Summer has arrived and with the warmer 30-40 degree days, many of us will be opting for a pair of thongs rather than our enclosed footwear.
With this comes a few consequences:
• Dry/Cracked heels:
While being exposed to the elements, the skin under and around our heels can dry excessively. In some cases, this causes splitting and cracking. Remember to moisturise and maintain your heels with an emery board or pumice stone. If cracks do appear then you should see a podiatrist.
• Lack of arch support:
Although thongs are an easy open-toed summer option, the lack of support they provide for the foot is well noted. Thongs are contraindicated in anyone with a history of foot or ankle injury or instability. However, a few brands such as Birkenstock, Archies and Orthaheel have incorporated some measure of arch stability to their models. Although these options do not replace a good enclosed shoe, they are superior to a flat "flip-flops."
• Overuse of the flexor tendons:
The flexor tendons of the foot are responsible for flexing your toes downward (what is called plantarflexion). These tendons are overused when wearing thongs as our toes claw to the footwear to prevent them from slipping off. Over time this can lead to ongoing foot pain.