Flip-Flops Line My Pockets in the Fall… Avoid Them for Happier Feet!

In the past 21 years of my massage practice, almost every autumn since I began, there has been an uptick of clients marching in (well, limping in, actually) with foot pain and leg fatigue. The first few years I could not make the connection between the time of year and the trend. Finally I figured it out—it’s all about the flip-flops! Flip-flops, slides and even some types of clogs can make the feet unhappy by summer’s end, resulting in plantar fasciitis, stiffened toes, sore knees and even sore hips and low backs.

These unsupportive shoes make the toes and the calves work overtime to keep them on the foot. The muscle tension can be very subtle, but over time can create havoc. By summer’s end, when it’s time to put on more supportive shoes and boots, their extra structure seems to shock the feet even more.

Some flip-flops have more arch support than others—they are fine for when it is beastly hot outside and you are doing a quick run to get the newspaper, or are headed to your backyard, the beach, the pool or to a neighbor’s house nearby.

The worst are the ones really designed to be worn in a public shower for hygiene reasons. Avoid wearing those, unless of course you are wearing them for the intended use!

Feet are happiest when they are in shoes that tie (lace), buckle or have some sort of secure fastener (Keen bungee cords, for example). Feet should be able to roll from heel to toe with each stride, with you taking confident steps. If you are shuffling, tightening your calves or clenching your toes, it’s a bad sign.

If you stop wearing flip-flops in spring and summer, I may have fewer clients in the fall—but you will have happier feet!

For more ideas about foot care, foot reflexology and sports massage, please make an appointment to visit my studio—spring, summer, winter or fall!

The first two decades of her working life, Lindsay was a corporate writer, planner and editor. She understands about meeting goals and deadlines, working long hours at a keyboard, or standing a lot during presentations. Growing up in Vermont, where people are just as active as Washingtonians, she shared in the pattern of “work hard; play hard,” looking forward to the weekends to hike, ski or play tennis. She still resonates with that ethic, but now includes recuperation, wellness and self-care into the mix. She encourages her clients to do the same.

Lindsay says “I discovered bodywork after a sledding injury in my teens and then repetitive stress injuries at work to my neck and shoulders in my twenties and thirties sent me to experts to get help. As much as I loved working in communications, there was a big light bulb for me that went off — bodywork was what I was going to be passionate about – and I still am, only more so!”

Lindsay attended the Brenneke School of Massage, graduating in 1998 with a focus on sports and injury massage, and the Seattle Reflexology Center in Queen Anne, completing its course of study for foot reflexology and addressing foot pain in 2014. She was attuned to Reiki I in 1998 and then Reiki II in 2003. She has taken dozens of post-graduate classes and seminars, always curious about current research and new techniques.

Lindsay considers everyone an athlete because we all are moving our bodies constantly, or if we aren’t, we want to be. Exertion isn’t always big movements or extreme – it can be writing code for hours or hefting a child repeatedly onto a hip. Lindsay does what she loves so that people can continue to do what they love with ease, comfort and strength.