Tamara’s Story With Sandals For High arches

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What are high arches?

Everyone has an arch along the inner side of their foot, creating a space between their foot and the floor.  Some people have a larger space between their foot and the floor, a condition called high arches or pes cavus.  Due to the bone structure of the foot, people with high arches place a larger percentage of their weight on the ball and heel of the foot when standing because the foot acts something like a tripod without the arch supported.  Pes cavus can lead to a range of symptoms, including pain and instability, which may increase with duration of walking or standing.  Issues from high arches may develop at any age, in one foot or both.

Symptoms of high arches vary dramatically depending on activity level and severity of the condition.  Many people have no pain or other symptoms.  Often, people with high arches present with:

hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes (clenched toes)

calluses on the ball, side or heel of the foot

pain in the arch (plantar fasciitis) or other part of the foot

instability in the ankle, possibly resulting in ankle sprains

long-term pain

Shoes with inadequate arch support seem to exacerbate plantar fasciitis or other problems with high arches due to overpronation (inward rolling of the ankle).

What do I do

For immediate relief of arch pain, massage and ice work wonders.  A bag of frozen vegetables or a cold can of soda applied to the arch of your foot can provide quick relief from arch pain.  Roll it around and you have an instant cold massage.  Feels fantastic!  Stretching and strengthening of the foot muscles can also play an important role in the treatment of pain due to high arches.  Consult your doctor for information pertaining to your specific case.

Ongoing, you’ve got to find some shoes with adequate arch support to relieve your foot pain and realign your foot to a neutral position or the arch pain will persist.  You only get this one pair of feet, right?  And no one wants to be hobbling around when they get older.  Your doctor may prescribe orthotics for you to wear in your closed toe shoes, but this solution leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to summer sandals.  You simply cannot put your orthotics into sandals and expect them to stay in place and do their job.  Plus, you’ll look like a kook with orthotics sticking out of your sandals.  There are not a lot of sandals with arch support available, and frankly, most of the ones we do have to choose from are really unattractive.

My Story

Hi, my name is Donna and I have issues.  With my feet.  I have always had pretty narrow feet, making it somewhat difficult to find shoes that fit well, but usually I can go into any shoe store and find something workable.  It may take adding pads to the foot bed or sticking heel pads into the back of the shoe to make the shoe fit me properly, but I figured this was just something I would have to do to wear stylish shoes.

But, after years of aerobics, running, walking and two pregnancies, my feet started to change.  First of all, they grew about a half size during pregnancy, which is what I didn’t really need.  My feet already looked like skis, any additional length was definitely not welcome.  So.  In addition to the increase in shoe size, my arches began to feel tender after a series of particularly high-impact aerobics classes.  My gym calls the class Body Attack, and let’s just say that’s what it felt like… my feet were being attacked.  Pain.  Oh, the pain.  I bought new shoes, thinking the padding in my old shoes was too broken down, but those new, squishy shoes didn’t help at all, even though I cut back on my Body Attack class to once a week.  The pain persisted.

My only option was to seek the advice of a podiatrist because as long as I rested my feet, they felt fine, but as soon as I started back to any activity, whether it was running, walking or aerobics, the pain returned.  I like to lounge around like anyone else, but to lead a life without activity wasn’t going to work for me.  I have kids!  Plus, my heart wouldn’t really care for all that laying around business.  Of course, my doctor prescribed orthotics for me, took a mold of my foot, ordered them and I was told to rest my feet until the orthotics arrived.  And I did.  I rested like a pro.  Other than walking.

The orthotics felt like a rock in my shoe at first, but in time, I got used to the extra arch support – support my feet needed to be healthy and pain-free.  So funny, because my previous idea of orthotics was something I would need in about 30 years.  Not the case.  I’m officially old before my time.  In fact, many of my friends have them as well, and we’re not close to being elderly.  So, I wore these orthotics in my tennis shoes for months, and my feet remained pain-free.  Then came the hot weather.  Everyone else was wearing adorable sandals and simple flip flops.  I wanted to flip around too!  So, I kicked the orthotics-filled tennis shoes to the curb and slapped on my flip flops.  “Woo hoo, look at me.  I don’t need my orthotics anymore,” I thought.  Ha!  The day after I wore the flip flops my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk.  I’ve been on the hunt for regular-looking shoes with arch support since then.  And, there are some good options out there.  And also, some really ugly ones.

Which Sandals Will Work For Me?

I have tried numerous sandals to keep my feet healthy, and I will tell you it’s very difficult to find stylish sandals with adequate arch support.  I have spent hundreds of dollars, literally, purchasing and trying out comfortable sandals that don’t make me look like I’m ready for a retirement home.  My podiatrist recommended I never wear flip flops again, due to the lack of arch support, but honestly, I live in a hot, humid climate and I love to just slip my shoes on and run out the door.  But, I also realize that it’s important for me to be able to walk later on in life.  What if my kids don’t want to push me around in a wheelchair?  I don’t want to be stuck in a corner and forgotten.  So, I’ve scoured everywhere looking for a sandal that will keep my feet healthy without compromising style.  Here’s what I’ve found, I hope it helps you find a sandal you love and will love you back.

Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals

Mephisto Hatty

Chaco Bali Leather Flip Flop

Zealand Luzon Ribbon Thong

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