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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 08, 2018
Category: Footwear

Ask yourself these two questions: are my feet hurting more than usual? How much time do I spend in my flip-flops? At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we know that flip-flops are a popular footwear choice especially during the summer months, but they can pose a serious risk to your feet. Although flip-flops are a good choice around the pool or when using the shower at the gym, they can do harm to your feet if you wear them as your primary shoe. Below are several reasons to re-think wearing flip-flops on a daily basis:

flip-flop

Increased risk of hammertoe—have you ever noticed how your toes have to work extra hard to grip the front of the flip-flops to keep them on? That repeated bending of the toe joint can eventually affect the biomechanics of your toes, causing them to become stiff and rigid in the bent hammertoe position. Switch to sandals that have an ankle strap instead.

Slips, falls and ankle sprains—flip-flops have nothing holding your foot in place. Never run in flip-flops and if a pick-up game of volleyball starts up at the beach, change into sneakers before joining in. The lack of side support makes it easy to twist your ankle, stub or cut your toe or trip on the front of the shoe.

A pain in the lower extremities—because flip-flops have zero arch support, you may experience symptoms similar to flat feet. These include stabbing pains in your arch and heel. Your joints try to compensate for the lack of arch in the shoe and this can throw your whole lower body out of alignment and cause aches and pains in your calves (Achilles tendonitis), knees, hips, and back.

Slow burn for calories—the effort to keep flip-flops on makes you take small steps and move more slowly. That means you’re burning fewer calories when you walk than you do when wearing sneakers.

Overexposure—the skin on your feet is exposed on all sides--except the sole--to whatever dirt, bacteria, and fungi are on the ground where you are walking when wearing flip-flops, increasing your risk of fungal infections and warts.

If you still are reluctant to give up your daily use of flip-flops, at least look into purchasing styles that have an arch added to them and better support for your foot. If you are experiencing foot, ankle or calf pain or toe problems, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction offices in New Jersey by calling 732-662-3050 and make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Ben (Varun) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, and get relief.

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