When it’s warmer, many people ditch shoes and boots in favour of lighter options. Flip flops are always a firm favourite, but you may be unaware of the damaging effects that they are having on your feet.
Women especially are guilty of thinking that flip flops are a safer alternative to heels, but experts warn that this is unfortunately not the case, as flip-flops can cause your foot to strain to keep them in place.
Gripping with your toes to keep flip flops on causes tension and pressure through your toes and arches. This can lead to straining of tendons and ligaments and cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis; inflammation of the tendons that stretch from the ball of your foot to your heel.
Research has also shown that flip flop wearers do not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase, resulting in a larger ankle angle and shorter stride length. This repeated motion can result in problems anywhere from your feet up into your hips.
If you’re a flip flop wearer, you may also experience shin splints – an acute pain in the front of your lower leg. Due to thin soles and a lack of arch support, you may find that you suffer with an excessive rolling in of your foot, otherwise known as over-pronation. This leads to increased pressure on your shins an increased risk of ankle sprains.
The most foot-friendly type of shoe for women would be those with a small heel, preferably one-and-a-half inches high. For men, look for a slightly wedge-shaped sole. This helps to avoid straining your calf, which can occur in shoes that are too flat.
Wearing shoes with more secure straps is also good idea. Flip flops can easily fold under your foot or get caught in the ground, creating a trip hazard. For these reasons, it’s considered dangerous to drive wearing this flimsy style of shoe.