Jelly sandals aren’t just for kids anymore. Designers like Ted Baker, Ferragamo and Dolce & Gabbana have each created their own version of the iconic summer shoe. But, should we wear them? Or, are jellies, flip-flops and sandals harmful to healthy feet?
Dr. Sherman Nagler replied, “It’s all about support.”
Houston’s Foot Doc and his team at the Nagler Foot Center advise patients follow the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) recommendations and guidelines for footwear. Visit ampa.org for a list of brands found to promote good foot health and awarded with the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance, including the popular Teva, Naot and Birkenstock. Also, be sure to match suitable footwear to the activity. For example, do not wear flip-flops to walk long distances, do yard work, or to play sports.
Footwear Tips (by age)
infant: no shoes or booties should be worn as they might interfere with normal growth and development
toddler: children should remain barefoot as much as possible; shoes should be lightweight, flexible, made from natural materials, and only worn outdoors or on rough surfaces
child: check their shoes often for ample room between the end of the toe and the shoe; avoid hand-me-down footwear as a typically poor fit that might spread fungal infection
adult: feet swell, so adults and children should shop for shoes later in the day to fit feet at their largest; discard worn shoes and/or sandals
Sandal Tips (by style)
flip-flops: avoid flimsily, ill-fitting flips that strain tendons and instead, opt for sturdy construction in high-quality, soft leather with a cushioned sole and ankle sling for additional support, if possible
wedges: to prevent ankle trauma, choose an espadrille or wedge with a rubber sole or material that provides good traction
peep-toe: add orthotic insert and only wear these heels for a limited time due to this style’s unhealthy pressure on toes
high heels: avoid excess wear; choose heels 2” tall or shorter; treat any pain in the ball of foot, or prevent it, with cushioned inserts
strappy: select natural materials to avoid irritation and callus; choose styles that provide arch and ankle support
Contact the Nagler Foot Center at 713-893-5620 or visit to schedule an appointment with Houston podiatrist, Sherman Nagler, DPM, FACFAS. Dr. Nagler will examine your feet and can also evaluate your shoes and suggest supplementary orthotic inserts to provide your feet additional support, as needed.