Flip flops are a popular choice for summer footwear but at Texas Foot Specialists we treat many injuries and conditions related to the use of these easy going summer shoes. We’re not saying flip flops should never be worn, but overuse of them can result in wide range of foot problems, some of which can result in permanent damage. Below are some suggestions for wearing flip flops and avoiding harm to your feet.
Do: wear flip flops when at the pool or beach. This is one place where these shoes shine. Walking barefoot in damp, public places is a primary cause of athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Flip flops protect your feet from coming in direct contact with the fungi that cause infection.
Don’t: play sports in flip flops. They provide no structure to protect your feet and you have a high risk of twisting an ankle or incurring another foot injury if you try to run in them. Keep a pair of sneakers in your beach bag if you think an impromptu game of beach volleyball is a possibility.
Don’t: wear flip flops on a daily basis. It’s easy to get in the habit of slipping on these shoes and they feel so comfortable when the weather is hot but flip flops have no arch support and no shock absorption in the soles. The chances of heel pain, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures are greatly increased if you wear flip flops daily. Having to grip the shoe with your toes to keep them on can lead to shin splints, hammertoe and other issues due to the unnatural way they cause you to walk.
Do: buy flip flops made of leather or other natural material to minimize the risk of blisters and abrasions from rubbing.
Don’t: use flip flops when you are driving. There have been many instances of the shoes slipping off and getting stuck between the pedals and the floor.
Do: buy flip flops that are slightly longer than your feet and toss old, badly worn out flip flops.
If you injure your foot while wearing flip flops or you are experiencing any unexplained foot, ankle or heel pain, contact our Houston, Pasadena or Sugar Land office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller or Dr. Gregory Mangum will want to evaluate your feet and determine if there is a condition that requires treatment.