aka granny sandals. SOB. I cannot believe I'm writing this post but I did think it might come in helpful and also because, do you know what? It's not all bad. There are some stylish options out there - not many, but some.
So the background was that my physio recommended I change my footwear when my back started to play up in June.....and it wasn't about heels - apparently very flat sandals are just as bad for your back and joints. And even Birkenstocks can cause issues for certain people as your heel sits below the ball of your foot. The advice was to rest my Birks to see if they had been part of my problem as I've worn them so much over the past couple of months, and to buy a granny sandal.
OK - not those words exactly - I was told to get a sandal with an ankle strap, a spongy sole to absorb impact and a slight incline to bring the heel above the ball of the foot a little. The search began...and was frustrating to say the least. I didn't want to spend ££'s on a sensible sandal - even if it was for the good of my back! I went to a local 'comfy shoe' store and looked at what was on offer and I have to say - no offence to people who enjoy wearing these kinds of sandals - a little bit of me died inside as I tried some of them on. I just couldn't do it....
I ended up finally getting these ones in Clarks in Portsmouth because by then (10 days after the photos above), I was desperate and told myself how stupid I was being about 'style' whenever I could hardly walk! They're not that bad I know but actually this is a really good photo of them...in real life they are not as nice. In fairness to them however, they have been a helpful pair of sandals while I've been in pain...and hands up - they are AMAZINGLY comfortable!
But since I bought them (typical!), I've been coming across lovely ones that fit the bill so I thought I'd share the brands that I've either found myself online or that other bloggers have suggested to me. In case you're ever in the same boat or indeed if you just want some nice comfy sandals. Nothing wrong with that :)
First up, Esska...saw this brand in a local boutique and although I couldn't try on the ones I'm featuring here - I googled them as part of my search and was very impressed with the selection. Nice back story to the company too - owned by a mum of 2 who had a total career change from architect to shoe designer.
Esska India - Black & Bronze
Sue suggested some Elizabeth Stewart ones from Sarenza but I was leaving for holidays the next day so didn't have time to order online. Both of these fit the bill and they are further reduced since I looked at them at the end of June.
Solen 421 by Elizabeth Stewart in Black
Vidocq 421 by Elizabeth Stewart in Beige
Camper is another strong contender - they do have some great supportive sandals that are trendier than most. Not cheap though.
Beetle Ada by Camper in Black (also available in red)
Micro by Camper in Grey (I think)
Ecco were ok and I did try on some pairs in Chichester when we were there but the sale had mostly cleared out the store - and there is very little left online also. Oh and on an aside - what's with the 28% off? I prefer round numbers like 50% and 70%!
Touch by Ecco in Black (and stone)
Fly London are a brand I've had sandals from before and they tend to be quite bouncy to wear & trendy too. I tried these on in Chichester as I thought they could work well but they were surprisingly rigid in the sole so didn't quite fit the remit...but not a bad price on Amazon (colour/size dependant).
Oily T-Strap Sandal by Fly London
These were much more comfortable but they were £80 in an independent shoe shop in Chichester and by the time I tried them on, my balance was quite bad and I was worried I'd go over on my ankle in them.
Bianca Wedges by Fly London
Finally, good old Clarks, where I did end up getting my granny sandals (albeit in the Outlet) but before I went there, I tried the Chichester store where the staff were actually really well versed in which shoes would suit different ailments. This sandal was one I'd not have considered before but it has a soft bouncy insole layer and was so comfortable. Sadly, as with the Fly London one, I had by this stage lost some power in my right leg and just didn't feel I could handle the height of the wedge sole and would end up falling over :(
Ornate Jewel by Clarks
I also tried these Romantic Moon ones, which I've loved since the start of the summer but while supportive, they lacked the small bit of lift at the heel I needed. Still watching for these to be reduced...no sign yet!
Romantic Moon by Clarks
UPDATE: Late addition to the post as I've had so many people telling to to try FitFlops - these beauties! £££ but stunning...
Banda Sandals - Fitflop
Do share if you've any 'granny sandal' suggestions that are stylish but suitable for someone with a back that's behaving like it's twice my age! Meanwhile, if you're well of back and fancy a bargain, the Sail sandals I have in nude are now in the sale for £22.49 in the lilac/metallic & lime/neon colour ways (not the nude & black - reduced also but not by as much).
Oh and the white shirt post is coming - had to rest up today after doing too much yesterday...gah!
PS usual disclaimer....I know nothing particularly medical about bad backs and the *actual* best shoes to wear from a proper medical/physio point of view..please consult your own doctor or physio for advice about what's appropriate for you. But you knew that, right?