ankle pain

Flip Flops: Proceed with Caution

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Now that the warm weather is here to stay, summer fashions are on full display. Guys and girls are moving out the boots and tennis shoes to sport flip flops and sandals. Flip flops used to be relegated to the beach or the pool, but are now footwear staples, worn at work, play and every occasion, everywhere.

As with many shoe choices, flip flops don’t come without a cost. And that cost is a lot higher than the $4 you paid for them at your favorite shopping center. An Auburn study found flip flops alter the gait of the person wearing them. The fact that they’re held on to your foot by just a thin strap between your toes means your toes work harder to grip with each step, and the loose back adds to the feeling of instability. This makes a person’s stride more halted, with smaller steps and more pressure on the ball of the foot than the heel. The change in gait can lead to pain in the feet, hips, and lower back.

Other issues caused by flip flops include:

·      Tendonitis caused by over gripping that leads to overuse of the muscles

·      Stress fractures from repetitive trauma sustained from lack of shock absorption in the shoe

·      Plantar fasciitis from lack of arch support.

Shoes are to the body like tires are to a car. Alignment, support, and ride quality of your shoes are all important in keeping you on the road of health.

Don’t Throw Your Flip Flops Away Yet

While flip flops can cause many problems, there’s no need to completely deny yourself the enjoyment of wearing them. Pick a pair you really like and make sure to wear those to the pool or the beach. Nothing is better when it comes to shoes that you can slip off quickly to jump in the water. 

It also helps to pay a little more to get a good flip flop. Choose something with some arch support to help alleviate foot pain. You could also look for flip flops with leather or other soft materials to alleviate blisters. For small children, choose a flip flop that has a strap on the back to help with stability. For some options search online for orthotic flip flops.

If you love your flip flops but are suffering for style’s sake, take this opportunity to re-think your wardrobe. Come in to Foster Chiropractic today for a foot evaluation and get some recommendations about what’s best.