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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flip-Flops: Cute But Dangerous

Many of us northerners are just seeing the first days of spring. One day of sunshine and we rotate our closet, pack up the sweaters and pull out the shorts and spring dresses. However, what is summer without the flip-flop sandal. You can find them in every color and every store! Let’s face it, we all have enough pairs of flip-flops to last us a lifetime. We know they are not the most sensible shoe gear, but we wear them anyway. Maybe we need to be reminded of all the horrible things that happen when wearing flip-flops.
The Accident!
Can you imagine how many times you have stubbed your toe or dropped something on your foot? When wearing a flip- flop, you have almost zero protection. Every year there are countless injuries to the toes from people running in flip- flops! Broken toes, fractured bones, and toenails ripped right off. You may think I am over exaggerating, but unfortunately, I am being very honest. Everyone from toddlers to grandmas is coming to the ER because of a foot injury while wearing flip-flops.

The Burn!
Sunscreen is now mainstream and most people remember to apply SPF before exposing themselves to the sun. We pay close attention to our nose, cheeks and shoulders but do you put sunscreen on your feet? We often forget about the feet, but skin cancer can appear anywhere. Podiatrists have been taking more biopsies for suspicious growths than ever before. When wearing flip-flops you have almost no coverage on your feet, so do not forget to protect the skin with some sun block!

Where is the Support!
The traditional flip-flop is nothing more than a flat foamy plastic that is bendable and twistable. You can only imagine the amount of support it gives your foot. NONE! It may protect your foot from feeling the surface you are walking on but that is about the extent of the flip-flop function. Our foot takes on a lot of stress throughout the day and we need shoes to help absorb the workload or else our feet tire and become painful. Flip-Flops may lead to aches, pains, and the dreaded plantar fasciitis. We also tend to grip the sandals with our toes as we walk, this can lead to ugly hammertoes!

Now, let us be very honest. It is summertime and the last thing we want to do is go to the beach in athletic shoes. It is hot and humid and we want our feet to breath! If we must wear sandals, then we must be sensible. There are number of brands that have developed sandal lines with sufficient support and a little bit more protection. Traditionally these types of sandals were not very stylish, but today fashionable, healthy sandals are much more commonplace. So this summer, keep those flip-flops in the closet and opt for a comfortable and reliable sandal!