As spring approaches, those of us living in warmer geographical regions are itching to pull out our open toed shoes and sandals. But before you slip on a pair of warm weather friendly shoes, make sure you are mindful of these criteria:

  1. Toebox: Only wear open toes shoes with a wide toebox that applies as little pressure on the toes as possible. Beware of peep toe shoes and sandals that are too narrow.
  2. Arch Support: Get sandals and open toed shoes that have an arch support already built in. There are several shoe companies that make orthotic based shoes, slides, thongs, and various strapped sandals.
  3. Non-flexible, thicker sole: Shoes that are too flexible create too much stress on your foot muscles, tendons, and joints making them more prone to injury. Thicker, more rigid soles create intrinsic stability and decreases motion, thus minimizing inflammation and pain.
  4. Motion/Rearfoot Control: The back of your foot needs control and this can be accomplished by wearing sling backs and sandals with a heel strap. Backless shoes force the front part of your foot to strain, making your toes work hard to grip the ground in order to stabilize you. This can promote the formation of bunions and hammertoes.

When in doubt, check with your podiatrist for the best shoe recommendations. While one shoe type may be recommended for those with a particular foot type, they may be dangerous or uncomfortable for you. Professional advice is always best.