Q & A Library
The Best Summer Footwear?
The weather is heating up, so I want to wear something with more ventilation than my usual shoes. Are flip-flops a good choice? If not, what is?
Answer (Published 7/7/2016)
Although most flip-flops will certainly help keep your feet well ventilated, not all flip-flops are created equal. A study presented at the 2008 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) concluded that habitually wearing typical flip-flops – that is, inexpensive versions in which the sole is essentially a flat foam pad – can contribute to leg or foot pain, probably because they can influence an individual’s stride and do not provide arch support. Researchers compared typical flip-flops and sneakers in 39 men and women aged 19 to 25 to evaluate the angles and force with which the feet hit the ground. They found a statistically significant alteration in force with these inexpensive flip-flops, and concluded that this difference may change normal gait in those who wear them.
A much better summer footwear choice is flip-flops or sandals that feature built-in orthotic support. Instead of allowing the foot to flatten and tilt inward – which can lead to an uncomfortable gait, pain and possibly injury – these are engineered to keep the foot, ankle and lower leg in proper alignment and pain-free.
I am a longtime advocate of walking for health, so proper footwear is important to me. That’s why I approved, licensed, and recommend Vionic with Orthaheel line of footwear, which includes flip-flops, sandals and other types of shoes that provide healthy, stable support. For more information, go to VionicShoes.com. (I donate all of my after-tax profits from royalties and sales of Vionic footwear directly to the Weil Foundation.)
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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