Flip flops may not be the best choice for summer

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) – Flip flops were made for walking.

“When someone is wearing flip flops, you actually have a shorter stride,” says Meredith McHale with Professional Physical Therapy.

Well, maybe not.

The physical therapist points out, “You end up not, not taking a big enough step. You end up crunching your toes to actually hold onto that flip flop which can cause some injury.”

There’s not a lot of arch support and the foot is totally exposed, adding to that risk of injury.

But it’s the shoe of choice for many when warmer weather arrives.

Meredith admits, “In short durations and walking for short periods of time, flip flops are excellent.”

However, she sees all kinds of injuries due to flip flopping too long, “Common injuries are tendonitis, plantar fasciitis which people are familiar with, just typical overused injuries, you also get injuries to your knees, hips and low back.”

Barbara Bankson sought treatment, after her doctor prescribed therapeutic care when her peroneal tendonitis worsened.

“I was doing much too much for the state of my injury and I was going everywhere on flip flops,” says Barbara.

Meredith recommends this move — to strengthen the bottom of the foot, “Simply just pick the towel up with the arch of your foot and just scrunch up that towel a little bit.

Holding onto your toes to stretch the arch is another tip, “When you walk with flip flops you tend to grip alot with your toes and this will help pull you off the opposite direction to eliminate some pain.”

Barbara says, “I was on crutches and now I’m walking seven thousand steps a day.”

Now when Barbara chooses to wear the summer footwear – she opts for a more sensible pair, “These have support in the arch and they also have a wider strap than most and they hold my foot more firmly in place.”

For more information, contact Professional Physical Therapy.

This story was originally published by WTNH, a News 4 sister station and Media General Contributor.  

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