Are Flip Flops Putting Your Health At Risk?

Flip flopsNow that it is summer, flip flops are everywhere. As any local of SoCal will tell you, flip flops and sandals are almost like a required dress code. However, despite their fashion appeal, new studies are showing that flip flops can be bad for your overall health and body.

Flip flops are considered a risky choice for footwear since individuals must clench their toes to keep the shoe on. Of course, this is all subconscious and the individual does not even know they are doing it. Clenching the toes causes the heel of the foot to strike down in a different position than it would naturally. Taking thousands of missteps each day can result in a lot of pain and problems.

Before you make flip flops a permanent part of your wardrobe this summer, know the risks. Wearing flip flops too often can cause stress to the foot and ankle. Since flip flops are flat, they also offer no arch support, which can then lead to back pain and knee pain. The most common ailment seen among flip flop wearers, though, is plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the feet.

We know it is impractical to say to never wear flip flops again, especially living so close to the beach. Instead, here are a few tips to avoid future pain and problems:

  • Wear Selectively: Don’t wear flip flops when you know you are going to be shopping for hours or working out. Instead, wear them at the beach, by the pool, or in the locker room. Flip flops are best for short duration wearing.
  • Choose Leather: Leather sandals offer a sturdier canvas and also prevent superficial problems, such as blisters and bunions.
  • Find Orthopedic-Approved Sandals: If you plan on living in sandals this summer, invest in a pair that is recommended by an orthopedist. Yes, they will cost more, but they will be worth it in the long run.

Now you know. Flip flops may be a winner when it comes to putting together a fashionable outfit, but they are definitely lacking in the support department. Protect your feet and joints with proper shoes and supportive sandals, even if you have to sacrifice a little style.

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.


Story Credit, Image Credit: Flip flops by Bill Selak. Used under Creative Commons license.