Have you ever had a strange cramp in your foot (between your big toe and the next one or in the ball of your foot) after wearing flip flops all day? Do you get sore calves or pain in the bottom of your feet?
Flip flops seem comfortable and easy to wear (I like them because they don’t pinch wide feet) but they actually create more work for your foot and leg muscles than regular shoes. You may not realize it, but when you wear flip flops your toes must grip them extra firmly to keep them from sliding off or sideways. So you actually contract many extra toe muscles (like the adductor hallucis and the flexor hallucis brevis) with each step you take. Wearing flip flops for long hours can give you actual cramps in these muscles and others.
In addition to muscle cramps, flip flops have no arch support so your calf muscles and Achilles tendon have to work extra hard and can become sore. And finally, the lack of support can strain your plantar fascia (a thin rubbery band on the bottom of your foot), causing pain at its point of origin on the heel bone.
So if you’re having foot pain or muscle cramps – it may be caused by too much flip flopping. Of course, the cure is simple: wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and sturdy straps. Luckily for you, summer is almost over and your feet may recover naturally as you pack up the flip flops and pull out the work shoes.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.