The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Summer Footwear Dos & Donts

Posted by on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013


During the summer months, most people are happy to break out their favorite pair of sandals and let their feet air out after a long, chilly winter. Yet, choosing the wrong type of summer footwear can also leave us doubled over with heel pain, tendinitis, back aches, shin splints, or even broken bones due to an accidental fall. Check out our NYC podiatric medical center’s round-up of summer shoe dos and don’ts to ensure you look and feel your best all summer long.

DO choose strappy shoes.

Few incidents are more embarrassing than falling out of your shoes in public. To prevent what the American Podiatric Medical Association calls “a flip-flop fiasco,” choose sandals with a strap that wraps around the back of the foot for greater stabilization.

DON’T buy shoes with flexible soles.

Rest assured, there is zero structure in any shoe that can easily be bent in half. Instead of a shoe that bends in the middle, look for a shoe that bends closer to the ball of the foot. Flip-flops are okay for walking short distances — like a couple of feet from your lounge chair to the water — but you don’t want to overdo it. Walking around in flip-flops too often leads to arch and heel pain, according to experts.

DO look for a small platform heel.

Flats and sky-high heels are out. Small one-inch platform heels are in. “Flat shoes stress the Achilles tendon and cause extensive pronation or flattening of the feet,” says Dr. Kenneth Leavitt of the New England Baptist Hospital. On the other hand, high heels cause corns, calluses, misshapen toes and stress fractures. You can find a show with a two-inch platform and three-inch heel that will be comfortable and still look stylish, he says.

DON’T wear old shoes.

Summer shoes often don’t survive more than a season or two, according to US News & World Report. Check the sole to see if it is worn down on one side more than the other. Look for signs that the material is separating. If you have a pair of athletic shoes that has seen more than 300 to 500 miles, it won’t be long before you suffer the consequences.

DO look for the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

The American Podiatric Medical Association has a long list of summer shoes it recommends, from FitFlop and Chaco to Orthaheel and Merrell. These shoes demonstrate that they provide sufficient support for the heel and arch. Check out the list here.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.