The Real Reason Your Sandals Are Hurting Your Feet

Sandals should be so comfortable you can live in them all summer, but we’ve all been subject to the pinching, squeezing, and blistering from the wrong pair.

New brand Eight Fifteen (from the people behind Seychelles) is out to solve the summer conundrum. For the debut line, the designers worked with insole company Ortholite to utilize techniques previously used only in athletic shoes. Here, Eight Fifteen design director Gabriel Morales and president Sari Ratsula weigh in on shopping for comfortable and chic sandals.

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Here’s What to Look for in a Comfortable Pair of Sandals:

The Footbed: When it comes to maximizing comfort, look for a rounded insole and a footbed that’s no higher than 22 millimeters whether it’s a flat, heel, or wedge (the conversion works out to being a touch under an inch). “It’s the most comfortable height for long-term walking and standing,” Ratsula said. “Flat sandals seem so comfortable, but most of them are too flat and hard to wear for long. Make sure the outsole is thick enough to support your feet.”

Strap Placement: Thin straps across the top of the foot should be affixed to the sole in between the knuckle of the big toe and the area where the big toe curves in. “A wider strap will go behind the big-toe knuckle and angle slightly further back when moving across the top of the foot,” Morales advised.

Strap Type: Multistrap sandals are having a moment, but not all are straps are created equal. “Straps that are too skinny or tubular are often a reason for pain,” Morales said, suggesting that you skip heavy embellishments with stones, sequins, or rhinestones. Your best bet is a flat, natural leather strap that’s no smaller than a quarter of an inch.

The Ankle Rule: The final factor the pair ID’ed as being crucial for comfort is an adjustable ankle strap. “Ultimately any sandal should have 3 millimeters of space between strap and skin. The foot needs a little play room to avoid cutting off circulation, but you don’t want it so loose that the skin gets rubbed.”

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