Wearing flip-flops and sandals is one of the factors that cause blisters, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and other foot injury. Here are 10 foot doctor-approved tips to avoid foot pain when wearing flip-flops.
Try the sandals on yourself before buying
While it is more convenient to go online shopping, looking for a new pair of sandals should be done personally. People have varying foot sizes and structures so you can’t expect the pair you purchase online to be a perfect fit. Visit a brick-and-mortar footwear store and personally look for flip-flops that fit your foot nicely. While you’re at it, look for foot-friendly features like arch support, heel cup, and shock-absorbent sole.
Shoes, not flip-flops, are made for walking
While they are used solely to relax your feet, you should not wear flip-flops in shopping malls or for strolling in the park. They are actually for beach and pool area use so water and sand will not get to your feet. Instead, use shoes if you plan to do some serious walking. What’s more, flip-flops don’t provide your foot with adequate support to keep it firmly in place. No wonder many people trip and injure their foot while using them.
Flip-flops need to be broken in, too
Like shoes, flip-flops and sandals need to be broken in to make them fit properly and avoid getting blisters on your feet. Flip-flops with thongs need an extra layer of padding as a cushion between the first and second toes. You can also break in new flip-flops manually to lessen its stiffness. Do not wear new flip-flops for long periods of time to prevent painful calluses and blisters from forming. As mentioned, don’t wear sandals or flip-flops to get around the park or mall.
Watch out for those straps
Use sandals with wide and soft straps for added comfort. Check out the strap seams if they get in contact with bony areas of your foot. You can get friction blisters if the seams repeatedly brush over sensitive or prominent skin areas. Likewise, consider the thongs that hold the sandal to the foot. With thin thongs, ligaments and tendons of your foot will get stressed from over-gripping. This can lead heel pain with extended use.
Choose flip-flops and sandals with adequate arch support
The arch absorbs a lot of weight and stress when you walk or even stand still. Flip-flops and sandals with good arch support can prevent your feet from tiring easily. Inadequate arch support can injure the plantar fascia which, in turn, can develop arch pain and flat feet in the long run. Allowing just the tendons to provide arch support may leave your feet stressed and aching at the end of the day. A foot doctor will recommend flip-flops that are rigid when you try to fold them. Otherwise, your feet won’t be getting the required support.
Foot doctor reminder: Be more aware of your feet if you have diabetes
Diabetics and people who suffer from other neurological conditions lack sensation in their feet. They may not be instantly aware of items such as pebbles stuck in their footwear. Lack of foot feeling can cause cuts, blisters, and other injuries to occur from straps and hard items rubbing against the skin. People who lack foot sensation should check the condition of their feet several times in a day.
Feet care is essential to your well-being
By using flip-flops and sandals, your feet are exposed to dirt, germs and the elements. Cracks and folds in your feet can be good places for bacteria and fungus to thrive. Dry skin easily absorb dirt and grime and make it more susceptible to infection. Observe regular foot care. See a foot doctor at the first sign of fungus and other foot infections. A good moisturizer will keep your feet supple and prevent cracks caused by dry skin.
Listen to your other body parts
Flip-flops can cause foot conditions that can affect other parts of your body. For instance, they can cause you to walk with abnormally short steps which can lead to hip and back pain. Flattened feet caused by sandals lacking arch support can also put stress and cause pain on the knees, ankles, hip bones, and lumbar region.
Replace old and worn-out flip-flops
Most sandals and flip-flops still appear nice at the top even after years of use. However, look underneath and you will see that the soles are all worn out. The sole can tell a lot whether your sandal will serve you much longer or not. Worn-out soles are indication of your footwear’s condition, if they need to be repaired or replaced altogether.