Flat shoes are not always good for us, especially if worn for long periods.
There has been a recent fashion trend for flat shoes especially the very flat ‘Dolly’ type shoes or flip flops. This has been especially for girls and ladies, but also men in flat moulded sole trainers. The very flat nature of these shoes gives our feet a problem when we wear them for long periods. It is not uncommon for people to complain of arch strain or calf strain amongst other problems after wearing this type of shoe for a length of time.
Most people’s feet need a small heel (about ½ inch) to stop their feet and calf straining too much when they stand. Feet are built with a slight dip towards the front of the foot which is stabilised in a more natural position by wearing a slight heel. So wearing no shoes or very flat ‘Dolly’ or flip flop shoes for a long time doesn’t keep our feet in an ideal position.
Of course on holiday on the beach the flip flop is the ideal shoe and there is nothing better than this type of shoe on a very hot day to cool our feet down. But if we do get a hot summer and the need for wearing cool shoes is there for any length of time you may want to think about a sandal with a very small heel to help, or better still a Vasyli medical sandal with built in orthotic support (see the shop for more details).
Obviously if you wear more than 1.5 inch heels then the adverse effects of too high a heel will affect the feet and pain in the ball of the foot will often occur together with knee and hip pain if worn for too long.
Some people get more problems with footwear than this and sometimes advice does have to be tailored to the individual. For instance sometimes stretching exercises can be given to help people cope with flatter shoes, or insoles maybe needed to control the function of the foot inside the shoe to stop pains and strains occurring. If your getting regular foot pain or calf & leg ache then it may be you have a functional problem which a biomechanical assessment could help with.
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