The oddly shaped rubber shoes known as Crocs first hit the market in the early 2000’s, however they did not catch on in terms of popularity until almost 10 years later. Since then, they have become a popular alternative to flip-flops, sandals, indoor footwear, and in some cases, even shoes themselves.
Although some people are attracted to their quirky appearance and even find them more comfortable than typical footwear, a recent article posted by Huffington Post brought to light that rubber clogs can have adverse effects on your foot health.
Crocs and Foot Health
Since Crocs have become so vastly popular, especially among children and adolescents, many podiatrists have been consulted on the effect that they have on our foot health. Their answers were less than positive. According to one podiatrist, Dr. Meagan Leahy, Crocs are not a suitable replacement for proper footwear.
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“Unfortunately, Crocs are not suitable for all-day use,” Leahy says. “These shoes do not adequately secure the heel. When the heel is unstable, toes tend to grip which can lead to tendonitis, worsening of toe deformities, nail problems, corns and calluses.” (1) In fact, the same can be said for any shoe that is backless such as flip flops or sandals; they should not be worn for an extended period of time.
If wear backless shoes often, consider doing some of the following exercises below to prevent and help manage tendonitis:
Fake Crocs And Allergic Reactions
According to a lab analysis conducted in Germany, rubber cogs similar to Crocs as well as knock-offs of Crocs contain highly cancerous substances that can actually be absorbed through contact with skin.
German broadcasting institution Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) sent in 10 different types of plastic cogs to a lab in Germany for analysis. According to the test, six out of the 10 shoes provided contained cancerous chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (2).
According to the 13th Report on Carcinogens (RoC), a public health document published by the National Toxicology Program, exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been linked to an increased risk of developing lung, liver and skin cancers.
Given all the information above, it is important to be very careful when you purchase Crocs and not resort to buying knockoffs. That being said, although the American brand Crocs did not contain any polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the analysis found that it still contained substances that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions (2).
If you still insist on wearing Crocs, wear socks to reduce the amount of contact that the material has with your skin. It is also advised to smell the shoes before purchasing them. If they have a strong or sweet smell being emitted from them, this could mean that the shoes are releasing possibly harmful solvents (2).
(1) Here’s what podiatrists think about your crocs http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/are-crocs-bad-for-you_us_574de531e4b02912b241081f Published: June 1, 2016. Accessed: January 13, 2017.
(2) I 24 news. Crocs contain materials dangerous to health, German report says http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/culture/130801-crocs-contain-materials-dangerous-to-health-german-report-says Accessed: January 13, 2017.
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