When the weather warms, you may want to kick off your sneakers in favor of a pair of flip flops. But is this comfortable summer footwear dangerous for your health?
For more information, or to find a primary care doctors, visit www.UPMC.com/PrimaryCare or call 1-855-676-UPMCPCP.
Wearing improper footwear can cause discomfort and a variety of problems — including foot fungus, balance problems, and blisters.
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Foot Safety and Flip Flops
The problem with flip flops is all in the construction. The health hazards associated with wearing flip flops include:
- Most flip flops feature a thin rubber sole that provides little arch support, which can result in foot pressure and pain.
- Flip flops offer no ankle support, which can contribute to injury and balance problems.
- Flip flops also offer no support to the Achilles tendon, which can become sore or strained if overextended.
- With their open design, flip flops provide minimal protection against the natural wear and tear that occurs when walking.
- They do not provide a barrier between your skin and the dirt and debris you may encounter.
- Flip flops can worsen existing problems with your feet and posture.
- The thong that rests between your big toe and second toe can cause friction and blisters. And if exposed to bacteria, infections can develop between the toes.
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Dos and Don’ts When Choosing Flip Flops
If flip flops are your favorite summer footwear, you can keep yourself safe in a few simple ways. Shop for flip flops designed with additional arch support. You can even opt for more supportive sandals with ankle and foot straps — these shoes provide the breathability of flip flops with added support.
When choosing a pair of flip flops, do:
- Shop for leather flip flops or sandals made from thicker, more supportive materials. This helps provide better arch support and minimizes blisters and callouses;
- Ensure your feet do not hang over the edges of the flip flops;
- Ensure the soles of your flip flops are strong enough that they cannot bend in half.
- Wear flip flops with deteriorating soles
- Wear flip flops while doing heavy lifting, athletics, or yard work
- Wear flip flops during long walks or while on your feet for extended periods of time
About Primary Care
A bond between doctor and patient can be extremely valuable, and that’s what you get with UPMC Primary Care. When you work with a primary care physician (PCP), you develop a lasting relationship. Your doctor will get to know you and your history and can plan your treatments accordingly. Our PCPs offer a variety of services, including preventive care and treatment for both urgent and chronic conditions. We also operate primary care walk-in centers where you can get treatment without an appointment.