life: super powers not included

Good For Your Soles

Solephoto from Sole

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The dilemma: You’re forced to use custom orthotics or else risk ruining your body mechanics by walking around on flat feet—yet you’d rather not wear closed shoes in 100-degree heat. Do you:

A. Suck it up and throw on a pair of socks and sneakers.

B. Forget the orthotics and slip on flip flops.

C. Duct tape your orthotics to the bottom of your sandals?

I vote for none of the above. Not that there’s technically anything wrong with duct-taped sandals, but it’s just not my thing.

Here’s a brief lesson for anyone who’s never had to wear orthotics (lucky you). They’re shoe inserts that help make up for a too-high arch or flat feet. Because you slip them in your shoes, you’re required to wear a pair that at least have a back and sides. So sandals are out.

For the first two years I wore orthotics I stuck to sneakers, even in summer. Which means that not only was I wearing socks and closed-toe shoes but I also could not wear skirts. (I think the skirt-sneaker look only works with fanny packs and Disney World T-shirts. Unless, of course, you have those cute sneakers which, incidentally, DO NOT FIT CUSTOM ORTHOTICS. Not that I’m bitter.)

Anyhow, then I discovered Sole flip flops, which have arch support and are designed by podiatrists. They’re not the cutest shoes, trust me, but they work well enough. And did I mention they don’t require socks? In summer. No socks. Amazing.

I’m writing about this because I was shopping for my second pair and I thought, Hm, maybe some of my flat-footed readers would be interested in these. And then I thought, Hm, maybe even people who have normal feet would want a pair because they’re really comfortable and so much better for your feet than regular flat flip-flops. (Well, as good for your feet as flip flops can be.)

But don’t think Sole is paying me to say this. Or giving me anything for free. They’re not. Sigh.

Anyhow: Bad feet + Sole flip flops = Happiness.

Anyone ever use Sole? If not, do you wear flip flops or do you heed every single podiatrists’ warning and stay far, far away from those dangerous shoes? (Me neither.)

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29 comments

1 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) { 08.12.10 at 7:40 am }

I think those suckers look comfortable and really cute, too! Looks like you stuck gold!

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2 Wei-Wei { 08.12.10 at 7:58 am }

I have ridiculously flat feet. Do these shoes just make it more comfortable or do they correct your arches?

Wei-Wei

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Tracey Reply:

These won’t correct your arches in the same way a custom orthotic will, but they do a pretty good job. They’re specifically designed for flat feet so it’s not as much about comfort as it is about arch support. Of course, in turn that makes them more comfortable.

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3 Estela @ Weekly Bite { 08.12.10 at 8:01 am }

Don’t laugh… but I have a pair of Fit Flops… and I love em’

My husband makes fun of me… but they’re so comfy I don’t care :)

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4 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday { 08.12.10 at 8:31 am }

Can you walk around barefoot? I hear it’s supposed to strengthen your feet.

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5 eatmovelove { 08.12.10 at 8:47 am }

I’ve heard about Sole before, but never have seen them. My sandals are an OLD pair I’ve had for about 5 years now…and are not worn in public ;) – basically just down to the dank laundry room and back – where are the Seniors in the building (Because that’s what I live in oye…) – are knitting and making small talk…

oops – off topic :) . At any rate, they sure look good.

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6 Kara @ MyWellnest { 08.12.10 at 9:13 am }

I just came across your blog, it’s great!
Those flip flops look very comfortable!

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Tracey Reply:

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

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7 Heather C { 08.12.10 at 9:29 am }

I have a leg length discrepency and am supposed to wear a heel lift in my shoes. Also supposed to do the old orthotic which I hate because aside from the shoe issues that arise, it also makes me taller. Already 6 feet, don’t need more height. Unfortunately, I love flip flops and I refuse the duct tape solution as well. I will have to look for the Sole ones.

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Tracey Reply:

I have a leg length discrepancy, too, but it’s only a quarter inch and I wear a lift only in my sneakers. As for orthotics–they singlehandedly make shoe shopping worse than going to the dentist since most shoes that fit well without them are too tight with. I wonder if you could get custom orthotics with built-in lifts. Mine already have a “heel.” Anyhow, these are as good as it gets for flip flops when it comes to feet issues.

