Everyone loves a good pair of sandals. They’re versatile, easy, stylish, and a generally cheaper option than other forms of footwear. They can even inspire nostalgic emotions. While these staples of footwear bring forth the joys of the summer months, these sandals were considered controversial last summer. As reported by Business Insider, Sam Morrison created “thought-provoking art” by putting President Trump’s tweets on flip flops to highlight his “hypocrisy”.
Flip-flops do have their negative side. For example, this particular style of shoe can increase your chances of injuries to your feet, increase the chance of foot fungus, and (in some cases) provide inadequate arch support, leading to foot pain. The prevalence of foot pain in the United States ranges somewhere between 13 and 36 percent, according to the CDC. Considering that foot pain is more prevalent in women, it could be speculated that improperly fitted shoes are at least partially to blame.
Luckily, if you do adequate research by checking out websites like Flip Flop Daily, you can find thorough reviews about the best kinds of flip flops to wear. At Flip Flop Daily, you can also find the latest news on flip-flops and the “flip flop lifestyle”. Check out these six tips for staying on top of your sandal game this summer:
1. Pay attention to how your flip flips bend and twist
Well-made shoes should only bend in the ball of the foot for walking. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), no shoes should be able to “bend in half.”
2. Look for arch support and cushion
Often, sandals lack the proper support for the bottom of the feet. Sometimes sandals don’t provide enough support for the sole of the foot leading to “aching arches,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic also notes how the bottom of the shoe should have a comfortable amount of padding between you and the floor.
3. Be aware of the materials your shoes are made from
Cheap plastic increases the chance of blisters and other skin irritations (*sighs* goodbye, Old Navy flip-flops in every color). To prevent blisters, the APMA recommends flip flops made from soft leather to prevent this type of foot discomfort.
4. Ensure they fit properly
The Mayo Clinic notes how wearing any shoes that don’t fit can cause foot pain, injury, or even deformities. When wearing flip flops, it’s important to give your toes plenty of room (toes shouldn’t hang over the front or you risk them getting caught on something and being injured). No part of your foot should be hanging off the edge of the flip flop, according to the APMA.
5. Check shoes for wear and tear
We all have a favorite pair of sandals that we get super excited about wearing as those flowers begin to bloom in the spring. Unfortunately, you’re technically not supposed to wear the same pair year after year, according to the APMA. The APMA says that “if [your flip flops} show signs of severe wear,” then you should throw them away (Tragic, I know).
6. Only wear sandals for appropriate activities
Slip-on sandals can be the ideal shoe for a lot of activities such as walking around the pool, going to the beach, and taking short walks to fetch the mail or turn off sprinklers in the summertime. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the bacteria that causes foot odor thrives in dark, moist, and warm environments. So, one of the best ways to prevent smelly feet is to keep them dry and cool. Flip flops allow for your feet to dry off way faster than they would in any other shoe while staying cool, making them ideal for leisure summer activities and preventing fungal infection in public showers.
However, the APMA warns against wearing flip flops when doing other activities such as yard work, playing sports, and walking long distances. They also recommend not ignoring foot discomfort (especially between the toes) as this can indicate the start of a blister, which could lead to possible infection if left untreated.