In the summer, it is easy to get in the habit of wearing flip flops, particularly if you spend a lot of time at the beach or at a pool. Unfortunately, despite how convenient they are, flip flops tend to wreak havoc on your feet. Every part of your foot is affected: toes, bones, ankles, heels, arches, and your foot pad all experience negative symptoms from repeated flip flop usage. On top of foot pain, flip flops are a breeding ground for bacteria. As flip flops are typically worn when it is hot out and sometimes in wet locations, they can be host to over 18,000 bacteria, according to a 2009 study at the University of Miami.
There are plenty of foot ailments that can occur due to improper shoes, ranging from tendonitis to plantar fasciitis. Flip flops are one of the worst offenders of causing foot problems for people. One main area that is affected are your toes and in between your toes. Because of the way flip flops are built, your toes must continually grip the bottom to make sure the shoe does not slide off. This causes overuse of the muscles, which could eventually lead to tendonitis or hammertoe. On top of this, you can easily get blisters in between your toes or cause a bunion to form. Blisters can also form on the pad of your foot because of the constant friction between the bottom of your feet and the shoe, as well as the heat that usually accompanies wearing flip flops.
A big problem with flip flops is the lack of support, both in the arch and in the heel. Without support in your arch, your plantar fascia (a strip of tissue that runs from the ball of your foot to the heel) can become inflamed. This causes both arch pain and heel pain. Along with plantar fasciitis, flip flops can cause heel pain due to the open-backed nature of the shoe. Other problems including stress fractures in the bones of your feet and a change in your gait can occur with overuse of flip flops.
If you know you’ll be wearing flip flops this summer, try to wear them as sporadically as possible. Look for shoes that fit properly, have some amount of support in the arch, are made of high quality material, and replace them as needed. Schedule an appointment today with Alpine Foot Specialists if you have been experiencing any of these foot ailments!
Courtesy of: Huffington Post