In this blog, we explore how to take care of your feet when you’re wearing less supportive shoes.
Thongs are about as Australian as a BBQ on the beach. And while thongs are great for hot summer days, helping to keep feet cool in a simple design, they are not the most supportive of shoes. In fact, wearing them too often can cause some issues for our feet, ankles, and legs.
History of the thong
As early as the Ancient Egyptians in 4000 BC, we’ve seen the use of a thong-type shoe. In fact, the oldest known pair is on display at the British Museum from 1500 BC.
Whether you say ‘thong’, ‘flip flop’ or ‘Jandle’, one thing they all have in common is that they provide very little protection, support or stability for your feet.
Tips for wearing thongs
While podiatrists don’t love thongs, we accept that here in Australia, our climate means that the convenience and coolness does appeal to many.
So, if you are going to have thongs as part of your footwear wardrobe then here are some tips to help you wear them in a balanced way.
- Don’t wear them all day
Absolutely do not wear thongs all day long. Consider just wearing them for the beach or for short bursts of time and alternate with a more supportive shoe the rest of the time. Consider what you are doing each day, if it includes a lot of walking or running, leave the thongs at home and wear enclosed shoes with cushioned soles instead or take them with you and swap only when you head down to the beach.
- Don’t wear when exercising
No running with thongs or even that short 10-15 minute walk to the café! Think of it this way, your poor little toes have to work overtime gripping the sole of the thong to keep it from slipping off. When you increase walking pace this stress increases tenfold and you can easily develop muscle fatigue and trigger points which can then lead to more sudden foot and calf injuries.
We highly recommend wearing supportive trainers for activity and exercise, then switch to thongs later.
- Consider your foot type and try to match the shoe type
Certain foot types such as those with high arches are better off wearing a sandal. As is anyone with any painful conditions such as heel, foot, ankle, knee or hip pain – so we most definitely suggest people with high arches or any painful conditions don’t wear thongs.
In these cases, you are better off choosing a sturdier shoe style with features such as a moulded arch contour, or a cup in the heel to stabilise and support your foot as you walk.
- Epsom salt baths or magnesium sprays and rubs for tired muscles
If you are noticing your feet or ankles are getting tired, you can try Epsom salt foot soaks as it may help to ease muscle soreness. Simply add Epsom salt to a warm bath or use an Epsom salt foot soak or apply a magnesium
- Acupuncture or dry needling
Acupuncture or dry needling releases tightness in knots or trigger points in over worked muscles and fascia. It can increase blood flow to the area and help to improve muscle function making it work more efficiently when wearing thongs and sandals.
- Foot massages and massage balls
Regular massage of the foot and ankle area can help relieve some of the pain associated with wearing thongs. A spiky massage ball is a great tool to use at home even rolling under the arch of the foot as it often relieves your tight arch and the compression and massage under the arch and ball of the foot helps to stimulate the blood circulation and aid in muscle recovery.
- Natural pain relief
If you are experiencing pain in your feet, ankles, or legs, look for pain relief capsules or creams that contain the active ingredients Palmidrol (PEA) and Curcumin.
These ultra-high potency liquid plant extracts with higher bioavailability and efficacy, are a combination of ingredients traditionally used in Western herbal medicine. The two ingredients work in synergy to ease and relieve pain.
Why not try our newly released Synxeaze Pain Relief Cream and Capsules which contain these amazingly therapeutic ingredients.
If you love wearing thongs on a regular basis, then choosing orthotic thongs is a much better alternative.
Archies Thongs offer real arch support, super comfy material, and no toe clawing (meaning your toes don't have to grip to keep your thongs on, enabling you to walk without overusing muscles and tendons in the feet).
Boomerangz offer great foot arch support, interchangeable bases and straps, and a lifetime strap warranty.
We believe in making a positive impact by helping people maintain active, healthy and pain-free lives. We provide many options to support and relieve a variety of foot and lower limb conditions whilst also highlighting the importance of preventative healthcare.