Dr. Rion Berg: I'm here at Sole Perfection Shoe Store with Jason Brown, the owner of the store, to talk to you about what to do as we quickly spring into summer. And this year that's about what's happening as the temperatures are warming up quickly. The key on this is that you're often faced with the challenge of having to wear comfortable walking shoes, hiking shoes, trail shoes, athletic shoes, and you may be wearing orthotics. But then when you're done with that day, or that event, you want to get out of that and into something lighter and more comfortable. Well, let's hear what Jason has to say about, first of all, lightweight shoes when you're out in activity, and secondly, what to do afterwards. So how can you help us out with this great summer dilemma?

Jason Brown: Alright, well, I always love the videos we do with Dr. Berg. They're always fun. So the first thing, you want a good fitting shoe, of course. And if we're talking about hiking and things like that, there are boots if you're doing a lot of heavy hiking. But for those day hikes, I'll give you a little secret that a lot of people are moving to. Instead of getting a big leather boot, if you're carrying a pack or something, that's great. You want to do that to keep that support or if you need that ankle support, a high top. But for a lot of people, they're doing a day hike, they don't need a big heavy boot. So one thing you can do, and I'll give you an example, there are shoes that are basically trail running shoes. And don't be intimidated by that if you're not running. All it means is they take a walking shoe, a running shoe, and they give it a little grippery tread. I don't know if you can kind of see there. There's just a little more knob, a little more grip. So for example, this shoe here, I use this. I have hiked in snow, mud, all sorts of things, all over the place. But it's super lightweight, all the cushion of a regular walking shoe but the grip for the trail. So that's one little hint for those hikers, walkers that want to get off pavement.

Best Post Hiking Shoes

Jason Brown: Now you're done with your walking, you want your feet to relax. And it's hot, it's a beautiful day. Some things you can do are go into some slides or some flip flops, but there's so many of them that have nothing to them. There's no cushion, there's no support. So what I have here are two examples. One is a Hoka. It is an adjustable slide, but it has a really good arch. Again, very lightweight, very cushioned. Cushion is good, but not if you're falling off of it. So I always use the waterbed analogy. If you have to stand on a waterbed, it's soft, but you get really tired because it moves around. So you want a cushion. This right here is an Oofos little thong slide. You want a cushion that maintains its arch. So you get out of your shoes, you get into something comfortable, that will help the feet recover. Lots of times these things are called recovery slides or recovery sandals. That'll help a lot.

Walking Sandals for Europe or Other Travel

Now, let's say you're going on a trip to Europe or just visiting family. You want a good, everyday, walking sandal. And when you travel, you need something that can do a little bit of both. So in that case, there's some great sandals. You want to have something that's going to wrap the foot. An ankle strap is better than a backless. Something that's adjustable as much as possible because our feet swell. You're in Italy, it's hot, you're eating great food, our feet swell. So you want adjustability, you want arch support. And again, something that can dress up but also be every day. There's things like this. There's other fun ones. This is for Aetrex. And again, getting that arch support, this has a little memory foam over cork. That makes the big difference because if your foot is relaxed and supported, you can walk all day no matter where you are.

Shoes for the Pool or Lake

One other thing, is you're going to the pool, or maybe you want a good walking sandal but you might get it wet. There are options like that, where depending on the materials it's made of, it's water friendly. One other thing I'm going to tell you, when you're looking for a sandal is.

Dr. Rion Berg: And what's the make of that one?

Jason Brown: Oh, this one right here is another Aetrex. I've got an Aetrex. Here's a Dansko. We have a lot of other ones too. But what makes these kind of unique and nice, again, arch support. You want them to be sturdy, you know, it's a sandal but if you can just take it and ring it or you can just like, you know, bend it in half, it's not giving your foot support and your foot will get tired. It's okay if it bends in the ball of the foot 'cause that's where the foot kind of flexes, but you want it to be sturdier. And there's other things like arthritis or any sort of joint issues, again, a more sturdy flex is going to help you walk longer.

So those are the kind of the things. Whether you're on trail or going to the beach, there's always good footwear, but you just gotta make sure you get the right one for your feet. And if you're having issues that are going on, definitely get in and see a doctor like Dr. Berg before your trip so you can get feeling really good for it. That's what it takes to have a fun summer.

Dr. Rion Berg: So there you have it. That doesn't mean you don't need your orthotics, whether they're over the counter supports or prescriptive supports for your feet. And if you already have them, continue to use them. But it does mean that if your foot discomfort is under control, now you've got some options so that you can get out of that during this great summer that's coming. Keep those feet cool and keep them happy at the same time. Have a great summer.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.