It’s the first day of summer and we can officially say goodbye for now to boots, heavy overcoats, gloves and scarves. But while fewer layers make dressing easy, it’s important to choose wisely when it comes to warm weather footwear. Especially as we get older, making a poor choice in shoes can have painful results!
Flip flops are easy to slide on in the summer and while they may be fine for walking around the pool deck or protecting feet from hot sand or locker room showers, wearing flip flops as a staple can leave your feet vulnerable to injury from sharp objects and by offering little support. Flip flops do not protect feet and many people suffer stubbed toes, blisters and even skin infections from regular wear.
Easy to slip on, yes, but because flip flops slip off easily as well we are forced to change our gait to keep them on which can cause heel, arch and back pain. Without support for the arch, extended use of flip flops can cause foot pain, especially for flat-footed people, and are a common cause of plantar fasciitis. Because flip flops are so flat and have no back strap, the toes must grip to keep the shoe on, causing inflammation of the connective tissue running along the bottom of the foot. Often pain is felt in the heel and may ease with walking and then return after rest.
Driving or cycling with flip flops is also a bad idea; the loose, floppy shoes can easily become caught under the pedals, resulting in a loss of control which can lead to accidents. Inexpensive flip flops can break easily and especially for older adults, flimsy footwear can lead to an increased risk for falls.
To learn more about how and when to wear flip flops without sacrificing healthy feet visit the American Podiatric Medical Association website by following this link.