Sandals are an open type of footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer’s foot by straps going over the instep and, sometimes, around the ankle. Sandals can also have a heel. While the distinction between sandals and other types of footwear can sometimes be blurry (as in the case of huaraches – the woven leather footwear seen in Mexico, and peep-toe pumps), the common understanding is that the sandal leaves most of the upper part of the foot exposed. People may choose to wear sandals for several reasons, among them comfort in warm weather, economy (sandals tend to require less material than shoes and are usually easier to construct), and as a fashion choice.
Sandals are great footwear for outdoor activities because they offer protection for your feet, allow your feet to breathe, and are generally comfortable. Outdoor sport activities offer an array of activities, such as golf, walking, and rafting with different requirements for your feet. It is a good idea to choose a style of sandal that is suitable for the type of outdoor activities you perform on a regular basis.
Walking was probably man’s first indoor and outdoor activity. Flip flop sandals are a good choice when you don’t require a significant amount of support. High heel sandals are typically not recommended for long walks because your feet are in an unnatural position, which over time can cause stress and injury. According to Dr. Scholls, well-known makers of foot care products, if you must wear high heels it is best to opt for those that offer ample space for your toes and that are considered “walking” or “performance”.
Fisherman sandals are a casual style for both men and women. The name is a bit of a misnomer, since this style doesn’t refer to fishing. However, these sandals are perfect for water sports since they are made to allow water to flow through and beyond the feet; a feature that is particularly recommended for foot health. The soles on fisherman sandals tend to be thicker than average and are very comfortable.
Slide sandals and flip flops are not suitable for high activity water sports, such as rafting, by virtue of their easy on-off design. A better sandal style for rafting is one with an ankle strap that secures the shoes on the feet.
In general, sandals that are appropriate for long walking trips are fine for hiking. The exception is if you plan to hike up very hilly areas. In this case you will require sandals with more ankle and foot support. Sandals for hiking also usually have an adjustable strap for added protection. When shopping for sports sandals that you can wear while hiking, look for thick soles, adequate ankle support, and toughness.
Appropriate beach sandals are obviously waterproof with a sole that is usually made of rubber or other flexible material that provides great traction. Beach sandals are typically available in a variety of lively colours. Flip flop sandals are the most common footwear of choice for the beach.