Podiatrist’s Guide to Summer Footwear

At one point or another, we’ve all chosen stylish, cheap sandals over supportive ones. Unfortunately, that choice generally ends with blisters and foot pain. Stylish, supportive, and affordable summer footwear used to be hard to come by, but now there a number of brands that offer all three of these components.

To help you find the proper summer footwear, our podiatrists have highlighted a few of their favorite brands and what makes them a good choice for summer.


Birkenstock has been a trusted footwear brand since 1985 and continues to increase in popularity. Their concept of comfort is based on firm, rigid support.

Contrary to popular belief, the arch of the foot needs a support that keeps it in the proper position as opposed to a cushion-like support that allows the arch of the foot to give into positions that cause pain.

Birkenstock boasts that their footbed features proper arch support, a deep heel cup, and adequate room in the toe area, all of which will help to distribute weight evenly and promote improved posture and balance. The footbed is made of a cork/latex blend, which is a pliable material that adapts to the characteristics of an individual foot. Because of this, many people feel that Birkenstock’s become more and more comfortable over time.


Chaco was one of the first brands to carry arch support flip flops that were approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Their shoes are designed with the outdoor adventurer in mind.

Chaco sandals provide arch support that helps to control over pronation with their Ergonomic BioCentric® footbed. Their heel riser design and sculpted heel cup also improves overall stability. Wearing Chacos may help to improve body alignment and prevent heel pain, ankle pain, and discomfort from plantar fasciitis, which is a very common condition.


Vionic shoes offer an orthotic, or arch support, built right into the shoe without the orthopedic look. These shoes are designed to support your arches, absorb shock, and provide natural alignment from the ground up. Many styles offered by this brand are approved by the APMA.

Vionic is so confident that customers will be satisfied with their shoes that they offer a wear test. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you may exchange or return within 30 days.


Superfeet designs all of their shoes based on science and podiatric medicine. Their goal is to help adapt the flat, 2-dimensional midsoles of footwear to the 3-dimensional foot.

At Superfeet, the focus is supporting the rearfoot since this is where the majority of foot motion originates. Each shoe is comprised of the following 3 elements:

  1. Structured heel cup
  2. Rearfoot support
  3. Firm stabilization

We want you and your family to enjoy your favorite activities all year long – free of foot and ankle pain! If you would like more information regarding proper footwear, or have other foot and ankle questions, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at one of Advanced Foot & Ankle’s four Middle Tennessee locations today!