Flip flop tips: Wear this style without harming your feet
Nothing feels quite as freeing as slipping on a pair of flip-flops and enjoying the summer sun. But before you head out, take a moment to focus on your feet. Flip-flops can be a foot health hazard waiting to happen.
Flip-flops are responsible for thousands of podiatrist and emergency room visits due to their lack of protection, support, and stability. But you don’t necessarily have to give up your flip-flops completely. Most people can wear them safely if they know the right way to sport this style:
Choose a style that’s not so “floppy.”
If you can basically bend the shoe in half, it’s doing nothing to support your joints and muscles, leaving you vulnerable to foot, leg, and back pain. Look for a pair that only bends slightly at the ball of the foot, where any good shoe should have some give. Many shoe and outdoor stores carry flip-flops that offer these features. Yes, you’ll pay more than you would for a cheap foam or plastic pair, but your feet are worth it.
Be choosy about where and when you slip them on.
If you’re going to be on your feet for several hours, flip-flops aren’t the best choice. Similarly, don’t use them for long walks, sports, or yard work - you could end up with pain, a stubbed toe, an infection, and more. Invest in a supportive pair of sandals, lightweight canvas shoes, or other summer-friendly footwear that offers stability and support - and save the flip-flops for the beach and pool.
Get rid of old flip flops.
If the shoes look worn in spots or they are rubbing or causing discomfort, replace them. This applies to any shoes. Worn outsoles can cause slipping, and any shoes will lose support and cushion over time, which affects your feet, legs, and back.
Avoid flip flops if you have certain health conditions.
If you have any conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, or had a recent foot injury, it’s best to avoid flip-flops. They can make these conditions — and any related foot pain — worse. Instead, ask your podiatrist about footwear recommendations and/or orthotics if you need them.
Skip the flip flops if you have diabetes.
Diabetics can develop neuropathy in the feet, which makes it difficult to feel an injury to the foot and leaves you vulnerable to dangerous infections. If you have diabetes, it’s best to protect your feet with proper shoes at all times.
Don’t forget sunscreen.
The tops of the feet are a very common area for sunburn and skin cancer. Slather on a water-resistant sunscreen every time you go outside, and reapply as directed.
Flip flops can be part of your summer wardrobe, as long as you’re savvy about choosing a good pair and when and how to wear them.
If your feet hurt, they’re trying to tell you something. Call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact us online and give your feet the care and attention they deserve.