Warm weather activities seem tailor-made for flip flops.
But even Jimmy buffett sings about how he blew his thong when he stepped on a pop top and cut his heel, then came home.
John Harris, DPM, FACFAS, foot and ankle specialist at Spectrum Health Medical Group, certainly agrees with Buffett’s iconic lyrics. He would tell you not to wear the flip flops in the first place. You won’t have to worry about cutting your heel anymore.
That’s not all Dr Harris has said about flip flops, which he considers the bane of the footwear world.
Top 3 reasons to throw out flip flops:
1. Ouch! Heel pain
Lack of proper, or otherwise, arch support in flip flops can cause plantar fasciitis – heel pain or lower foot pain.
Anyone with this persistent condition will tell you to avoid it at all costs.
2. Pain in the… sole of the foot
Not having adequate cushioning and arch support can cause lower foot pain.
Treatment requires stronger shoes with effective arch support.
3. Avoid the “flip-flop heel”
This condition is caused by walking barefoot or wearing backless shoes.
A thick rim of calluses forms around the edge of the heel when you wear shoes like thongs that don’t have a back to act as a heel buttress. This creates a situation where your heel is constantly exfoliated while walking. This creates a callus.
In addition to being unsightly, the cracked edge of the callus is painful.
Other flip-flip issues
Less common, Dr Harris said, but of equal concern are injuries from activities related to wearing flip flops.
Doctors often see ankle sprains in someone who plays basketball or other sports with flip flops, skin abrasions from a child riding a bicycle while wearing flip flops, or cuts on one foot when a person wears flip flops in a river and they slide and float, exposing the bare foot to sharp rocks and debris in the river.
In addition, a study by Auburn University points out that wearing flip flops makes you take shorter steps and changes the way you walk relative to your gait when wearing sneakers. This can cause muscle tension.
“Instead of flip-flops, wear activity-specific shoes,” Dr. Harris suggested.
He pointed out that the child who rides a bike should wear sneakers, the basketball player should wear basketball shoes or sneakers, and the person in the river should wear something like Keen shoes to walk in a lake or river. , unless it is a sandy bottom Lake.
“For everyday use in the summer, I’ll be wearing a pair of flip-flop-like shoes,” Dr. Harris conceded. “But, I go for a shoe or sandal that has a more substantial sole and more arch support compared to the inexpensive, flimsy flip flops you’ll find in stores across town.”
There are many brands that fit this category, he said, suggesting people look for something like Chaco, Keen, Teva or Vionic.
“They are designed to protect your foot while still allowing you to participate in activities,” he said.
Overall, Dr. Harris encourages everyone to look for summer sandals that have a stronger sole compared to those with a few millimeters of foam, often found in common thongs, and to look for sandals with support. arch rather than just a flat surface for the footbed.
“No matter which brand you choose, you should still never play basketball or mow your lawn with flip flops,” Dr. Harris warned. “It’s just too risky.