Have you ever worried if slides are bad for your feet? This type of summer footwear seems great when the weather is hot and the sun is shining but can they cause your foot problems if you wear them for prolonged periods?
I love wearing slides on holiday when I am around the pool or by a beach but I know with my foot issues they don’t offer the support I need for my feet.
Here’s what you need to know about wearing slides or even flip-flops and why they have their limitations if you are thinking about wearing them all the time.
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What Are Slides Shoes?
If you don’t know what I am referring to when I take about slides here’s what you need to know.
Slides are a form of slip-on shoe that is backless. They usually have one wide strap that crosses over the mid-section of your foot. They come in different materials and colors and are usually lightweight and easy to wear in hot weather.
Although slide shoes can be high-end and made from materials such as leather most people now think of slides as the sporty kind made from products such as EVA.
Are Slides Flip-Flops?
Slides are not the same as flip-flops. Flip-flops have a Y-shaped strap that sits between the big toe and the index toe. This strap on the flip-flop helps to hold your foot in place whilst you are walking.
Flip flops mostly have a low thin flat base that has little cushioning although some brands have begun to change this.
Slides are different as the strap sits across the top of your foot. The strap doesn’t sit between your toes.
Many slide brands have extra cushioning which makes the base thicker than an average flip-flop.
Why Are Slides So Popular?
Slides are definitely having a moment and have become hugely popular, especially with younger age groups. There are a few reasons for this including:
Ease of Wear
Firstly slides are for the most part really comfortable. Unlike flip-flops which can hurt you between your toes cushioned slides initially feel very easy to wear.
Slides are also extremely easy to wear as they are lightweight and really easy to put on your feet. Unlike traditional sandals where you have to fiddle around with straps slides can be slipped on your feet and you are good to go.
Slides are also having a fashion moment. Famous sports people wear them after matches, celebrities wear them and Kanye reinvented them to be cool with his Yeezy slides.
Oh and mostly they aren’t expensive if you are buying a non-designer pair which means they are incredibly accessible to everyone (there are plenty of designer dupes out there). Plus if you want to buy a few different styles you aren’t going to break the bank.
Why Wearing One Type of Footwear All The Time Isn’t a Good Idea
So are slides bad for your feet if they are comfortable? Well, the answer is it very much depends on the type of slide, how long you wear them and where you are wearing them.
The fact is that slides are not designed as walking shoes or to be worn all the time. They are casual footwear that is great to wear in the hot weather for short periods of time.
Nobody should be wearing them all day long or for long-distance hikes but the fact is that plenty of people wear the same footwear everywhere and don’t think about the effects it may have on their feet.
Slides are brilliant if you wear them at the beach, or for short walks but don’t expect them to be great in every situation.
Slides And Arch Support
So why aren’t they suitable for everyday footwear?
For a start, most slides don’t come with arch support. Arch support helps to support your feet when you are walking. Shoes that don’t have it can cause your feet to flatten or move to from their proper alignment.
If your feet continue to move out of alignment this doesn’t only put pressure on your foot but it can also impact your posture and your joints leading to pain.
So by all means wear your slides for a short period of time but choose other footwear if you need to stand or walk for prolonged periods.
Why You Need a Shoe With Stability
As well as needing a shoe with arch support you also need one that helps with stability when you walk.
A stable shoe helps to keep your feet in one place instead of moving around in your shoes.
Slides that are loose fitting don’t offer the stability you need which means that your feet can slide around in your footwear. This slipping and sliding can make them uncomfortable and difficult to walk in if you are trying to walk any distance.
Birkenstock sandals for example are often a better choice because they have a deep heel cup, arch support and mold to your feet. Whilst they are not perfect of course they are better than a sandal with a flat sole.
Choosing Footwear Suitable for Your Foot Type
I also hate to break it to you that not every shoe or sandal is suitable for every foot type. I have flat feet which have caused me problems with plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. There is no way I can wear flat flip-flops or slides for long periods of time because they cause me foot pain.
If you have overpronation, bunions, hammer toes, athlete’s foot, and a whole range of other foot conditions then you may be in exactly the same boat.
Fashion is all very well and good providing what you are wearing isn’t causing you discomfort. Take time to choose a pair of shoes or sandals that works well for your feet and you will prevent pain as well as have footwear with a comfortable fit.
Are Slides Comfortable to Walk In?
Whilst many people find memory foam slides super comfortable for short-distance walking this isn’t always the case with styles with thinner soles.
Plenty of the standard slides don’t have the best shock-absorbing properties which means they can jar the joints if you are wearing them too much.
Sneakers with good cushioning are generally a better solution if you are going to be walking any distance and want shoes with shock absorption but of course, they are not as simple to put on your feet and cost more.
When Slides Hurt The Top Of Your Foot Or Soles Of Your Feet
I mentioned that most slides don’t tend to cost very much. This is great in terms of affordability but less helpful in terms of quality.
The fact is that many slides aren’t made from the best quality materials and aren’t as well constructed as some shoes and sandals. This problem means that some will rub your feet, create blisters, and generally cause problems.
If you have problems such as calluses, corns or mechanical issues with your foot your slides can make the problem worse, flip flops will do the same. So both types of footwear should be worn for short periods of time only and not as your everyday footwear.
Orthopedic footwear such as Vionics sandals are much better quality and have been specially created to be worn by people with foot problems.
Not All Shoes Are Suitable For Every Activity
Slides, flip-flops and thong sandals keep your feet cool in the summer and serve a purpose if you are at the beach or around a pool. Sure you can stroll around in them as well provided you aren’t walking for miles. However, they are not suitable for every situation.
You shouldn’t be running in slides for example or using them to walk for miles and miles. Hiking is certainly out of the question as they aren’t useful in anything but flat terrains. This is because they don’t have adequate traction for walking over rocks or uneven ground.
Yet some people think that because they have bought a piece of footwear it should be able to do everything.
The fact is that yes you might get away with wearing slides in the wrong situations for a short period of time but their lack of traction and support means that eventually, you are going to hurt your feet or cause problems with your joints.
Feet Need Protection
The fact is that people wear enclosed shoes for a reason. That is because they keep your feet warm and dry and protect them from hazards as you walk.
Whilst flip-flops and slides may be fine on a beach where there is soft sand they fare less well in other environments.
Wear them in the city and the dirt and debris from the sidewalk are going to end up on your feet. Wear them on uneven ground or gravel and those sharp stones are going to going to cause you pain. Stub your toe in them and it is going to hurt.
Plus you have to think about the weather as well. Flop Flops and sandals are designed for the summer only or for wearing around your house. Who seriously thinks it’s a good idea to wear them in the rain or even worse in ice and snow?
Choose the right footwear for the location you are in and of course, you will have significantly less trouble instead of wearing something that is bad for your feet.
So are slides bad for your feet? They are perfect to wear for short periods of time in the summer on flat terrain but don’t make them your everyday shoes. Alternate your shoes depending on what you are doing and where you are going to be walking and you will be looking after your foot health and your comfort.
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