Since summer has finally arrived, at least with high temperatures if not officially by the calendar, you should already be breaking out the comfortable, open-toed footwear. That means you need to grab your sandals, Crocs, flip flops, and other comfy stuff you can wear to the beach or just around town.
While all of these shoes may be comfortable, if not fashionable, one in particular is not as safe as you think.
Growing up, my widowed neighbor always seemed to have a fresh pair of green Crocs every spring season. Though they aren’t my style, I see them all over the place including in commercial kitchens.
But just as much as people love their Crocs, others absolutely loathe the shoe. And that’s usually because they think they’re hideous.
But now medical professionals have a warning for anyone who does plan on buying a pair. And if you’re a Croc lover, it’s time you wizened up to the truth behind these comfortable slip-ons.
Recently, professor of medicine and health services at the University of Washington, Dr. Richard Deyo has gone public with a serious warning against Crocs.
“I’m a professional skeptic, and that applies here as well,” Dr. Deyo said. “Unless they have some persuasive randomized trials, I’d regard the therapeutic claims as theoretical.”
Backing up Dr. Deyo with facts and research, the President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Dr. Alex Kor, attests that the most important part of a shoe is the “shank,” or the piece that supports the arch of the foot running from the heel to the toes.
When it comes to Crocs, the shank is nonexistent. That means these shoes aren’t as ergonomic as Crocs’ management team wants you to believe.
“Patients are more likely to have foot pain if their shoes bend in the shank,” Kor says. “I see patients who come into my office complaining of arch or heel pain and they are wearing Crocs.”
Another professional, Dr. Megan Leahy, a podiatrist employed by the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute has an even better argument for you.
“Unfortunately, Crocs are not suitable for all-day use,” she says.
“These shoes do not adequately secure the heel. When the heel is unstable, toes tend to grip, which can lead to tendinitis, worsening of toe deformities, nail problems, corns and calluses. The same thing can happen with flip-flops or any backless shoes, as the heel is not secured.”
It looks like Crocs are about as good for you as a pair of real-life crocodile biting on your feet.
While you are eager to get your toes out and air them out for the summer, Crocs are not the best way to do it. They can damage your feet and offer no support.
On the other hand, Birkenstock sandals are a highly recommended sandal by podiatrists.
Bottom line: Avoid backless shoes for long periods of time. They are not good for your feet. Choose options that offer support if you care about your and your family’s health.
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