Good and hot weather is here and if you haven’t tried to wear flip flops every day – it’s only a matter of time before you do. The only unfortunate thing about flip flop season is the coinciding rise in plantar fasciitis that typically comes with it.

Two flip flops sticking out of sand at the beach.

Someone I Was Speaking With

the Other Day Recently Asked:

“Now that I’m wearing flip flops again, my plantar fasciitis is acting up. Is there anything I can do? Or do I need to stop wearing flip flops altogether?”

This is a great question.

While yes, wearing more supportive shoes would certainly help. Ideally, if you can stay on top of your plantar fasciitis and/or prevent it all together, flip flops don’t have to be an issue at all and you can continue enjoying them all season long.

First – What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Quite simply, it’s inflammation of your plantar fascia – the tissue that makes up the arch (bottom) of your foot. Your plantar fascia runs from the base of your heel, down the length of your foot, and into your toes.

It’s responsible for both the mobility and stability of your foot so that you can propel yourself during walking and running. As you step, your arch has to move and fall.

The response to this action is that your foot then stiffens and lifts up – this is where your foot gets the power to push off. If any part of this mechanism is not functioning properly, your plantar fascia can become stressed and overworked – leading to inflammation/plantar fasciitis.

What Causes Your Plantar

Fascia to Become Inflamed?

Basically, it can be anything that impacts or disrupts the natural mechanics of your foot to fall and lift through the arch. Sometimes poor mobility in either your ankle or first toe is the culprit.

However, I usually find the problem began with tight hips and weak glutes that cause problems all the way down to your foot.

Anything that impacts the way your foot hits the ground has an opportunity to influence the level of force and energy transmitted through your plantar fascia when you walk.

When the natural foot mechanism is disrupted, your plantar fascia will attempt to compensate. If this goes on uncorrected, your plantar fascia eventually becomes angry and irritated – resulting in a very painful case of plantar fasciitis.

So What Do Flip Flops Have to Do With This?

Footwear can either “protect” your arch, or cause it to overwork. Technically speaking, if your foot mechanics are sound and the arch of your foot is strong and mobile, footwear should have a negligible impact on your plantar fascia.

But because of how much we sit, and how little we walk around barefoot, the bottoms of our feet are simply not as conditioned as they should be.

This is really the problem – not so much what you put on your feet. If you’re accustomed to wearing supportive and cushioned shoes all the time, and then suddenly switch to flatter, less supportive flip flops, it’s going to be a shock to your foot. And if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis already, it will flare up easily and quickly.

OR if you have improper mechanics and try to wear flip flops all the time, it becomes painful very quickly.

What Can You Do?

The best thing you can do to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis is to not neglect your feet. Performing consistent mobility exercises for your toes and ankles is key, as well as conditioning for the strength and stability of your arch.

Balance exercises, toe exercises, and plyometric (jumping) exercises are all important, as well as making it a point to walk around without shoes as often as you can. Along with all of this, it’s a good idea to incorporate pelvic floor and core training exercises, because the function of your pelvis can have a significant impact on your foot mechanics.

But What if Your Plantar Fasciitis is Too Painful?

If this is the case, jumping into exercises may not help, and could even aggravate your plantar fasciitis.

But knowing where to start, getting that guidance, and getting progressed through exercises correctly CAN resolve that tension on the bottom of the foot.

Getting manual therapy to the bottom of the foot is very helpful and helps loosen up the plantar fasciitis in order to make the exercises more effective. As well as understanding the contributions from your hips, back, pelvis, core and how to address those!

When addressed correctly, plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be chronic and it doesn’t have to dictate your footwear selection, especially when you love wearing flip flops.

If you’ve already tried a lot of different treatments for your plantar fasciitis and they haven’t helped, CLICK HERE so we can get you a free evaluation to figure it out. 🙂