Warm weather calls for footwear that will keep your feet cool. Popular summer footwear include open sandals, slides, and flip-flops. Of the three, flip-flops are what can do the most harm on your feet. The problems can run the gamut, from scrapes, wounds, and thickened skin to tendinitis and ankle sprains.
While they are light and airy, the truth is flip-flops are bad for your balance and can impact your step. Most flip-flops are made of flimsy material, and even during the hot summer months, your feet need adequate support, which can only be provided by footwear made of high-quality materials.
If you wear flip-flops on a consistent basis, here’s what you’re at risk for:
Flip-flops have zero arch support. If you look at the body of a flip-flop, the sole is flat, which results in overpronation, defined by the turning of the feet inward. With your feet in this position when walking, a lot of damage can happen, and one of the most common injuries reported from wearing flip-flops is a sprained ankle.
Your arches need support from footwear. Check the insoles of your most supportive pair of shoes, and you will see the insole is very different from the insole of a flip flop. Without adequate support, your plantar fascia will become inflamed and irritated, which can make standing and walk very painful. Plantar fasciitis symptoms include a sharp or burning pain in the heel that is most common right after getting out of bed or after you’ve been standing or walking for a while.
Your Stride Will Change
When you wear flip flops, your body is unable to take a normal stride because your feet have to keep the flip flops in place when they hit the ground. Your overpronated toes will be grabbing onto the flip flop, and as a result, you will take smaller strides to remain stable. Flip flops also pose a risk because they are not adaptive to a variety of terrain and floors. If the ground is wet, flip flops can cause slips and falls.
With all things considered, flip flops are not ideal footwear, especially for those with biomechanical issues of the foot. For instance, if you have high arches or flat feet, it’s best to choose better footwear. The same goes for those who are overweight or spend a lot of time on their feet. Finally, you can visit a podiatrist and ask about custom orthotics for your summer footwear. This way, you can enjoy open-toe shoes without compromising the health of your feet.
Custom Orthotics and Podiatric Care in South Texas
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our foot and ankle doctors provide custom-made orthotics and can recommend the best and most comfortable footwear for you. We can make adjustments to material, length, and color of orthotics according to your unique foot anatomy and preference. Our goal is to help you maintain good foot health, so you can enjoy life to the fullest without pain or other symptoms.
To schedule an appointment, call The Podiatry Group of South Texas clinic nearest you or submit a request, and our friendly staff will get back to you soon.