Each year at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC we witness many serious foot health problems due to wearing a popular summer shoe: flip-flops. While we acknowledge the comfort and convenience of these shoes, it’s very important to observe some precautions. Follow the do’s and don’ts below to protect your feet this summer:
Do: look for flip-flops that are designed with an arch support. Traditional rubber or vinyl flip-flops have no support at all and long hours spent wearing them can put strain on your plantar fascia resulting in arch and heel pain.
Do: wear flip-flops around the pool or at the beach. This is the one place where it is completely appropriate and even advantageous to wear these shoes. Flip-flops can provide protective coverage that will keep feet from coming in contact with fungi and bacteria that can cause athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts.
Don’t: wear flip-flops to play sports or for long periods of walking. Never run in flip-flops. There is nothing holding the foot in place or protecting it and the risk of injury is huge. The chance of cuts, scrapes, ankle sprains and even fractures are all greatly increased when wearing flip-flops.
Do: give your flip-flops the flex test. If you can bend your flip-flop completely in half, it’s time to replace them.
Don’t: delay contacting our Valley Stream or Lake Success office by calling: (516) 825-4070 or (516) 327-0074 if you do injure your foot while wearing flip-flops. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko, will examine your foot and may order x-rays or other imaging studies. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important to ensure a full recovery.
Until the time of your appointment, you can use the RICE regimen. Rest the injured foot as much as possible. Ice the affected area by wrapping ice in a thin towel—do not apply ice directly to the skin. Use a compression wrap to keep swelling down and elevate the foot above the level of the heart as much as possible when sitting or lying down.