“Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the streets”
William Stevenson/Marvin Gaye/ Ivy Jo Hunter
Ah, the flip flop, the summer companion for lots of people. As seems usual, let me be the one to say that you should not wear flip flops.
WHAT!!!! How can you say that?
Reasons Why You Should NOT Wear Flip Flops
Flip flops do not provide any support to your foot and can cause harm – especially if you have flat feet. A report from Auburn University found that when a person wears flip flops that they take shorter steps and your heel hits the ground with less vertical force than when you wear athletic shoes. (translation – you don’t walk the way that you are supposed to walk) When you wear flip flops your foot tends to roll inward much more so than when you wear regular shoes. This rolling inward can lead to tendonitis in the foot and in the toes. Many injuries are reported from flip flop use including injuries to the foot and lower leg.
Ankle sprains are a common injury from wearing flip flops. Since there is no support to hold your ankle in place when you, let’s say, step off a curb wrong, it is easy for you to sprain your ankle. That would be the same for any tumble that could occur. No support for your ankle can cause the ligaments to stretch and tear.
Flip flops can cause friction between your foot and the straps and/or the thong. That friction can cause blister and sores that are easily infected.
The sole of the common plastic flip flop can easily be punctured by (my favorite term) foreign bodies. Yes, a nail or screw can easily puncture the bottom and go directly into the foot.
It is much easier to get abrasions on your foot because it is so exposed to the elements. As I said before any break in the skin of your foot can cause infection.
When you are wearing flip flops, the plastic foot bed does not give the sweat from the bottom of your foot anywhere to go. This can degrade the skin on the bottom of your foot. Wearing any sandals will dry out the skin on your feet but with flip flops (or any plastic shoe) the nonabsorbent base will contribute to foot fissures. (Another great term)
And really, they are made of plastic. Please, please consider non plastic shoes for foot breathability.
Now, as much as I hate to say it, there are some times that wearing flip flops can be appropriate. Since they are plastic, they are good to protect your feet in environments that can be wet. They are appropriate in the shower – especially public showers to keep you from picking up fungal infections and warts. You might also want to wear them at the beach – from your towel down to the water to protect your feet from hot sand.
So there you have it. I have now blasted one of the most popular types of footwear. It is hard to buck the trends but sometimes you must do what it right. (Does that sound high and mighty for someone named the Foot Blogger Chick?)
Have a great summer – just wear sandals that provide enough foot support, please. Oh and if you don’t listen, your friendly local podiatrist will be happy to put you on the schedule to get your feet, ankles or legs checked.
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – In 2005, the members of what sports team engendered criticism for wearing flip flops to the White House? For extra credit, what was their response to the criticism?
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons – on Friday, May 31. While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
The very nice doctors at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons have opened a new location! They are very excited to have an office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago. So, if live or work downtown, help is even closer! Stop in and say “Hello and Congrats”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL 60601