With warmer weather and summer activities fast approaching, flip flops seem like an inexpensive and convenient footwear option. There’s nothing easier than slipping on a pair of flip flops before heading out the door, and the fact that they offer a casual feeling that reminds one of relaxing by the pool or at the beach is an added bonus. While it is true that most flip flops are inexpensive, wearing flip flops instead of footwear that provides proper support can be costly to your health. Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine provides some guidance on the benefits of proper warm weather footwear.
Flip Flops vs. Your Joints
Relying on flip flops as a main source of footwear is not kind to your feet or joints. Some of the issues that heavy flip flop wearers encounter include:
- problems resulting from lack of arch support
- foot pain from lack of heel cushioning
- extra stress on all weight-bearing joints due to lack of shock absorption
Most flip flops do not offer any arch support whatsoever, leading to fallen arches and problems with plantar fasciitis. Their complete lack of heel stabilization can lead to a sprained or broken ankle. This is due to the fact that flip flops offer virtually nothing in the way of proper foot support when walking on uneven surfaces. Lastly, all joints extending from the feet all the way to the cervical (neck) area of the spine receive virtually no shock absorption from thin flip flops. This makes weight-bearing joints more vulnerable to pain, wear and tear, and increases the risk of incurring tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons that attach muscle to bone.
Be Kind to Your Feet
In order to reduce the likelihood of developing joint issues, conditions like plantar fasciitis, or experiencing chronic foot pain, it is important to wear good quality, supportive footwear on a regular basis. Even mild physical activity such as walking can be much more beneficial to overall health when one is wearing supportive footwear. If you aren’t sure what constitutes good quality footwear, a Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine physician, podiatrist or physical therapist can help. They can tell you what to look for when deciding to invest in proper footwear for use when engaging in physical activity or walking extensively on hard surfaces. If you are experiencing foot, ankle and joint problems, please contact our Foot & Ankle Center for an appointment at (757)873-1554!