With the dog days of summer just around the corner, the cool spring breeze will soon give way to a searing sun. While you may already be packing for the beach, stuffing your car with swimsuits, sunscreen, and extra towels, think twice about the shoes you wear.
Even though flip flops are our go-to footwear for the beach, your trusty open-toed soles might end up doing more harm than good. While these toe-bearing shoes can be quite stylish, it’s important to wear them only sparingly. If worn too frequently, your favorite flip flops can lead to severe foot pain.
Since flip flops only have a thin strip of material holding the shoe to the foot, the toes compensate by working extra hard to keep them from slipping off. The muscles in your toes will eventually feel pain from the repetitive movements. Constant flip flop wear can also lead to a condition known as tendinitis. Tendinitis causes inflammation in the tendons and connective muscles. This condition can be painful, and if left untreated can lead to muscle tears that will exacerbate the pain in your feet.
Ankle, Back, and Hip Pain
Flip flops aren’t securely attached to your feet since they don’t have any back straps or side support, which will make you change the way you walk. You may not even notice when it happens. You might start taking shorter steps to keep the soles on your feet. Eventually, you’ll start dragging your feet and hitting your heels to the ground with less vertical force than if you were walking normally. These movements can throw off your natural balance and trigger pain in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.
Most flip flops are flat and flimsy, with little support for your natural arch. Prolonged use can lead to pain and inflammation, which may eventually develop into plantar fasciitis. This injury can cause foot pain, weaken your feet, and keep you from doing many of your favorite activities.
Better Choice Flip Flops
If you’re ready to ditch those old sandals and find something more comfortable, here are a few tips to help you pick out your next pair of summer slip-ons.
- Size Matters: Make sure you find a pair that fits properly. Your toes and heels should be fully on the sole, leaving nothing to hang off.
- Correct Bend: The shoe should only bend at the ball of the foot. Bending right down the middle means the shoes are too flimsy.
- Proper Support: A thicker sole and a little bump in the middle creates more arch support than a thin, flat shoe.
- More Straps: It’s best to look for shoes with a back strap or multiple straps to keep your foot nice and snug while taking the pressure off your toes.
Treating Foot Pain
Foot pain is a very common ailment that our providers treat. At Airrosti, your provider will conduct a thorough injury assessment to diagnose the underlying cause of your foot pain, provide hands-on treatment, and create customized rehab exercises to strengthen your feet and prevent future injuries. If you find yourself with aching feet, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today and get back to doing the things you love.