When our feet need to beat the summer heat, most Kiwis grab a pair of jandals.
They’re our summer staple, but Fair Go wanted to know, can our feet handle the jandal?
Enter Podiatrist Sarah Saadat. She says she isn’t against wearing them, but there’s things to consider when finding the right pair.
This includes: Proper arch support, plenty of cushioning, quality straps and good friction on the sole.
“Because you don’t have sufficient arch support, generally your foot rolls in, your ankle rolls in and that leads to straining the ligament underneath the arch.
“It also puts pressure on the back of the Achilles tendon, so make sure you go for quality,” she says.
But what about price? Does the cost mean quality?
We asked Sarah to compare the features of three common types of jandal, at different price points, to see whether an expensive pair is better for your feet.
She considered Kmart’s house brand Anko jandals at $1.75 a pair, the NZ Jandal original zig zag jandals at $24.99 from Para Rubber New Zealand, and a $39.99 pair of Brazil logo Havaianas from North Beach.
First, the Anko brand.
“I wouldn’t wear it,” Sarah says. “What stands out is the strapping is not great, the lack of support in the arch area. They’re quite thick in terms of shock absorption, but it’s a no.”
Fair Go got in touch with Kmart about these Anko jandals and is yet to hear back.
As for the NZ Jandals product, Sarah says the friction is good but it doesn’t have arch support, and the cushioning is not the best.
“When I’m touching them, they feel like concrete,” she says.
NZ Jandals (ACTSTA Limited) director Stacey Moss says the jandals are built to last.
“Kiwi families have been wearing our Jandal for generations and the original jandal (otherwise known as the Zig Zag jandal) contains natural rubber which is harder and more durable than the cheaper plastics or EVA flip flops which are soft and don’t last as long.
“This iconic jandal has been designed for casual wear so doesn’t have arch support like some of the orthopaedic varieties. It’s a Kiwi classic, which includes the original shark tooth like pattern on the under sole for traction support too.”
Sarah says out of the three pairs we showed her, she would choose the Havaiana, although she does point out there is a lack of arch support.
“I would go with this one just because of the fact that the strapping is quite nice, you’re not going to feel too constricted by the straps, they’ve got good cushioning and good friction too.”
Anna Murray from Summer Supply (supplier of Havaianas) says the jandal’s designed for casual wear.
“Jandals or flip-flops are classified as a lightweight, basic-use option of footwear for short distances [such as] on and off the beach and back and small walks around the home.”
“We do not recommend them to be worn for long distances [such as] hiking when arch support is likely to be more crucial.”
She says they are also manufactured using natural rubber to assist with friction and traction, unlike other jandals in their price category.
So, in this case price does equal quality, but Sarah says despite this – expensive is not always the best for our feet.
“Not all brands produce good jandals you’ve got to go in knowing what’s best for your feet.”