When warmer weather approaches it’s time to pack away those boots and closed shoes and dust off your flip-flops and favorite sandals. What’s not to love about summer shoes? They’re pretty, they’re easy to put on and take off, and there’s no heel to hurt your feet. Surely they’re good for your feet, then? It seems that they’re actually the opposite and can negatively affect your body in some ways. Let’s talk through some of the reasons why your summer shoes may be wrecking your body.
What to consider before choosing what shoes to wear
Your foot’s arch is something that you should take into account when choosing shoes. According to foot and ankle specialist James Holmes, people with flat feet should be especially aware of the type of shoes they use, as it can have a huge effect on their body. If you’re not sure whether you have flat feet or not, there’s a simple way to check. Get yourself some playdough, put a thick layer on the ground, wet your feet, and stand barefoot on the playdough. When you remove your foot off the playdough, the shape of your foot will be imprinted on it and you’ll be able to see if you have an arch or not. If you experience backache and other such pains and suspect you have flat feet, then maybe a visit to the podiatrist would be a good idea. If you know you’ll be standing or walking for long periods, choose supportive shoes that will provide relief to your feet. Flip-flops and sandals were not made to be worn all day for the simple reason that they don’t provide any support for your feet.
How can your shoes affect the rest of your body?
The body needs to be aligned for it to function optimally so the moment there’s an imbalance, aches and pains will arise. That’s why wearing uncomfortable shoes for long periods of time will most certainly result in discomfort and pain. The type of shoe you wear can actually affect your posture, knees, hips, and lower back. For example, wearing heels requires that you bend your knees a little more than usual for balance. Because it’s all connected, though, your hips bend slightly too, which then affects your back as well. When there’s an imbalance, your body will want to stabilize and adjust by compensating in other areas. Shoes that are more supportive and comfortable make a huge difference in keeping you aligned.
Are there any positives to using sandals?
When worn for short periods of time, your pretty sandals and comfy flip-flops are not harmful to your body at all. The key is to not wear them all day and only for short spurts of time. James Holmes has also mentioned that wearing flip flops is much like being barefoot, and some studies showed that populations that walk barefoot have fewer foot issues such as bunions and the like.
Now we know that though your summer shoes may seem comfortable for a short while, they can, in fact, have a negative effect on your body and cause aches and pains when overused. However, they’re not all bad. If worn the way they were intended, which is for short periods of time, they can have their benefits. Nevertheless, wherever possible, opt for a more supportive shoe.