Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why flip flops are bad for your feet

You know summer has arrived when you start to see an abundance of flip-flops. But could these comfortable summer-time footwear be bad for you? The answer is yes, there are many problems with wearing flip-flops for an extended amount of time. While wearing them for short amount of times will usually do no harm, wearing them everyday could lead to foot problems. Wearing flip-flops often could put you at risk of straining tendons and inflaming ligaments in your foot. The worst flip-flops to wear are ones with no support, flip-flops with a support system are perfectly safe to wear for longer periods of time.

Wearing flip-flops can also alter the way you walk, which can lead to serious sole, heel, and ankle problems. Many flip-flop wearers scrunch their toes in order to grip the shoes while they walk, yet doing this can stretch the connective tissue that runs from your heel to toe. This causes inflammation, pain along the sole, heel spurs and tired feet in general. Researchers have also found that flip-flop wearers take shorter strides and turn their ankles inwards. This can cause long term ankle and hip problems. The best thing to do is get sandals with heel straps so you do not have to grip the flip-flops with your toes and turn your ankles inward.

Taking shorter steps also puts more stress on your body because you have to move more the walk the same distance. This could mean a higher risk of muscle and joint pain in the legs. Being over weight and wearing flip flops greatly increases your chances of running in to these problems. If you are already experiencing pain from wearing flip-flops then switch back to normal shoes with more support, the pain should subside. In a few cases foot and heel pain experienced from wearing flip-flops has led to more serious medical conditions such as arthritis or even a stress fracture.

This summer kick off the flip-flops, at least a few days a week. If not you may find yourself at the doctors office getting your feet examined, and no one wants to be doing that on summer break. If you are not completely ready to give up your flip-flop days opt for a pair of sandals with greater foot support and heel straps, this will save you the trouble of being in and out of the doctors office. Doctors say even walking barefoot is a safer alternative to wearing flip-flops.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I wear flip flops everyday and wasn't aware of the problems. I think mine are supported though.