Flip-flop and sandal season is here!
Are you taking care of your feet so that those flip-flops don’t cause unnecessary foot pain?
Flip-flops and sandals are a very popular choice for summer footwear. Do you wear flip-flops? You can find many professionals that argue against the choice to wear flip-flops because of the strain it can put on your feet. I think the concern is valid, with the extreme being small stress fractures in your foot! If you take care of your feet and transition to flip-flops every spring/summer, I think foot injury can be avoided.
Here are a few tips to transition into Flip-flop season to avoid straining the flexor/extensor* tendons on your feet:
- Break your feet in slowly.
It is so tempting to put the winter shoes away at the first sign of nice weather, and just switch to flip-flops. Make sure to break your feet in! The tendons on your feet have been supported all winter with shoes, and now they need to work a little harder to keep flip-flops on your feet. Wear your flip-flops in short periods to start, and then lengthen the time each day until your feet are use the flip-flops.
- Stretch and move your feet.
Point and flex your toes to get those tendons warm and moving (think unstuck). To stretch you can assist the point and flex of your foot with your hands. A good flexor stretch you will feel it into your calves, and a good stretch in your extensors you will feel it up your shin.
- Foot massage!
Whether you are doing self-massage, pedicures, and/or professional massage, it is really good to rub on the tendons, muscles, and fascia of your feet. It feels really good too!
- Consider a sandal with a back strap.
If you do all the stretching and massage in the world and your feet still have pain with flip-flops, think about a sandal with a back strap. Your feet will not have to work so hard to keep the flip-flop on your foot, saving the muscles and tendons (especially the flexors) of your feet.
Flip-flop season usually brings a big smile to everyone’s face. Make sure to take care of your feet so you can wear flip-flops and sandals for years to come and avoid any foot pain!
* The flexor tendons of the foot are on the bottom of your foot (the surface you walk on), and their job is to point your toes. The extonsor tendons are on the top of your foot, and are responsible for flexing your foot to your face.