With summer almost upon us and warmer weather (hopefully) just around the corner, many people will be looking forward to ‘liberating’ their feet from shoes and boots and turning to fun, informal footwear like flip flops or even bare feet.
But is this a good move for our feet? Many foot care professionals say tread carefully, as they see a sharp increase in foot pain problems in the summer, when large numbers of people wear items like flip flops for prolonged periods.
Flip flops may seem comfortable when compared to more restrictive formal shoes, but they aren’t good for foot health. According to the College of Podiatry, ‘flip flops and flimsy sandals provide no/little arch support and constant wear can cause pain’. Some experts even argue that flip flops are the most unsupportive footwear you can choose. Because they don’t support important weight-bearing areas of the feet, they can directly lead to serious conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendonitis which affect the bottom of the foot and the back of the leg. Flip flops also often cause wearers to trip up when the loose sole catches against something like a step.
Summer foot pain problems are often compounded on holiday, when people spend a lot of time walking barefoot on hard, tiled or concreted surfaces around pools or in hotels or villas.
So, what is the answer? Surely, we’re not expected to wear heavy, formal shoes in the summer?
Of course not. A combination of common sense and choosing the right summer casual footwear is what’s required. The following tips will help you and your feet enjoy the sunshine without compromising your foot health:
- For informal, summer footwear that you can wear for several hours at a time, choose well-constructed sandals that can accommodate custom arch supports. Foot Solutions have a good selection of stylish, comfortable options to choose from
- Wear flip flops sparingly. They can provide good protection on the beach or in the shower room, but they shouldn’t be worn for extended periods
- Walking barefoot on a sandy beach is usually fine, but avoid hard surfaces with no ‘give’