The end of a long day at the good ole’ State Fair will make any Minnesotan painfully aware of their humanity. We all know surviving that last leg back to the car is almost an out-of-body experience–a grueling cross between a food coma, heat stroke, and getting hit by a truck. It’s enough to make a grown person jealous of children snoozing in their strollers.
At Schuler Shoes, we can’t keep you from going back to the milk stand for the sixth cup or trying to make is through the Miracle of Birth Center without getting queasy. But what we can do is offer some tips to keep your feet feeling as good as possible and help you avoid overuse injuries. With 320 acres of fairground to cover, we’re sure your feet will be thanking us.
1. If you’re thinking about rocking a new outfit for all those fellow fairgoers to see (last year over 1.7 million attended), make sure that doesn’t include shoes. Not an optimal time to break them in. Re: blisters.
2. Avoid stilettos (ouch) and bare feet (who knows what you’ll step on). This sounds like a given, but it’s not. Because it somehow manages to happen. Year after year. Anyone else a witness?
3. Dr. Mazzuca from Tria Orthopaedic Center suggests wearing a running-type shoe or a cross trainer with a lot of support and a good outer sole. A moisture-wicking sock is also advised. Smartwool and Sockwell are some of our favorites.
(Watch all of Dr. Mazzuca’s MN State Fair Tips)
4. Shoes with a rocker sole, or a shoe with a sole that has slightly rounded edges, help to propel you through your natural range of motion. This minimizes the impact of each step and results in less body fatigue. Bottom line: you do less work. And when you’re walking for the majority of the day, that adds up. So if you’ve got ’em, wear ’em.
5. If you’re planning on exposing your toes to the elements and wearing sandals to the Minnesota State Fair, make sure to opt for varieties that are built to support your feet. We’ve already picked out some great sandal options for you so you can concentrate on the important things, like deciding if you like BBQ Pickle Ice Cream better than Mac & Cheese Cupcakes.
The Best Sandals to Wear At the Fair
Birkenstocks: With a cork-based footbed that molds to your foot over time, throwing on your trusted and true Birks is almost always a good idea for long periods of walking. However, if your Birkenstocks are new, you need to be cautious. The toe bar of the classic, harder footbed can cause blisters on the toes if worn too often too soon. The newer, softer footbed version is easier to get away with, we just don’t recommend making their debut at the fair.
Ecco Yucatan: Year after year, this sandal has been a favorite for customers who are going on trips to places like Europe where the terrain is uneven and excessive walking is required. Lightweight, comfortable support, and great traction, the stretch-fit lining feels soft against the skin. Built-in odor-control on the footbed is also a huge plus.
FitFlops: If you’re set on wearing a pair of flip-flops to the fair, be sure to ditch the chintzy, plastic kind. FitFlops have enough arch support to take you from mini doughnuts to corn-on-the-cobb, and wherever your hungry heart desires.
Venice H2 by Keen: With plentiful opportunities for stubbing your toe, we think the protection offered by Keen sandals is a smart choice (especially for children). There’s also the comfy built-in support Keen enthusiasts swear by. Bonus: these sandals are washable. After your long day, go ahead and throw them into the wash on the cold cycle with a small amount of detergent and then set out to air dry, preferably in the sun.
Jambu Bel Air: A lightweight, Mary-Jane-style sandal that gives you breathability, toe protection, and the stability of a heel counter. Plus, it’s just adorable.