9 Best Summer Shoes that Aren’t Flip-Flops, According to Podiatrists
Flip-flops aren’t really good for your feet
Summer is here, which means that flip-flops are back: They’re easy to slip on, they allow the feet to breathe, and who doesn’t like feeling the wind between their toes? But flip-flops aren’t always the best choice when it comes to foot health.
“The way the foot functions in flip-flops can cause several problems,” explains podiatrist Leo Krawetz, president of Healthy Feet Podiatry in Tampa. “Flip-flops can be a bad choice mainly because they require the wearer of them to flex the toes downward to walk and keep them on. And there is usually little to no arch support.” (This is how you’re killing your feet, according to podiatrists.)
Your tootsies deserve better support
If you have foot issues, you really need to consider your summer wear: “Most flip-flops lack the structure in the arch that supports the plantar fascia in the bottom of the foot, so wearing them can exacerbate plantar fasciitis,” explains podiatrist John Brummer, owner of Brummer Surgical Podiatry in New York City. “Because of the poor support and structure in flimsy flip-flops, a person has a tendency to grab the ground with their toes to keep the sandal on, exacerbating flexor tendons to stabilize the toes, which can add to the progression of hammertoes and or exacerbate a neuroma—which is an injured nerve between the metatarsal heads that compress against the nerve when trying to grab the ground and hold on a flip-flop.”
If you have to pass on flip-flops, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy that same breezy feeling on your feet. There are other sandals and summer shoe options that will allow your feet to experience the enjoyment you get in a flip-flop, without the possibility of foot problems.
We asked our foot experts to share the best summer shoes that aren’t flip-flops. Below are some of their favorites for comfort, support, and style.
Not only are these sandals stylish, but they will also protect and comfort your feet when you wear them. “This pair has a secure back to the heel, good arch support, and they are fashionable, too,” says Dr. Krawetz. Adjust the ankle strap for a personalized fit. (Here are some tips for pain-free sandals from foot doctors.)
Teva Voya Slip On
Made out of 20 percent recycled materials, these shoes slip on easily, and have a back loop if you need help pulling them over your heel. The cushioned top sole forms to your foot for personalized comfort. “These are one of my favorite pairs in terms of fit,” says Dr. Brummer. “They’re made out of a nice breathable material, they’re fashionable and the foam outsole stabilizes the foot and helps absorb shock.”(Also, check out the best slip-on sneakers for women.)
Keen Newport H2 Hydro
You won’t miss your flip-flops when you slip into a pair of these summer shoes. “I recommend the Keen Sandals as alternatives to flip-flops because you can wear these on the beach and in the water,” says Dr. Krawetz. “They have great arch support, a heel cup, a strap in the back for security, and they protect the toes from rocks and other things.” They’re made of quick-drying fabric, too, so don’t be afraid to get them wet.
Birkenstock Arizona Oiled Leather
The raised toe bar in these sandals is made to fit the natural grip of your toes, paired with an anatomically crafted cork footbed. “The double straps hold your feet in place so you don’t slip around, even if things get sweaty,” says Dr. Brummer. “They also have good arch support built into the shoe that increases comfort.”(Looking for more footwear options? Try these walking shoes for your feet.)
Enjoy the breeze on your feet in these open-toe shoes, keeping things from getting too sweaty. “These are chic and supportive,” says Dr. Krawetz. “The strap in the back holds down the heel, and the top of the sandal pushes the foot down into the sandal sole, which makes the sandal much more stable.”
ECCO Flowt Strap Sandal
The leather is so soft in these sandals that you’ll want to live in them this summer. “These are lightweight, and have great arch support,” says Dr. Krawetz. “They have excellent stability, too, because of the strap that goes behind the heel, so your foot will stay put with each step.”
Taos Footwear Beauty 2
The molded footbed in this strappy sandal provides comfort, but it also has built-in trademarked cooling foam to keep your feet dry, as well as an antimicrobial treatment to keep any stink at bay. “Platform rubber sole provides good traction,” says Dr. Brummer. “I also like that there are multiple straps to help secure your feet in them.”
Skechers Summer Rose
Choose between rose gold or black in these sandals. The breathable fabric lining keeps things cool, and a contoured footbed will provide your feet with the support you need if you wear these for an extended period of time. “These have great straps to hold onto your feet and a mild rocker sole to aid in propulsion,” says Dr. Brummer. The midsole is built to absorb shock, too. (Psst, these are the secrets your feet wish they could tell you.)
Step into a secure feeling when you wear these lightweight sandals. “They have great arch support, multiple contoured straps to hold onto your foot, and a rubber sneaker-like sole to prevent any slipping,” says Dr. Brummer. Bonus: The textile lining keeps chafing at bay.