Spring Into Sandals

Spring Into Sandals

The Dangers Of Increased Flip-Flop Use

Wearing sandals is one of the things that people love the most about spring and summer. The ease at which these footwear options can be slid on and allow open air to delight the feet is a pleasure that is unmatched by any other wardrobe options. Flip flops have been popular choices for years by women and now more and more men are choosing the simple rubber sandals to wear for many different occasions. They are great for making a quick dash to town, strolling the beach or poolside and for casual picnics and outdoor events. But are flip flops a good idea for extended wear for most people? Experts have some warnings about the ubiquitous footwear that everyone should be aware of.

It’s easy to see that flip flops do not offer much protection for the feet in situations like crowded public transport or walking around on uneven and rough surfaces. Most of the top of the foot is exposed to other people stepping on it and stubbing the toe on curbs, embankments and other obstacles is very common while wearing flip flops. The bottom of the foot also has very little protection against sharp things that are being walked on such as rocks, glass, bottle caps and anything that is on the ground.

Besides the lack of protection to the feet that flip flops offer against hazards, the style of the shoe is not a good one for extended periods of time walking around in them. People have an unnatural foot posture when they wear flip flops due to trying to keep them from falling off. They scrunch their toes and arch the foot in a way that can cause pain and even injury over a long period of time that they have worn them almost exclusively. A sandal with a strap that hold the shoe onto the heel is a much better choice for long walks.

High Heels, Low Comfort

A survey conducted by the College of Podiatry found that most women felt pain in their feet after just one hour of wearing high heels. 20% of women in the survey said that they felt foot pain after just 10 minutes of wearing high heels. Over half of the women polled reported foot problems caused by wearing uncomfortable shoes. One out of four women polled stated they have kicked off their high heels and danced barefoot at a nightclub or bar. Unsurprisingly, nearly half of the women in the study stated that they are willing to endure the pain caused by uncomfortable shoes, like high heels, for the sake of looking fashionable.

Continuous wear to the feet caused by uncomfortable shoes, like high heels and flip flops, can cause serious, long-lasting foot problems such as arthritis, bunions, cracked heels, ankle trauma, and ingrown toe nails. The College of Podiatry advises to wear well-fitting, round toed shoes for day to day wear to avoid excessive strain to the feet. Many of the problems caused by overly tight and comfortable shoes may require surgery or other medical treatment.

This doesn’t mean that you should not ever wear high heels or other fashionable shoes. Try to limit the use of these to special occasions to avoid excessive wear to your feet. Consider the POSITION of the heel as this is more important to the health of your feet than the style or thickness. The heel should be right under the heel bone to promote proper balance. Look for shoes with added comfort features such as shock absorbing heels and multiple contour footbeds, which can reduce the impact and improve foot support. If you can’t avoid those sexy new heels that hurt your feet oh so badly, then be sure to soak your swollen feet after a big night out in a cold foot bath for 15 minutes followed by applying foot lotion or cream to prevent cracking and blistering.

Podiatry Blog | Sandals vs. Shoes – What to Choose to Avoid Summer Blues

It may seem like a simple decision, but every summer countless people find themselves wishing they had worn sandals instead of shoes, and vice versa. To help spare you from any inconvenience, here are some simple suggestions to help you decide which footwear is best for you this summer.

1. Put Comfort First

If you need a lot of support against your feet, finding a sandal that matches up to a good tennis shoe may be difficult, especially if you’re not willing to spend a lot of money. There are several brands of sandals that are made specifically for comfort, but they typically cost more and may only be available in specialty stores.

2. Select the Right Sandal or Shoe

Buying a pair of sandals or shoes is a big decision and one that you should never rush. It’s important to identify what you like and dislike having on your feet. In sandals, many people can’t stand having a thong between their toes, and others can’t do without a heel strap to keep the sandal in place. Similarly, many people desire a wide-soled shoe or one that is highly breathable to prevent sweating. Take your time, ask questions, and always give new shoes a test run before taking them on a vacation, hike, or excursion. If there are any defects, you want to find them early on!

4. Function over Form

Summer time tends to bring out the adventurous side of many people who prefer to stay indoors during the less attractive seasons. While the sunshine and beautiful weather may be the perfect time to show off your feet in those cool new sandals, be sure you aren’t planning to do any strenuous activity that may leave your feet vulnerable to injury. Sandals might work for a stroll on the beach, but if you are planning on rock climbing or hiking, make sure you are wearing functional shoes that protect your feet from the potential dangers the environment can pose.

3. Watch the Weather!

In many locations, the summer months can bring sudden downpours of rain and strong winds that seemingly come out of nowhere. There’s nothing worse than slogging through puddles in a pair of flip flops, so always check the weather for the entire day before you decide which footwear to choose. Even if it looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous day, that can change in a matter of minutes!