Here’s our podiatrist Tanya with a list of the best thongs you can wear in Australia. We’re talking comfort, support and also versatility.
Is there a more Aussie summer sound that thongs slapping against your feet as you walk on piping hot sand? Maybe a mozzie in the tent or the sizzle of the barbie? Anyway, for most of us thongs play a part of our summer.
Now there are many different names that the humble thong can go by. Flip-flops, plakkies, pluggers and my personal favourite, jandals. Somehow the Kiwi word just has a nice ring to it. Well, in one form or another, the thong is one of the oldest styles of shoe. They’ve been around for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians.
Luckily for us we have progressed past making them with papyrus and reeds. In recent times we’ve even gone beyond the good old Havaianas (which should only be used for hitting spiders!), to some amazing, trendy, supportive and good quality thongs.
Choosing Your Pair of Thongs
During those hot summer days, we all want to wear open and breathable footwear and feel the air between our toes, whether to the beach, movies or around the shops. The trick here is to pick the most foot friendly options for your feet.
You see, thongs can be polarising. There’s plenty of you out there who would refuse to wear thongs on purely cosmetic grounds. And plenty who would like to wear thongs but just can’t. Arthritis, poor balance, diabetes or other reasons means that there’s no best thongs for your feet, only poor outcomes.
It’s important to keep in mind, that when you are wearing a thong, even your best thongs with a bit of extra support, your feet will be working hard. Your toes work hard to grab at the thong to provide both keep your thongs on, as well as keep you balance.
So when you’re choosing the comfiest thongs for your feet, ideally you want:
- A slightly elevated heel, this doesn’t mean a wedge heel ladies!
- Some contouring arch support
- Secure strap
- Thickened midsole
Here’s my list of the best thongs from a podiatry perspective for your feet.
Best Thongs According to Podiatrists
Archies thongs are designed by an Australian Physiotherapist.
Personally, my favourite summer go-to. Actually, I have a pair indoors and outdoors. When it is too hot to wear my slippers around the house, my Archies come out. They are comfortable natural rubber thongs and when I’m wearing them I am not pounding my poor feet on the floor boards around the house. I find them so comfortable I don’t even realise I am wearing them.
- Podiatrists love the fact that you aren’t gripping and clawing your toes as much to keep them on as they provide toe grip.
- They don’t have thong straps that plug in, so you won’t get that blow out in the middle of the shopping centre.
- Super comfy as they are naturally arched to contour your foot.
- Archies come in a range of colours and best of all, they still look like your traditional thong sandals.
- They offer 37% more shock absorption than traditional footwear material, reducing the impact on your feet and joints when walking.
- Super light and provide built in arch support.
- Offer a slight rocker sole to take the pressure off the ball of your foot.
- Soft upper and feels ‘cushy’ under foot made from one piece of foam material.
- The unique fact that they are designed from a ‘closed-cell foam’ means they minimize bad foot smells and they are machine washable.
Orthaheel by Scholl uses technology that has been around for more than 30 years.
- They make both thongs and your more traditional sandals and are always bringing out new designs for casual occasions
- They are designed with an EVA midsole. This is a foam similiar to running shoes which provide shock absorbing properties.
- An orthotic bed base provides better arch support that flat shoes/
- 4 degree built in wedge, a property of many custom orthotics can reduce the load on your inner calf muscles.
Yes, your favourite Aunty with the wild spectacles clogs come in a trendy thong version too. Birkenstocks are a German company with a 250 yeah track history of creating footwear.
- Eco-friendly and made from high quality materials – cork, natural latex, jute leather, and a suede lined classic foot bed
- Can be dressed up or down
- Adjustable buckle with leather straps
- Deep heel cup and arch support
- Vegan options available
Hoka One One Thongs
Most runners have heard of the brand Hoka. They’ve shaken up the athletic footwear market with supportive, light and cushioned shoes. Well, these are their thong sandals version. Check out the Women’s version or the Men’s version here.
- They have a rocker outsole, helping to propel the foot forward through the stride, so they are great if you have forefoot issues.
- Great recovery flip flop post race, run or hike.
- For a thicker thong they are very light weight.
- Dual layer construction with a soft-top and resilient outside for durability .
If Thongs Aren’t For You
Thongs are still not suitable for all feet. In particular circumstances podiatrists try to encourage sandals over thongs. With conditions like peripheral neuropathy, poor balance, deformities like clawed toes, and people with diabetes the fixation quality that sandals provide are a safer option.
Don’t worry, there are so many options, and our podiatrist Gus has put together a couple of lists.
I’ll finish with a couple of final pointers for when you’re choosing the best thongs for your feet.
There may be an adjustment period for your feet after they have been cooped up in runners and boots this winter, or if they are only used to ‘flat’ thongs without any arch support. Your foot may need a little time to get used to feeling the love.
Also being in open shoes obviously means the skin is prone to drying out and calloused, cracked heels are not that pretty – so don’t forget to apply moisturiser or heel balm!
About the Author
Tanya Contis is one of our podiatrists who cares about you and your feet. Oh, and whether your puppy at home is getting enough walks too. When Tanya’s not helping her friends out in Emerald or Monbulk she too will be walking her dogs around the beautiful hills of Melbourne.
Summer Fitness to go with Summer Feet
If you’re looking for the best thongs as the weather has warmed up it’s often the time for us to get cracking with our summer fitness regimens. Many struggle with new years resolutions not being followed up. Sometimes that’s due to injuries, other times life or hurdles get in the way.
You can take the free quiz to find out whether you need a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to help you towards your summer fitness goals.