As temperatures rise, my feet crave some flip-flop action. I love to feel the air and grass on my skin, and not have to deal with hot, sweaty feet. Plus flip-flops are so cheap, you can buy a few pairs without breaking the bank. The problem is, pinching pennies with Summer footwear isn't doing your feet any favors. Here are some reasons you should skip the flip-flops and opt for more supportive shoes.
- Sole is spongy and offers no arch support: The sole may seem soft and comfy, but your foot ends up over-pronating (rolling inward), especially since there's no added support for the arch of your foot. This can cause pain in the heels, arches, ball of the foot, and toes.
- Muscles and tendons work overtime: With only that little v-shaped strap across you toes, there's not much holding the shoe to your foot. As you walk, you end up gripping your toes, making the muscles and tendons in your feet do all the work. This can lead to tendinitis.
- Flat shoes strain the Achilles tendon: If you're used to wearing shoes that have a raised heel, flat shoes end up overstretching the calf muscles.
- No ankle support: Sprained ankles in the Summer are common because of flip-flop use.
- Lead to calluses and heel fissures: All that pounding on the back of your foot hardens the skin, and since your feet are exposed to air, the skin can dry out. If it gets too dry, the callused skin can crack and bleed, which is very painful.
- Can cause hip and lower back pain: When wearing flip-flops, you tend to alter your gait, taking shorter steps, which can lead to pain in other areas of the body.
- Offer no protection from rocks, mud, or people stepping on them:Wear flip-flops exposes your feet to all kinds of sharp and dirty objects, increasing your risk of cuts, splinters, and bruised toes.
Experts aren't saying you have to live without flip-flops completely. They're great for the beach or pool — or showers at the gym — just don't walk in them for extended periods of time. I know flip-flops are practically the definition of Summer, so tell me, does hearing all this change your mind about how often you'll wear your flip-flops?