Power Shopper

Sensational Summer Footwear

BY June 21, 2012

Steve Madden Suttle sandal at Nordstrom and gladiator sandal from BCBG Waterside

My grandmother used to say that if your feet hurt, it shows on your face. In the hottest months of a Southwest Florida summer, feet bear the brunt of the heat. We tend to be out and about more, participating in family activities, and those summer BBQs can mean consuming saltier foods, the result of which may be fluid retention and swollen feet. So what are the best shoes to beat the heat?

Strappy sandals letting the air to our toes are cooling, but choose wider straps if you’re standing for long periods of time. Otherwise, those sexy, narrow straps may feel more like strips of steel cutting into your feet by the end of the day.

Flat shoes are the most comfortable in heat and humidity, although I’d recommend just a little heel height to avoid muscle pain in the calf or lower back. Even flip-flops don’t have to be completely flat. Okabashi makes a good range in great colors, with gradient soles and arch supports that are super comfortable.

If formal dress codes require you to wear closed-toe pumps, you may find going up a half size helps accommodate puffy peds. An insole can be inserted in the shoe to “downsize” it for cooler days.

Chaffing occurs when the foot slips around creating friction between shoe and skin. Gladiator sandals and styles that fasten high up or around the ankle do a good job of holding the foot in place, helping to avoid painful blisters.

The good news is that there’s a huge choice of great summer shoes out there so there’s no need to suffer to be stylish. Your feet—and your face—will thank you for it.

Fashion expert Cheryl Lampard is the founder of Style Matters International, www.stylemattersinternational.com

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