The Dangers of Flip-Flops

When the warm, summer months arrive, many people ditch their sneakers for casual, everyday flip-flops. However, many people are unaware of the potential problems that flip-flops can cause by constantly wearing them. Many of the problems that people experience from wearing flip-flops have to do with a lack of proper support, bone problems, blistering, and balance issues.

Lack of Support

Lack of proper foot support is one of the biggest dangers of wearing flip-flops. Not supporting your arch or heel can lead to discomfort and pain in these areas of your feet. You may also develop plantar fasciitis, which is when the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. If you have experienced foot pain, a foot doctor can help determine whether or not your current footwear is providing you with the arch support you need.

Bone Problems

In addition to a lack of support, flip-fops can also cause bone spurs over time. As our feet get adjusted to wearing flip-flops without the right support, they can even cause you to walk differently. Unlike a properly supported sneaker or shoe, flip-flops usually cause wearers to take shorter steps, and can place stress on your toes. Some flip-flops will make your toes become stiff and bend overtime, which can cause pain. Disrupting the way you normally walk can lead to discomfort and pain in your hip, knees, and back.

Other Problems

Blisters, foot fungus, swelling in the foot, and balance issues are other common problems that may develop with consistent flip-flop wearing. Blisters may form if the straps of the flip-flop are rubbing and irritating your skin. Since the flip-flop strap is the only piece of material keeping your foot to the shoe, it can easily irritate your foot when wearing them.

With proper footwear, you can do a variety of activities such as walking or running. This is because your feet are properly supported. With flip-flops, this support is near non-existent, and you can place much more stress and pressure on your heels when they make impact with the ground. It is not uncommon for flip-flops users to suffer from sprained ankles or fractures. It is recommended that you do not run, hike, or play active activities in flip-flops in order to keep yourself safe from injuries.

Care for Your Feet

Often times when people experience pain in their back or knees, they simply focus on that area as the source of their problem. However, it could be that your feet are what’s causing you pain elsewhere. Footwear that doesn’t properly support your feet can cause you to experience pain and inflammation in your feet and heels. By exposing your feet without protection, you are also putting your feet at risk of stubbing or scraping a toe. Wearing open-toed shoes can also place your feet at risk to contract fungal, viral, or bacterial infections. It is better to wear closed, properly supported footwear in public places rather than open-toed shoes.

It’s important to treat your feet right, because supporting and caring for your feet will help prevent other pain problems from popping up. When shopping for footwear, you want to stick with sneakers, shoes, or flip-flops that provide support for your feet. Limiting the amount of time you spend wearing footwear that lacks arch support will also help you to avoid pain and discomfort in your feet. If you do choose to wear flip-flops, it is best to not wear them for prolonged amounts of time.