How Should Sandals Fit?

closeup of a woman dangling her feet in mid-air while wearing silver sandals

A Fitting Guide for Women’s Sandals

While a cute pair of sandals keeps your feet cool in the summer and shows off your pedicure, wearing sandals that don’t fit properly can cause blisters, chaffing, and foot pain. Are those trendy slingbacks or open-toe wedges really worth the health of your feet?

With Foot Petals® cushioned inserts for sandals, you can wear your slides and feel comfy, too! Before you go shopping for women’s sandals, use our guide on how to tell if sandals are too small or too big plus which shoe cushions you need for a perfect fit.

How are sandals supposed to fit?

Women’s sandals are supposed to fit comfortably, supporting your entire foot from heel to toe with no overhang or tight-fitting straps. The sandal’s inner sole should touch the arch of your foot, and your feet should not slide back and forth when you walk. Any rubbing, pain, or irritation is a clear indicator that your sandals do not fit.

As summer wardrobe staples, sandals and flip flops are easier to fit into than sneakers, pumps, or boots thanks to their open design. Without a solid upper or enclosed toe box, sandals that fit right in the front and heel area liberate your feet for relaxed, casual strolls. They are the best vacation shoes, especially if your feet swell in the summer.

closeup of woman wearing brown and tan wedge sandals outside

How to Tell If Your Sandals Fit

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether your shoes are too big or too small. Most of us wear the same size shoe all the time, but sizes can vary by brand and style. Always measure your feet before buying a new pair of sandals, especially if you are buying shoes online.

Because sandals tend to show more of our feet, it’s easier to spot the visible signs that our sandals don’t fit. To start, your sandals should fit in the back, sides, and front without any overhang. When wearing your sandals, there should be about a finger’s width of empty space in the front and the back of the shoe.

Too Big

Sandals that are too big create excess movement, which can lead to rubbing, friction and pain. Signs that your sandals may be too big are:

  • Feet sliding forward when you walk, resulting in calluses.
  • Toes hanging off the front of the sandal after sliding forward.
  • Blisters on the soles of your feet, between your toes, or behind your heels. 
  • Straps falling off your feet or ankles.
  • Heels slipping in and out of your shoes as you walk.
  • Lack of support between the sole and your arch.

FIT TIP: Fixing shoes that are too big is easier than adjusting smaller sizes. For example, you can use a ¾ insert cushion or a cushion under the top of your mules to slide sandals fit tighter.

pair of sandals sitting on a beach with ¾ insert cushions inside them

Too Small

The easiest way to tell if your sandals are too small is to look at whether your shoes change your foot shape or constrict movement. You may need wider or bigger sandals if you have:

  • Crowded toes that feel scrunched or hang out the sides of straps.
  • Heels hanging over the back of the shoes.
  • Straps digging into your feet and leaving marks.
  • Foot pain that gets worse when you take your shoes off.

FIT TIP: If your sandals fit, but you have trouble spots in specific areas of the shoe that seem tight or irritating, you can use spot dot cushions to relieve pressure, minimize rubbing, and prevent blisters.

Make Sandals Fit with Foot Petals

For sandals that feel uncomfortable to wear, Foot Petals shoe cushions free your feet from ill-fitting straps, flip flop blisters, and flat soles. They are discreet, so you can wear the shoes you want without compromising their look or fit.

three pairs of sandals with cushioned inserts on a leafy background

Whether you are dealing with slingbacks that fall off or toes getting scrunched, cushioned inserts for sandals help fix all your pain points for effortless style. Here are our top recommended cushions for flip flops and summer sandals:

  • Gel ball of foot cushions for sandals provide long lasting comfort with a built-in toe-post crest that helps take pressure off your toes, prevent sliding, and stop ugly toe overhang.
  • Strap cushions help reduce rubbing around the ankles or feet and keep straps from digging into your skin or sliding off your heels.
  • Back of heel cushions for sandals that have a closed back act as heel grips to stop your feet from slipping in and out as you walk, a quick fix for shoes that are too big.
  • ¾ gel inserts are great insoles for sandals that are too big, featuring a slim, comfy design that prevents sliding, calluses, and toe scrunch without compromising fit.
  • Arch support inserts for sandals distribute pressure evenly, reduce foot fatigue, and adapt to your foot shape for the perfect fit in sandals and slides.
  • Blister healers help treat and prevent blisters from flip flops or strappy sandals, relieving pressure and irritation while creating the perfect healing environment.

Find the right fix for all your shoe problems with our Tips for the Perfect Fit or take our Product Quiz.

closeup of a woman placing a ball of foot cushion into a cork sandal

Is it better to buy sandals that are tight or loose, bigger or smaller?

Buying shoes that are true-to-size is best, but when it comes to sandals, you might want a bigger size than usual. Feet swell in hot weather, which is when most people like to wear their sandals. Going up a half-size will give you more wiggle room for a better fit.

If you have wide feet and struggle with shoes that are too narrow, avoid sandals that cover the tops or sides of your feet and instead opt for T-strap or thong style flip flops. For narrow feet, look for features like adjustable straps or buckles that let you customize your fit.

closeup of a woman applying strap cushions to an ankle strap on a sandal

Find Your Perfect Fit with Foot Petals for Sandals

Take care of your feet this summer by wearing sandals that fit thanks to the added cushioning of Foot Petal shoe inserts. From loose straps and toe overhang to blisters from wearing flip flops, shop Foot Petals inserts for sandals and get more comfort out of your hot girl summer.