When summer finally arrives and the temperatures rise, the natural desire for all of us is to shed our clunky winter boots and step into something lighter.
Flip flops are a go-to these days, both for adults and children. The “slip-on, slip-off” accessibility, comfort and price point makes them a top seller during the warm months. Take a look – or listen – you’ll see and hear the familiar “slap slap” noise just about everywhere you turn. However, the simplicity of this footwear comes at a significant price to your spinal health.
Your feet are the foundation of your body
Your feet – much like the basement of a house – serve as the foundation for your entire body. When the base is off kilter, it throws everything else out of alignment, from your ankles, knees, hips, and even right up into your spine. The lack of support and excessive amount of flexibility in a flip flop causes you to change the way you walk, by shortening your stride and interfering with your natural gait. The feet also have a tendency to pronate in flip flops – best described as an inward rolling of the foot. From there, pain in the lower body and spine often occur, which can dampen anyone’s happy summer.
What’s the best way to combat flip-flop feet? Consider a well-supported running shoe with orthotics if you know you’re going to be on your feet all day. Your heel should be held in place and the shoe should only flex at the ball of the foot. Too much bend in the middle of the shoe will lead to the same issues caused by flip flops. As for those hot days when you’re dying to feel the breeze between your toes, consider an orthopedic sandal like those made by Birkenstock. With the strong footbed and plenty of width for your entire foot, you’ll be walking in comfort … and your back will thank you!