People will look to a number of culprits when it comes to pinpointing the source of foot pain. Some might blame an exercise regime or the lack thereof or even wonder if their gait leaves their feet prone to injury. But there’s one obvious article of clothing that goes overlooked but might actually might be to blame, and that’s your shoes.
In a new report, an ankle surgeon with Des Moines University outlines how injuries tend to be more commonplace in the summer due to the greater number of people who wear sandals or flip-flops in their everyday life. While sufficient for lounging around, this footwear fails to provide the protection necessary to your feet over a longer period of time.
It all has to do with the amount of support that will be provided to the arch of your feet. With a typical pair of shoes, there’s a hard surface that your arch can rely on to provide cushioning every time you take a step. When you remove that from the equation, you place more pressure on either the front or the back of the feet rather than the center, leading to pain in those former areas.
There’s a test that the doctor interviewed for the story advises persons considering a pair of sandals to run. Basically, you take a sandal in your hands and see if you can bend it. If it gives rather easily, then it’s not going to be giving you the support you need. You should move onto another pair so that you don’t aggravate an injury. Another way to test would be to squeeze the heel to determine if the requisite firmness exists. If not, then at the very least you’ll want to make sure the pair has straps that can be tightened so that your foot is secure.
With flip flops or other shoes that aren’t able to provide support, you leave yourself open to stress fractures with repeated use. The risk is exacerbated when you engage in high impact activities. There’s a reason that there’s a specific shoe for running: that type of shoe encompasses the foot, providing support and reducing the risk of adversity.
If you do have your heart set on a pair of flip flops for something like an upcoming vacation, then be smart about how you wear them. Should you just be lounging around a pool, then you’re probably going to be fine with a pair of sandals. But if you’re going someplace like an amusement park that requires constant walking, or if you’re be exercising, you need footwear more suitable to the task.