We all love a good pair of flip flops. You may even be wearing some now! However, sometimes what we think of as good may not actually be good for our bodies. The truth is, certain flip flops can actually cause us harm. We all walk - around the house, to the car, at the park, the grocery store - and what we put on our feet affects how our bodies feel.
Walking around on concrete floors barefoot can be just as bad as walking around with flip flops. Without proper support, the ligaments, joints, and discs of the spine can become hurt and be painful. Flip flops have no strap around the ankle which causes the foot to flip flop and slip and slide all around the shoe. By keeping the foot stabilized, you're providing a solid foundation for your spine. Arch stability and the footbed design are very important to foot, knee, hip, and spinal health.
For a flip flop to be good - it must have adequate support. Most flip flops are made of plastic or rubber. These bend very easily in the center which conveys a lack of support and fragility. Flip flops made of quality soft leather are recommended over the rubber and plastic, because they offer more support in the middle of the foot or the arch.
Another thing to consider is the wear and tear of your flip flops. Whereas some shoes and boots are made to last and fight against wear and flattening - most flip flops aren't. Some of us like flip flops because they're cheap and convenient. However, those same reasons are why they can also be harmful. The cheaper materials wear down over time much easier and quicker than leather, and some of us don't even replace them every year.
There's no need in banishing flip flops from our wardrobe - but there should be more consideration the next time you buy a pair. Make sure you're checking for these key structures. Remember to also keep in mind that cheaper isn't always best. Understand what type of material you're purchasing and make an informed decision.
Moderation. Moderation. Moderation. Whether you decide to ditch those flip flops you've had for years and buy some made to perfectly fit your arch or not - keep moderation in mind. If you know you're going somewhere you may be doing a considerable amount of walking - support your arches. If you can't get rid of your favorite pair, at least stop wearing them as much. Be mindful of how you're treating your spine. Not only can your flip flops cause back pain and spinal issues, but they may also be aiding in bad posture.
They're easy and they're comfortable - but be smart with your flip flops. Invest in some special flip flops made to support your arches and spine while improving your pain and posture. You may not hurt now and the effects may not be prevalent - but this is your chance to stop it before it starts.
Keep soaking up that vitamin D this summer, but don't let your flip flops be the cause of you being stuck inside. Be smart and be healthy.