With summer around the corner, our thoughts naturally turn to the pleasures of wearing lighter footwear, including sandals and flip flops. But foot health experts warn that the lack of arch support can lead to foot and heel pain.
The arch contains our tarsal and metatarsal bones, as well as ligaments and tendons that provide support. The metatarsal bones make it possible for us to stand, walk and run by distributing our weight for balance. The tarsal bones near the back of our feet are connected to the metatarsals. Our posterior tibialis tendon muscle runs from behind our shin bones to the inside of our ankle and to many of the tarsal bones to keep our arches healthy and strong.
These arch-related areas can be weakened or injured from too much activity, or the normal wear and tear of aging, leading to arch pain. And our arches find it more difficult to stabilize our bodies, absorb stress and help our bodies adjust to uneven surfaces.
Lack of arch support can increase pressure on the heels, leading to a number of painful conditions, including:
- Flat feet
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Foot and leg aches
- Loss of the protective padding on the bottom of the foot
- Pain in the ball of the foot
- Shin Splints
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Stress fractures
Experts recommend the following remedies for arch pain:
- Orthotics to support your arch, provide stability for your heel, and relieve some of your overall foot and body stress
- Specialized arch supports customized to your specific arch type (which can change over time) and body alignment
- Wear comfortable shoes with arch support
The American Podiatric Association reports that many sandals can cause foot pain—mostly commonly flats and slides. To avoid pain, wear them only for short periods of time, use cushioned inserts to absorb shock, and look for soles that don’t twist too much.
Summer shoe styles like espadrilles, peep-toe sandals, gladiator and strappy sandals can increase the risk of sprained or twisted ankles, increased pressure on the toes, bunions and hammer toes.
The challenge for many of us is that we want cute, stylish sandals, but few come with arch support.
Fortunately, Foot Solutions offers several types of arch-supporting sandals and even flip flops that provide extra support and stability. Our highly-trained fitters and footwear experts can help you find the balance between warm-weather style and optimal foot