In an article appearing in the Huffington Post, Dr. Steve Rosenberg, podiatrist and president and CEO of Foot Products Enterprises, Inc. says not all flip-flops are created equal when it comes to our particular foot needs.
"Know your feet, the shape, the lumps and bumps that are present that can be irritated by different shoe styles, know what types of shoes make your feet more comfortable and which ones do not," he recommends.
First, we need to be sure to buy the correct size. "If the sandal is too big, your foot will slide around which will create blisters on the toes, bottom of the foot and back of the heel. It could also cause the toes to grip the floor of the shoe resulting in an unidentifiable foot pain that comes on gradually after a long day walking and shopping. These common types of foot problems are a function of the bones and joints of your foot not being properly supported and the foot sliding around in the shoe."
Sandals, wedges, sling backs, ballet flats and flip flops are not really designed to be supportive, which means trying to walk all day in them can cause tired legs, sore backs, arch cramps and general muscle fatigue. The trick is to find either supportive summer footwear or arch products that can be placed in these shoes that will give you the support you need.
Knowing your feet can be the difference between walking pain free or wincing while you walk, he says.
For instance, if you have flat feet and wear flats, sandals, wedges and flip flops without adequate support you're going to end up with arch cramps, muscle spasms and leg fatigue.
"Sandals that have straps in the wrong places can also ruin your day, make sure that the straps do not irritate the tops of your toes or behind the heel. Straps can form thickened skin; corns from friction or excessive movement of your foot rubbing against them."
This is especially true for those who have bunions and "hammertoes" (toes that are bent at the middle joint). Wearing toes that are too tight will cause joint pain and corns to form. Dr. Rosenberg suggests wearing open-toed shoes to eliminate these problems.
"Let the truth be told, most shoes are not designed for comfort -- only for fashion," he writes.
But if we're careful to buy the right fitting shoe, we can enjoy our favorite flip-flops all summer long.
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