Flip flops – summer’s favorite shoe. Flips flops have been around since the years of ancient Egypt and are therefore one of the oldest forms of footwear. This seemingly harmless shoe however, can potentially cause pain and serious injury.
Flip flops are generally made out of a small amount of inexpensive materials, causing them to provide very little support to our weight-bearing feet. The material is also prone to being poked, torn, and worn by objects on the ground.
Not only does flip flop material pose potential health concerns, but so does the structure of the shoe. Most flip flops are created to have completely flat soles with little to no arch support. Lack of arch support causes your foot to step flat, whereas with a closed shoe, your foot naturally steps from heel to toe. These flat strides, over time, may cause irritation to your feet, especially to your plantar tissue. Irritated plantar tissue can lead to a diagnoses of Plantar Fasciitis – a painful foot condition where your plantar tissue has been stretched and inflamed.
Flip flops should not be worn when participating in physical activities like running, biking, playing basketball, etc. The likeliness of tripping, spraining an ankle, or even breaking a bone are increased when going full speed in this type of footwear. The shoe’s edges are so flexible that they are prone to folding under your feet, in turn, making it easy for you to lose your balance and either fall or sprain your ankle.
Iowa Ortho’s foot specialists recommend finding shoes that are appropriate for the activities you will be participating in, as well as shoes that provide support for your age and body type. If you must wear flip flops, we suggest finding brands with arch support and only wearing them to occasions that do not require a lot of moving your feet.
Are you experiencing an increased amount of foot pain? Contact Iowa Ortho today by calling 515-247-8400 to schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle specialists.