Ah, the beloved flip-flop – the go-to summer footwear. They are deemed comfortable, easy to wear, and even stylish when the weather starts warming up. What you may not know is that flip-flops can cause immediate damage to your feet, especially when you are a runner. Some common problems include:
Knee pain and foot pain
Your knees and feet are very crucial to jogging and running. Improper shoe wear – such as flip-flops — leads to an imbalance of forces acting on the knee when walking. Flip-flops will shorten your gait, hence reducing comfortable movements that, in turn, contribute to fatigue in your lower body and causes pain in your knees and feet.
As a keen runner, flip-flops are the most flimsy and unsupportive footwear for you. This is because they lead to a decline in performance when running, due to fatigued toes and muscle aches. When walking in flip-flops, you have to grip them on with your toes, hence overusing your muscle tissues, and when overused for an extended period, your muscles will grow tighter and tighter.
Tight muscles have less power to push and subsequently will lead to stress fractures or injury when subjected to the forced strain of putting on miles when running.
Posture and bone problems
Since flip-flops provide no arch support, you are forced to bend the knuckles on your toes, which can cause hammertoe overtime. Also, as you bend your toes, your foot is forced to turn towards the middle of your body rather than staying straight. When this happens, you increase the likelihood of spraining your ankle and even changing your posture. This will make running extremely difficult and could lead to muscle-overload pain.
While wearing flip-flops might seem convenient, especially during the hot months, they can lead to rough, dry and cracked feet. Of course, these are just cosmetic problems, and while they will not stop you from running, they leave your feet vulnerable to serious infections.
Making your feet work less means they can work harder during your next run. Why put on a pair of flip-flops only to force your body to work harder and in a dysfunctional manner? If you must wear flip-flops, invest in a pair that provides arch support, and even then, you should avoid wearing them for extended periods. Make sure to see your podiatrist if you develop muscle pains or stabbing pains on your ankles or the soles and arches of your feet.
Hi, my name is Julie, and in the past, I have been too embarrassed to wear sandals or flip flops to the beach. While all my friends had beautiful, silky smooth feet, I had crusty, dry and sometimes fungus-laden feet. My options seemed to be socks with sandals or avoiding the beach altogether. Since there was no way I was going to do either of those, I met with a podiatrist and launched on a journey to fix, protect and maintain my feet. Along the way, I learned a ton of facts, home remedies and foot protection strategies. I plan to include all of those ideas and more in this blog, and I hope the posts here help you.