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Does Wearing Sandals Cause You Foot Pain? New York, NY
young woman trying sandals at shoe store

As summer arrives, sandals become a staple in many wardrobes, offering comfort and breathability in warm weather. However, for some, the joy of slipping into sandals is overshadowed by foot pain and discomfort. At the practice of Stuart J. Mogul, DPM, FACFAS, in NYC, we are dedicated to unraveling the mystery behind whether wearing sandals can indeed cause foot pain and the foot conditions that may contribute to this discomfort.

The Sandal Conundrum

Sandals are often praised for their open design, allowing feet to breathe and providing relief from the confines of closed-toe shoes. However, this freedom comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to foot support and protection. While some individuals can wear sandals without issue, others may experience discomfort or pain due to underlying foot conditions.

Some foot conditions that can make wearing sandals uncomfortable include the following:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia—a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot. Wearing sandals with inadequate arch support can exacerbate plantar fasciitis symptoms, leading to heel pain and discomfort, especially with prolonged walking or standing.
  • Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, often resulting from excessive pressure or overuse. Sandals with thin soles or insufficient cushioning may fail to adequately distribute weight across the foot, leading to increased pressure on the metatarsal heads and exacerbating metatarsalgia symptoms.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Sandals with improper heel support or a lack of cushioning may exacerbate Achilles tendonitis symptoms, leading to pain and stiffness in the back of the heel and lower leg.
  • Overpronation or Supination: Individuals with abnormal foot mechanics, such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or supination (outward rolling of the foot), may experience discomfort when wearing unsupportive sandals. Without adequate arch support and stability, sandals can exacerbate these biomechanical issues, leading to pain and discomfort along the foot and ankle.

Preventive Measures and Treatment Options

To minimize the risk of foot pain when wearing sandals, consider the following preventive measures and treatment options:

  • Choose sandals with adequate arch support and cushioning to provide proper foot alignment and shock absorption.
  • Opt for sandals with adjustable straps or closures to ensure a secure and customized fit.
  • Avoid sandals with narrow toe boxes or rigid materials that may exacerbate toe deformities or irritation.
  • Incorporate supportive footwear inserts or orthotics to enhance comfort and stability when wearing sandals.

If experiencing persistent foot pain or discomfort, consult with Dr. Stuart Mogul for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.

While wearing sandals can offer relief from hot weather and restrictive footwear, it is essential to consider their impact on foot health, especially for individuals with underlying foot conditions. By understanding the potential foot conditions that may contribute to sandal-induced pain and implementing preventive measures and treatment options, you can enjoy the summer season in comfort and style. If you’re experiencing foot pain or discomfort, do not hesitate to reach out to Stuart J. Mogul, DPM, FACFAS, for expert guidance and foot care. Call our office in NYC to schedule your foot exam with Dr. Mogul.

Posted on behalf of Stuart J. Mogul DPM, FACFAS

1111 Park Avenue Suite 1B
New York, NY 10128

Phone: (212) 769-0066


Monday - Friday 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Patient Testimonials

Fabulous person and doctor. Very professional manner, skilled, knowledgeable and personable... what more can you ask for in your Doctor?! Her performed my surgery and I was confident then as I am now through my recovery.

- Samantha W.

Second surgery with dr mogul. Once in 2013 and one now (bunion surgery on different feet). Great doctor, friendly staff, personally checks in on you after surgery. Highly recommend. Hoping my right foot is as pain free as my left one was.

- Priya P.

Dr. Mogul is amazing. I was suffering from bunion pain for a few years, and now I am pain free. What an incredible difference it has made to the quality of my life! The surgery was stress free and his skilled and super nice office staff took care of all the details!

- Lisa L.