With warm weather and beach season, many turn to flip-flops.
Unfortunately, however, many types of flip-flops can cause foot and ankle problems due to lack of support and stability.
Non-supportive flip-flops can cause a common foot injury known as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot and the heel. Here are some tips to prevent injuries:
Don’t wear flip- flops while playing sports, walking long distances or doing yard work.
Check for proper fit by making sure your feet don’t hang off the edge of the flip-flops.
Flip-flops should have stability built in so they cannot bend or twist.
Look for flip-flops that have built-in arch support to cushion your feet. The lack of support can lead to numerous foot, ankle, knee and lower back injuries.
The material from which the flip-flops are made is important. In some cases a high quality soft leather will lessen the potential for blisters and irritation (compared to some rubber materials).
Always break into new sandals or flip-flops for a few hours the first day. Then slowly increase your wear time.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery with a practice in Darien, affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle Institute. A member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials, he is a veteran of 35 marathons. Visit his website at www.stamfordhealthmedicalgroup.org.
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