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The Flaws of the Flip Flop

Summer is here and the flip flops are flopping!

These easy to slip on sandals are not so easy on your feet. They may be cute and convenient, but after a few months of wearing flip flops, you may end up dealing with some rather painful foot injuries.

The very thin and flat spongy sole of the flip flop offers no support for your feet. When you wear a regular shoe, or supportive shoe typically your foot is secured in place, but the flip flop does not provide this support so your foot will excessively roll causing over-pronation. Over time this foot rolling can lead to injuries such as Achilles tendinitis and shin splints. Achilles tendinitis presents with pain and swelling along the tendon that attaches into the heel. Shin splints will present with pain along the anterior part of the tibia and the muscles in your lower leg.

When you’re walking in flip flops your toes are constantly trying to grip the sole to keep the sandal on your feet. This puts a tremendous amount of stress on the bottom of your foot, shortening the tissue of the sole of the foot which can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation at the bottom of your foot. This painful heel condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a think ligament-like band which attaches the heel bone to the base of the toes, develops tiny tears near to where it inserts into the heel. This tear happens when it is overstretched.

Flip flops are great for around the pool, the beach or gym changing rooms, but not recommended for walking around all day. It’s great to wear sandals in the summer, but try to find some good ones that offer you some support, thicker soles, arch support, maybe ones with adjustable straps, or moulded foot beds or deep heel cups.

Consult with your foot specialist if you suspect that you may be suffering from any foot ailments. We can help you with treatments, footwear and orthotics.  Have a wonderful summer!

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