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Heather C Reply:

I only wear the lift in my sneakers too or in my hiking shoes. With both the lift and the orthotic it is a wonder I can fit my foot in too. I am heading back to PT for the knees so I will have to ask about a custom one with a heel. Would certainly simply the shoe “accessories”. Thanks for the input.

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8 Diane Fit to the Finish { 08.12.10 at 9:40 am }

I love flip flops but often think about the fact they aren’t the best for foot support! Thanks for sharing about these.

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9 Alex @ IEatAsphalt { 08.12.10 at 9:54 am }

Is there anyone who just doesn’t wear shoes? Seriously, I hate them. I do wear my Rainbows like its my job pretty much until it starts to snow. Kind of ironic that I hate wearing shoes but seem to spend most of my money on new (unworn) pairs.

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10 Nichole { 08.12.10 at 10:51 am }

I have had foot surgery so believe me I know it’s painful. I find that non-thong sandals are the most comfy after a long workout. With the thong you have to pick up your foot, but the slide-in sandal is less work. Just my opinion though, as I sit here in flip flops.

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Tracey Reply:

That’s so true! I hate that I scrunch up my toes when I wear flip flops. Actually, as I was getting the link for this I saw their non-thong ones and considered buying a pair.

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11 Shanna @ Shanna Like Banana { 08.12.10 at 12:34 pm }

Those are pretty cute! And they certainly look comfy. I’ve seen Sole around, but haven’t tried them..perhaps I will!

And no, I don’t heed Dr’s warnings..as I say in my 4″ heels.

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12 Sarah { 08.12.10 at 4:03 pm }

Those are actually pretty cute. I use arch supports for running, but that’s pretty much it. I’ve embraced over-pronating and strappy sandals. I will no doubt live to regret it . . .

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13 Tami { 08.12.10 at 5:05 pm }

My daughter uses velcro to attach her orthotics to her sandals and it works great!

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Tracey Reply:

That’s an awesome idea! Thanks for the tip.

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14 Jess { 08.12.10 at 7:41 pm }

I’ve heard of these babies! They look comfy. I bet they’d be great indoors and outdoors. They remind me a little of Swamisz…have you heard of them?! They are also supposed to be amazing for your feet. Check it out: http://www.swamisz.com/index2.html They are inspired by yoga masters..so naturally, they sound enticing :)

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Tracey Reply:

I’ve never heard of Swamisz, so thanks for the tip. I’m going to check them out now!

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15 kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com { 08.12.10 at 9:57 pm }

my flip flops are so worn out and ive been getting heel pain. these ones look way more comfortable! i definitely need to get a new pair, not good to keep trying to walk in the ones i have

xoxo

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16 Pure2raw twins { 08.12.10 at 11:38 pm }

I live in flip flops!!! I sometimes feel bad for my feet, but I just love flip flops.

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17 Laura { 08.13.10 at 10:58 am }

I wear flip flops everywhere and have started to notice problems in one knee:(

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Tracey Reply:

Oh no! I wore flip flops all over Europe when I spent a month there after graduating from college. Bad idea. There’s absolutely no arch support in regular flip flops so if you have flat feet your knees can roll in. Bad things happen–like my problem (here).

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18 Angela (the diet book junkie) { 08.13.10 at 10:35 pm }

oh these would be great for me! i do a LOT of walking and in Australia we kinda wear sandals 8-10 months of the year. thanks for sharing :)

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19 Jessica { 08.15.10 at 12:33 pm }

I’ve worn sole flip flops for over a year and they’re AMAZING. I wore them daily when I was working retail and was on my feel all day. Now that I’ve quit that job, they just feel great on my walk home from the gym or after a long run. One drawback: they’re plastic and can smell if you don’t wash them semi-regularly.

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20 Emily { 08.16.10 at 3:34 pm }

Wow, it’s like this post was made for me! I have knee issues and struggle to find suitable footwear, which I have written about on my blog…. I’m also a flip-flop fiend and will need to try these!!

Also, was reading your ‘About You’ page. I went to college in Baltimore at Hopkins and sounds like we are the same age (I turn 29 in a couple weeks). I wonder if we on the same campus at the same time!

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21 Patrick Nickles { 01.17.11 at 11:24 am }

While I realize they’re a fashion abomination I’m surprised no one is chatting about how comfortable Crocs are (even for people w/ arch issues). Tracey – send me an email so I can ask a few questions about your knee issues (unless you’re already sick-to-death of input on the subject). :-)

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