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Are Flip Flops the Most Dangerous Shoes You Can Wear?

The weather is heating up, and with the rise in temperature comes the rise in the most popular summer shoe available: the flip-flop. Flip-flops, while quick to slip on, fashionable, and much cooler than your trusty tennis shoes, come with many issues for your feet. In fact, flip-flops are one of the most dangerous forms of footwear you can wear.

Here are the top reasons you should ditch flip-flops this summer:

1. They negatively impact your posture.
Flip-flops may be simple to throw on, but they don’t do any favors to your posture. Because flip-flops don’t bend in the same manner that your feet do, they can change the way you walk and stand. The summertime wardrobe staple can also increase knee, lower back, and hip pain, causing you to reposition your stance in ways that may cause more damage. All of these movements just lead to more pain and discomfort and can even cause worse posture down the line. 

2. They cause shooting foot pains.
Flip-flops provide no arch support at all, and this lack of support means the joints in your feet are working harder than they normally would to keep you upright. This extra pressure on your joints leads to overuse of your ligaments, which in turn leads to shooting, agonizing pain in your feet and legs. Common flip-flop-related pain includes plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, pinched back nerves, and inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

3. They hurt your toes.
Flip flops can hurt your toes too. When wearing flip flops, your toes work to hold onto the inner thong of the shoe, causing malformations of the toe that can lead to dreaded hammertoes if worn too often. Besides that, this flimsy footwear doesn’t protect your toes at all from external damage, meaning you are more likely to stub or break your toe or toenails when donning a pair of flip-flops.

4. They increase your risk for major injuries.
In summer, you may be tempted to wear flip-flops for all activities, but that would be a major mistake. You should never play sports in flip-flops, as the lack of support to your feet and ankles can cause injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures. Taking hikes in the great outdoors should also always be accompanied by proper footwear: closed-toed shoes (due to the increase in snake and bug bites that summer brings). Even simple activities like gardening should never be done in flip-flops because of the increased risk of tripping and falling. If you must wear flip-flops, only wear them on flat surfaces and for short periods of time.

5. They hurt your heels.
Most shoes are designed with heel support so that you cannot feel the ground when you walk. With flip-flops, you can feel the ground beneath your feet because only a thin piece of rubber separates you from the earth. This means that flip-flops, while stylish, offer no shock-absorption and expose your heel to an increased level of heel-strike impact. This leads to significant heel pain that can only be remedied by proper footwear. 


Stop with the flip-flops

Although flip-flops are often thought of as the “go-to” summer shoe, you should opt for footwear that supports your feet no matter the season. Some great alternatives to flip-flops are boat shoes, espadrilles, or woven slip-ons. However, if you must wear flip-flops, pick a style that has the correct amount of bend, adequate support, and additional straps to hold them in place. Remember, if you’re experiencing pain in your feet, toes, arch, or heels, you will want to seek advice from the experts at Southlake Orthopaedics. Our specialists will work with you to address your foot pain and come up with a treatment plan that works for you! If you’re interested in becoming a patient, please contact us today by filling out this form, calling us at our Main Office at 205-985-4111, or calling us at our Grandview Office at 205-605-8180.


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