Please note: Although I was compensated for writing this post, all opinions expressed are my own. Meet me on the street during the Summer and I WILL be wearing sandals.
It may be silly, but one of the things I love the most about the Summer is the fact that you can wear sandals virtually every day! I ditch shoes the first warm day at the end of Spring and don't put them on again until I'm sure my toes are going to freeze (can you say Toesicle?). Shoes are confining, hot, and take too long to put on, plus you have to wear socks. I HATE socks which mean washing and matching them. Ugh! I slip on sandals and, like a pig in mud, am one happy Mom!
Women's sandals seem to morph every season into one specialty or another, but basically, there are five types of sandals:
- Gladiator – Defined by rows of horizontal straps, these sandals may sport a heel or not. They're striking and call attention to themselves, which is great for taking attention off a less-than-fit body.
- Espadrilles – Traditionally flat, espadrilles are defined by a sole made of jute or rope. They're beautiful with a skirt.
- Heels – These can be strappy heels or wedges. I haven't worn any kind of heels since my teenager was born and I'm pretty sure I'd get vertigo if I even attempted them.
- Flats – Beading and jewels can transform a dull, flat sandal into something dazzling.
- Ankles – These feature a wide ankle strap and open toe. Some have a shaft around the ankle, like a short boot. Again, for me, they're not worth the extra effort to put on.
I crave shoes I can slip in and out of without a thought. I have a hard enough time remembering which kid is where without thinking about my footwear. I also need sandals to be comfortable, since I'm never quite sure what the day holds in terms of walking. I've tried cheap ones and find that more expensive brands, like the kind found on www.reef.com, are well worth the money because they last longer and provide more support. Another bonus is that the companies that sell better-made sandals tend to stick behind their products more than, discount stores. Here's a tip: sandals that match your skin color tend to make your legs look longer, so most of my sandals are light brown to match my mildly-tanned skin.
Recently, I ordered a pair of Reef's thong flip flops (see photograph above). They have padded leather and provide arch and heel support. That support is essential for me because if I'm on my feet for most of the day, they ache and at my age, I don't need any more aches and pains! The rubber outsole of the Reef Tahoe means I don't slip on the wet patio after my daughter has been in the sprinklers.
Since I need two pair of sandals for the season, I also have a pair from last year that resemble Reef's Movement thong sandals . Models like this are built for maximum mobility, the type a parent needs at an amusement or water park. They protect against germs (and if, like us, your family has had plantar warts, you are very aware of this!) and provide arch support.
For some interesting reading about sandals, visit:
- This article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-rosenberg/the-truth-about-the-shoes_b_1703630.html) entitled The Truth About Shoes of Summer, Sandals, Flip Flops And Wedgesextolls the virtues of the sandal and gives advice on how to choose the right type for you.
- SheFinds has a piece on the 8 Types Of Sandals Every Girl Needs In Her Closet This Spring(http://www.shefinds.com/2014/8-types-of-sandals-every-girl-needs-in-her-closet-this-spring). The sandals shown are pretty, but my first reaction is “Yeah, like I have the budget for eight pair!” Author Maria Bobila lists, among the “necessary”ones, stilettos. For me, that's a fast-track to a sprained or broken ankle.
- Everyday Health has this article (http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management-pictures/shoes-that-hurt-feet.aspx#/slide-2) that lists sandals among the 7 Shoes That Hurt Your Feet. Read into the piece, however, and it says that unsupportive models are the culprit. That's why, again, you'll want to look at sandals that do offer support.
As I type this, I am acutely aware of my sandal-wearing feet. I can wiggle my toes and see my home-done pedicure. My feet are not boxed into shoes, encased in boots, or confined by socks. They are cool, free, and happy. And when my feet are happy, I am happy. You can choose to celebrate Summer's warm weather. Me? I'll celebrate sandals!
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