Sure, those inexpensive, tried-and-true rubber flip-flops are fine to wear poolside or on a beach, but if you wear them for any longer than a few hours, they can potentially do serious damage to your feet and—since those feet are the base of your body (and everything is connected)—beyond! Fortunately, not all sandals are poor choices.
One of the major problems with traditional flip-flops stems from the fact that we all spend a lot of time walking and standing on hard, unnatural surfaces. When we do, the arches of our feet flatten and need a little extra support – something those soft pieces of foam simply do not provide. During an average day, you take literally thousands of steps and the forces from those steps add up and can cause heel and arch pain from plantar fasciitis. Further, pronation—a natural rolling motion the foot goes through with every step—can become excessive, leading to bunions and misalignment issues in the ankle, knee, and hip.
So instead of walking around in the traditional flip-flop, look for sandals that more closely mimic a natural footprint. Models that cup the heel, have arch support, and offer superior cushion are a much better choice. Of course, looks do still matter. The good news is that sandal manufacturers have gotten wiser to how feet actually function and what it takes to keep them safe while stylish.
With that in mind, here are some sandals (and sandal manufacturers) that are better for your health:
- Wellrox Newport –toe grippers in the front help secure your toes while walking and prevent all the unnecessary (and potentially harmful) work we do to keep on traditional flip-flops. By keeping toes more naturally-aligned and spread, this sandal brings relief to aching feet and leg muscles and might help correct pronation.
- Teva –These have ankle straps that secure footwear to your feet. A big problem with flip flops is the fact we constantly have to adjust the way we walk to keep them on our feet. No matter if you are picking your foot up too early during the swing phase or awkwardly contracting your toes, they can lead to problems like tendonitis. Teva sandals also feature EVA cushioning to relieve stress on the tendons and muscles in your lower limbs.
- Vionic – This is a manufacturer who listens to podiatrists! Vinoic’s Orthaheel technology has been around since 1979 and still sets the bar high for realigning feet back to a natural position. That should be no surprise, since it was developed by foot specialists and has the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance.
For more information on footwear that is actually good for your feet—or to request an appointment with our office—simply give Fixing Feet Institute a call at (623) 584-5556!