About this time of year, people everywhere turn to the flip-flop as their go-to shoe. They’re convenient, taking a split-second to slip on or off, they’re open to allow the skin of your feet to be cooled in the breeze, and they’re very inexpensive. While there are all these superficial benefits to flip-fops, we, and chiropractors everywhere, from Toronto and beyond, would strongly recommend that this season you stick with sandals, and kick the flip-fops to the curb.
For all their pros, the true cost of flip-flops outweigh the convenience.
They’re Bad For Your Joints
Flip-flops are inexpensive because they’re usually just a brick of foam, sometimes with a slight bend roughly in the shape of a foot.
This foam core offers little-to-no actual shock absorption. The impact that you experience when walking goes straight up your joints, eventually causing unnecessary strain on your ankles, knees, and hips.
Another feature of the soles of flip-flops is that they’re uniform. Most shoes and sandals are designed to cradle the foot, allowing for even distribution along your feet as you walk. Most flip-flops, on the other hand, are flat and rigid, which focuses the pressure onto your heels and the balls of your feet.
The resulting pressure can quickly cause throbbing pain, targeted on these key areas of your foot.
While they might seem easy to slip on and off, flip-flops are actually far more strenuous to walk in than sandals, shoes, or even walking barefoot. This is because the gripping motion that we make with our toes to keep them in place. While wearing flip-flops, we find ourselves constantly flexing our toes, often for hours on-end.
Such strain commonly results in shin splints, which is a sharp, sometimes debilitating pain that we feel running up and down our shins, or even repetitive-stress injuries to the associated tendons.
Flip-flops are a very common cause for summer slip-and-fall injuries. This is a side-effect of their ‘easy-on, easy-off’ design: Since there’s no backing to keep them in place, and the top straps are generally thin and loose, they tend to be extremely unstable, sliding and shifting around beneath your feet as you walk. (If you’ve ever tried to run, jog, or even walk briskly in flip-flops, you’re likely very aware of this.)
They become even less stable when they’re slippery due to exposure to sunscreen, sweat, or even just water.
Every summer, we see a bunch of sprained ankles and fall-related injuries resulting from flip-flops that ‘just snuck away’.
When you’re having fun in the sun this summer, this Toronto chiropractor recommends that you forego the flip-flops and take the time to throw on some safer footwear.
Have you suffered any flip-flop-related strains or injuries? Let us know, and we can find a treatment to help you. Do you just want to make sure your body is in working order this summer? Regular maintenance can help to keep you in tip-top shape. Contact us today!