By Dr. Jeffrey Carlson
When the weather gets warm, both men and women ditch their more constrictive footwear in favor of the foot-freeing flip-flop. Flip-flops offer some protection for your feet, and thus they are better than walking around barefoot. They are fine to wear at the beach and public pools, as they can protect your feet from hot sand and concrete. They are also great to wear in public showers, often found in locker rooms at the gym and at the beach, to protect your feet from Athlete’s foot.
Flip-flops, however, are not meant to be an all-purpose summer shoe, and can cause several foot problems if worn too much. Because they are flat, they do not offer much arch or heel support, which can lead to foot pain. The thong can irritate the space between your toes, and the gripping action your toes must do to keep the flip-flops on your feet can be a contributing factor to hammertoes.
It can be difficult to find a pair with suitable support. With this in mind, Dr. Carlson has put together a list of a few brands that he recommends:
Both Vionic and Orthaheel have research-supported design, created by Podiatrists. If you have further questions regarding summer footwear or other shoe gear concerns, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Carlson at 435-843-3647. You can also visit his website at www.tooelefootandankle.com.