Flip-flops? Just say no

With warm weather officially here, New Yorkers are making plans for summer and spring. For many, that means relaxing evenings, exciting trips, and exploration. With all this adventuring, it might be tempting to slip on a pair of flip-flops and leave your worries behind. Unfortunately, this type of sandals isn’t the best choice for keeping your feet and ankles secure. In fact, they can be more trouble than they are worth.

When you wear flip-flops, your toes are put in a position that they usually avoid. Think carefully about how it feels when you walk barefoot compared to how it feels when you wander around in flip-flops. (Or try this exercise suggested by Men’s Health.) Without shoes that are secured around your heels and ankles, your toes are forced to wrap upward and keep your sandals from flip-flopping off completely. Although this is not a big deal when you are walking on the beach for a couple of hours or covering the distance from your porch to the pool, incorporating flip-flops into your daily wardrobe can put an enormous amount of pressure on your feet and alter your gait. In extreme (but not rare) cases, this can cause plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by painful feelings in your heels when you are active. Flip-flops can also force your big toes to separate further than normal from your smaller toes. This might cause additional pain, including blisters, calluses, and bunions from the friction.

Additionally, flip-flops are often made from thin, low-quality materials that easily lose shape and fail to protect your arches. Their design also forces your feet to be exposed to the elements. While this might feel nice on a hot day, it can create situations that increase your risk of stubbed or broken toes. It is also easy to get your flip-flops caught on uneven surfaces–an open invitation to tripping and falling. If you think it is inconvenient to wear lace up or Velcro shoes when the weather gets warm, consider how much more difficult it would be to spend the summer navigating around in a boot or cast as a result of a foot or ankle injury. Ouch!

These precautions are also important to keep in mind when it comes to children. When you are in a hurry to get out of the house, it can feel easier to slip sandals onto your little one’s feet for the sake of speed. However, this can put growing bodies at risk of abnormal wear and tear, especially if they are particularly active and are often on the go or running around with friends.

Flip-flops and sandals can be great for certain occasions, but they shouldn’t be a substitute for your everyday footwear. It’s important that you keep your feet and ankles in good shape so that you can continue to enjoy the activities that you love. If you have any questions or concerns about making this happen, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more about shoe options and foot safety. We’re here to help!