With summer at its peak, the flip flop has become a wardrobe staple. But it’s always important to be conscientious of your foot health no matter what you decide to wear throughout your adventures. That’s why we talked to DPT and Sports Physical Therapist Brian Hoke about what to look out for when choosing the right summer footwear. With National Flip Flop Day taking place on June 19th, celebrate with a choice that’s both comfortable and supportive!
The warmth of the summer sun transforms our clothing and footwear selections to lighter colors, materials and fabrics. When it comes to footwear, this often means we will opt to leave the shoes in the closet and put on a pair of flip flop sandals. Unfortunately for many, this also will mean abandoning the foot support that a shoe can provide, particularly when that shoe is combined with an orthotic footbed.
The problem in many ways involves the surfaces we walk on. When we walk barefoot at the beach, the soft sand cushions our impact and then molds to the many contours of our foot, reducing the pressure. When we leave the beach and walk on the sidewalk or street, the hard, man-made surface (made for the wheel, not the foot) causes the arches of the foot to flatten. The classical flip flop is also flat, allowing the arch to continue to collapse, and doing nothing to add support.
Fortunately, there is a solution that will still allow you to enjoy the carefree ease of wearing a flip flop without the detriments to your foot health. Flip flops specifically formulated for support, like Vionic’s many toe-post styles, have all of the appearances of the classic flip flop. Even better, the footbed of the sandal is much like our footprint in the sand, gently cradling the heel and supporting the arch area to prevent collapse. Designed by renowned podiatrist Phil Vasyli, the Vionic flip-flops are a key to feeling good after hours of summer activity. I recommend these shoes to my patients as a way to avoid doing damage to their feet while they’re enjoying all that summer has to offer.
Happy National Flip Flop Day!
— Brian Hoke, DPT, Sports Physical Therapist, Vionic Innovation Lab