Wearing supportive shoes is important for overall health
THEY are the Australian footwear of choice.
More Australian than Vegemite some would argue.
And the humble thongs, pluggers, double pluggers, safety boots, whatever you may call them, are under fire.
Australian Pain Management Association chief executive Elizabeth Carrigan has urged Aussies to ditch the thongs this summer and opt for more supportive footwear if they wanted to enjoy a pain-free old age.
She said wearing non-supportive shoes could lead to long-term pain in the feet, ankles, knees and even the hips and back.
"Our feet require arch support for optimum health, which thongs, many sandals and cheaper closed-in shoes do not often provide," Ms Carrigan said.
Local footwear expert Lisa Wale, store manager of Williams the Shoemen in Kin Kora, agreed with Ms Carrigan that ease should not substitute for support.
"People tend to disregard their feet a bit but it's very important that they are properly supported," Mrs Wale said.
"We see people who have bought bad quality shoes and used them for work every day and they come in complaining of sore feet and joints."
Mrs Wale said she was passionate about foot care, as she said her husband had suffered from foot problems which eventually led to him requiring surgery on his feet.
"It's really important to get a correct fit from an early age and get the right support from as young as possible," she said.
The experienced shoe fitter said arch, ankle and sole support were three critical factors.