Summertime in New Zealand is jandal and strappy slip-on time, and I bet you’re all busy with pampering pedicures to get your feet all pretty and ready to show off.

But walking in jandals and strappy slip-ons comes with problems, because when you’re wearing shoes that don’t connect to your foot – this is how your lower leg and foot are forced to respond.

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As you can see, the toe grip that is required to keep jandals and slip-ons on your feet, curls some toe bones up and some down; it drives the end of some bones into the ground creating higher-than-normal pressure (which will result in heel and ball of the foot pain), and it drives the ends of some bones up into the top of the shoe (resulting in corns and calluses). Not to mention the the tension that is created down the front of the leg — you’ll find that out for yourself when you try out this exercise:

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This “top of the foot stretch” helps undo the chronic tension in both the toes and in the front of the ankle. Follow it up with this gait-specific calf stretch:

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Check out the foot action required to keep jandals on in this next shot. Now, just for fun, do your own experiment – pop a pair of jandals onto your feet and do a slow walk, and then watch carefully what your toes have to reflexively do in order to keep the jandals on your feet.

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So, while it’s fine to wear jandals and strappy slip-ons occasionally – like at the beach and around the garden at home, it’s not advisable to make them your go-to shoes for summer.