Local Podiatrist Warns of the Dangers of Flip Flops

Australia Day: Aussie Icons

Its another hot summer day, and the official shoe of summer is flip-flops, right?

Well...maybe not.

Podiatrist Dr. Jessica Rutstein of TSAOG Orthopaedics in San Antonio says flip flops are fantastic, if your goal is serious damage to your feet, and your posture.

First of all, she says your heels may not survive a summer in flip-flops.

"Patients using very flat, very inexpensive flip-flops and they get Plantar Fasciitis for heel pain and arch pain, because they are wearing something that has absolutely no support whatsoever," Dr. Rutstein said.

And that's just the start.  She says your toes are forced to make unnatural moves to keep the flip-flops on your feet when you are walking, and that leads to painful injuries.

"Not only hammertoes, but people get tendonitis in the front of their ankle and on the top of their foot, and that takes ten to fourteen days some times to resolve."

In addition, there are blisters that form when the poorly fitting strap rubs against the top of your foot, and there is the danger of picking up bacteria and fungal infections in any open sores in your foot.

Dr. Rutstein says bare feet are a lot better than flip-flops for your posture, as the flat sole which doesn't move with your feet can cause serious, and potentially permanent problems with your posture.

She says if you want an open toed shoe for the summertime, go with a Birkenstock or some sandal that has a support strap behind the ankle.  Or, stick with reliable tennis shoes.

She says if you want to put on flip flops for the short walk to the pool or to the beach, that's great, but she says whenever a lot of walking is involved, choose something else.

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