Keep Your Shoes On

By Rina Weaver

Summer is right around the corner, and with that comes the use of open-toed shoes. No matter where you go, the amusement park, dinner with your family, or even just taking your dog on a walk, people’s nasty toes are out. Most people think, ‘Why not? It’s incredibly hot, I want to air my feet out.’ No. Nobody wants to see your feet. Not only do slippers show off your repulsive feet, but they also are incredibly unhealthy to wear.  

Displaying a new pair of shoes will definitely put a spring in your step, but if you only use flip-flops, it will drastically affect your stride. According to research published in the Journal of American Podiatric Medical Association, people who wear the popular summer footwear take shorter steps when walking, which can significantly throw off your stride. Wearing flip-flops raises the angle of your ankles when you take each step, forcing your muscles to maneuver in ways they aren’t used to, subsequently resulting in unneeded pain.

If you think jamming your toes into tennis shoes is bad, flip-flops are considerably worse. Your toes are desperately trying to hold your footwear with every step you take. When you just wear flip-flops, your feet move in unusual ways, but your toes take on more responsibility, resulting in a muscle imbalance in your movement. Ultimately, your toes’ tendons will remodel themselves and might take on a new appearance as a result. Dr. Eunice Ramsey-Parker, a professor of podiatric medicine, says, “The toes actually bend up and stay in a fixed position that looks like a little hammer.” With the new deformity of hammertoe gained, people’s feet become even more horrendous in slippers. 

Unfortunately, slippers do not provide any support to your arches.”When we use flip-flops as everyday footwear, the result is overworked tendons and an overstressed arch,” noted Dr. Jay Moore, an orthopedic surgeon at The Center Orthopedic and Neurological Care and Research. Additionally, the shoes can cause a slew of severe issues throughout the rest of the body. When you solely wear slippers, your feet are flattened, but the rest of your body can suffer major consequences as well, leading your entire body to be altered by the way you walk in this summer footwear.

The next time you want to wear slippers during the summer, think about all the problems they can cause your body, but most importantly, think about everyone else. You’ll be doing community service by not airing out your nauseating feet.