In warmer spring weather, we begin to see a lot more sandals being worn instead of shoes, and we have some important tips to make sure you don’t harm your feet as a result.
Do the flex test.
If your flip-flops are so flexible that they fold in half, they aren’t supporting your feet. That’s a bad thing because a lack of support can lead to inflammation, pain, and even flattening of the foot. As with any other shoe, your flip-flops and sandals need to help absorb stress as you walk, if you want healthy, pain-free feet.
Hydrate your feet.
This is a necessity because sandals expose your feet to bacteria and debris, which can get trapped inside cracks of dry skin. Those cracks are prone to infection, so it is especially important to keep your feet well-moisturized to avoid such cracking.
Limit their use.
Contrary to popular belief, sandals are generally meant for relaxation and brief activity. Since sandals offer little to no support to keep the foot in place, it’s much easier to trip, sprain your ankle, and even break a bone.
While online shoe shopping is popular, for healthy feet, you need to try on the sandals before you buy them—so go to a store and try then on first. When you’re trying on sandals, you want shock-absorbing soles, a supportive arch, and a cup for the heel for additional support.
People with diabetes or neuropathy should be especially cautious about wearing sandals. Flip- flops and sandals don’t protect feet from rocks or dirt, and many diabetics and neuropathy patients are unable to feel that they have a wound. If you’re going to wear sandals, visually check your feet periodically each day for injury or debris.