The summer is rapidly approaching, and that means warm weather and lighter clothing. For a lot of people that also means wearing open toe shoes, sandles or flip-flops. Open toe shoes and sandles, if they have proper support, can be great to wear in hot weather. But flip-flops are another story. As I said, you can get sandles and open toe shoes that have good enough support for you to be able to spend all day in them with little or no effects to your body. But if spend all day in flip-flops, that’ll be another story.My purpose with this blog, website and upcoming book, is to help people find ways to reduce their pain and lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Wearing flip-flops all day can affect your body in many negative ways that will make you more succeptable to being in pain. And if you have pain in certain areas, flip-flops will exacerbate it.The problem with flip-flops is that there is no support. That coupled with having to clench your toes every time you take a step to keep the flip-flops on, wil alter your gate, or how you walk. Flip-flops are meant to be worn for about 30 minutes while at the pool or after exercising, or anything else along those lines. They are not meant to be worn all day, every day. If they are worn daily the lack of support and the altered gate will irritate everything from your feet and ankles to your knees to your hips and can even cause pain all the way up to your neck and mid back. How is this possible, you may ask?Your joints are designed to sit on one another in a certain way. If your feet are off slightly, like if you have flat feet of high arches, then your ankles will move a little differently then they were designed to. Your knees then will be affected and have to move differently to compensate for the altered movement from your feet and ankles. Your hips will then have to compensate for the altered motion in your knees. Your low back will then have to compensate for the altered motion in your hips. And then your neck and mid back will have to compensate for the altered motion in your hips and low back. This translates all the way up the spine. All of this altered motion will evetually affect different areas of your body. It will make the muscles more tight and irritated thus making them more succeptable to being sprained or torn when stress is put upon the joint like if you were to trip over a curb. The tight and irritated muscles will not be able to support your body and you’ll end up getting injured.The most extreme case of this I have seen is a patient who went hiking in flip-flops while on vacation. He spent all day hiking in mountains in Turkey. He sprained his ankle not from falling or tripping, but just from spending too much time walking around in flip-flops with no support. He was barely able to walk afterwards. And the compensation ended up going into his low back and hip and caused him a great deal of sciatic-like pain (pain in his low back and hip radiating down into his leg and foot).If you have a pre-existing foot, ankle, knee, hip or low back issue you will be extremely succeptable to exacerbating your condition by walking around in flip-flops. Get some berkenstocks, tevas, or any other sandle. They will have more support and keep you walking comfortably and well-aligned. And help prevent pain and injuries from rearing their ugly heads.