Q: What is your patients’ experiences with sandals and flip-flops?
Dr. William Knudson: Flip-flops come in all different styles and colors, with college logos, flowers, spangles and a variety of adornments. They’re the most prominent form of footwear during the summer months. Fashionable and fun, sandals and flip-flops during the summer are quite popular with all ages. Flip-flop safety is required, though. Wearers can experience foot discomfort and pain due to sprained ankles, tendinitis, arch support or any number of issues.
Q: Why are sandals and flip-flops potentially harmful for a person’s feet?
Dr. William Knudson: Most sandals and flip-flops offer no shock absorption, heel cushioning, or arch support. Even though they may arrive on store shelves in eye-catching shades like lime green and hot pink, flip-flops aren’t quite so attractive after a long, sleepless night troubled by aching feet. People shouldn’t be so quick to toss away their pumps, sneakers and wingtips once the temperature rises.
Q: What activities should be avoided when wearing sandals or flip-flops?
Dr. William Knudson: Sandals can keep things simple. That being said, the wearer shouldn’t hike trails or play sports in flip-flops. Unfortunately, many vacationers have discovered this truth much too late. Wear them sparingly.
Q: Which companies produce the best sandals and flip-flops on the market?
Dr. William Knudson: For people who love the feel of flip-flops, companies such as Rockport, Dansko, Chaco and Wolky offer viable options. All of these companies have been recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Moderation is key. As long as person is not doing a great deal of walking, it’s just fine to put on a favorite pair and enjoy the sunshine of summertime.