Summer is upon us and with it comes the change out of clothing from heavy sweaters and bulky coats to tank tops and shorts. Footwear options will also change and many people will start wearing shoes with less material since your feet will become warmer with the higher temperatures. If you are someone who enjoys wearing flip-flops or sandals, consider limiting the exposure your feet have to these types of shoes. Here are some reasons why summer shoes can be harmful to your back and some tips you can use to keep yourself from injury when wearing them.
Lack Of Arch Support
If you look at a pair of flip-flops or sandals, you will notice that most pairs have a completely flat surface for your feet to rest upon. This lack of arch support will hurt your back if you wear them constantly. If you want to wear a lightweight shoe, test the arch support by trying to twist the shoe. Shoes that twist easily offer virtually no support whatsoever. If you have trouble moving the shoe when twisting, it has a more sturdy middle section, making it a better choice.
No Ankle Support
Summer shoes, especially flip-flops, have no ankle support at all. Your ankles are at risk for twisting very easily if you were to take a step without proper footing. This in turn can harm your back, as you will be over-correcting your stance in order to avoid tripping or falling. One false move and your back can sustain injury.
Your Gait Is Changed
The shoes you wear can actually change the way you walk. Sandals and flip-flops will cause you to take smaller steps so you do not lose your shoe while walking. Because of this, your gait will not be the same as it is in cooler months. This can cause you to change the positioning of your body so your toes can grasp onto the shoes.
The weight of your body can shift forward, causing you to put more weight on the front of your body than the back. This shifting causes back muscles to work harder to keep you from toppling over when trying to walk. Since these muscles are not used regularly, they will become sore, causing back pain in the process.
Finding A Pair To Live With
Besides the twist test, try looking for a pair of sandals or flip-flops that have an apparent bump in the middle of the shoe. This will help your back by allowing the bottom of your shoe to grip onto the bump, giving your body support. Look for a pair that have a strap to support your ankles, as well. If you must wear this type of shoe, do it in small doses. If you do an activity that involves a lot of walking, switch your shoes for a pair of sneakers. If you are still having problems visit your local chiropractor.