Take one quick look around on a hot summer day in SoCal, and you’ll notice the huge amount of people choosing to spend their day in flip-flops. However, despite their breezy comfort, you’ve probably noticed that walking around in them all day doesn’t feel too great. That’s because they could be contributing to fallen arches, a painful foot condition.
Think about a foot shape for a second. Maybe even imagine how you’d draw one if you were given a pen and paper. How did you picture the bottom of the foot? Most people forget — or don’t realize — that our feet are naturally arch-shaped, and should not be flat on the bottom.
Unfortunately for about a third of the population, those arches are quickly falling thanks to some less-than-ideal footwear choices. And yep, you guessed it: flip-flops are one of the primary culprits for causing fallen arches (also known as ‘flat feet’).
Look, we’re not here to be the no-fun police and tell you to never wear flip-flops. What we are trying to do, however, is show you from a medical standpoint that spending all day on your feet in flip-flops or other shoes without arch support is a recipe for health problems. In other words, wearing flip-flops is not the problem here, so much as standing or walking in them for a long time is.
There’s a spectrum when it comes to fallen arches and flat feet, ranging from being able to stand for less time all the way to excruciating foot pain. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, the good news is that there are steps you can take to help ease your arches.
For starters, make good choices about the footwear you pick when you leave the house. Sure, a beach day in flip-flops seems like a natural choice. But are you also going to be walking a couple miles up and down the strand throughout the day, and then going to a barbecue at night where you’ll be standing most of the time? Consider ditching the sandals for something with a little more support; or, bring along an extra pair of shoes in the car.
OK, we know what you’re thinking: shoes with plenty of arch support simply look unfashionable or don’t fit in with a summery aesthetic. Not to worry… that’s what inserts are for! Pick your breeziest closed-toe shoe, and slip an arch-boosting insert in each one. We promise, nobody will ever know the difference — except your relieved feet!