Stop for a second and think about what your wore on your feet over the weekend. Sandals? Flip flops? They are summer staples, but unfortunately they aren’t supportive shoes. Among the most treated foot problems from wearing flip flops and sandals is plantar fasciitis – pronounced PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus. This painful and complicated-to-pronounce condition is an inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottoms of feet. In fact, studies show that up to two million Americans a year suffer from foot pain due to plantar fasciitis. Ouch.
Getting all medically technical, the plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that joins the heel bone to the toes, and supports the arch of the foot. Straining the plantar fascia by not wearing correct shoes or overuse from exercise, can make it weak, swollen, and inflamed. The inflammation means your foot hurts when you stand or walk.
If any of this sounds familiar, then hop (or hobble) over to a podiatrist and get checked out. You may also want to think about what you’re wearing on your feet. We spoke to Phillip Vasyli, Australian Podiatrist and founder of Vionic Footwear with Orthaheel Technology, and he had this to say about shopping for summer shoes, so you can walk comfortably both now and later.
“When shopping for sandals, one of the most important things is that you have arch or orthotic support (countering under arch) that has full contact with the foot,” says Phillip Vasyli. Unlike flat shoes that cause feet to spread against their natural position and stretch out feet tissues (a cause of plantar fasciitis), proper arch support in sandals will keep lower legs in their natural position and reduce pain.
Although most flip-flops are notoriously bad for your feet, Phillip Vasyli developed his Orthaheel Techonolgy to make flip flops and sandals that are actually good for you. Finally! (eds note: I am just getting over plantar fasciitis, so when this story came across the desk, I actually cheered).
We think this is a good excuse to go shoe shopping, right?