Friday, June 6, 2008

rumours about flipflops

june 6 2008

The American College of Sports Medicine has conducted a study to compare the way of walking with sneekers and with flipflops.

They observed that students came back from vacation with lower leg pain.

Well, those students wear different footwear during the rest of the year, especially during sports, which might have an influence on their muscle system, making them prone to certain injuries.

Ofcourse the foot touches the earth in a different way when sneekers and flipflops are compared.

Flipflops enable more natural footuse than all those hightech, footbedded and angled shoes.
Due to the nature of the footwear the angle between foot and floor differs, as does the pressure exerted from the body on the foot.

I'm one of those people who always wear flipflops.

But I don't wear them all.

I don't want the posh ones, with curved soles, because they influence my gait in a bad way.

And I certainly don't want those with a long band between my toes, because they limit my movement with each step.
The flipflop should fit my foot and the length of the strap between my toes needs to be just right.

And on top of it all, the bands on top of the feet should be long enough to enable me to take the flipflop with me without any effort during walking, but also short enough, so the bands won't excert pressure on the dendons and the muscles on top of my feet.

Interesting is that when I wear socalled healthy shoes, I start getting about the same injuries as the scientists report will be the consequence of earing flipflops.

Their advice: to change shoes often, might be a good advice, as variability spreads the burden to the body.

But I do belief that not the flip flops should be target of investigation, but the students who showed lower leg pain themselves.

Why do they develop tendonitis during a flipflopped vacation?

Do they walk different than we flipfloppers do?
Do they buy the wrong ones, those with too long straps between the toes, or bands that are too far over the feet?

Why do they experience bodily problems when they use footwear that is almost as close as possible to shoeless walking, which is considered very healthy?

Even though these studies come from a wellknown College, I think that one shouldn't take these research results as an indication that flip flops are bad for the feet and for the body.

In this case the research group shouldn't have only looked to the way how the feet touch the ground with both sorts of footwear.
Behind this lies the hypothesis that a certain way of touching the ground is healthy for the body.

Wearing sneekers or flipflops during the most time of the year, might alter the way the body functions.

So research should have been done with sneeker and flipflopwearers, wearing their own and the other footwear.

The resulting conclusion might be that changing foorwear drastically during vacation might lead to a heightened risk of injuries.

They used sport-students and certain flipflops to reach their conclusions.
That means that they can only draw conclusions like: sportstudents who wear no flipflops for the main part of the year are prone to develop injuries while wearing a certain kind of flipflops during their vacation.


Laane has been lecturer of scientific research design, methods and techniques.

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