I read an interesting article on WebMD last week. Yet another article about the perils of wearing flip flops. Of course much ink has been spilled on this topic, and it usually involves small, sound bites from NYC podiatrists discussing what can happen from wearing something as innocent as a flip flop. First the sun, then sugary drinks, now this. What will they take from us next? Except that in this case, I happen to agree.
In my NYC podiatry practice, I tend to treat tendonitis, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), and many other aches and pains stemming from every day walking and activity. Many of these conditions are either caused or exacerbated by flat shoes that offer little or no arch support. The pressures exerted on the bottom of the foot lead to strain of the structures that support the arch and the surrounding tendons. Coupled with all this is the reality that many people, particularly women, wear high heeled shoes that relieve all pressure from the bottom of the foot during the week, and then transition into very flat shoes on the weekend. It is indeed a hard transition and the pressures on the foot are considerable. All this leads to the typical Monday morning spike in plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and tendonitis. And it is for this reason that- believe it or not- I actually recommend a low heel for patients suffering from the above conditions and who may not quite be ready for orthotics.
There are many flat shoes that are popular, but flip flops are particularly lacking in support. Let’s not forget that these shoes also leave the foot exposed to many potential hazards from the road and other terrain. And, if I may be blunt, and an equal opportunity offender to both genders, I am not terribly keen on the the idea of men wearing open toe shoes. Just my own opinion, but I like my tootsies to have a home. No offense, guys.
The summer is upon us. So kids, listen to your parents. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen. Keep those sodas under 16 ounces., especially in NYC. And for the love of your feet, get a nice rubberized closed toe shoe.
See you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson