Best footwear for walking on beach?
June 17, 2010 11:35 AM   Subscribe

What is the best footwear for taking very long walks on the beach, for a person who needs moderate arch support?

I'm sure this seems like a ridiculous question to anyone with regular access to a beach, but I'm an inlander who has only recently started making summer pilgrimages to the coast, and I've got footwear issues.

I have thus far utterly failed at finding sport sandals that feel like they'd work for me. Last year I simply alternated between barefoot and sneakers. I bought a pair of Chacos, but the arch was way too high and hurt my feet, plus sand got under the straps and abraded my skin. Everything else feels like not enough arch support. I'd really like to be able to wear something more sandal-like, with soft straps, and a more flexible sole. Suggestions?
posted by HotToddy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The thing with sandals and especially sandals on the beach is that you need to find ones that are not only comfortable for your arches, but that have a strap totally around your ankle so your foot doesn't need to do extra work to keep the sandal on (flip flop style won't cut it for you). MAybe a Dansko sandal would work for you? Or those hiking sandal sneaker hybrids.

PErsonally, I find barefoot to be the best for long walks on the beach.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I live in Lake Tahoe, so good hiking / beach shoes are a must. Have you tried Keen shoes? I used to be a Tevas fan until I tried Keens. And now I swear by them. They're pricey, but well worth it and now I own a couple of different stylish pairs for hiking, the beach, and casual wear. And I always seem to get comments about how great they look. Keens are noticeable for their toe guards.
posted by HeyAllie at 11:53 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, I have the same problem. I'm coming in to suggest Keens. There are also waterproof, brightly colored Birkenstocks that are flip-flop style.
posted by jgirl at 12:14 PM on June 17, 2010

Have you tried walking barefoot on the sand?
posted by Carol Anne at 1:21 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are walking on sand you don't need arch support.
posted by L'OM at 3:38 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Definitely Keens. I like the Bali style because it's slip on.
posted by selfmedicating at 3:59 PM on June 17, 2010

barefood barefoot barefoot and again, barefoot.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:10 PM on June 17, 2010

Carol Anne, L'OM, Lesser Shrew: As stated in my question, I've tried going barefoot. I can go about a half mile barefoot before my feet, then hips, then back are in agony and I can barely walk. Maybe some people don't need arch support if walking on sand, but trust me, I do.

Everyone else: Wow, Keen it is! Thank you.
posted by HotToddy at 4:27 PM on June 17, 2010

Barefoot on sand: better for your feet/leg muscles AND the sand acts as a natural exfoliant, rubbing away calluses and dry skin. Toned legs, strong & soft feet -- go barefoot!
posted by kidelo at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2010

erm, unless your back is wack -- sorry!
posted by kidelo at 4:35 PM on June 17, 2010

I wear these Crocs Caymans to the beach. I live in a beach town. I go to the beach all the time. No arch problems and no hip/back problems, either. I guess folks who are recommending going barefoot don't have the sun shining down on their sand, because at my beach, the sand is hot! Also, there are sharp, pointy things sticking out of it every few feet or so....
posted by Lynsey at 11:17 PM on June 17, 2010

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