It's summertime and flip flops are everywhere. They're no longer the fashion faux pas in the increasingly casual workplace (I couldn't resist using the term), and made a splash in the White House (recall the photo with Pres. Bush). While you may love wearing them, and I am first to admit I do, do you know what impact they have on your body?
I've been wearing zoris (Japanese flip flops) since early childhood. Growing up in a beach community in Southern California, they were the common, and very sensible, gear - easy to slip on and off, easy to clean, easy to stash in a tote, handy in the showers. In fact, in school P.E., we were required to wear flip flops in the showers.
The past several years, flip flops have become a fashion statement with so many designs, some downright ridiculous. They've also been re-structured and re-engineered so that you can actually find some very supportive styles. I even slip off my shoes after a long distance run in favor of a style of flip flop popular among runners.
Just today, one of our local TV news stations carried a re-broadcast of a story featuring a local podiatrist who warned against harmful foot and skeletal conditions that can be caused by wearing flip flops, among them:
- plantar fasciitis
- hammer toes
- ankle sprains
- heel injury
- skin and nail conditions
- alignment issues: hips, lower back
On the upside: to make a pair of flip flops costs roughly $1 and they provide an affordable "shoe" in underdeveloped countries.
Bottom line: be sensible and limit the amount of time you wear them every day. Take care of your feet!
Flip Flops: Fun For Summer, Not For Feet (News8 Austin, July 14, 2008)
Get in Step with Summer Foot Care (KXAN, June 21, 2008)
In the Relentless Pursuit of Fashion the Feet Pay the Price (NY TImes, Aug 31, 2004)
Flip Flops Bad For Feet (LiveScience.com, June 24, 2008)
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