When the sun comes out, so do the flip-flops, sandals, and bare feet. But as great as it feels to let your toes see the sun for a change, many summer shoes fail to provide the support your feet and ankles need. In fact, if you’ve been experiencing ankle pain along with the warmer weather, there’s a good chance that your summer shoes are the culprits.
The right footwear can help stave off pain or prevent existing problems from worsening. Here are a few shoes to leave at home this summer for healthier, stronger ankles.
Flip-flops: your ankles’ nemesis
Flip-flops are fine for short distances, like walking to the pool and back. They’re also better for your feet than wearing no shoes at all. But walking in them for longer distances can have a bit impact on your ankles.
For one thing, flip-flops offer virtually no support and very little cushioning. This puts unnecessary strain on your ankles, and can lead to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis—two conditions that make walking very painful.
Flip-flops also have a nasty habit of slipping out from under your feet, making it easier to sprain or even break your ankle. If you’re prone to falls, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
If you do want to wear flip-flops this summer, look for a pair with cushioning and thick soles. Wear them sparingly, and swap them out for shoes that provide better support when you know you’ll be walking far.
The truth about sandals
You might think sandals would be easier on your feet than flip-flops. In some cases, they are—but the type of sandal you choose can make all the difference. Unfortunately, sandals with flat, thin bottoms and very few straps holding them in place can be just as bad as flip-flops.
When choosing sandals, always opt for a pair with multiple straps (preferably adjustable ones) for maximum support. Ideally, your sandals will have heel and ankle straps, as well as straps across the front of your feet. They should also have arch support and a thick sole so your feet will have more cushioning.
The hidden cost of wearing flats
While flats stabilize your feet better than flip-flops do, they still don’t provide much support, especially for the arches.
As with flip-flops, wearing flats occasionally over short distances is unlikely to do any lasting damage to your ankles. Just don’t plan to go hiking in them!
Why heels are not your friends
High heels and wedges might be fashionable, but these styles rarely offer much in the way of stability. Your risk of falling or twisting your ankle is much greater, and you’re forced to put all your weight on the balls of your feet, leading to pain.
Wearing shoes with lower, wider heels helps to balance the weight of your feet and prevent problems down the road. You may also want to choose heels with rubber soles, which provide extra stability. But in general, heels should be worn in moderation.
Looking after your ankles and feet
Whatever style of shoes you prefer, always make sure they fit comfortably, and try to avoid uneven ground like gravel pathways when out for a walk. Consider investing in a pair of athletic sneakers or heel inserts to give you the support you need.
Don’t let ankle pain plague your summer. Stem Cell Therapy provides cutting-edge regenerative medicine that can help your body heal itself. With our safe and minimally-invasive treatments, many patients have experienced long-lasting relief from pain. Contact us today to find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you.