The Great Flip-Flop Debate
Have you ever heard someone exclaim "It's flip flop weather!"? Or perhaps you know someone who insists on wearing flip flops when there's snow on the ground. Flip flops are a very popular piece of fashion, one which many people claim they could not go without. There are many brands available and the materials you can get flip flops in are almost endless. But are flip flops and other sandals the only shoes you should wear all summer. Let's take a closer look at the concerns involved with full time flip flop wearing.
1. Support. Most flip flops/sandals do not offer you the support that your feet need, especially in the arch. This is especially true of patients who suffer from a biomechanical problem, like low or high arches, and those patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an over-use injury in which the plantar fascia (the band of tissue which connects your heel to your toes) becomes inflammed and painful. Wearing your flip flops full time can lead to foot fatigue and problems like plantar fasciitis, as they lack the necessary support that your feet require. Some sandals are designed with arch support in mind. Click here to see our line of Orthaheel Sandals with arch support.
2. Protection. Let's face it: sandals do not protect your feet. They are open to debris, falling objects, stubbed toes, and even sun damage. Wearing shoes ensures that your feet will be protected. This is especially true in areas where you know your feet need protection, like on hikes in the woods, walks through your neighborhood, or while working (especially construction/landscape/home improvement jobs).
3. The right shoes for your activity. Sandals are often not the right shoe for your activity. Things like walking long distances, exercising, and standing for long periods/on hard surfaces require that you don't wear flip flops. This is because these activities are hard on your feet. Without the support and protection we talked about before, you're just inviting foot problems into your life. Make sure your shoes are appropriate for your activity. Remember: a little prevention goes a long way.
4. Air to your feet. Not to say sandals are all bad. They do offer some advantages. First of all, sandals let your feet receive air. Especially during hot summer months when your feet are sweating a lot, you are susceptible to fungal infections. Allowing air to your feet means that they will be dryer, and thus less susceptible to fungal infection.
5. Protection in public areas. Fungi thrive in wet, warm, dark places. This means areas like public pools and public showers are a prime place for these to grow. Wearing flip flops while in a locker room, dorm, or pool shower will help ensure that you avoid fungal infections. Remember that a concentration of people increases the odds that one of them is carrying a fungal infection.
6. Convenience. It is very true that sandals are very convenient. When you need to run to the bank, it's easy to slide on your flip flops and go. This is a great use for them. They're also great shoes to get you from your car down to the beach or lake, and the sand cleans out of them quickly and with little effort. Just remember that if your errands involve a lot of walking (like buying groceries) you should be putting on more supportive shoes, like tennis shoes.
So there you have it. Sandals/Flip flops have their place. They're a very convenient and fun form of foot wear. But be careful not too over-use them, as this can lead to problems. Just balance their fun and function with that of other shoes to ensure that your feet have a healthy summer season.
Looking for added comfort in your flip flops. Click here to check out Dr. Jill's Sandal gel toe spreader- an insert for your favorite flip flops to help ease any rubbing or discomfort you experience with your favorite sandals.