Summer is here and that means sandal season is upon us. While sandals are often seen as easier to fit than sneakers or boots because of their open construction, it’s still important to get your measurements right to avoid painful blisters, redness, and other foot issues. It’s essential that you choose a pair of supportive sandals that are as comfortable as your favorite sneakers, especially if you plan to wear them around a city or on an active vacation.
So, how should your sandals fit and how can you make sure that you get the right size at home? Follow the steps in this sandals fit guide to make sure you get the perfect pair to wear all summer long!
How Should Sandals Fit?
Your sandals should fit similar to a pair of shoes, where the length & width of the sandal is equal to (or slightly greater) than your foot. This ensures that your heels & toes won’t hang over the edges, which could cause you to scrape & injure them on the ground.
Because there’s not a solid upper or toe box, it’s normal for sandals to have a bit of extra space around certain parts of your foot, especially between the heel & back rim of the sandal. Here are a few other signs that your sandals fit properly:
- Your foot arches comfortably align with the sandal's arch
- The straps don’t dig into the tops of your feet or ankles, causing redness within minutes of wearing them
- Your feet are secure when standing & walking, not slipping around underneath the straps
- They don’t contort your foot in an unnatural way
If you’re shopping for a new pair of summer or spring sandals, you should also consider the fact that your feet will swell in hot weather and when traveling on a plane. As a result, you may need to go up a half or full size to accommodate small changes in foot size over the course of a day.
Find your sandal size with the Taos Size Guide.
Signs That Your Sandals Don’t Fit Properly
If you aren’t sure that your sandals fit properly, they probably don’t. But if you experience any of the following, you’ll need to size up or down to ensure that you have complete arch support, comfort, and stability:
- Generally uncomfortable
- Straps digging in
- Toes hanging over the edge
- Heels hanging off the back
- Arch not touching the insole of the shoe
- Loud sounds when you walk
- Foot sliding around or slipping out of sandal
- Trouble balancing when walking
- Blisters & sores after wearing them for awhile
With certain brands & styles, you may not be able to find a pair that fits the shape of your foot, no matter how many different sizes you try on. And even though you may love the way they look, it’s not worth sacrificing your foot health if the sandal doesn’t fit.
How to Determine Your Sandal Size at Home
1. Measure Your Feet
It’s best to have a professional measure your feet, but if you are at home, you can also do it yourself. Lay a piece of paper flat on the floor and step onto it. Trace the outline of your foot onto the paper and then measure the outline for your length and width.
You will use the largest measurement from each of these. Start by measuring the length from your big toe to your heel, not the length from your pinky toe to your heel. Then measure the width from the outer base of your big toe bone to the outer base of your pinky toe, which is usually the widest part of your foot.
These measurements, which you should take in inches if shopping for US sizes, will determine which size sandal you need. If you have one foot that is larger than the other, then you’ll need to select a size up or potentially order one of each size to accommodate that foot.
2. Compare Your Foot Measurements to Company Size Guide
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a company’s shoe sizing will be exactly true to size across the board. You should always use the size guide and fit tips provided by the sandal company to make sure your measurements align with their sizing. Read reviews as well to see if customers find that the sizing is too big, too small, or true to size.
3. Try On the Sandal
Whether you’ve ordered the sandals online or are trying them on for the first time in a store, it’s important to take a few minutes to walk around in them and notice how they feel. If your feet are hanging over the edges or feel squeezed, then it is likely the shoe is too small in the length or width.
4. Check the Insole
Another very important sizing issue that many people neglect to notice is how the insole fits to your arch. Many sandals are notoriously bad for your arches because they are flat and offer no support whatsoever. A flat insole will undoubtedly lead to discomfort and can cause issues like shin splints, joint pain, and plantar fasciitis. Instead, look for sandals with a supportive memory foam insole, like Prize 4, or a cork insole, like Grand Z. Both of these sandals will mold to the shape of your foot to provide excellent arch support while walking.
5. Adjust the Straps
Finally, take a moment to adjust the straps on your sandals to be loose enough to feel comfortable while you are standing up, but still be snug so as to hold the shoe securely to your foot. The best way to prevent bunions in sandals is to make sure that thin straps don’t squeeze your big toe joint or the surrounding area. Sandals with thicker straps, like Escape also tend to be more comfortable and offer more ankle support than those with thin straps.
6. Enjoy Comfort and Support All Summer Long
According to a study reported by the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, up to two-thirds of the population wear shoes that don’t fit properly. Don’t be one of these people! While it’s not always easy to get your size right, it is achievable when you pay attention to detail. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting blisters or experiencing foot pain during your summer vacation, so invest in sandals that fit properly and are soft and comfortable with arch support.
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