Summer heels, flip-flops & strappy sandals keeping docs on their toes

By: Jenny You Email
By: Jenny You Email

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – Summer is here and that means those freshly pedicured toes are peeping out of your strappy sandals, open-toed pumps, flip-flops and wedges. But those killer heels are keeping foot and ankle specialists on their toes this summer.

While most women try to put their best their best foot forward when summer fashion season arrives, their shoes are making for a fashionable health hazard.

Dr. Stefan Lorincz, DPM, is a podiatrist at Mayo Clinic Health System. He said summer shoes tend to be bad for feet for several different reasons.

“Flip-flops or sandals are very thin. They have no support in the arch, they don’t have any cushioning and most don't have a lot of shock absorption,” said Lorincz.

High heels and wedges tend to bring on a different set of problems, he said.

“Your foot’s positioned in a way your weight, body weight is more on the front of the foot than your heel,” he said.

He said summer tends to be busy with complaints about heel pain, arch pain and if someone has deformities like bunions or hammertoes, those could get worse.

If problems are not treated properly, that can lead to the need for surgery. Lorincz said he’s done several procedures stemming from shoes worn in the summer by people.

“It can get very serious. That’s why it’s important you listen to what your feet are telling you and if the problems continue to see a physician about it,” he said.

He said if your feet do hurt because of your shoes, take them off, rest your feet, try icing them and consider over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If you’re not seeing any improvement, then consider seeing a doctor for evaluation.

If you’re looking for a summer shoe that’s comfortable, Lorincz said to try and look for this:

“Summer shoes that are more appropriate or better for your foot are sandals that have a built in arch; materials that are naturally shock absorbent, like cork and rubber tend to do better than a harder plastic material,” he said.

Many of those thin shoes or high heels aren’t meant for long distances. So if you are traveling this summer, going for a hike or whatever the case may be, have a pair of comfortable shoes with you.

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