Warmer weather is finally here in Adelaide and the thong – one of our favourite go-to wardrobe staples – comes out too. For some who have thongs in many colours, they’re a fashion item to suit a variety of outfits! But how good, or not, are thongs for your feet?
The problems with thongs
Your feet are a complex structure of 26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This complex structure is what enables us to walk millions of steps throughout our life but it needs to be supported. We’ve evolved from walking barefoot every day to wearing shoes now for more than 40,000 years. We’ve had plenty of experience in understanding what supports our feet or not, and what the result is if we continue to wear unsupportive shoes.
As a general rule, thongs aren’t good for your feet because there isn’t enough support. They alter the way you walk, adding pressure to the foot biomechanics, placing strain on your feet, which can ripple out to your calf muscles, knees and hips.
Thongs make your toes curl up and hang onto the sole. Couple this with a long day of walking, hitting the pavement while your feet are working hard to hold onto the thong, and it’s obvious why you’d get foot pain.
You might be experiencing the following if you wear them all the time:
- Sore calf muscles – they work harder to keep the thong on
- Aching feet – no arch support
- Sore ankles – no arch support misaligns your foot leading to ankle pain
- Tender knees – foot problems can travel up the leg and affect other parts
- Cracked heels – constant rubbing makes cracked heels worse or may even cause them in the first place
Planter Fasciitis is also a common problem for people who wear thongs regularly. Feet are often ignored until there’s a problem. And unlike many other parts of the body, if your feet hurt, you hurt all over.
If thongs are not good for your feet, now what?
At Sanders Podiatry, we like to be realistic about fashion and footwear trends. Thongs are a staple item in many wardrobes and a favourite for old and young alike. So we aren’t going to say “never wear them” – that’s a little unrealistic. Like any footwear that’s unsupportive, we prefer to say, “wear them in moderation”.
However, there are circumstances when you should definitely not be wearing thongs:
- When you’re driving
- When you’re running
- If you have cracked heels (thongs make them worse)
- If you have diabetes and have lost some sensation in your feet
- If you have any sort of pain in your feet
- If you have plantar fasciitis
The verdict? Like most things in life, the answer is, moderation. Use common sense, be aware of the strain they add to your feet and don’t wear them all the time. Opt for supportive shoes wherever possible.
What to do if you’re experiencing pain in your feet?
Foot pain makes you feel weary and fatigued all over. Your walking gait alters to compensate for pain, adding further strain. You might even start avoiding things you normally love and gradually retreat from physical activities you once enjoyed. This is unnecessary, as most foot pain exists for a reason which can be treated.
Receiving regular podiatry treatments is wise, both physically and financially. By giving your feet attention, they will stay fit for the journey of your life, costing you less in medical bills down the track. In the 21st century, we’re all living at least 15 years longer, so we’re going to need out feet for longer!
Podiatry treatments help to:
- Relieve pain
- Identify possible health conditions (eg diabetes)
- Advise on good footwear
- Support long term foot care
Sanders Podiatry Clinics are located in Adelaide, Stirling and Mt Barker
Sanders Podiatry is a family owned podiatry practise with three locations around Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills – Linden Park, Mt Barker and Stirling. Our experienced podiatry team offer gentle, effective and personalised treatments and preventive maintenance plans to keep your feet in good health and wellbeing.