Don’t let the wrong summer footwear set you back

With the warm summer weather comes the option to wear cooler, more comfortable clothing and footwear. Unfortunately for some—particularly women--the change in footwear can have a detrimental impact on your posture, the way you walk and, ultimately, your back. To that end, the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island offers some quick tips selecting shoes that are both comfortable and provide support for your back.

First, find a shoe with a proper shank. A shank is a semi-rigid and semi-flexible material that allows for support and proper mobility and found in the arch support. Unfortunately, the typical summer sandal is thin and does not allow for a shank. Try to stay away from shoes without shanks.

Similarly, look for shoes that support the three arches in your foot: the medial and longitudinal arches and the transverse arch. Coupled with a proper shank, arch support adds to the stability of the entire human frame.

Also, pick a shoe that fits your foot comfortably and is the proper length and width. Very few people realize that their feet expand with aging as the arch collapses.

Finally, just say no to flip flops. These shoes may appear more comfortable but lack a shank or any real arch support or cushioning to protect your feet. In fact, many flip flop wearers end up with heel pain, leading to plantar fasciitis. Changing the way you walk because of heel pain can also lead to back issues.

“Improper footwear can lead to degenerative changes in the muscles, joints and connective tissues in the feet over time and that can cause a number of musculoskeletal issues,” said Dr. Michael Gottfried, president of The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and a practicing chiropractor at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, Rhode Island. “If you see a chiropractor, you may want to consult with them before making any summer shoe selection. If you don’t and you start experiencing back pain this summer, you may want to consult a local chiropractic physician.”

The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island, founded in 1918, is one of the oldest chiropractic associations in the country and represents over 60 of the practicing chiropractic physicians in the state of RI. Chiropractic is the largest non-drug health care profession in the US. The chiropractic profession has been affording relief for many types of health conditions naturally, without drugs and their potentially harmful side-effects, for over 100 years.

Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island is located at 1272 West Main Road, Building 2,
Middletown, RI 02842. For more information, call (401) 207-0700 or visit

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