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Is it Time to Retire the Flip Flop?

A lot of us love wearing our flip flops year round, especially those of us on the West Coast. Let’s be honest, we really don’t want to be putting on boots or tennis shoes in ninety degree weather. We often want to prolong summer wear, and part of that is putting on those flip flops every time we leave the house. It’s not uncommon to go the entire day with our flip flops on, but sorry flop-lovers, you might be ruining your feet!

Odds are, you are not wearing two hundred dollar orthopedic sandals everyday. The reality is you’re probably donning some five dollar flip flops from the flea market that serve no support for your tarsals and metatarsals. Wearing flops can cause a lot of issues for not only your feet, but your entire body as well. Your feet are your foundation, and if you’re not on a solid foundation, you may crumble! 

While you are wearing flip flops, your toes are in a constant gripping position so that you are able to keep the shoe on your feet. This constant gripping can actually lead to inflammation of the tendons, also known as Tendinitis. Frequent flip flop wearers also tend to develop bunions and hammer toes. Your heels and arches suffer as well due to the lack of support from wearing a flip flop. The plantar fascia, the tissue that runs from the balls of your feet to the heels, suffers the most and can become inflamed causing a painful issue known as plantar fasciitis. 

Consistent flip flop use also leaves you open to harmful bacterias, generally stemming from fecal matter. You are also more prone to blisters, and sunburns. Your foot is out in the open, and vulnerable to the environment! The most important issue wearing flip flops cause is that they fundamentally change the way you are walking. While you are in these types of shoes, you are actually taking shorter steps, putting more pressure on the balls of your feet, and taking less force off of your heels. This changes your body’s otherwise natural movements cause pain and joint issues in your back, hips, knees, and ankles. 

I don’t want you to go and throw out your all of your flip flops right now, I mean they’re some of our favorite shoes! Everything is good in moderation. If you know you’ll be out and on your feet for over an hour, opt for some tennis shoes, or sandals that have backs and straps. Also, if you found that your years of flip flop use has managed to cause issues in your hips, backs, and other joints, it might be time to seek help from a chiropractor. Don’t hesitate to visit The Joint.. The Chiropractic Place in your neighborhood. They can offer you excellent, affordable chiropractic care, and walk-ins are always welcome! 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Chris Waits

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