Are Open-Toed Shoes Safe to Wear During Spring? Here’s What Podiatrists Have to Say

Come spring, stores are filled with open-toed shoes for shoppers who are excited to forgo winter boots. As much as flip-flops and slides are comfy, podiatrists say these shoes make the feet vulnerable to unhealthy effects. In this article, we’ll explore the dangers of wearing feet-exposing sandals this season.

Damaging Your Strut

Although heels are the most common culprit when it comes to unbalanced or poor walking, your open-toe slippers can also cause it. You might have noticed that you tend to take smaller steps when wearing flip-flops or slides. 

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This is because you’re trying to keep the tiny piece of rubber that acts as the sole in place beneath your feet. They also increase your chances of tripping.

Bacterial and Viral Infections

While it’s true that flip-flops and other open-toe shoes offer more protection compared to walking barefoot, they also make your feet vulnerable to infections. Infections like athlete’s foot, HPV, and staphylococcus are the most common.

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You don’t have toe coverage at all, so you risk picking up contagious infections from public places. Although your immune system might ward off germs, walking in slippers with open wounds increases the chances of getting infected.

Your Body’s Biomechanics

Another danger of wearing flip-flops is that they negatively alter your body’s biomechanics; they affect how you stand and your body’s structure and function. When you regularly stand in flat sandals, physical activities become painful.

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These flat shoes don’t bend the way your feet bend, causing hip, knee, and lower back pain as you try to adjust your posture to reduce the pain. That’s why open toes with a bit of padding are better.

Arch Support

Regardless of your foot structure– whether you have a high arch or flat feet– you need some arch-support shoes. Everyone is planning to rock open-toed slippers and sandals for spring, but they don’t offer any arch support.

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Your ligaments are overused since your joints have to do extra work. This results in conditions like plantar fasciitis, in which tissue irritation causes heel discomfort.

Excessive Gripping

It’s normal for your toes to over-grip when you move around in open-toed flats; this excessive gripping keeps the slippers or shoes on your feet. However, over-gripping also has a negative effect, especially when you wear flats for a long time.

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If you have bunions on your feet, over-gripping can make your sores even more painful. Also, the tiny strap of your flip-flops between your toes can irritate the skin if worn for long hours at a stretch. That’s why platform heels and trainers are recommended.

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