What better shoe to accompany you through the end of summer (and any last-minute trips to the beach) than a good old fashioned flip-flop?
While it may tempting to keep wearing your go-to $5 pair every summer, those super-thin PVC sandals may be doing your feet more harm than good. Flimsy flip-flops don’t provide the proper foot support you need, especially if you have high arches, and can actually make any current foot conditions you have worse — or cause new ones. (In fact, if you belong to the community of arched feet, you may already avoid flip-flops for their notorious lack of support.)
However, there are several options that actually do offer comfort and relief while you wear them.
Dr. Chanel J. Perkins, a board-certified podiatrist based in Texas, told HuffPost that the best kind of flip-flop for people with high arches is one that has a good height in the arch area and a cushioned footbed.
“If it folds in half like a soft taco, it’s certainly not going to have the support you might need if you have high arches. The footbed should match the shape of your foot,” she said. “You want the flip-flop to contour closely to your foot type, so a high arched foot requires a flip-flop with adequate arch support.”
To get your feet ready for your last vacation before summer’s over, we asked Perkins to provide her recommendations for flippies that won’t flop when it comes to supporting your feet.
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Orthofeet Gaya flip-flop
This shoe is designed to alleviate the pain of many foot conditions, including heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, bunions and arthritis. With an anatomical insole design with arch support, this flip-flop is made for everyday walking without the pain that comes with having high arches. The thong material is also thin and soft so you don't have to worry about being uncomfortable as you walk. It comes in women's 5-12 in brown, gray and blue. Promising review:
"I am currently dealing with painful neuropathy in my legs and feet. The Gaya sandals keep my feet cool while being quite supportive. I did not expect such delicate looking thong sandals to be this substantial and comfortable. This is my third style purchased from Orthofeet. Won't be the last." — Adrienne Arden
Birkenstock Honolulu flip-flop
The name and comfortable nature of this shoe might make your feet feel like they’re actually in Hawaii. With a sporty appearance and contours similar to Birkenstock's classic cork sandal, this lightweight thong flip-flop is perfect for pool days, thanks to its waterproof EVA foam construction. The footbed is made from soft flexible materials, making each step you take feel cushioned and secure. It's available in black, white and gray, and comes in women's 5-12.5 and men's 6-11.5Promising review:
"Wanted a super casual “flip flop” type shoe to wear to pool and/or beach - this shoe is perfect for that. It’s much better quality than a cheap flip flop - and has Birkenstock’s standard foot support so it’s comfortable/easy to walk in. Really like this shoe for what I wanted it for." — Zappos customer
Oofos Oolala sandal
Available in a variety of colors like navy blue, coral, white, lavender, latte brown and mint green, this flip-flop from Oofos is deserving of your end-of-summer vacation. The foam sole absorbs a significant amount of impact as you step, reducing the stress placed on your feet, joints and back. The design also supports your arches so you aren't limping five minutes after putting them on. The shoe is available in women's 5-11. Promising review:
"Extremely satisfied with these Oofos flip flops! I was walking 3-5 miles everyday and my feet were starting to hurt. I also have all hard floors in my house & hadn't even thought of that adding to the problem. I decided to try these recovery flip flops to see if they would help & Wow 😲 instant relief!!! They reduce the impact of my feet hitting the hard ground while offering great arch support which is not something usually found in a flop! I'm looking forward to trying the clogs & sneakers from Oofos,as now I just want to be good to my feet!" — Robin McCann
Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor
With their iconic cork footbed and buckle straps, Birkenstocks are a must-have in any sandal collection — and this one comes in a thong flip-flop style. The sole contours to the shape of your feet, providing supportive cushion and comfort. It also has a deep heel cup to aid in distributing your body weight evenly. It comes in women's 4-11.5 and in multiple colors, including black, gold, white, brown and metallic silver. Promising review:
"This is my second pair of Gizehs -- my first was bought in 2001 and I wore them out! I have wide feet and short toes, normally wear a 7-1/2 or 8 but they ran almost an inch long in the heel so ordered one size smaller and they were a perfect fit. If you're not used to wearing thongs it will take a few days to get used to. After that, they're perfect. Feel great, the adjustable snug fit keeps them from making that flop sound and they stay on even when doing a high kick!" — Leita C
Vionic Tide toe post sandal
These comfy shoes have a podiatrist-designed footbed. They're designed with targeted comfort zones that promote stability and they even provide relief for plantar fasciitis, flat feet, high arches, bunions and heel spurs. The contoured arch, cushioned insole and deep-seated heel cup will keep your feet supported and comfortable all day. The shoe is available in multiple colors, including purple, navy, black, white, red, brown and tan in women's 5-12 and men's 7-14.Promising review:
"I needed flip flops for the beach and since I have plantar fasciitis I can't wear any old pair like I used to. I bought this Vionic sandal and hands down it is the most comfortable flip flop I've ever worn...and quite possibly the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. The arch support is amazing and I love how sturdy the shoe is overall. It looks very cute and summer on my foot and the style goes with so much of my summer clothes. And best of all NO PAIN. Buy these. Do it now. You won't regret it." — Christina