Arizona Sheriff’s Office Denies ‘Sandal-Shaming’ Hiker After Lengthy Rescue

May 1, 2019 Updated: May 1, 2019

An Arizona sheriff’s office was criticized for “sandal-shaming” a woman who attempted to hike 10 miles in sandals.

Undersheriff Michael L. Johnson of the Gila County Sheriff’s Department said that officials rescued a group over the weekend on a hiking trail Fossil Creek.

“This hiker failed to take the posted bilingual warnings seriously as she and seven others had to be rescued out of Fossil Creek yesterday. Definitely not appropriate footwear for the ten-mile hike,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook and included of the woman’s feet in sandals.

This hiker failed to take the posted warnings seriously as she and seven others had to be rescued out of Fossil Creek yesterday. Definitely not appropriate footwear for the ten mile hike.

Posted by Gila County Sheriff's Office on Monday, April 29, 2019

Johnson told Yahoo News that the group of people were aged 10 to 36. They had already went about five miles down the trail before trying to climb back up.

“We arrived about 5:00 at the trail head and were able to get down to the bottom by 6:00. And then, once we got them some electrolytes and got them rehydrated, the rescue was just working our way out with them slowly,” Johnson said of the five-hour-long mission.

He elaborated on the length of the rescue, saying, “I think they hit the top of the mountain about 9:45 that night.”

Can't say it enough…. NO matter how short a hike – always prepare for being stuck out in the back country for multiple days and use common sense!

Posted by Locations Unknown on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Johnson noted that there are a number of signs posted suggesting hikers to have water with them along with “sturdy hiking shoes.” He said the female hiker in sandals couldn’t head back up the trail due to her shoes.

“The bottom part is the original sandal, but the top part, one of our search and rescue guys kind of fashioned the straps to keep the soles on the person’s feet,” Johnson said. “He just used some medical bandage and stuff that he had with him to come up with that part of it.”

When the office posted the photo of the woman’s sandals, they were criticized.

“We try not to embarrass people or anything like that,” he said of the Facebook post. “We just want to get the information out there for people to take it seriously.”

But many Facebook commenters said they were right.

“They posted these photos as a reminder that people need to read the signs and abide by them, or endure the consequences. I hope the rescued people end up having to pay for their rescue. It would be an expensive lesson learned, but would teach them to think things through in the future,” wrote one woman.

“No common sense anymore…they need to pay for the rescue!” added another. Other people said the hikers should have to pay for the rescue.

Added another: “These people are why shampoo bottles have instructions on them.”

Warning Over Platform Sandals

Platform sandals, which were a trend in the 1990s, are now en vogue again, and they have triggered warnings from at least one medical professional.

Last week, shoe designer Steve Madden reintroduced its foam platform sandals for Urban Outfitters, and on Monday, model Suki Waterhouse uploaded a photo of herself on Instagram wearing 4-inch platform sandals by designer Simon Miller, The New York Post reported.

But one doctor said that these kinds of shoes are terrible for your ankles, feet, and overall posture.

Are you jumping on this trend that is back from the 90s?

Posted by Mix 94.1 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“Definitely stay away from this one,” Dr. Hillary Brenner, who works in New York City’s financial district, told the Post about the sandals.

In her interview with the newspaper, she said that the platform sandals’ rigid soles can throw off your posture and gait, and could tweak your ankles or worse.

Shoes with flexible soles like tennis shoes can allow people to shift their weight while they walk.

Brenner said that it’s “nine times out of 10“ that parents who wear the platform sandals visit her office for a sprained ankle, according to the Post.

According to a 2009 article from the New York Times, about 25,000 ankle sprains take place each day in the United States.

Tricia Hubbard, an undergraduate athletic training director with the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, told the Times that if there is no treatment, about “30 to 40 percent of people with simple ankle sprains develop chronic long-term joint pathology.”

“Most research is showing that with any ankle sprain, the ankle should be immediately immobilized to protect the joint and allow the injured ligaments to heal,” Dr. Hubbard told the news outlet. “At least a week for the simplest sprain, 10 to 14 days for a moderate sprain and four to six weeks for more severe sprains.”

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