Summer shoe perils: Foot expert reveals health risks of flip-flops, crocs

Podiatrist warns against popular summer footwear; improper usage may lead to foot problems and injuries.

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

To feel more relaxed and beat the summer heat, many opt for flip-flops. However, a prominent foot expert claims that this choice may put our health at risk. Paul Macaulay, a renowned podiatrist from Singapore, warns his TikTok followers about the potential dangers of wearing flip-flops excessively during hot summer days. According to Macaulay, these iconic summer shoes lack proper arch support and can lead to biomechanical imbalances, causing overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis.

Macaulay's viral video points out that gripping the shoe to keep it in place can lead to claw toe syndrome. To prevent this dangerous condition, he recommends choosing flip-flops with an extra strap around the heel or a model with a strap in front to secure the foot.

Safety is another concern associated with flip-flops. Loose-fitting flip-flops can increase the risk of tripping and falling, especially for those with poor mobility. For people with diabetes, wearing flip-flops can cause excessive dryness, leading to cracked heels and potential foot complications due to reduced sensation.

As a foot specialist, Macaulay shares insights on the best summer footwear for women, listing slip-on shoes, stilettos, soft ballet flats, soft slip-on shoes, and flip-flops as shoes he would never wear. For optimal foot health, he recommends sliding flip-flops with built-in arch support to prevent heel and forefoot pain, emphasizing that they are suitable for specific activities rather than prolonged daily use.

The possible dangers of wearing Crocs: What do the experts say?

Regarding Crocs, opinions differ. While Macaulay doesn't find them as terrible as flip-flops, he advises using the straps to secure the foot properly and suggests limiting long-distance walks in Crocs.

Medical experts express mixed views on Crocs' benefits. In a previous interview with the Huffington Post, Dr. Megan Leahy cautioned that Crocs are not suitable for all-day wear due to inadequate heel support, which can lead to foot problems. In an interview with the same outlet, Dr. Alex Kor highlighted that Crocs can cause arch or heel pain in some patients, recommending them only for specific foot conditions.