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Thongs / Flip-Flops / Jandals (?!)… Are they killing your feet?
It might be the depths of winter (brrr..) but some clients here are still in recovery from the Summer-killer: Thongs!
What’s so wrong about them?
- Arch – Thongs generally provide no arch support whatsoever. Over time this can lead your fascia to work harder, potentially creating micro-tears as the fascia gets stretched and over-worked/un-supported. This can lead to a dropped arch called “pronation”, which is hard work to build back up, or needs supportive shoes/Orthotics to correct it and support your foot again
- Gait Biomechanics – normal gait sees us strike the ground with our heel, roll through form the outside boarder of the midfoot, and back towards the big toe, pushing off from all of your 5 toes. Practise this – how good (and normal!) does it feel? …Now try clenching your toes upwards and do the same thing… Hard?! Yes, that’s what your feet are doing every step in Thongs, toe-clenching to grip the shoes on your feet, making the foot more rigid, altering the way your foot and fascia move, and the whole way up the kinetic chain
- Heel Pain – heard of plantar fasciitis? (Read our blog here) You probably know at least one person in your office with it!? Not just from running.. The flimsy 1cm of rubber under your heel doesn’t do much to support and cushion your heel every time it strikes the ground, sometimes causing bruising of your Calcanea Tuberosity, potentially leading to plantar fasciitis, and the development of Heel Spurs in some people. Studies have found that people who wear Thongs all the time alter their gait to have less Heel-Strike, leading to tightening in the calf, and altered Biomechanics..
…All in all, they don’t sound too great?! In reality, your feet aren’t going to drop off if you wear them down to the beach or going to a BBQ, but if you’re going to be walking much more than 10-15 minutes, then consider changing your footwear. Before spring/summer shopping happens and you pick your favourite new colour of Havianas, consider our top tips for footwear choices:
- pick a Thong with an arch support
- aim to go for a sandal that holds in your heel, and AROUND your toes, not sitting between them
- consider one with a slightly thicker sole, and one that predominantly flexes (bends) just under the ball of your feet, as our wonderful feet are designed to!