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Why Chiropractors Say No to Flipflops

What’s Wrong With Flipflops?

I love flipflops as much as the next person, but they are right up there with those beautiful high heels in causing toe, foot, ankle, knee, hip & back problems.  Your feet are your foundation and each bone connects to the next – from your toes right up through the spine.  When you take a step your toes and the ball of your foot push off, starting a chain reaction of forces up through your body.  Then all that force lands down through the heal of the other foot.  Now imagine how it would feel if a toe was a little crooked, your arches a little weak, your ankle a little twisted.  Your body compensates as best it can, but you know how this story ends. 

So, we wear shoes to 1) provide a stable surface for supporting the arches and pushing off, and 2) cushion the heal and absorb the shock of landing.  We all know flipflops don’t do any of this very well.  Studies are finding that people have to make all kinds of adjustment just to keep flipflops on their feet: most notably they take smaller steps and have to use their toes to try to grip the sole to keep the flipflop on.  These adjustments change a person’s gait and can lead to tendonitis, bunions, hammer toe & plantar fsciitis, knee pain, hip pain & back pain. 

You Don’t Have to Give Them Up

So, if you must wear flipflops be smart!  Don’t wear them if you will be on your feet and walking a lot.  Choose flipflops that have some arch support and cushioning – and look for a heal cup for stability.  Choose designs that help the sandal stay on, like wide & snug straps.

If you are already at the point of pain, then avoid flipflops altogether and consider custom orthotics.  Most chiropractors will evaluate your feet and posture and order orthotics especially for you.  I work with a company called Footlevers – and they even have sandals and flipflops with orthotics in them! 

Footlevelers makes inserts that should fit inside shoes you already own, after you pull out the original insert.  For heels and flats they make a thin three-quarters length that attaches inside the shoe with Velcro.  Footlevelers also has a small line of shoes, sneakers, sandals & fitflops from brands such as Clarks, Caos, Florsheim, Merrill and others with the inserts built in. I have a catalog you can look through, or you can read about them on line:

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