Saturday, June 15, 2013
Addicted to Flip Flops
Since I live at the beach there is no time like the present to be wearing a pair of my many pairs of flip flops! I am a flip-flop addict in every true meaning of the word. I own a pair in almost every color imaginable and one to match almost every outfit in my closet. They range in style from really dressy to ultra athletic. Even though there are studies about the dangers of my 90% of shoes owned, I am not changing them. I do wear an arch supported sandal when I'm walking long distances or tennis shoes if it is cold.
In a study conducted at Auburn University led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shroye in 2008, the evidence revealed these shoes can lead to potential injury issues due to the biomechanics of the shoe altering the walking gait of those who choose to wear these types of shoes. This issue can lead to potential back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot problems.
By studying 39 college men and women wearing both flip-flops and athletic footwear, Shroye determined there was some difference in the way the participants walked in each shoe. He had the participants walk on a platform that measured “the vertical force as the walkers’ feet hit the ground” while videotaping the participants “stride lengths and limb angles.”
What the research revealed is when the participants were walking in flip-flops, they tended to take shorter strides while not allowing the same heel strike vertical force as when wearing the athletic shoes. The study also revealed the participants “did not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase, resulting in a larger ankle angle and shorter stride length, possibly because they tended to grip the flip-flops with their toes.”
While you may be ready to toss your summer favorites into the trash, Shroye did state these shoes do serve a purpose, especially for those who spend time at the beach or need a nice reprieve from their athletic shoe wear. However, it must be emphasized that these shoes are not designed to wear for long-distance walking as there is a potential for injury anywhere along the kinetic chain. In other words, if you are suffering from knee or back issues after wearing flip-flops, you may want to reconsider wearing them the next time you are out for a nice stroll.
I am not about to throw away the flip flops since I know that I'm wearing other shoes for my walking long distances and exercise. Don't throw away the flip flops!
Concept in Topless Sandals
Are you a flip-flop addict? Have you ever suffered an injury wearing these shoes? Would you still wear them regardless of the injury potential?