Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Sandals Rubbing You the Wrong Way?

As you know, I come from coastal Southern California.  I wear sandals rain or shine (unless it's really cold) with shorts, pants and dresses.  I require a decent paycheck before I'm willing to wear shoes.  I go through a mediocre quality pair of sandals in about six to eight months.  This time, I decided to spend a good deal more money on my yearly pair of sandals in hopes that it will at least actually last the entire year, maybe more.  They are leather and beautiful.  The problem with new leather sandals is that the straps will likely gnaw on your feet until they are well broken-in.  Within a few miles, the tops of my feet were pretty well nibbled.

So how does one deal with this situation?  There are two basic things.  First, you need to break in new leather sandals as quickly as possible.  Second, you need to protect your feet while doing it.

The first thing is accomplished by applying some kind of oil or butter to the leather to help it soften and then wearing them as much as possible.  I applied a bit of some homemade chapstick (beeswax and coco butter) to the underside of the straps.  Tip:  Do no apply it directly.  Use your finger unless you want to be kissing sandals from now on.  Then walk, walk, walk.

During that walking period, you must put some layer of something between your feet and the straps.  You can use band-aids but they are a bit pricey.  Liquid bandage is nice if you are going somewhere nice and you don't want "bandage foot".  It goes on clear but getting it off is a bit of a task.  If you don't remove it properly, it looks like your feet are shedding their skin.  My solution?  Masking tape.  Cheap and easy.  Apply two strips of masking tape to the top of each foot where the straps rub.

So why buy expensive leather sandals if they do this to your feet?  First, they last way longer.  Second, they mold to your feet over time, so they start to fit like custom sandals.  Third, they are more likely to be built with sturdy soles.  I bought mine for this reason.  The last pair of leathers I bought had the same cheap bottoms like any other sandals.  You get what you pay for.  They were about to wear through completely when I came across these new ones.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  Wearing shoes and socks creates a sweaty environment for bacteria and fungi to grow, which makes them and your feet stink.  When you wear sandals, your feet are constantly exposed to fresh air.  You can wear sandals all day and never have the stinky feet problem unless you're trekking through filthy territory.  Then you need to wash.  Speaking of which, sandals are also good for the rain.  They allow your feet to dry quickly so you don't get stuck with cold squishy shoes all day.


  1. FYI: I buy Bass Sandals and wear them spring through fall. I admit I have more than one pair, but they last nearly forever! However, you don't want to wear leather sandals in the rain. For rain, I would recommend sloggers. They are closed, but extremely comfortable and when the rain is over and the puddles are gone, you can slip right back into your comfy sandals!


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