Should you wear sandals or flip-flops?
When summertime comes around, many people are looking forward to not only the warm weather but also to the change in attire. With this seasonal change, many individuals will put away their regular shoes and switch to a pair of sandals or flip-flops. While this open footwear feels more comfortable in the moment and it can help your feet to stay cool on the hot summer days, many people don’t realize that sandals can be bad for the health of your feet and legs.
One of the reasons that flip-flops and sandals can be less than ideal footwear is due to the limited amount of protection that they provide the wearer’s feet. With a pair of sandals or flip-flops the feet are really only protected from the possibility of stepping on something that could cause them damage. With a regular pair of shoes, the wearer’s feet get better protection from the possibility of injury.
This is the area where flip-flops and sandals can really cause problems for the wearer. An individual who chooses to wear sandals or flip-flops will not have the benefits of sufficient arch support. Along with that, most types of sandals don’t offer any cushioning in the heel and they have limited abilities when it comes to shock absorption. This lack of support can cause a significant amount of foot pain for the wearer if they choose to wear sandals or flip-flops on a regular basis.
Flip-flops and sandals not only do very little to accommodate your feet, but they also provide inadequate support for your ankles. Some pairs of sandals do have some limited ankle support, but flip-flops provide none at all. Since this style of footwear provides limited ankle support at best, the wearer is exposed to a greater possibility of suffering an ankle injury. Not only that, but proper ankle support helps to take some of the strain off of your legs when you are walking. This additional strain can lead to soreness in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
What can flip-flops and sandals be good for?
With all of that being said, wearing a pair of sandals or flip-flops is not completely out of the question. For relaxing at home or hanging-out at the beach or by a pool, they can work well. However, wearing them for extended periods of time or trying to use them as a walking shoe is discouraged. They simply don’t have the features that are needed for long periods of use or for taking long walks.
If you are going to go with one or the other, buying a well-built pair of sandals is better than wearing flip-flops. Some sandals do incorporate at least some supportive features to make them more comfortable and practical. The key to maintaining healthy feet if you are a sandal wearer is to use them sparingly and not to use them for any activity that is overly stressful on the feet or legs.