The flimsy sandals that used to be limited to beach and locker room use have now become fashion staples for millions of devoted wearers. Unfortunately, cheap prices and cute designs do not make flip flops a good choice.
Wearing flip flops can be a major pain, literally! If you‘re suffering from chronic foot pain or back pain, your choice of summer footwear could be to blame.
Many chiropractic patients who wear flip flops regularly complain of foot pain. Because flip flops do not provide adequate support, wearers often experience overuse injuries of the foot. These injuries cause pain that extends from the heel and arch all the way into the hip and back.
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, frequent flip flop wear has caused in increase in cases of heel pain among 15 to 25 year olds, a demographic that typically doesn‘t experience this problem.
Flip flops provide little or no support for the bottom of the foot. This allows it to twist, sometimes causing falls, sprains and breaks. In addition. The thin soles provide no shock absorption, so walking puts excessive strain on the joints and can lead to pain in the knees, hips and lower back. Flip flops also commonly lead to fungal infections and blisters.
For many people, the problems associated from flip flops go beyond minor discomfort. Serious problems like tendonitis, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis are all fairly common among flip flop devotees.
Should You Give Your Flip Flops the Boot?
Wearing flip flops regularly definitely isn‘t a good idea. Chiropractors, such as myself, see an increase in patients suffering from foot and back pain during the summer months, and these symptoms can commonly be linked to wearing inappropriate footwear.
If you‘re heading to the beach or pool, or if you are looking to protect yourself from athlete‘s foot in your gym‘s locker room, flip flops are perfectly fine. If, however, you‘re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, you should be wearing shoes that provide adequate support.
Finding an alternative to flimsy flip flops is easy. If you prefer the cool comfort of sandals, just look for a pair that has good arch support. Many top brands offer flip-flop-style sandals that are just as fashionable as and even more comfortable than their dollar store counterparts and will not lead to long-term pain or serious injuries.