flip flops star clinic

Don’t flip flop on your summertime footwear: Use the right pair and avoid an injury

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, July 31, 2017

With summer comes a natural desire to be outside and to stay as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. For some people, that means freeing their feet of restrictions and wearing flip-flops whenever the opportunity presents itself.

While flip-flops are certainly a more comfortable option than shoes that allow your feet to breath and be exposed to the warm summer air, this comfort can come at a cost. Occasional use of flip-flops doesn’t pose any real dangers, but wearing them on a constant basis may cause some unexpected damage and can lead to a number of injuries.

The issue is that most flip-flops aren’t designed like shoes, and they often lack features to protect your feet like arch support, cushioning and shock absorption. Most people also tend to grip their toes to hold sandals in place, which strains the foot muscles and causes you to change the way you walk. Over time, this can lead to problems in the foot all the way to the lower back. One of the most commonly treated injuries that can result from flip-flops is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot. Others include shin splints, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendinitis, calf strains, hip pain and lower back pain.

We don’t recommend ditching your flip-flops altogether, but simply advise you to be smart about which ones you wear and to do so in moderation. Here are some tips:

  • Try sport sandals, which offer more support for the arch than flip-flops and feature a heel strap to alleviate pressure in the front of the foot
  • When buying flip-flops, choose a pair made of firm materials with stiff soles; leather is a better choice over plastic
  • Make sure your flip-flops fit properly and be sure to replace any old or worn-out pair with a newer, more supportive pair
  • Only wear flip-flops for short periods of time and don’t use them for long hikes or any other instances where you’ll be walking for a while
  • If you experience any pain, apply ice and try switching to a more supportive pair

Don’t let the temptation of wearing flip-flops at all times be the source of a summertime injury, and if you do start to notice any pain that may be due to your footwear, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. is here to help. Contact us at 202-223-1737 or e-mail info@starclinic.net to schedule an appointment today.

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