Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are flip flops a flop for feet?

Nothing says summer like a pair of fashionable, lightweight flips flops, but experts say we should think carefully when we reach for our summer footwear.

“We strongly recommend balancing style and ease with comfort and support,” says Ryan Robinson, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. “If you are at the pool or sitting in the back yard, flip flops may be an appropriate choice. But if you are walking any distance, a pair of flimsy, ill-fitting footwear can cause a lot of harm.”

Basic flip flops, he says, lack support and often fit badly, which can lead to strains and
pains in the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. Unlike walking shoes, which are
designed to meet the requirements of the foot and lower limbs, most flip flops do not provide the support, motion control and cushioning required by the foot during walking.
For the committed, however, not all flip flops are created equal.

Unlike the bargain basement brand, some footwear companies design them with the health of your feet in mind.  To minimize injury, flip flop lovers should look for ones with supportive footbeds, adjustable straps, thicker soles and deep heel cups to provide the foot with much needed support and protection.

Although these more supportive styles should never be substituted for walking shoes when a long walk or rough terrain is involved, they are a suitable choice for short walks and may reduce the risk of injury compared to regular varieties.

More information on this topic can be found at www.pedorthic.ca .

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