When it is so hot outside that your feet sweat profusely under your shoes and socks, but you cannot spend your entire day completely barefoot, what do you do? You turn to flip-flops! We get it—flip-flops are fun, colorful, and relatively inexpensive. Many stores might even offer a sale for you to get several pairs in a variety of different patterns, allowing you to mix and match with all of your summer outfits. But are flip-flops an effective alternative to tennis shoes? When it comes to the health of your feet, maybe not.
Yes, it is true that flip-flops beat walking around barefoot, but not by much. They provide protection for your soles, but they are lacking support for the natural shape of your feet and ankles. Podiatrists often advise their patients against regularly wearing flip-flops, and here’s why:
- People rely on them too heavily. Flip-flops are convenient for a day at the pool or the beach, but not for any activities that require a lot of walking. Due to the lack of support to your feet and ankles, you may become prone to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Heel pain may also become common.
- Your toes have to work too hard. In order to prevent your feet from falling out, your toes often have to grip the flip-flops, whether you realize it or not. This constant bending is not good for the muscles or bones in the toes and can lead to hammertoes.
- Your feet are exposed to the environment. Flip-flops do not provide adequate protection against sunburn, insect bites, small scrapes, bruises, and other wounds. This is especially important for diabetics and those with peripheral vascular disease who may not heal as quickly.
These are only a few reasons why flip-flops are not the preferred footwear of podiatrists. Nonetheless, they can be good in moderation as long as you monitor your usage and alternate them with more supportive footwear. The doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston want you to be able to enjoy your summer without any aches and pains. If you start to experience any of the discomforts mentioned above, contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114 to request an appointment at the office that is most convenient for you!