Trevor Lane Podiatry

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Are Thongs Bad for your Feet?

At Trevor Lane Podiatry, we understand that while wearing thongs doesn’t do your feet any favours, it is part and parcel of our great Aussie lifestyle.

That’s why we stock orthotic thongs in brands such as Vionic Beach and Orthaheel.

Depending on your age or where you live, you might know them as flip flops, jandals, BBs, pluggers, or thongs – but one thing that they all have in common is that they provide very little protection, support or stability for your feet.

Aussie thongs but othortic thongs might be better

Foot Pain Caused by Thongs

We often see clients at our podiatry clinic, complaining of foot pain after taking a couple of weeks’ holiday. They may even blame it on their thongs, saying things like:

  • “The feeling between my toes makes me feel ill”;
  • “I had to claw with my toes to grip my thongs”;
  • “I think I alter my walking pattern in thongs, maybe that’s why my feet are sore?”.

In fact, the culprit is not so much wearing thongs, but rather, the sudden change in footwear.

In the everyday working world, we tend to wear more supportive shoes such as steel cap boots and lace ups, t-bar or mary jane styles.

However when we are on holidays, we suddenly switch to thongs – and our muscles, ligaments and tendons are not conditioned to this completely different style of footwear. 

Our feet have to work harder and our toes have to “claw” to hold them as we walk, which can lead to muscle strain and pain.

It’s enough to make you wonder why wearing thongs is so popular!

Here in Australia, our climate means that we appreciate convenience, coolness, breathability, and comfort, in our clothing and footwear choices.

Add to that our casual lifestyle and love of the beach, and you begin to see how thongs have almost become part of our national costume!

bright colours of Vionic beach thongs

Orthotic Thongs and other Tips

Seeing as you won’t find too many Australians without at least one pair of thongs in their wardrobe, here are a few tips to minimise any problems.

  • Wear orthotic thongs, or choose a sturdier make with features such as molded arch contours, or a cup in the heel to stabilise and support your foot as you walk.
  • If you can bend the thong in half in your hand, there’s very little cushioning in the sole so not the best choice of footwear.
  • As some diabetics have little to no feeling in their toes and feet, we recommend they avoid thongs and wear closed in shoes to prevent injury.
  • Consider what your day will hold. If it will include a lot of walking or running, leave the thongs at home and wear enclosed shoes with cushioned soles instead.

And remember – if at any time you experience foot pain after wearing thongs, our Redlands podiatrists are here to help. Book an appointment online or call (07) 3207 4736 today!