The warm sunshine of summer is near and feet everywhere are happily stepping out into a variety of sandals and flip-flops. However, in Florida these types of footwear are a wardrobe staple year-round. Though they may seem carefree and harmless, the wrong pair of flip-flops can lead to a variety of issues including, but not limited to: blisters, tendinitis, sprained ankles, ligament injuries, plantar fasciitis, cuts, scrapes, and stubbed toes. Despite their fun or trendy appearance, flip-flops are typically not healthy for your feet. Generally speaking, most flip-flops should not be worn exclusively throughout the day. Like most things in life, moderation is key! The following American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) flip-flop “do’s” and “don’ts” can help keep you from falling victim to flip-flop related foot problems this summer:
- Do gently bend a flip-flop at the ends, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Flip-flops of any kind should never fold completely in half.
- Do look for the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance on flip-flops. Many companies, such as FitFlop, Chaco, and Orthaheel, have certain flip-flops or sandals that have been awarded the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance for demonstrating proper support.
- Don't re-wear flip-flops year after year. Inspect older pairs for wear. If severe signs of wear are found, discard them.
- Don't wear flip-flops if you have diabetes, as the footwear leaves feet susceptible to cuts and scrapes that may lead to serious injury. Instead, opt for lightweight footwear that covers and protects the toes.