By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 01, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear
Tags: Untagged

During the summer months, many people make a choice that they think is easy on their feet but can actually cause several short and long term problems: the constant wearing of flip flops. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want to remind patients that these easy-to-wear summer shoes have one excellent use: keeping your feet from coming in contact with bacteria and fungi when walking in damp, warm places like the town pool, gym locker room or beach changing area. Wearing them every day, however, can be hazardous. Here’s why:

1.People wearing flip flops are more prone to cuts, scrapes and blisters. Most flip flops are made of rubber, which tends to create a high amount of friction between the skin and the strap  between your toes when feet sweat. This means an increased chance of blisters. In addition, the openness of the shoe combined with the total lack of sides means the foot is not stable, resulting in more stubbed toes, scrapes and cuts on your feet.

2.Flip flops increase the risk of stress fractures. Flip flops offer zero shock absorption. The repeated pounding of your feet on hard surfaces with very little to cushion the impact greatly increases the chance of stress fractures, especially in the forefoot. These tiny, hairline cracks develop as a result of repetitive pressure and are characterized by ongoing pain which can be dull or sharp.

3.A high number of ankle sprains occur to people wearing flip flops. In flip flops, your feet easily slip from side to side, making twisting an ankle an easy feat. People who have had a previous sprain are more likely to overstretch the ankle ligaments again, especially if the sprain was not fully rehabilitated initially. With no ankle support whatsoever, flip flops do nothing to protect ankles or hold them in position and prevent twisting when walking or stepping off stairs, curbs or other uneven surfaces.

4.Patients who make flip flops as their go-to summer shoes are more likely to end up with heel pain and plantar fasciitis. If you have flat feet, you are more likely to experience heel pain or to develop plantar fasciitis—a condition where the long band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed. When you wear flips flops, which have no arch support, on a regular basis, you are encouraging your feet to become “flat.”

If these easy going shoes leave you with stressed out feet and you find yourself experiencing pain as the summer wears on, don’t wait to contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction offices by calling: 732-662-3050. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will get you the pain relief you seek, although you will most likely have to put away your flip flops!