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Best Womens Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

Updated on July 28, 2014

Healthy Summer Sandals the Way Nature Intended

Summer is time for walking barefoot, taking walks on beaches and letting your feet feel the sand between your toes. However both those activities can be very painful for people with plantar fasciitis. You would think walking barefoot would be very natural, and walking in the soft sand would exercise the muscles in your feet. But it actually makes the pain worse.

I have battled with Plantar fasciitis for many years. The symptoms of painful feet when I first get up will come and go depending how active I have been on my feet. Part of the pain in my feet and ankles can also be attributed to peripheral neuropathy or small fiber neuropathy which causes numbness and weakness in the extremities.

It got so bad I couldn't walk without limping or support and my five walks on the trail had to be eliminated. In fact I couldn't walk more a few blocks without paying for it later. Last fall I started going to a tonal chiropractor and he has helped tremendously with getting nerve signals back to my muscles, but I also think the shoes I have been wearing lately have contributed greatly to the healing.

For the first time ever I am wearing flip flops on a daily basis during the summer and my feet have never felt better.

Image by Flickr Creative Commons

Orthoheel (Vionic) Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis - No More Flat Flip Flops

Flip flops and me never really got along, besides being flat with no support there was something about the thong between my toes bothered me, I always got blisters. The pain didn't seem worth the fashion statement. But the minute I slipped my feet into a pair of Orthaheels my feet fell in love. I'm not kidding you. Seriously, I felt balanced and the weight was evenly distributed across my entire foot.

The sales clerk at the store suggested I gradually get used to the added arch support by wearing them a few hours a day. Since I had been wearing Merrels and custom arch inserts this wasn't a problem and I wore them all day, every day for the next month.

By the way Orthaheel shoes are now called Vionic but they still have the Orthaheel technology, just more fashionable designs.

Orthaheel Women's Tide Thong Sandals (8, Black)
Orthaheel Women's Tide Thong Sandals (8, Black)

Since I didn't know how well these shoes would last I picked the most inexpensive pair of Orthaheel sandals.

Orthaheel Womens Carla II Sandal Mint Size 10
Orthaheel Womens Carla II Sandal Mint Size 10

When I bought my first pair of Orthaheels they didn't have a lot of designs to choose from. but now that they have merged with Vionic the style options have exploded and I couldn't be happier.

Orthaheel Bali Strap Sandal Cobalt - 9
Orthaheel Bali Strap Sandal Cobalt - 9

If you really can't stand something between your toes then try the slingback sandal. The same supportive foot bed, but in an over the toe option.


Weekend in Chicago - Walking Three Days Without Painc

My trip to Chicago
My trip to Chicago

I recently spent three days in Chicago and walked all day in my Orthaheels and Birkenstock and did not have ANY pain whatsoever $6 at the end of the trip. i'm serious. I walked on the beaches of Michigan lake, ran across the cross walks, stood on trains and at the end of the day I still had energy to spare.

My daughter is on the right, notice how tan she is, she's a lifeguard at the pool. I'm on the left, you can see my flip flop tan line on the top of my feet, ok, it's not much or a tan compared to my daughter, we actually look quite pale, but it's still there. That's how much I wear my Orthaheels.

Birkenstock Sandals Control Food Pain - "Birks" are no longer ugly shoes

My best friend (center foot above) has wore Birkenstocks for over twenty years and swears by them. She has been trying for years to get me to buy a pair and I finally gave in. I have a suede pair of slip on clogs to wear with jeans and slacks and I wear them with and without socks.

Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor Thong,Silver,38 M EU
Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor Thong,Silver,38 M EU

Birkenstock shoes come in more than just brown leather and it's about time. White goes with everything and these sandals are dressy enough for a summer dress.

Birkenstock Mayari Sandal,Golden Brown,EU Size 38 / Women's US Size 7-7.5
Birkenstock Mayari Sandal,Golden Brown,EU Size 38 / Women's US Size 7-7.5

Toe loop sandals, I've tried these on and they take some getting used to. Better than a thong between your toe, but since I've now gotten used to flip flops I think I'll stick with those. But it's a good option and people have told me they like them.

Birkenstock Women's Kairo T-Strap Sandal,Pool Patent,40 EU/9 M US
Birkenstock Women's Kairo T-Strap Sandal,Pool Patent,40 EU/9 M US

Aren't these fun, my daughter saw these and thought she might even get a pair of these blue leather Birks. I'm trying to convince her to start wearing good shoes now so she won't have the same problems I have later in life.

Her bedroom is full of cheap flat flip flops.

Birkenstock  Milano Sandal,Habana,43 N EU (US Womens 12, US Mens 10)
Birkenstock Milano Sandal,Habana,43 N EU (US Womens 12, US Mens 10)

These sandals are the ones my friend Beth has owned for years. She has had the soles replaced and is thinking of finally buying a new pair, but hers are molded to her feet and so comfortable it's hard for her to give them up. Seriously, even in Nebraska she is wearing these six months out of the year.


What Sandals are Your Favorite?

What is favorite brand of summer sandal?

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Great Stuff on eBay - Buy Orthaheel (Vionic) Shoes on eBay

If your budget is tight, or you want more bang for your buck when it comes to shopping check out the shoes deals on eBay. Often people don't give their shoes enough of a chance and after just trying them on decide they won't work.

They have good intentions of returning them to the store, but either wait too long or forget to keep the receipt. You can find lots of great shoe deals this way if you are patient and look hard enough.

Shoe Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis - For when you're not wearing sandals

PROFOOT Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics, Women's 6-10, 1 Pair
PROFOOT Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics, Women's 6-10, 1 Pair

For the days you're not wearing sandals these shoe inserts from Profoot will help keep your heels balanced in your shoes. I had heel pain as a complication from plantar fasciitis and it's pretty much gone now.

A deep heel cup provides support and stability while distributing your weight during walking or running.


If you have a favorite brand or pair of shoes that has helped your plantar fasciitis or peripheral neuropathy I'd love to hear about it.

How Do You Make Your Feet Happy? - What are your favorite shoes?

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    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      My toes like to go barefoot as often as they are able to. Birkenstock though seems to be the most recommended sandal from what I have heard.