Flip-Flops are a Flop
Getting footwear right in the summer is a must. We’re usually more active in the warmer months, and whilst it can be tempting on those hot days to slip your feet into airy flip-flops, just don’t.
Hard work for feet!
Flip-flops are hard work for feet, as the toes have to scrunch slightly to keep the flip-flops gripped onto the foot. Therefore, we walk differently when wearing flip-flops.
We tend to slam the feet down, so the nice walking cycle of heel strike and then toe off is compromised, which puts increased pressure on the sole of the foot.
The slim sole of a flip-flop offers no shock absorption, which can lead to a painful inflammatory response in the foot called plantar fasciitis (trust me, this can also be tricky to get rid of) and can lead to bone spurs on your heels.
Ankles, Knees, Hips and Back
With the increased ground force hitting the feet hard with every step, this force is then passed up into the ankle, knee, hip and lower back and the whole body is affected. If (like me) you have flat feet, flip-flops are likely to increase pressure on the inside of the knee, which can then lead to pain in this area. This increased force and pressure passing through the feet will likely lead to increased inflammation and, therefore discomfort in the feet as well.
Flip-flops do not offer any protection to the ankle, and are so easy to trip over in. This will often lead to a sprained ankle (if you’re lucky!) or a break, and who wants to be in Plaster of Paris in the summer?
Protect your feet
Beyond biomechanics, flip-flops offer zero protection to the feet from things on the ground. It is so easy for a nail, glass or thorns to go through the flip-flop and straight into the foot, which again is popping you into the hospital and spoil your whole day.
Children in flip-flops are a massive no (sorry, kids) The above applies to them too. However, their feet are still developing, so it is even more critical that their little arches are supported and that their footwear does a significant amount of shock absorption when out and about.
Other sandals are available
There are many supportive, stylish alternatives to flip-flops for all demographics. I love a pair of Birkenstocks (this is a personal preference and not an endorsement). In my mind, flip-flops are acceptable when walking from the pool to the changing rooms because this is a very short distance, but they are unsuitable for anything else. I hope now you’ve read my reasons you’ll be inclined to agree.
For more information on how Osteopathy can help you, please visit www.kibworthosteopaths.co.uk or call me on 07761664325.
Always happy to help you,
Emily Coombes (B’Ost)
Registered Osteopath (7416)