10:38 AM

Find the right fit for summer foot health

Summer feet

Summer months often mean the bare minimum when it comes to footwear. Seasonal sandals can be found everywhere – from department to drug stores. But not all summer shoes are created equal.

“As summer months come about, certainly weather changes make people want to throw inexpensive flip flops on and things like that. That can be very dangerous to your feet,” warned Dr. Marc Leonard, an OSF HealthCare Podiatrist.

But a foray with a flip flop doesn’t mean you are destined for foot injuries. Dr. Leonard says to avoid cheaply made flip flops and sandals. He says spending the extra money could be a good investment for your overall foot health.

“I think sandals and flip flops are fine for some people,” said Dr. Leonard. “If you have no foot problems, you’re not diabetic and you have good sensation, probably a well-made supportive sandal with arch support would be just fine. However if you do have those problems, and you are diabetic or you are neuropathic, then those are things have to be cautiously worn.”

Sometimes, however, even the best pair of shoes can’t mask issues that need attention. If foot pain persists, you should seek the help of a specialist.

“Pain is not normal. So if there is pain, if there’s discomfort, if there’s changes in your feet, collapsing to the feet, those are good times to see a podiatrist,” said Dr. Leonard.

And according to Dr. Leonard, there is no perfect pair of shoes, and people should spend time shopping to make sure they have the right fit to start summer off on the right foot.

“Be cautious, try them on in the store, get a good, supportive, well-made shoe, and I think that’s the best way to go about it,” he advised.

Interview clips