shoe features a removable foot bed which can be taken out to accommodate any custom orthotics you have, as well as an adjustable strap closure and closed heel design to ensure the best fit possible. It also features a more chic design that is sure to fit right in with summer get-togethers and shopping trips. It currently comes in two colors: black and brown. These sandals start around $80 per pair.
Our Final Thoughts
Foot pain is never easy to deal with, especially if you experience reoccurring conditions that may cause you foot pain on a regular basis. Finding appropriate sandals that are comfortable to wear is something that you shouldn’t have to worry about on top of worrying about managing your pain, which is why the above survival guide is essential in helping you make the right decisions regarding sandals for your foot pain.
When it comes time to purchase your sandals for foot pain, remember to consult the above survival guide to guide you through the process.
When you have the above essential information, tips, and specific sandal recommendations in mind, you will be better prepared for your comfortable sandal shopping trip.