For many of us living in the UAE, flip-flops are the most commonly used type of casual footwear. It was like that for me too, until I realized in the middle of my first pregnancy that my shoe size increased. That was when I switched to orthopedic sandals, and later started importing them here for my eshop www.feelgoodshoes.ae. I wear flip-flops as well, don’t get me wrong. Exactly for these 3 occasions: beach, pool and a pedicure.
What are some of the reasons you should not wear flip-flops on a daily basis?
- Flip-flops expose your feet to bacteria, viral, and fungal infections. Any time your feet get particularly filthy (i.e. any time you wear your flip-flops in public), they're likely covered in some nasty things, like Staphylococcus. Your exposure increases if you have open wounds—like micro-wounds from exfoliation during a recent pedicure or actual cuts.
- Flip-flops destroy your heels and cause plantar fasciitis. Because your heels hit the ground with more force when there's nothing but a thin piece of foam separating your foot from the ground, walking in flip-flops increases the heel-strike impact, which can cause you pain — especially if you stand or walk in them for long periods of time. It can lead to plantar fasciitis. “The plantar fascia is a shock-absorbing bowstring-like thick ligament that connects your heel to toes. When you walk in flip-flops, your arch collapses causing this bowstring to stretch out leading to the formation of micro tears in the ligament that can result in weakness, swelling and irritation of the plantar fascia. It may feel like a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot when you get out of bed in the morning, after standing for prolonged periods of time, or when you stand up after sitting for a while.”
- They can damage your toes and give you Hammer Toes and bunions: “Hammer toes are contractions of the toe caused by a muscular imbalance in the foot where the tendons on the bottom of the foot over power the tendons on the top of the foot. As the toes contract, they may become permanently bent in a flexed position. Because flip-flops do not have a backstrap, we must grip the shoe with our toes, further flexing and bending our toes.” “A bunion is a biomechanical imbalance involving the great toe joint. It is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. Bunions start when the big toe rotates sideways towards the second toe and the first metatarsal projects outward in the opposite direction producing the characteristic bump, which increases prominently over time. Flip-flops lack adequate support of the foot, which further agitates existing bunions.”
- Flip-flops can cause shooting pains. People with flat feet need arch support to keep their knees, hips, and back aligned. In a flat shoe, there's none of that, so your joints have to compensate. This can cause overuse injuries all the way up the body, including Achilles tendonitis (an injury to the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone), heel pain, and pinched nerves in the back.
If you like the open feeling of a flip-flop but demand more provisions, your best bet is to opt for a pair of sandals. Orthopedic sandals from our eshop are a very good choice. They give you more support than their slimmer counterpart due to the arch support and moldable footbed, but they are also thicker, thus your feet will not collect the dirt with all its surprises and are made out of genuine leather. Our straps keep your foot much more secure and we have a lot of design choices.