It is definitely flip flop season. It feels so good to have the sun tickle my toes. I have to admit, I love watching the tan lines establish themselves. They are a true give away to who is wearing what. I tend to shift between Birkenstocks and flip flops so my tan lines get a bit confusing. I do love wearing flip flops. The minimalist design is very freeing, especially on a hot day. That is just one of the reasons that they are so popular, but it’s that design that can cause problems.
Flip Flops were originally designed to be used poolside or at the beach. If used for short periods like the time required to get from the lounge chair to the beach all is good. If they are worn for extended periods like long walks or a day of shopping the risk of developing various injuries is increased.
There’s only a thin thong strap that is holding your foot to the shoe that often consists of a thin piece of plastic. Wearing flip flops means that your toes have to work extra hard at gripping to make the walking motion happen, and then your heels are taking the full impact of your foot hitting the ground. The risk of developing ailments like shin splints or plantar fasciitis is increased significantly when too much walking time is in flip flops. Also, bunions and hammertoes can be aggravated due to the lack of support provided by this type of sandal.
I’m not saying that we need to abandon our very cool (pun intended) summer footwear! I’m suggesting that we are wise about it. The first step is to pick the best shoe for the activity you are doing. When you’re choosing to wear flip flops, only wear them for short periods of time, and/or when we’re not on our feet for very long. The second thing is to purchase good quality flip flops unless you are only using them around the beach, the pool or in the shower at the gym. Find a kind that fit you well. Make sure they have both arch support and a thicker sole. Your feet and the rest of your body will thank you.
Lastly, take care of your feet. Now that they are seeing much more of the light of day keep them clean, moisturized and don’t forget the sunscreen.
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