Why Do I Have Foot Pain When I Wear My Summer Flip-Flops/Sandals?

by thefootmechanic

Finally it is summertime and warm enough to wear my array of flip-flops and sandals! Ah, the Sun, the fun and the rays but, why do my darned feet hurt so bad? In reality, flip-flops and sandals offer nothing in the way of foot support. They offer no arch support, heel cushioning or shock absorption. In fact if you look at them, most are just a flat piece of sponge with some flimsy straps to keep them attached to your feet. If you’ve invested in a higher in sandal (Teva, Chaco, Keen, Salomen, Reef, etc.), they still might not be giving you the necessary stability you need.

Wearing flip-flops and sandals forces the wearer to scrunch his or her toes to grip the device at the wrong time in the gait cycle. This action shortens the natural stride and forces the foot, hip, and knee muscles to work harder, which can result in other muscles shutting down. For example, hammer toes, a condition in which the toes are bent in a claw-like position, are the result of years of compensation from the small foot muscles. The lack of arch support in most flip-flops and sandals can cause for magnify conditions such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, metatarsalgia and other maladies up the kinetic chain (ankle, shin, knee, hip and even the low back).

Dr. Joel Brooke, DPM, podiatrists on the medical staff of Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano states, “When wearing your summer flip-flops or sandals, the first sign is usually a sharp or slight burning sensation which one typically ‘blows-off.’ Advancing, it can turn into a dull, aching, fatigue-like pain which can eventually radiate up your leg affecting all of the tissues and joints of your leg.”

He continues, “…a flip-flop or a sandal which is well constructed by medical practitioner, that provides good arch support, good cushion and shock absorption in the forefoot, can prevent or even mitigate the above problems.”

The Foot Mechanic™ is the only company who can provide you with a truly “movement-based” orthotic flip-flop or sandal. For more information, please click on the following link to learn more about The Foot Mechanic’s™ array of custom flip-flop and sandal options: The Foot Mechanic/flip-flop and sandals.

Dr. Brett Purdom, DPT, ATC, CSCS