As the hot summer weather approaches, thoughts of “what summer sandals would be best for me?” is a good question to ask yourself. You may find that your feet are not comfortable in sandals, but your feet get too hot in running shoes all day. Sandal options can become overwhelming and stressful for many. As Pedorthist, we hear this statement yearly, trying to keep many moving in comfort throughout these hot summer months. 

Many sandals on the market offer orthopedic features and great support to suit most foot types. However, certain conditions and foot types require additional features to dissipate an individual’s foot pain and increase their overall comfort. This is where we can add modifications to your sandals to add the additional support that you need. Below we will detail a few of the common sandal modifications that can be done on your summer footwear! 

Arch Fill/Cookie/Valgus Pad

Foot pain and discomfort are often brought on by a lack of support when it comes to your footwear. Adding additional arch support to your sandals reduces plantar foot strain and allows the joints, muscles, and tendons in your foot to be positioned for adequate function. In some cases, can add additional foot support to sandals that already have built-in arch support.

Metatarsal Pads

If you suffer from pain at the ball of the foot from something like corns, calluses, metatarsalgia, dropped metatarsals, or Morton’s neuroma, metatarsal pads can be a great addition to your summer footwear. A strategically placed metatarsal pad just behind the bones at the ball of your foot alleviates pressure on the ball of the foot and keeps your toes properly positioned.


In addition to metatarsal pads, a sandal can be excavated in certain areas to reduce friction on a joint. This kind of modification is best when the sandal is made of a material like a cork. If you have a dropped metatarsal or a rigid claw, hammer, or mallet toe, this may be the solution for you!

External Lift

Just because you have a leg length discrepancy does not mean you are always bound to a running shoe. If you have a structural congenital or acquired leg length discrepancy, you might be able to have a sandal modified to accommodate this difference. An external lift would be crafted into the sandal to accommodate for the difference in leg length. Cases when the lift may not be suitable is when balance and overall strength is an issue, and the lift is too large.

Strapping Sequence

In a good sandal, the strapping sequence is placed and positioned on the sandal to allow the foot to sit properly in the sandal and hold the foot in place while walking. This is important to reduce potential strain injuries from trying to keep your sandal on. If your straps are too loose, you can use a hole punch to add another hole. Additional Velcro can also be added to the sandal to ensure a more secure or proper enclose.

Sandal Covering

If you struggle with sweaty feet and/or athletes’ foot, changing the top covers on your sandals to something moisture-wicking might be a solution for you.

Are you struggling with your sandals this summer? Visit your Canadian Certified Pedorthist to discuss possible sandal modifications. Make sure to discuss these options with your Pedorthist before deciding on what to get. Not every sandal is suitable for every modification. Your Pedorthist can help you determine which modifications are best based on your needs and the type of sandals you have.


Written by Chelsea Mathews, C. Ped (C)