Some of you may recall that I've had a back and hip injury for over a year. Last year, I ended up overhauling my shoe collection to compensate, since I walk on pavement every day in NYC, which seems to aggravate the injury.

(To recap: The injury started out in my lower back. It got worse and worse and I made the mistake of resting too much and limping around.... by the time I got physical therapy, it was too late and that side was weak. Now the original injury bothers me less but there is a follow on injury in my hip flexor, improving veeerrryyy sloooowly.)

Now that my hip flexor is my main problem, the shoes that were best for me last summer (Naot and Vionic in the Finds) aren't working so well. I need more arch support than sheer shock absorption. Sigh. The Naot Kaylas cost some money so I'm keeping them as a relatively dressy sandal that I can wear when I don't need to walk as much, as they are still supportive. The Vionics can be safely passed on, since I only liked them for the relief they provided.

I've bought a few more pairs sandals, with an eye towards arch support. I suspect to get more wear out of these going forward, since I have flat feet, overpronate, and need decent arch support even without this injury. As you can imagine, all these factors exacerbate the hip pain.
(Closed toed shoes won't be a problem because I now use Superfeet insoles, which help with the arch support. I expect much less churn in closed toe shoe season; I've already made sure most of my closed toe walking shoes have space for the insoles.)

1. Ecco X-Trinsic - I went to try on the Ecco Yucatans, but found that these supported my arches more. I have only walked around the store in these - the real test is outside. These will replace some other sport sandals that are decent for support but not optimal; those going to live and stay at the family summer house in Michigan, where I do some light hiking every summer.

2. Mephisto Helen - very little pain with walking. I think the soles are a little hard but will clearly mold to my feet soon. I may rely on these as a dressier option when I travel to SE Asia, along with the Eccos.

3. Birkenstock Gizeh (picture below) - replacing another pair of Birks that wore out and weren't as supportive anymore. I had to order this color from eBay ("mermaid aqua") to get my size, and I LOVE them. I couldn't wear any of my Birks last year, unless I bought them with me to put on at work, so I'm pleased to have these plus my other two pairs

4. Bare Traps Debera Wedge - I got these to replace the Vionics as a commuting shoe (when I want to wear less supportive shoes at work). They do the job for commuting but wouldn't be sufficient for a long day of walking. Since I'd rather save the all day walking shoes like the Eccos for all day walking occasions, these serve their purpose.

5. Teva Sirra - kind of a mistake purchase since I got the Eccos a bit later, and I think those will be better. (It's a bummer that I can't test shoes on the pavement without making them un-returnable.) These will be more for the beach/water sport situations so I feel okay about keeping them them. I will also need to change up my shoes when I go to SE Asia - one pair of sporty sandals won't be enough.

6. Teva Hurricane Drift - these are floating water shoes that I got for one purpose, kayaking and tubing at the summer house. These may go live there or I may bring them back home and use them for water parks - I love water parks but the hot pavement bothers me a lot. That said, the Teva Sirras will also do for water parks, so I lean towards leaving these at the summer house. They have pretty good support, for being a water shoe - much more so than "water shoes" you get at the drugstore.

NB: I also tried the Dansko Verucas as a dressier option, but they're going back because the instep was hurting me a bit, and unlike the Mephistos, I don't expect them to confirm as much to my feet.
I wanted some cognac leather sandals this year too, but with my false starts on buying sporty shoes for my trip to SE Asia, I think I've bought all the shoes I can reasonably justify, even with my injury

In addition to the Vionics and the older Birks, I've passed on some other shoes that are just too flat for me now, so this churn looks worse than it probably is. I just wish I could try things out on pavement before committing. I do use the marble floors in my office building, which is almost the same, except that I need to walk for a while before I can really be sure.

I can add more photos and will answer any questions about any of the shoes.

This post has 1 photo. Photos uploaded by this member are only visible to other logged in members.

If you aren't a member, but would like to participate, please consider signing up. It only takes a minute and we'd love to have you.