Sandals are tricky. It’s fun and fashionable in the summer to wear slinky sandals or soft flip flops but for most people, these styles are not good for their feet. There are four main things I recommend people look for when buying sandals. The first is to examine the base or sole of the shoe. The base of the sandal should match your foot shape. It should be as wide as your foot to provide proper support. It should also have a thicker sole with a low heel to provide shock absorption and protect your foot as you walk around.

The second is to make sure the length of the shoe is a perfect fit for your feet. Too often I see people, especially women, wearing sandals where their toes or heels are hanging over the edge. It doesn’t look very attractive but even worse it can end up being a point of friction which can lead to callusing or blisters. Ideally, you should look for sandals where the length cups the heel and the toes stay firmly on the base of the shoe.

The third thing to look for is to make sure the sandals have an arched contour to provide support to your longitudinal and metatarsal arches. If your arches are not supported they can become strained leading to a range of foot conditions including plantar fasciitis. If you wear orthotics, the ideal thing would be that the sandal has a removable footbed, leaving space for you to wear your custom arch support.

The final thing I recommend looking for is adjustable straps like a buckle or a Velcro. This guarantees the food is anchored in the right spot in the shoe for optimal stability and support even as the material softens with wear.

Ultimately, you should pick sandals based on your planned activities. If you are going to the pool, basic flip flops might be okay but if you are doing a lot of walking, then these tips will help you select sandals to give your feet the best support possible.