The way sandals are supposed to fit very different from how most other types of footwear are made. Sandals need to have a specific fit for them to work right, so here are some tips on finding the right size and style for your feet.
What Makes Sandal Fitting Different?
Regular shoes are made in a manner that aims to fit most feet. This design makes the shoes boxy and a bit larger than what is needed for a single foot because it assumes that the wearer has two feet of equal size. Sandals, on the other hand, are not supposed to have this extra allowance. They are supposed to be fitted for one foot at a time, so they tend to be made smaller than other types of shoes. The foot is supposed to slide in and out easily, but the sandal should not come off when walking or running. This usually means that straps that cross over the foot need to be adjustable.
Signs Your Sandals are Too Small
If your sandals are too small, then you will probably feel some discomfort.
Here are the common signs of a shoe that is too small:
- Your heels stick out beyond the back of the sandals.
- Your toes may extend or hang over the soles on both sides.
- The straps are uncomfortable, especially on the balls of your feet, toes, or any other part of your foot.
- The straps are positioned to the maximum position.
- Calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, and heel spurs are some of the problems you may encounter.
- During or after putting them on, your feet are aching.
Signs Your Sandals are Too Big
Like with too-small shoes, if your sandals are too big, you will feel discomfort and maybe even some pain.
Here are the common signs of a shoe that is too big:
- Your feet slip forward as you walk.
- The straps feel loose and dangle on your feet, ankles, or even touch the ground.
- They tend to fall off either because they are too big for your heel or because they fell off when you were walking.
- Your heels feel sore, blistered, or rubbed raw from too much friction against the back of the sandal.
How are Sandals Supposed to Fit?
If you are not feeling any discomfort or pain, your sandals are probably the right size. Even if they feel perfect when you first try them on, they may stretch out a little bit as you break them in, so it is best to buy them at the end of the day when your feet will be their biggest. You can also try stretching them out a little bit by stuffing the toe box with socks. If your sandals are hurting, then you will have to exchange them for a larger size.
If your toes don’t extend over the soles and you feel comfortable wearing them, but your heels don’t feel secure enough and slip up and down as you walk, then you should try putting in heel lifts to keep them from sliding. Some sandals have built-in heel lifts so that they may be an option for you as well.
How Should Sandals Fit in the Back and Front?
Your back strap and front straps should fit securely over your foot so that they stay in place. Make sure you can slide them on and off easily, but also make sure that they don’t move around when walking or running so you won’t trip. If the ties are too tight, then you may get blisters. If they stretch out too much, then your feet may slip out. The back strap should be long enough so that it is not too tight or too loose. It should stay in place and not chafe you as you walk. The front straps can also be adjusted depending on the size of your foot and where they hit your ankle bone. But these ties tend to stretch out a lot more than the back strap, so you may have to adjust them a few times until you find a good fit.
How Tightly Should Sandals be Adjusted?
Generally, the tighter your sandal is adjusted, the better it stays on without slipping off. You don’t want it to be too tight because you could get a blister or give yourself a headache from the pressure. But you also don’t want it to be too loose because your heel will slip up and down in your sandals. If it is not tight enough, you could even get blisters from the friction of your heels slipping around. You should adjust them until they are comfortable but secure.
Is There a Difference Between Wearing Sandals with Socks or Barefoot?
You should not wear sandals with socks. They are meant to be worn without any cover on your feet, so you will have the freedom of movement and sensitivity of feeling the ground underneath you as you walk. If you want more support, choose a pair of sandals with heel straps and a higher back.
Now that you know how to choose the right pair of sandals and all of the misconceptions about how they should fit, you can go out and find a great new pair! Enjoy wearing them with your favorite shorts or sundresses this summer.