Hi, Andrew here from Waikato Podiatry Clinic.
One of the questions that we’re asked a lot at this time of year about jandals and summer footwear: Do they cause problems? Are they okay for me to wear? Should I be wearing them at all?
Everyone’s a little bit different and so it’s not a one size fits all. But generally, if you are fit and healthy, and you haven’t had any specific problems, then using jandals occasionally is not a bad thing, in my opinion. But what we have to remember is that often it’s the relative change. So we may have been spending a lot of time in a trainer such as something like this, or in a work shoe, which may be something like this.
So it’s not rocket science and it doesn’t take much to be able to see that that is fundamentally different from this. So it is going to change the dynamics of how the foot works. And it is going to change the loading of where that goes on the foot. So it would make sense that if you are going to be doing a lot of exercise, going for long walks along the beach, or going tramping over rocks, those sorts of things, then it probably is safer as a general thing to use a normal trainer, because that’s a lot closer, and is likely to be more of what you’re used to wearing for that sort of activity.
What we do see in January, February, March, early in the summer months is an influx of things like heel pain, and sometimes arch strains and sesamoid problems and different plantar foot problems. Often they will be due to people spending more time and doing more in a jandal or a flatter sort of shoe.
One of the things that you can do to try and meet it halfway is to try and get a jandal that’s got a bit of oompf in it, a bit of meat and a little bit of support. So that would lend itself a little bit more towards doing a bit more activity and things in the jandal. Also, obviously with the jandal the foot is having to work a little bit harder to hold it on.
So you have to just be a little bit careful of that. But it’s reasonably common sense sort of thing. If you’re not having any issues then spending a bit of time knocking around in the good old Kiwi jandal for summer is not necessarily such a bad thing.