Flip-flops have for several years established themselves as the summer footwear of choice. Easy to slip on and off, open-aired, and resistant to the sand and surf, flip-flops seem to be the perfect summer shoe. But the damage done to your feet from continued flip-flop wearing may largely outweigh the benefits of this summer staple. Extended wearing has been associated with heel and arch pain, as well as other foot and ankle damage as a result of instability and poor foot protection.
The damage from flip-flops largely stems from the lack of support given to the foot, caused both by the design of the shoe and the materials used. Flip-flops are generally very flat with little arch support, and often cause the wearer to use the toes (either by pinching them together or flexing them upwards) to keep them on. This combination places a high amount of strain on the ligaments of the base of the foot. Extended wearing of flip-flops is a major contributor to plantar fasciitis (heel and arch pain). This is a problem that will generally occur with repeated wearing, but occasional wear can also cause a number of problems. Flip-flops are open-toed, which can cause painful stubbed toes, as well as vulnerability to cuts and scrapes. The thin soles can often fold over at the tip causing loss of balance. Flip-flops have zero ankle support, which can cause ankle sprains or even fractures.
There are advantages to wearing flip-flops in the summer. They can help to avoid burning your feet on hot sand, or cutting the bottoms on pieces of glass or rock. They can help your feet remain dry and avoid fungal infections…a must in public locker rooms and showers. But like any other painful fashion statement, they are best used in moderation.
Enjoy the beginning of summer and the increasingly beautiful weather, and while you’re inside at your computer visit us at www.yourfootdoctor.com !