Are your flip-flops harming your foot health? The wrong footwear is often the chief cause of foot pain, and many types of flip-flops can cause foot problems due to lack of support and other factors, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
The wrong flip-flops can leave you vulnerable to sprained ankles, ligament injuries, and a higher incidence of cuts, scrapes, and stubbed toes.
ďDuring the warmer months of the year, many podiatrists treat a greater number of foot problems that can be traced back to wearing flip-flops,Ē said Michael King, DPM, president of APMA. ďHowever, people donít have to give up wearing this type of footwear altogether. There are certain types of flip-flops that offer a superior amount of stability and support than others.Ē
The APMA offers 5 Doís and 5 Doníts to avoid a flip-flop fiasco.
5 Flip-flop Doís:
1. Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half.
2. Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms and in locker room areas. Walking barefoot can expose foot soles to plantar warts and athleteís foot.
3. Do ensure that your foot doesnít hang off of the edge of the flip-flop.
4. Do shop for a flip-flop made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.
5. Do look for flip-flops that hold APMAís Seal of Acceptance. Evaluated by a team of APMA podiatrists, these products are shown to allow for the most normal foot function and promote quality health.
Next: 5 Flip-Flop Don’ts & the Video
5 Flip-flop Doníts:
1. Donít re-wear flip-flops year after year. Inspect older pairs for wear. If they show signs of severe wear, discard them.
2. Donít ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.
3. Donít wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.
4. Donít do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear a shoe that fully protects feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater.
5. Donít play sports in flip-flops. This practice can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.