Wearing The Proper Flip Flop To Protect Your Knees and Back 

School is out for summer, and so are flip flops. Did you know that your flip flops could be causing you back and/or knee pain? There are some things you need to know about wearing flips flops or sandals all summer to protect your feet, knees and back. According to Podiatrist Dr. Nick Romansky’s best flip flop practices, “Nothing too old, nothing too much the same, and nothing all day and night.” Most people think they are wearing a sandal, when in fact they are wearing a glorified flip flop. The fundamental difference between a flip flop and a sandal, is the heel cup, arch, and heel height. Seven reasons this summer you need to consider if that Tory Burch sandal  is the right choice and remember, when in doubt, mix it up.

1- Heels Matter – Whether you love wearing sandals or flip flops, they should have a heel. The heel should be slightly higher than the front of the sandal and be supported with some type of heel cup. Teva and Chaco are a good examples of the correct types of sandals.  When you walk in a flat sandal or shoe constantly, you are putting pressure on the center of the heel, thus more pressure on the knees and back.

2- Don’t Rubber the Wrong Way – If you are wearing a sandal that you can see the toe or foot imprint or the rubber is all squished to one side after a few wears, you know you do not have a good rubber shoe. Dr. Nick Romansky recommends a sandal such as Havaianas due to the quality of the rubber. Quality matters here. If you have Old Navy or J Crew flip flops, they simply won’t cut it for your overall health.

3- Cheap & New is Better than Expensive and Old – Old sandals don’t offer support. You may have a pair of Birkenstocks you have been wearing for years, however this could be causing damage, depending upon how many times you have worn them. Even if the rubber is not 100 percent perfect on the bottom, new sandals are the better way to go. It is all about shock absorption.

4- Mix It Up – It is summer. The easy choice is to wear your “go to” flip flop or sandal. While this is convenient, it is not always the best option. Why? Your feet need change. A good practice is to wear one during the day, and change the sandal or shoe if you are going out for the evening. Ultimately, you don’t want to wear the same shoe on a daily basis all day throughout the day.

5- If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It – Beware of summer fashion influence. If you see a sandal your best friend purchased, and you have to have it, think about it first. If you have a favorite brand that fits your foot and does the job, don’t switch to another brand for “pretty” purposes. Brands spend up to $200,000 to create shoe molds. A certain brand fits your foot for a reason. The same thing goes for running shoes, different feet fit different styles, plain and simple.

6- The World Is Not Flat, Your Shoes Should Not Be Either- Flat sandals do not provide any arch support. This is important when it comes to your foot. Some feet have genetically high arches, while others are flat. There is no one-shoe-fits-all, so you need to find the best arch support that works for you.

7- Can’t Say No To Flip Flops? – Of course you can wear your basic flip flop. Use moderation. Beach day, sure. Everyday, no. Take care of your feet, by doing so, your knees and back will love you. If you are looking for something that offers style and support, check out Olukai or Vionic (a line owned by the ever popular Ugg Brand), or Fit Flops. And if you are wearing a soccer slide (shower sandal), make sure they offer some type of support and heel cup.