What goes together better than Florida weather and flip flops? While the two may be a favorite pair for men and women alike, the easy trend could unexpectedly wind you up in the emergency room. With each step you take in your flip-flops, your gait is altered. Consequently, it can result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.

Why are flip-flops bad for your feet?

Believe it or not, sandals should NOT bend in half. More often than not, flip-flops are made so flimsy to the point that they bend at the sole, ultimately forcing your foot to do the same work. The combined movement and lack of support can create swelling of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that runs from the ball of your foot to the heal. Over time, the wear on the tissue can result in arch pain and may cause the foot to eventually flatten.

Due to the inadequate arch support that flip-flops provide, it’s common for your foot to fatigue faster over time with each step. The flimsy flip-flops you wear can even contribute to a common foot injury known as metatarsalgia. This is an extremely painful injury that is essentially inflammation of the ball of the foot. When left untreated, metatarsalgia can produce stress fractures of the metatarsal joints. In severe cases, surgery is required.

Alternative shoes to wear

Before you slip your feet into sandals, bend your flip-flop in half. If they bend easily, they will not provide enough support that your feet need. Instead, wear more durable and sturdy sandals such as Birkenstock and Mephistos that have built-in arch support. If those brands fail to suit your style, look for sandals with a sole that doesn’t bend. Wearing shoes with a stiffer sole and straps that cross the foot will help distribute the pressure evenly on your feet as you move.

Your flip-flops can harm more than just your feet

It’s important to listen to not only your feet but the rest of your body as well. The flip-flops that you’ve been wearing could be causing more than just foot pain. Without the proper arch support, your arch can collapse and put strain on other parts of your body such as your knees, hip and lower back. If you experience pain that lasts for more than a few days, it’s best to seek help immediately.

Injury Prevention with OCPBC

If you suffer any minor or major injuries due to wearing flimsy shoes, please call us. We are highly experienced with injury care and have treated thousands of patients suffering from numerous different injuries. Our advanced Physical Therapy center is also an option for those who might be suffering from foot, hip, and lower back pain due to wearing sandals without durable heel and arch support. We have three different locations in South Florida and you can reach us at 561-967-6500.