Recently I was sent a pair of Orthaheel Tide Sandals. I don’t know about you, but when I hear anything about shoes with built-in orthotic support I immediately assume they’re going to be ugly. But these were actually pretty cute.
And they actually have several other models available on their website that are cute enough to wear with various outfits.
What Orthaheel says:
Our feet were designed to walk on soft, natural surfaces like soil and sand. Yet today we spend most of our time standing, walking and running on unnatural, hard surfaces.
This loss of our “footprint” has resulted in a variety of pain and injuries affecting not just the feet, but the entire body. Unnatural surfaces force our feet to pronate (roll over) to gain ground contact, which flattens the arches and can disrupt normal knee function and hip alignment and increase pressure on the lower back.
Orthaheel products can help the following conditions in the feet:
Flat feet, heel pain, ball of foot pain, bunions, Morton’s neuroma, achilles pain, corns and calluses.
In addition, the shoes can improve pain felt in the lower legs, low back and knees… just by helping reduce excessive pronation and improve alignment of the leg.
What Jill Says:
I felt fine standing in these shoes and it did seem nice to have a flip-flop that felt more structured for the foot. The whole concept of orthotics kind of goes against the whole barefoot, minimalist movement in some ways… but I think it can be complementary to the practice. Just like I feel that running in stability shoes if you need it is good and using some barefooting mixed in is good supplemental training.
There is a whole new market opening up in the “after-sport sandal” world. So in addition to being able to use these to help correct pain issues, these can be used as a shoe that is easy on the foot for athletes who need that support but don’t want to be stuck in their running shoes. I know lots of people who throw sandals into their gear bags for after races.
The instructions say to wear them for small periods of time at first and work up to spending more time in the shoes. So to test them out I decided to wear them to Target… simply because I always end up wandering around longer than I initially intended, but I’m not going to spend hours there so it wouldn’t be too much, too fast in these shoes.
I think the pair I received are just a tiny bit too big though. They started to rub the top of my foot a little raw. 😦 But I didn’t feel any pain in my legs from using them, and I actually felt like I stood up a little more straight and aligned.
I’m bummed that I don’t think I can wear them around more often, but I really can’t afford to develop a chafed spot on the top of my foot! I need to run! I’ll probably pass these shoes along to see if my mom likes the way they feel.
These shoes were sent to me by Orthaheel. I accepted them because I thought they sounded like an interesting product, and overall I was impressed.
I like the fact that they come in pink. The fact that they rubbed your foot raw on a trip to Target, not so much. I think I’ll pass. My husband bought a pair of Reebok sandals like that once – you had to “work up” to how much time you could wear them for. Anything like that kind of language, in relation to what’s going on my foot, is not a good sign. Sorry!
Thanks for the review, Jill, as always. You’re always so balanced with them.
I agree, it is kind of weird when you get “instructions” for something that seems basic, like shoes. But sometimes, it actually works! (Compression tights, for example!)
As I started to read your review I wondered if those dots would start to bug after awhile.
The dots really aren’t raised enough to feel, at least they weren’t for me. I had a pair of sandals once that had a nubby texture on the sole that was supposed to “massage”, but all they did was hurt. I threw those away. The dots on these weren’t anywhere near those!
i think a “sport sandal” could be beneficial. sometimes my feet/ankles get sore walking around in regular flip-flops – although now i wonder if that is a) from the crappy “support” or b) because my feet/ankles are weak in the barefoot-movement-sense.
i’ve had regular flip-flops create sore/hot spots where the “thong” lays. too bad these can do it too.
I agree, I think it’s a market that could be useful. And to be fair, I really do think these rubbed on the top of my foot because they were too big. Flip-flops that rub in the thong spot between the toes are awful, but these weren’t rubbing there at least! It was just right on the top of my foot, along the strap.
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I am a runner who has recently been suffering from foot pain. I went to my local runner’s store and bought a pair of support inserts for my running shoes and a pair of Orthaheel flip flops (b/c I spend a lot of time in flip flops during day-to-day activities). I am very pleased with the Orthaheels. I have not had any issues with them rubbing against the top of my feet. When I am wearing them, my foot pain is greatly reduced. I am hoping these flip flops and my running shoe inserts will help me over come my foot issue so I do not have to back off of my running too much.
For me, I really think it was just a matter of the wrong size. I passed them on to my mom and she LOVES them. Says they’re probably the best flip-flops she’s worn. I hope you can overcome your foot pain!