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Warm Spring Weather Means an Early Start to Sandal Season

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April 12, 2012

Middletown, NY — Snow and cold weather have been in short supply in 2012 and this past March was the warmest on record. So it’s no surprise that sandal season is getting an early start. The podiatrists at Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, advise that while nothing beats sandals for warm weather comfort, wearers of flip-flops, strappy heals, wedges, and sandals for men need to take extra care to keep their feet healthy and safe.

"Flip-flops are extremely popular, and that is bad news for feet," says Gregg  K. Atlas, DPM, CWS, DABPS, a podiatrist with Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery. "These quintessential summer sandals were designed for the beach and pool, not for everyday walking or summer sports.  The lack of arch support can cause foot and heal pain, along with tendonitis." Dr. Atlas notes that his practice treats more patients in the warm weather months for bruised, sprained, and broken ankles and for damage to ligaments that result from wearing flip-flops.

Other types of summer sandals likewise are not all-purpose shoes because they do not provide the feet with enough support and protection. Sandals for men leave feet and toes susceptible to severe scrapes, cuts, and even breaks from encounters with mowers, weed whackers, and other power yard and garden tools. They usually lack adequate traction for climbing ladders or working on the roof, so the wearer is more susceptible to falls and serious bone injuries.

Dr. Atlas emphasizes the importance of selecting a protective shoe if a person has diabetes. "Even the smallest foot injury can develop into a serious infection and require amputation. A podiatrist can offer guidance on types of summer shoes that are comfortable, protective, and attractive."

The following tips can help keep feet comfortable and healthy:

  • Choose shoes that fit toes and heels properly.
  • Avoid wearing sandals for long periods of time.
  • Choose shoes made from breathable fabrics such as leather and cotton.
  • Add a cushioned insert when possible.
  • Consider sandals with padded straps.
  • Choose shoes with a modest heel.
  • Take care when wearing wedge shoes to maintain balance and avoid falling.
  • Wrap ankle straps in a way that gives support without being too tight.
  • Seek out shoes that protect the toes.

Any sandal-related injury should be evaluated by a podiatrist, who can recommend the appropriate treatment or surgery.

Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Suite 225, Middletown, NY 10941. For additional information, please call 845-692-9900.

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