pucci.it via Flickr

pucci.it via Flickr

There are some medical conditions in medicine that predictably cycle the seasons- like “Winter’s Itches” that comes from drier colder weather which irritates some people’s skin, or the cold and flu season that typically peaks in December through March. Not to be outdone, the tell tale seasonal allergy season that usually follows the spring blooms.

One group of less obvious issues are the what I call the Slip Flop Feet. This is a play on the flip flop/thongs that has become ubiquitous and mainstream footwear for all the sunny months which
in California is pretty much all year round.

I see patients with this set of conditions starting in late summer and early fall every year. Not only do patients with the obvious ‘trauma’ issues come in from trips and missteps due to these flimsy shoes but a less obvious group of foot pain issues surface as well.

These convenient footwear keep general doctors and podiatrists in business. Never designed with
foot health in mind they serve a fashion and footwear purpose but since many people wear these almost exclusively at times, they unknowingly go for days, weeks and months straining their foot bones, tendons and muscles.

Since the slip on style makes one slightly shuffle step instead of allowing for the normal weight bearing and footfall pressure is distributed abnormally.
It’s not merely that the flip flops usually have thin soles and only a thong strap that the toes have
to keep wedged between the toe space.

The slight, almost imperceptible but daily shift in weight bearing can accumulate abnormal pressures on the foot that then can cause pain and discomfort.

It’s actually common that many people don’t realize the flip flops are the cause since they have been wearing them off and on for years.

Read below if you have foot issues some months out of the year and never could figure out why-

1. Chafing between the toes, corns and blisters in odd locations on the feet

2. Pain anywhere on the arch- especially the heel (Plantar Fasciitis)

3. Pain at the bones/tissue of the toe web spaces (Morton’s Neuroma)

4. Pain at the top of the foot (forefoot pain/tendinitis)

And since the feet take the brunt of our weight and the wear and tear of each step, the foot issues can then eventually throw off your gait and in turn start to affect the ankles, knees, hips and even the back!

So make sure your Slip Flops are not the only support your precious and aging feet get…
keep their use for short jaunts around the pool or for quick and easy errands- avoid wearing
them for amusement parks and hiking

About the author

Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol- doctor, wife, mom and maker PB&J!
One of my passions is to help people Embrace change, Try new things and be BOLD for a healthier and balanced life!

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