As the weather warms up, people everywhere are shedding their winter boots for something far more minimal: flip flops. These slip-on sandals make your feet feel free and breezy, but they can also lead to foot pain and other health issues due to their lack of support. If you're a fan of flip flips, you don't have to give them up entirely, but do follow these rules to keep your feet safe this summer.
Wear flip flops only when you won't be spending a lot of time on your feet.
Spending a little time in flip flops probably won't hurt, but you want to avoid walking around in them for long periods of time. You also do not want to run in them, since they make it pretty easy to sprain an ankle or trip. Some examples when of times it okay to wear flip flops include:
- When you're running to the grocery store to grab a few things
- You're going to a backyard barbecue where you'll be mostly sitting and chatting
Some times when you won't want to wear flip flops include:
- You're visiting a new city and will be walking around all day
- You're going on an all-day shopping adventure with friends
- You're attending a party where you might end up playing football or another sport
Carry a pair of sandals with more support in your car, and switch if your feet start getting sore.
Generally, if you switch shoes when your feet start getting sore, you won't cause any major damage. The problems arise when your feet get sore in flip flops, but you ignore the pain and traipse on anyways. Among the problems that can arise from over-use of flip flops are plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the tissues in your arch, and tarsal tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons in the top of your foot. Switch to shoes with more support at the first sign of soreness, and you should be able to avoid these conditions.
"Shoes with more support" does not necessarily mean sneakers. There are plenty of flats and sandals out there with arch support and straps that securely attach them to your feet. These are a much healthier choice than flip flops.
Don't wear flip flops when walking over rough terrain or through long grass.
It's not just muscle and tendon injuries you have to worry about with flip flops. They leave a lot of the skin exposed, so you're prone to surface injuries like scrapes and punctures when you wear them, too. Only wear them on flat, clear surfaces like a groomed beach or a sidewalk. Put on shoes that cover your foot if you'll be walking through brush or over rough rocks.
Don't let your summer fun fall prey to foot pain. Practice moderation when it comes to flip flops, and you and your feet will remain healthy, happy partners this summer. For more tips, contact a company like Foot & Ankle Care Center PA.