Wearing Flip Flops: Everything In Moderation
Summer is coming and that means flip flop season is fast approaching. Flip flops, thongs, jandals… whatever you call them, are a go to Sydney summer footwear staple. They are not the root of all foot evil as some may have you believe, but like everything else in life wearing jandals in summer should be a case of “everything in moderation.” Jandals are generally fine for short term use, but ideally the footwear version of thongs, just like their swimwear/underwear counterpart should be best kept confined to, being worn in and around the beach or home only. Taking long walks wearing either version of the humble thong, isn’t good for anyone.
The Risks Around Over Wearing Jandals
Flip flops provide some protection for your feet against puncture or abrasion wounds to the bottom of your feet, when compared with going barefoot, but sadly this is pretty much where the benefits of wearing jandals end. The standard flip flop doesn’t offer any arch support, bends in all the wrong places and requires gripping with your toes to keep them from sliding off your feet. When worn for long periods, these traits can mean wearing jandals has the potential to cause a number of problems.
Wearing of flip flops has often been attributed to being the cause of:
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis
- Exacerbating of postural foot changes such as the development of bunions, flat feet and hammertoes.
A lack of arch support, the need to scrunch your toes while walking to keep your flip flops from slipping off your foot, zero heel lift and the fact jandals can fold in half under minimal force, all mean wearing flip flops has the potential to change your foot posture, gait and even your posture in general. Therefore the impact of wearing jandals can potentially be felt far and wide throughout your whole body repercussions beyond just that of your feet. Not to mention that because of the open toe nature of jandals, wearing them out and about in public places can potentially expose you to the risk of contracting bacterial, fungal and viral diseases.
Shopping For Flip Flops
When shopping for flip flops always try to make sensible choices, by considering the following:
- If you can fold them in half, move on. Try to by a pair of jandals that flex at the ball of the foot (just like your foot does) and nowhere else. If you can twist them every which way, then they are not the pair for you as they wont be offering your foot any support.
- Remember to replace your jandals before they look tired and old. If the sole has worn down so far that your heel is almost touching the ground through the rubber and the foot strap is regularly pulling out of the hole in the sole, then they are well past their use by date. Just as you should replace your running shoes regularly, the same goes for your flip flops. At least go shopping to purchase a new pair every summer.
- Consider buying more supportive options like the brands “FitFlops” “Birkenstocks” and “Tevas”,in some peoples opinons they may not look as good, but your foot will likely thank you for it.
So the take home is consider getting a more supportive version of jandals, like your running shoes replace them regularly and generally wear them less.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Flip Flops, Thongs, Jandals A Summertime Staple should consult his or her physiotherapist, podiatrist, or general practitioner.