It’s summertime and living is easy but at Patrick Fettinger, DPM, one area where less is really not better is when it comes to summer shoes. Many patient’s footwear of choice during the summer season are flip-flops. This style of shoe has only one good use and that is to protect your feet from viral, bacterial and fungal infections that can be picked up by direct contact at community pools and changing areas/restrooms at beaches and lakes. The minimal construction of traditional flip-flops leaves your feet open to several potential problems, including increased risk for:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Arch pain
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains
- Stubbed toes
- Cuts and scrapes
When choosing summer shoe styles, look for these design features:
Arch Support—after wearing flat shoes for a long duration you are likely to notice that your arch and your heels are hurting. That’s because the plantar fascia—a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from heel to toes—becomes inflamed if you have no arch support. This is the cause of a common condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Molded Footbeds—these will help keep your feet firmly in place in the shoe. Less movement means reduced risk of friction that can cause blisters and also protection against ankle sprains and injuries.
Breathable materials—good air circulation around your feet reduces the risk of bacteria mixing with sweat and producing a bad odor. Keeping feet dry will also help prevent fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Cushioned insole—a layer of cushioning between your foot and the sole of the shoe will act as a shock absorber. This not only makes shoes feel more comfortable with every step but also reduces the stress of repetitive pounding on your foot, decreasing the likelihood of foot pain and discomfort.
Back strap—a strap around the back of your foot, while not a necessity if the rest of the shoe is properly made, will increase stability and further reduce the chance for injury.
Improper footwear is one of the top causes of foot pain and chronic podiatric problems. If you are experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, make an appointment at our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger can examine your feet and determine the source and proper treatment of your foot discomfort.