Flip-Flop Tips to Prevent Foot Pain
Nothing says “summer” like donning a pair of flip-flops. Whether you’re avoiding shoes full of beach sand, freeing your feet from cold-weather confinement, or just enjoying the casual convenience of your favorite pair of thong sandals, flip-flops are a staple of the season.
When Good Flip-Flops Go Bad
Wearing flip-flops is not a problem for most people, but too much of a good thing can cause serious pain. Your toe, foot, and leg muscles work much harder walking in flip-flops than in shoes, and the clenching required to keep them on your feet can make tendons tight and cause problems extending from your heel (plantar fascia) all the way up to your lower back.
Think on your feet! Flip-Flop Tips from Your PT:
- Stay off rough terrain and away from street hazards. Most flip-flops offer little or no support or protection from uneven ground and dangerous discarded or sharp objects, so they’re not always a smart choice. Remember that other people are hazards too, so watch out for crowds (the person stepping on your toes might not be wearing foamy soft soles!).
- Don’t walk long distances in thongs. If you’re going to be traveling several blocks, or all over the amusement park, leave the flip-flops behind and wear shoes. You’ll be glad you did!
- Consider better flip-flop options. The ideal choice is a sandal with straps that completely wrap around your feet, with a sturdy sole that offers some arch support. This is a case where you’ll probably get what you pay for, so invest wisely and keep your feet happy.
- Stretch! Counter the tightening effect of flip flop “toe clenching” with foot and leg stretches. Check out our article on Plantar Fasciitis for some suggested exercises you can follow along with.
More Resources: Let’s Talk Feet!
Keeping your feet healthy and happy is an important step to ensuring a good foundation for skeletal health. Learn more about some of the most common foot and ankle conditions that we treat in our clinic.
Got Foot Pain?
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