Summer in Flip Flops

Many people choose to wear flip flops in the hot summer months, especially in a place like Redding, CA. Flip flops are a great way to protect your feet from hot pavement, broken glass, and various infections. They can prevent fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot and viral infections such as plantar warts when you go to a public swimming pool or use your gym’s shower. They are easy to don as you head out to run errands and your feet may even stay cooler than they would in a closed shoe. But are they really that great?

Despite some obvious advantages of wearing flip flops, they should not be worn for long stretches of time. If you plan to walk long distances, your flip flops will not provide any ankle stability and most do not provide arch support and shock absorption, either. As a result, it is easy to end up with heel and arch pain, as well as ankle sprains. This is especially true if you try to run, jump or decide to walk on uneven terrain. A poor gait pattern resulting from unsupportive shoes can also lead to knee, hip and back pain. They are especially bad for people who have diabetes and reduced sensation along their feet, since flip flops do not offer much protection from accidental bumps and cuts. People with compromised immune systems and poor circulation due to vascular diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity can have a potentially complicated and prolonged recovery time from a relatively minor injury such as a stubbed toe.

Flip flops, like most shoes and apparel, have a role to play in making our lives easier, more comfortable, and even fashionable. However, they are not for everyone and a poor choice for prolonged walks, sports, and people with vascular diseases and compromised immune systems.

Listen to your body’s wisdom and contact Cresswell Physical Therapy for tips on staying active while recuperating from injury. We can be reached for appointments by calling (530) 244-7686.