Posts for category: Proper Footwear
Have you noticed that your heels are hurting more this summer or that you have pain in the arch of your foot? At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, our next question would be: “How much time are you spending in flip-flops?” These popular summer shoes are easy to slip on and the favorites of many patients, but flip-flops were never designed for all-day, everyday wear.
Why They Flop
Part of what attracts people to flip-flops is precisely their primary shortcoming: there’s nothing there. While you may enjoy the freedom that having very little material on or around your foot brings, it also leaves your foot vulnerable to a host of foot and ankle problems.
- No arch support—when your foot hits the ground flat with each step, it puts a strain on the long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed from an excessive amount of time wearing flip-flops, you develop plantar fasciitis and your arch and heel can begin to hurt quite badly. Good arch support is essential for avoiding foot pain.
- Lack of cushioning—traditional flip-flops have only a thin layer of rubber between the bottom of your foot and the surface you’re walking on. This means a lack of shock absorption and leads to pain in the ball and heel of your foot.
- No protection—because there is no footbed or material surrounding your foot, it is nearly impossible for your foot to stay in place. Flip-flop wearers have a high risk of ankle sprains. The opportunity for cuts, scrapes and toe stubs is also greatly increased.
The Flip Side
The one scenario where flip-flops are an appropriate shoe choice is at the pool, lake or ocean. Worn briefly in these settings, flip-flops can help prevent fungal infections like athlete’s foot and protect your feet from burns as you go from the parking area to your beach blanket.
If you are unwilling to give up your flip-flops, look for manufacturers that are adding support and other features to address common flip-flop flaws. If you are experiencing foot pain or would like shoe recommendations, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices today and talk to our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know the importance of wearing good shoes for the health of your feet. To prevent injury and ensure good podiatric health, you should wear shoes that fit properly, are well-made and offer adequate arch support, have a cushioned footbed, a firm heel counter and sturdy sole with a non-slip tread.
Below are some fun facts about footwear that you may not know:
- The average shoe size in America has increased two sizes in the last four decades.
- The oldest shoe found dates back 5,500 years ago and was found in an Armenian cave.
- The U.S. Rubber Company created the first sneaker in America in 1916. They were originally called Keds.
- The most expensive shoes ever were Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, which sold for $660,000.
- 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet.
- The world record for largest foot belongs to Matthew McGrory who wears a US size 28 ½.
- There is only one shoe museum in North America. It is located in Toronto, Canada and features shoes over a 4,500-year period.
- In Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, all heels on shoes were colored red.
- The ancient Romans were the first to make shoes that fit left and a right foot. Before that, a shoe could be worn on either foot.
- It wasn’t until the 18th century in Europe that women’s shoes began to be different from men’s shoes.
If you have questions about the best shoes for your feet, particularly if you have a chronic foot or ankle problem you need to accommodate, don’t hesitate to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices and ask one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. for recommendations.
Have you been considering orthotics? For many people, orthotics can be quite an investment. Some people, however, can’t afford not to invest in orthotics because of the state their feet and ankles are in! True orthotics are custom-designed to your feet and your feet only. When compared to shoe inserts sold as orthotics in regular stores, you may be spending less money - but at what cost? When you’re stuck considering whether or not the investment is worth it, consider these facts:
Shoe inserts sold in regular stores typically come in just a few different types or sizes. Considering there are over 7 billion people on our planet, it is highly unlikely that 1 or 2 different types of inserts will truly help your individual foot problems. These inserts are commonly made with lower-quality materials that can fade fast and lose their generic supportiveness.
Trying to fix your foot issues yourself using shoes advertised as ‘supportive,’ or with store-bought inserts without a diagnosis, can sometimes lead to worsening the problem. For example, shoes modeled after ballerina flats are widely used as a comfortable and convenient option for everyday use. However, flats are called flats for a reason - they have little to no support for your feet. This can lead to several issues: wearing flats can lead to flat feet and fallen arches.
No two sets of feet are the same! Your friend may have very well resolved their mild plantar fasciitis by resting and getting store-bought shoe inserts, but this doesn’t mean you will have the same results. Inserts alone can’t treat or improve plantar fasciitis caused by bone spurs or repeated injuries, for example, and that’s where the professionals come in.
While there are plenty of seemingly quick fixes available ‘over the counter’ for your foot problems, not all of them are guaranteed to work for your unique and individual concerns. Start off on the right foot when it comes to your health. Contact Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella at our six different locations throughout Hartford Country and surrounding areas in Connecticut.
Often when you think of summer, you think of lounging at the pool or the beach, biting into a snow cone or a big juicy watermelon, and maybe watching a Fourth of July parade with your family. In these scenarios, you probably picture yourself wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip-flops. Flip-flop shoes might seem like such an iconic, perfect summer shoe. They’re easy to slip on and off and they’re a dime a dozen at some stores, plus they come in so many colorful patterns that can help you display your personal taste!
They’re definitely a fun shoe! But unfortunately, they might not be the best shoes for your feet. While they do protect the bottoms of your feet, they don’t offer much-needed arch support. Below you’ll find some reasons to flip your flip-flops right off:
- People wear them perpetually. Often, people treat flip-flops as their daily shoe, leaving their feet unsupported day-in and day-out. A flat piece of rubber under your feet does not offer the support that your arches need, which can lead to podiatric issues like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. They’re great pool-wear, but keeping them on every day can be bad news.
- They leave your feet open and vulnerable. Cuts, scrapes, burns, bruises, and even pesky mosquito bites can affect the nearly 75% of your foot that is left open when wearing flip-flops.
- They make your toes work too much. Your toes have to unnaturally bend to grip the rubber base to keep it under your feet. Too much of this can lead to hammertoe.
- They’re unsafe to drive in. Studies have proven that foot movement time is longer from the gas to the brake if the driver is wearing flip-flops. Plus, a flip-flop could get caught under a pedal and prevent you from pressing the brakes! This greatly increases the risk of car accident.
If you just recently bought a fancy new pair of flip-flops, don’t let this dishearten you! You should wear them in moderation – show them off at the beach or by the pool; just don’t make them your regular shoe. If you do hurt yourself while wearing flip-flops, we’re here for you. The professionals at Connecticut Foot Care Centers are knowledgeable and professional, and can get you on the path to great foot health. Click here to schedule an appointment or call one of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices today!