Daniel L. Reminga, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Foot Doctor Houghton, MI
801 Memorial Rd.
Houghton, MI 49931 US
906-482-9950
 

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Posts for: August, 2012

By Daniel Reminga
August 09, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Summer is an active time. Most of us are outside enjoying this wonderful time of year.

Our feet get a workout…walking along the beach, playing volleyball, strolling local fairs and festivals. When it’s hot outside we want to slide into the coolest shoes we own. Oftentimes flip flops come to mind. They slide on easily and are cool and airy. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing flip-flops. However…are they the best choice?

According to the National Foot Health Assessment 2012 released in June, a whopping 78% of adults, 21 and older, have experienced one or more foot problems in their lives. The numbers don’t lie. Most of us have had, or will have, a foot problem at some point or another.

One of the culprits, especially during the summer, is the flip-flop. We love to love flip-flops however, they don’t love us back! Dr. Reminga, at Northern Foot Care Center, says that, “Typically, these flat sandals are nothing but bad for our feet. They are basically a thin slab of rubber with no heel, arch or structural support.” From the ancient Egyptians to California beach bums flip-flops have been the footwear of choice. They are emancipating and easy to wear, no wonder we love to love them.

Despite the flip-flops popularity, Dr. Reminga says that, “There are many risks involved with wearing flip-flops. Our feet were not designed to walk on the hard surfaces that are pervasive in society today. Concrete, asphalt, and steel, are surfaces that cover much of the world today. These surfaces are harsh on our feet. The thin rubber sole of a flip-flop is not adequate to absorb the shock these surfaces produce.” In addition, Dr. Reminga says, “We must remember that our feet are the first point of contact with the ground. The positioning of our feet provides the foundation for the body’s skeletal alignment. Even a slight shift in alignment could lead to misalignment, causing pain in the legs, knees, hips and back. It all begins with how you strike your heel to the ground. With very little to keep the foot in place, flip-flops can lead to tumbles, twisted ankles, and broken bones.” Nothing ends a care-free summer day faster than a misstep and an injury to the foot.

For people whose feet are already at risk, flip-flops can be a serious detriment. Dr. Reminga says, “People with diabetes, who may already have poor circulation, and limited feeling in their feet, are exposed not only to injury but also to infection when wearing flip-flops. Those with balance issues will find it hard to feel secure when wearing thin, rubbery, flip-flops. In addition, people suffering with obesity, and wearing the unstructured shoe, can add strain to feet that are already under stress with carrying extra weight.” The lack of support can result in over-pronation injuries, caused by the foot slipping inwards more than normal. This can lead to flat feet and tendonitis, inflammation of the tendon.

Despite the negatives regarding flip-flops, Dr. Reminga agrees, “There are times when flip-flops are beneficial. For example, they are handy and easy to wear in a locker room or at a community pool. Flip-flops can protect feet from fungi and wart causing viruses that are contracted when walking barefoot. Also, they can shield the feet against the beach’s sizzling sand. Hot sand can cause burns and blisters en route to the water.

Dr. Reminga says, “There are better alternatives for wearing the flimsy, thin, rubber flip-flops that can be picked up at the drugstore along with your bottle of water and sunscreen.”

At Northern Foot Care Center, we offer a selection of summer sandals that are structurally engineered with deep heel cups, arch supports, and comfortable toe supports. These options offer the best of both worlds, providing sound, stable footwear and light, breezy, summer sandals. Dr. Reminga says, “The best shoe choice is a good athletic type shoe, something that laces up and has a good support structure. However, if you need to wear a sandal, we can accommodate our patients with a sensible, supportive sandal that will enhance summer activities without injury or discomfort.”

The flip-flop is the oldest form of footwear still being worn today. It has been around for at least 6 thousand years without much change! Our knowledge of the foot and how it functions has evolved however, and we can conclude that there are much better choices for our foot health.

Flip or Flop? Both of these words can be associated with an unfavorable outcome if we choose to wear flip flops. No one wants to “flip” out or their shoes or “flop” down on the ground due to poor footwear choices while enjoying summer activities. At Northern Foot Care Center we want you to stay active this summer and enjoy it to the fullest. Call us at 482-9950 to schedule your evaluation today. Dr. Reminga, an expert in foot and ankle care for more than 27 years, will provide a complete and through exam of your feet so that you can continue to do the things you love to do.