Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Flip Flops Are Bad For Athletes

Did you know that wearing flip flops are bad for you? Even worse for you, if you're an athlete trying to maximize your potential.  I have long known the negative impacts of wearing flip flops, but it wasn't until about a year and half ago that I did something about it - I ditched them!

At the most basic level, wearing flip flops requires your foot to be in an uncompromising position in order to walk, causing your toes to point down and grab the base of the sandal in order to keep it from falling off your foot. Why is this bad?  Well it causes a ton of downstream issues with the lower leg by shortening the plantar fascia and stressing the rest of the muscles, which in turn, reduces your mobility. And for athletes, keeping your mobility is something you want.  We all know how important I feel mobility is.

Well rather than trying to explain the basics, I'll let you in on a little secret resource I've been following since it started last year called MobilityWOD (MWOD).  Built off the same concept as Crossfit WODs, MWODs force you to attack different areas of your body daily - and it hurts so good!  But I don't follow this as much for the MWODs, as I do for the wealth of information shared in each video.  If you want to learn about the way your body works, pay attention to every detail, because there are great nuggets of information in each video.  If you aren't following it right now, I STRONGLY recommend you do after today.  So getting back to the issue of flip flops, this recent MWOD video explains all you need to know:

You're probably thinking - what should I do then?  As Spring temperatures are starting to crop up around the country, "flip flop weather" is coming.  But you don't have to be another casualty of brown flip flops.  There are other options and I have quickly begun to accumulate multiple choices along the way:

Sanuk Men's Vagabond Slip-On,Grey,10 M US- My 1st choice for warm weather, alternative flip flopping is from a brand called Sanuk.  They make all kinds of options, but the one I wear is called the Vagabond.  The base of the sandal is just like a flip flop, only walking in it allows you to walk naturally.

I also have 2 pairs of shoes from Terra Plana VIVOBAREFOOT, which I managed to score on a super secret discount.  I absolutely LOVE these shoes and they can be worn is any number of situations.

- The first one, which is more casual is the Aqua.  Before the major barefoot/minimalist running shoe craziness that is currently going on, these models were widely used as a minimalist running shoes for people looking for a barefoot feel.  I've run a bit in these and can see why people wore them.  Though I am not planning to use them as minimalist running shoes myself, it is good to know that they can handle virtually any situation.
- The other VIVOBAREFOOT shoe I have been wearing is the Oak.  I tend to wear this more with jeans, but also plan to wear them with shorts once the weather warms up.  They are a bit more formal, which is great, because I can wear them with virtually anything.

- Oh and for the women, of course they make versions for you!  In fact, after noting to Rebecca how much I really liked mine, I got a pair of VIVOBAREFOOT Yukams for her.  And now that she has a pair, she loves them too!

The one word of caution about the VIVOBAREFOOT shoes is that they run small, so I'd recommend ordering a size up.  The pair that Rebecca is currently wearing is a full size up from what she normally wears.

So with that said - are you ready to ditch you flip flops and make a statement!?!? No. More. Flip. Flops.


Rebecca said...

and the best part? nobody has to see your gnarly runner's toes.

Shohidul Islam said...

Siesna Flip Flop Club is the place for you to choose your flip flop and delivery only at $15. It’s a great opportunity for the US people. I am welcoming you to the club.


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