Weather’s warming up, and many of us trading winter boots for flip-flops, but what are your thongs really doing to your feet? These summer sandals could be doing more damage than you think.
Whilst thongs are ideal for days at the beach, our foot experts warn against wearing them for long periods of time. For one thing, the flat, rubber sole offers little shock-absorption from hard surfaces like concrete pavement, bitumen, or brick. The overly-flexible soles also have virtually no structure or arch-support, making the feet lie unnaturally flat in the shoe and work overtime to support the rest of our bodies, which can result in tendon stress.
Ankle sprains and twists can occur more easily when wearing thongs because they don’t have supporting ankle or heel straps. In fact, the straps that are there, over the top of the foot, do a pretty poor job of keeping the foot in place. As a result, many people ‘scrunch’ their toes as they lift the foot through the air to stop the thong sliding off. This type of movement can lead to joint and muscle problems from the ankle, to the hips, all the way to the neck. In addition, flip-flop wearers usually take short strides to accommodate the slipping-shoe, and instinctively shift weight to the inside of the foot to help keep the sandal in place, which can lead to long-term ankle issues.
Choosing a Sole-Mate
We’re not completely opposed to thongs, but we think it’s important to choose a pair that your feet will love.
1. Choose thongs will a sturdier sole — shoes of any kind should never be able to fold in half. We stock the new Vionic Beach Flip Flop range which is a great alternative to the usual thin soled thongs that offers great support for your feet.
2. Go for leather straps that won’t give you blisters from constant rubbing.
3. Never wear flip-flops, or any sandals, whilst playing sport.
4. Thin-soled thongs wear-down fast, so if you have to buy thin-soled ones, replace them every 3 – 4 months.
5. Limit the time you spend wearing this shoe, and avoid walking long distances wearing thongs.
6. Never ignore pain or irritation that occurs from wearing thongs.