Summer means grilling, the beach, and the return of your warm weather friend, flip-flops. The staple of summer wardrobes, flip-flops are the ultimate comfortable, casual shoe. People wear them to the beach, shopping, strolling the boardwalk – just about everywhere once the weather warms.
After a long winter wearing heavy boots, sliding into those flip-flops can feel like welcoming an old friend back into your life. But our Dallas orthotics specialist cautions that flip-flops are one of those friends that could be bad for your health if you’re not careful.
With some friends, you tend to act differently. It’s the same with flip-flops. Ever notice that you walk differently when you wear flip-flops? You do! You actually alter your step when wearing them, gripping your toes to hold them in place. This causes you to take smaller steps and hit your heels on the ground with less vertical force than if you were wearing athletic shoes or other shoes with support. And the general lack in arch support can tire out the foot and lead to various sorts of pain.
With all of these “mechanical” issues at hand, it’s no wonder that wearing flip-flops for long periods of time can lead to sore feet, ankles and legs. The pain can even radiate all the way up to the hips and back.
Your flip-flop friendship can be dangerous in other ways too. They’re easier to trip in, leading to bumps, bruises, or something worse, like rolled ankles and broken toes. And the lack of traction from flip-flops, both on the bottom sole and from your foot becoming slippery on the insole of the sandal can lead to falls and other injuries.
The good news is, you don’t need to necessarily end your flip-flop friendship or eliminate them from your wardrobe entirely. Like anything else, moderation is key: Slipping flip flops on by the pool or for a short jaunt likely won’t cause any harm — the problems arise when they become your go-to summer shoes. Instead, choose other footwear that offers more support.
So, remember, choose your friends, and your flip-flops wisely. Be safe and smart when buying and wearing any footwear. Enjoy the warm weather! And if you’d like more information on proper footwear, we encourage you to call us!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about hammertoe and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Dallas Podiatry Works, with a convenient podiatry office in Dallas, TX, by calling 972.564.8556 or by clicking here.