Thongs suit the Australian lifestyle perfectly; unfortunately, they aren’t always kind to our feet. We don’t want to talk you out of wearing your favourite pair of thongs, but here are some steps you can talk to protect your feet this summer!
Stretch the bottom of your feet
One of the big issues with thongs is that the tissue on the bottom of your foot has to work very hard, causing it to tighten and become painful. These two exercises will keep these tissues loose and pain free.
- Say Your Prayers:
- Kneel on the ground, curl your toes under and turn your ankles out so that all of your toes are in contact with the ground.
- Slowly lower yourself so that your bottom is resting on your feet (if possible).
- Hold for up to 20 seconds. If this is painful, reduce the time of the stretch.
- Tennis Ball
- Sit on the edge of a chair with the tennis ball under your toes.
- Roll the tennis ball from your toes to your heel, applying as much pressure as you can tolerate.
- Roll the ball around in small circles on your forefoot (from your toes to under the ball of your foot).
- Now roll the ball around in small circles on your arch (from the end of the ball of your foot to the beginning of your heel).
- Then roll the ball around in small circles on your heel.
- Repeat the above process on the other foot.
- Preform for 4 minutes each day.
Thongs have no support, and this puts a lot of pressure on the muscles of your arch to support your foot. Most of us aren’t particularly strong in this area, so here’s a great stretch to strengthen these muscles.
- Toe Crunch
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Roll your ankles out so that your weight is on the outside of your foot, and you big toe is off the ground.
- Curl your toes to make a ‘fist’ with them.
- Hold for 3 seconds for 10 sets.
Get your feet checked to eliminate any underlying issues
We find that many of our patients can’t wear thongs in summer due to an underlying problem with their feet. Thongs will bring out any of these underlying issues. If this is the case make sure you get your feet checked.
So, what do we need in a summer shoe?
- Breathability: summer means hot weather. Your feet swell and you sweat in your shoes a lot more, increasing the likelihood of tinea (athlete’s foot) and constraint in poorly fitting shoes. It’s good for the skin on your feet to breathe, particularly as many of us spend a lot of time in closed footwear.
- Support: There are many styles of slip-ons and sandals that have very good level of podiatry support. As a podiatrist, I often recommend Birkenstock, as they provide a high level of support and are hard wearing. I even use Birkenstocks as part of a treatment strategy in many foot pain cases. Orthaheel also have a good range, and Teva are supportive too.
- Slip on and slip off: You still need a quick and carefree summer shoe, and there are many options out there, such as Merrell, Ecco, and Rockport. All sell styles that are slip on, but that offer much better support than thongs.
If you need any further advice on what to look for, don’t hesitate to contact the clinic on 8966 9300 or email @firstname.lastname@example.org