It’s Flip Flop Season!

With the weather becoming warmer, the sweaters and boots are being put away and the spring/summer clothes and shoes are coming out. Unfortunately, for the feet, the spring/summer shoe of choice always seems to be flip-flops. Flip-flop season lasts anywhere from 3-5 months, depending on the weather and the individual, so if you are a flip-flop lover, this will present a major health concern for your feet.

 There are several key reasons to not wear flip-flops, some of these include:

  1. Lack of arch support-Since flip-flops are made out a flimsy, flat, rubber-foam bottom, which is held to the foot by usually two straps, the arch has no support. With this lack of support the feet will be flattening out too much when walking, which will lead to foot strain due to mal-positioning of the foot. This is a common cause of heel and arch pain.  
  2. No protection-Since there is no area of the foot covered besides the bottom; there is literally no protection to the top of the foot and toes. This may lead to toenail injuries, scraps, cuts, and sunburn on the feet and toes. Also, since there is no protection, if something is dropped it may lead to a broken toe or even worse a broken foot. Additionally, the two straps holding the flip-flops to the foot many times will lead to blistering in the area due to the rubbing of the straps while walking. Lastly, there is an increased risk of tripping since there are only two straps, which only loosely hold the flip-flop to the foot.
  3. No shock absorption nor cushioning-A study done by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that a 150lb person will put 63.5 tons of force on each foot after only walking one mile-keep in mind that the average person will walk about 5 miles each day-that is 317.5 tons of force on each foot per day! This lack of cushioning and shock absorption will eventually lead to foot pain and may even extend up to the leg and to the lower back.

Many people seem to have heard or even know from a personal experience that flip-flops are bad for the health of your feet, but it is hard to resist the ease of sliding them on and the cooling that the flip-flops allow in the warm spring/summer months. Also, flip-flops can be very fashionable with their decorative jewels and colors, which is another reason why flip-flops are loved.  However, there is good news! Many companies are turning the flimsy, flat, rubbery-foam flip-flops into a sturdier shoe that offers, more support, protection, cushioning, and shock absorption. The American Podiatric Medical Association has approved these flip-flops and sandals with the Seal of Acceptance, which indicates that the shoes “allow for normal foot function and promote quality foot health.” There are numerous brands that have been given the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Some of these brands include: The Walking Company, Dr. Comfort, The Keds Corporation, Dansko LLC, The Clarks Companies, and many more.

For a complete listing of flip-flops and sandals that have been given the Seal of Acceptance please visit http://www.apma.org/MainMenu/RecommendedProducts/SealofAcceptance/Seal-Flip-Flops.aspx

So when you are trying to pick out your new spring/summer shoes, consider one of these podiatry-accepted flip-flops or sandals to keep your feet feeling good!

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