The Do’s and Don’ts for Wearing Summer’s Favorite Shoe

"Protect Your Feet with These Flip Flop Tips"Flip flops are no longer just for the pool! While the slip-on footwear may be a fashion favorite, they have long been pegged for contributing to a variety of foot problems. Podiatrist Dr. Lowell Weil Sr., Director of the Chicago Sports Medicine & Dance Injury Center, notes that with a few flip flop tips, feet will remain injury free. “While I wouldn’t suggest exercising in a pair of flimsy rubber flip flops, certain features can make the footwear more favorable,” says Dr. Weil Sr. “Purchasing sandals with a few modifications will keep your feet in tip top shape.”

Below are Dr. Weil Sr.’s tips for choosing a pair of flip flops:

Opt for a Heel: Rather than picking a completely flat pair, choose a slight heel (even as low as a ¼ of an inch) to elevate the heels. This will prevent strain on the Achilles tendon as well as offer some arch support. –

Avoid a Flimsy Foot Bed: If the shoe can easily be bent in half, it will most likely not offer very much support. Sandals with a stiffer foot bed, however, maintain their shape and keep the foot in a more secure position while walking. –

Wear the Right Size: Make sure the shoe fits, literally. If your foot is hanging off the edge or your heel is hitting the back, it is time to move the next size up. –

Watch Out for Irritation: Flip flop proponents are often prone to irritation between toes, particularly where the toe thong fits. If a blister starts to form, keep the area clean, use Vaseline or Neosporin ointment, and cover with a band-aid. –

Don’t Try to Run in Flip Flops: “Most of the injuries that we have seen from flip flops come from running or trying to play sports,” adds Dr. Weil Sr. –

Stick to New Shoes: Once the flip flops become worn, discard them and wear a new pair. If the strapping becomes frayed and snaps in the midst of walking, you are at risk for hurting your foot.

About Weil Foot & Ankle Institute: Since its opening in 1965, Weil Foot & Ankle Institute and Chicago Sports Medicine and Dance Injury Center has been an Illinois staple delivering exceptional foot and ankle care. The practice was founded by Dr. Lowell Scott Weil, Sr. in Des Plaines, IL and has since grown to 23 podiatric physicians providing foot and ankle services at 20 locations. Their services reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, diabetic wound care, pediatric and geriatric foot disorders and sports medicine. Recognized as an international leader in podiatric medicine and surgery, the doctors at Weil Foot & Ankle Institute have provided care and treatment to more than 130,000 patients since 1965. The doctors at Weil Foot & Ankle Institute are Team Podiatrists for the Chicago White Sox and have been featured in many prominent media outlets including ABC 7, NBC, WGN, CBS and The Weather Channel.