Adapting to flip flops or sandals from closed shoes creates stress on the shin muscles as they try to balance the shoe on the foot, says Dr. Tzvi Bar-David of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He advises transitioning gradually and giving muscles a chance to adapt to avoid painful shins or tendinitis.
After a long winter there may also be a lot of enthusiasm for returning to the outdoors to exercise, but Bar-David advises taking time to get proper footwear and to stretch muscles.
Sneakers should have a rigid heel counter and flexible ball of the foot. All shoes should have a comfortable toe box, be well padded and have a cushioned sole.
"Heel and arch pain can occur when starting to exercise without proper stretching," Bar-David says in a statement.
Bar-David encourages stretching calf muscles for several minutes every day as well as before exercising.
"Stand two to three feet behind a counter or wall placing your hands there," Bar-David says. "Keep your heels planted on the ground firmly and bring your body forward thus stretching the back of the calf. Hold for one minute and repeat several times."