Heel Pain – Are your flip flops at fault?

This blog has addressed tumors, fasciitis, heel spurs and limb length discrepancy as possible sources for heel pain.  The type of foot wear you slide on is probably the number one underlying problem for many cases of heel pain.  With flip flops for sale at pretty much any store you walk into, you probably don’t put much thought into wearing a pair. These off the shelf flip-flops typically consist of little more than a quarter to half inch of foamy material and a plastic thong to fit between your toes. A long day on your feet or lots of walking will probably bring the decision to wear these types of flip flops into painful focus.  If you think your heel pain oddly correlates to the summer months, grab your favorite pair of flip flops and make an appointment to talk to your Austin podiatrists.


The prototypical flip-flop is everything your expert foot doctors warn you against.  They can easily slip off you foot when walking and can lead to slips and falls. There is virtually no padding or support and they offer no protection to sides, toes or top of your feet.   While the last point is a standard one for this style of minimalist shoe gear, there are plenty of flip flops that can eliminate many of the other complaints. Many manufacturers, such as Spenco, New Balance, Birkenstock, and amongst many others, all offer a more sensible option to the standard flip flop.  Most have a rigid or semi-rigid construct to help support your feet. Multiple layers provide cushion from impact and a textured sole to avoid slips. The best models will even have a removable insert.  This is style best suited for anyone successfully utilizing custom orthotics.  Be sure to bring both your orthoticis and your flip flop into your podiatrist if you have problems using them together.


One brand that we carry at our Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists office is Orthoheel. This company provides very stylish men and women sandals and flip flop that we make available at our online store.  Investing in a quality pair of flip flops can keep you walking comfortably all summer long!  






Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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