Rising temperatures mean wearing a cooler, lighter clothing, and more comfortable and casual footwear. For many people, flip-flops are a standard footwear choice during the warmer summer months – and these sandals are becoming more and more popular for wearing all year long.
Although wearing flip-flops on the beach for a few hours may be fine for people who do not have any foot and ankle issues, it is not recommended by podiatrists for use anytime by those who do have foot conditions. This includes people who have diabetes or who are overweight.
Generally, flip-flops have zero arch support, cushioning, or shock-absorbing capabilities. Flip-flops can, therefore, exacerbate existing foot problems, knee problems, and back problems, and they can also impact your balance and posture when standing or walking.
Problems with Wearing Flip-Flops
Let’s take a look at some of the main podiatry concerns about flip-flops:
Your Feet Have to Work Harder
The way flip-flops are designed, with a thong and a flat sole, your feet (the tendons and muscles) have to actively grip the sole every time you take a step – which can be very risky. If your toes fail to grip the sole and your foot slips out of the shoe, you could trip and fall.
No Shock Absorption or Protection
Athletic sneakers are designed with shock-absorbing capabilities to reduce the impact of walking. Over time, without this protective feature, the neck, back, and knees may develop problems due to the lack of absorbing shock.
The Pain in Your Feet Will Spread Upward
Do not think that the pain in your foot will remain a localized issue and will go away completely. It is not uncommon for people who have foot and ankle problems to also suffer from pain in the leg, hips, and lower back. This is because your body is designed to be in proper alignment, but flip-flops’ lack of arch support alters the body’s biomechanics – which leads to poor posture and balance issues.
Thicker and Cushioned Soles Will Not Address the Issue
So that you can walk around wearing your flip-flops, you may have considered sandals with thicker soles. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fix the problem, which is the thong design of the flip-flops.
In fact, flip-flops with thicker soles maybe even more dangerous than flat ones, since the shoe is now heavier and the extra weight can strain your hamstrings. Combine that aspect with the fact that your toes must work harder, and it is a disaster waiting to happen.
Comprehensive Orthopedic Care in St. Charles County, MO
If you are suffering from foot, leg, back, and neck pain from wearing flip-flops, or if you have other issues with your feet or ankles, come and see our orthopedic surgeons at Advanced Bone & Joint. Our orthopedic urgent care center is open and seeing patients for foot injuries, sprained ankles, and everything in between. We also provide telehealth services for those who would like to see an orthopedic surgeon from the comfort of their own home.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, call Advanced Bone & Joint today at (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to serving you.