Recently, a client requested my personal wardrobe consulting services to help her find sandals for various activities she would be participating in this summer. She needed appropriate sandals for light hiking in Bermuda shorts, and touring Europe and Jerusalem. She is very stylish and wants to look great wherever she goes. Luckily, she has me to help her find the right summer sandals to feel comfortable and fashionable.

The term, “Beauty is pain,” does not apply to sandals

While touring Rome recently I encountered several female tourists, both young and old, having major problems with their cheap flat sandals. I cringed in empathy when I saw so many blistered and bloodied heels and Achilles tendons at the Colosseum. Many women were limping along with skewed Band-Aids on their feet, carrying thin flat sandals or ballet flats that they thought would be comfortable to walk in for hours.

My recommendation:

The Wildflower model by Jambu is a covered sandal that works great on the rugged ocean cliff-side of Cinque Terre or a pleasant morning walk up Sawnee Mountain. The covered toe keeps you free from stubbed toes and relatively free from gravel or grit. The All Terra Design tread has grip for climbing the uneven steps of the Colosseum. It has a memory foam footbed and vegan upper. The generous toe box will not pinch your toes. The best part is it keeps you cool, while providing great support. The flower design is feminine and hides a thin no-show sock for added comfort and even less friction on the back of your heels.

It’s not just a brand, it’s a solution

The human body is meant to be in motion. Investing in appropriate footwear to keep up the momentum without blisters and aching feet is important regardless of your age. Hey, millennials! Please invest in sandals that support your arches to avoid plantar fasciitis. Super flat, rigid sandals may be super inexpensive but can lead to knee, hip and back problems.

My recommendation:

Chacos, Teva, and Sanuk are not just popular brands. They are providers of sandals that support your feet and offer the best possible comfort. Chacos have all-over adjustable colorful straps for ultimate comfort and support. Less slipping on your skin means less chance for blisters. The firm but bendable sole has a good tread for climbing over rocky terrain and is great for water sports. The slight wedge heel provides much-needed arch support. Chacos are perfect for casual wear or adventure wear. Teens love them, so you’d better buy a couple of pairs if someone in your household wears the same size shoe as you. Teva has branched out and offers stylish sandal wedges for hours of walking tours without the foot pain. My client loved the thin straps in muted colors on a cork wedge sole. Definitely not the Teva look from the past. Sanuk yoga sandals have soft, stretchy, colorful fabric straps. No blisters here! Good for lounging around or short walks. The soles are made from yoga mats. Namaste!

You can tell a lot about a person based on their shoes

While shopping with my client, I noticed another shopper who was trying on similar sandals. When I asked her what she was looking for, she said she was looking for that one pair of sandals that would go with everything: shorts, skirts, a ballpark picnic or a Charleston getaway.

DSW shopper recommendation:

She chose a darling pair of gladiator low wedge sandals by Earth Origins. The metallic color will go with everything she wears this summer. After perusing the Earth Brand website, I learned that for every pair of shoes you purchase you can register to have a tree planted in rural communities of developing countries. Learn more at Your feet will feel good and so will your heart knowing that you are helping to keep our planet happy and healthy.

Summertime cannot be fully enjoyed without the proper sandals for all of your warm weather activities. With comfortable, appropriate footwear you can feel stylish and empowered to climb any mountain, ford a creek or marathon shop on the boardwalk. ■

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