We are just a few days away from summer (official start is June 21) and yet most of us have had our flip flops on for several weeks. Over the years, flip flops have gone from casual beach shoes to fashionable accessories that can be dressed up or dressed down, based on the style and color. Flip flops may have evolved in design, but they still are not always the kindest to our feet!

Effect of Flip Flops on Your Feet

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), flip flops are not the best option for healthy feet. Flip flops are lacking in:

  • Support. Flip flops do not provide a supportive arch and the straps do not help in keeping your foot in place as you walk. Flip flops allow your feet to move around more than other types of footwear and therefore can cause callus formation around the edges of the heel. If you must wear flip flops, buy those that are considered athletic sandals since they have thicker, sturdier straps and have more supportive bottoms.
  • Comfort. Thong flip flops are the most common type of flip flop; these are the ones with the strap between your big toe and second toe. This strap can be tough on the sensitive skin between your toes, creating irritation and calluses.
  • Coverage. Flip flops provide exposure to your feet and toenails. When toenails are long, they can easily collect bacteria and fungus deposition under the tip of the nails.

How To Take Care of Your Feet During The Summer Months

We understand that it can be nice to break out of the socks, sneakers, and heels that you’re used to wearing and throw on that pair of strappy flip flops so it is important to follow some tips to keeping healthy feet during these hot summer months:

  • If you’re going to wear flip flops stick to natural materials, such as cork, leather, and rubber. These materials are sturdier, breathable and absorb sweat.
  • Treat yourself to a pedicure. If you’re going to show off those toes, then you might as well treat yourself to a professional pedicure.
  • Keep a pack of antibacterial wipes (i.e. Wet Wipes) nearby. Wearing open toe shoes like flip flops, creates exposure to bacteria and fungus; wiping down your feet midday will help keep your feet clean.

If you experience foot pain that just won’t go away, then it may be time to see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle care. Check out our physicians directory to see what your options are.