Summer shoes may be orthopedically unsound
If you're getting ready to show off your toes in summer sandals, make sure those shoes aren't a flop in terms of the support they provide, says an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.
"Not only do thong-style shoes provide no arch support, but they also can cause you to take shorter strides, sometimes resulting in hip, lower back or even knee pain," said Dr. Jason Ahuero, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor. "The lack of arch support can also lead to ankle pain."
Flip-flops and other sandals without straps across the back should be worn on a limited basis, Ahuero says. Many times, the foot slides back and forth in these shoes and can cause issues such as blisters and plantar fasciitis. The constant flexing of the toes to keep flip-flops in place can lead to hammertoe, a deformity of one or both joints of the second, third or fourth toe, which causes it to be permanently bent. This can only be corrected with surgery, so avoiding shoes that can cause this is recommended.
Ahuero suggests sandals with straps across the front and back that keep feet secure and provide better arch support. He also recommends sandals with a rugged sole to avoid slips and falls on wet surfaces, such as near the pool.
Whenever wearing sandals, Ahuero says to be aware of injuries to exposed toes, such as stubbing the toes or dropping something on them. Avoid driving in flip-flops as they can easily slide off or become hung under the gas or brake pedal.