An average adult male walks around 75,000 miles in his entire life. If we spend so much time on a particular activity, it’s bound to have a lot of impact on our health and lifestyle.
One important aspect of walking is the type of footwear that you choose. For example, according to research, wearing sandals during long walks or while standing will lead to increased postural sway and reduced stability. However, a standard walking shoe will not affect your balance while walking or standing.
If your walk is unbalanced, unevenly supported, or lacks stability, then it might lead to injuries like ankle or knee sprains because of inconsistent distribution of forces through the joints.
That is primarily the reason why many companies started launching walking shoes in the first place.
So, we know that flip-flops, slippers, sliders, and sandals are not the best option for walking. But what about Crocs?
We know that Crocs provide immense comfort and feel good while wearing. But is walking in Crocs healthy for your feet and overall health?
Let’s find out.
Are Crocs Good for Walking?
Crocs can be a good and comfortable choice if you are going for short walks. However, they might not be as suitable if you are going for long walks.
That’s because they don’t secure or support the heel properly. An unstable heel while walking can lead to several long-term complications. For example, your toes will tend to grip, leading to tendinitis, toe deformities, nail problems, calluses, corns, and so on.
So, if you keep wearing them for a long time while walking, you might go through such complications.
On the other hand, Crocs are extremely lightweight, comfortable, and have nice and soft cushioning. So, they might feel very good around your feet for short walks without putting excessive strain on your heel or ankle.
Moreover, patients with high arches or those suffering from foot oedema or point tenderness in their legs and ankles can wear Crocs without suffering from any pain or complications.
So, generally, Crocs for walking are good if you are taking a trip to the park or the beach. But if you are going for long walks on uneven terrains, it’s best that you wear a pair of walking shoes to provide your legs with the adequate support they need.
Pros and Cons of Using Crocs as Walking Shoes
It’s normal to feel a little comfortable in a pair of Crocs as opposed to walking shoes. That’s because Crocs are designed to be ergonomically convenient with cushy and soft soles.
Moreover, Crocs are more lightweight compared to shoes. So, they will always feel nicer initially when you go out for walks.
But as we discussed before, using Crocs as walking shoes comes with its own set of drawbacks.
So, here is a comprehensive list of pros and cons of using Crocs as a substitute for walking shoes:
Pros of Using Crocs as Walking Shoes
- Crocs are very comfortable because they have a convenient design and are lightweight. The cushioned sole also makes it a great option for short walks.
- Crocs are easy to put on. You don’t need to tie any laces, put a velcro, or adjust the straps before going to your walks.
- Crocs are dotted with multiple pores on the upper part of their bodies to allow maximum ventilation. This allows you to keep your feet cool during walks.
- Crocs provide comfort and convenience for people suffering from foot conditions like sprained ankles, high arches, swelling, heel spurs, or arthritis while walking.
- Crocs use a water-resistant and durable material. Meaning you don’t have to wash them too frequently and can just wipe off the dirt and grime with a piece of cloth.
Cons of Using Crocs as Walking Shoes
- Crocs don’t provide the appropriate arch support, and stability features that we require for long walks.
- Crocs cannot maintain a proper grip on slippery or wet terrain because their soles are smoother than an average shoe.
- Crocs have limited features and versatility as they are only designed for casual wear and not for high-impact activities.
- Crocs do not provide the required heel support for maintaining proper balance and gait while walking.
- Lack of adequate heel support over long periods can sometimes lead to the development of tendonitis of the heel.
Can I Use Crocs As Walking Shoes?
While the prospect of wearing stylish and cushy Crocs outside might be too enticing, it’s generally not recommended to perceive them as an appropriate substitute for walking shoes.
While it’s okay to wear Crocs during activities like gardening, doing chores at home, short trips to public places, or office work, they don’t have the features necessary to support your feet during high-impact activities like taking long walks.
It’s important to note that even during long walks, wearing Crocs might sometimes feel comfortable, cushy, and convenient, but they certainly don’t provide the required arch or heel support to sustain your feet for extended periods.
So, you will likely have sore feet after a while. Moreover, because of a sharp lack of support, you might also fall prey to conditions like plantar fasciitis, leading to chronic pain in your legs and ankles.
There are many reasons not to use Crocs as a substitute for walking shoes. The main intended purpose of Crocs is indoor wearing, especially when you don’t have to walk a lot and only need to perform menial chores.
Even the introduction of the sports model in the Crocs market is not changing the opinion of experienced podiatrists, as they still won’t provide the features needed to sustain one’s feet during long walks.
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Is it Bad to Walk Long Distances in Crocs?
Yes, walking long distances while wearing Crocs is not recommended as they are meant for casual wearing and lack the necessary support features to sustain your foot health during long walks.
While they feel lightweight and cushy, they do not provide adequate support in the form of heel or arch support to stabilise your body during high-impact activities like long walks. This might lead to increased stress on your foot joints, causing discomfort, pain, or potential injuries like blisters, calluses, or plantar fasciitis.
The foamy material used for making Crocs also does not give our foot the required amount of shock absorption for long walks. The repetitive impact can, therefore, increase the toll on your joints and contribute to foot, knee, and back pain.
Finally, another reason why wearing Crocs as walking shoes is bad is that it can leave your feet exposed to environmental hazards like rocks, sticks, and other dangerous obstacles on uneven surfaces. That’s because the pores on the upper part of your Crocs do not offer your feet adequate protection.
So, walking long distances in Crocs can lead to several health complications and chronic pain in your feet and ankles.
Why Do My Feet Hurt Walking in Crocs?
If your feet hurt while you are walking in Crocs, there might be many reasons for that:
They Don’t Provide Adequate Arch Support
Crocs lack proper arch support. This can result in excess stress on a thick ligament on your heel called the plantar fascia which acts as a shock absorber. If the plantar fascia does not receive adequate arch support for long periods, you may develop a condition called plantar fasciitis.
This is a condition when you may feel bouts of pain at the bottom part of your heel and feet, making activities like walking and standing very difficult. If you are suffering from this condition, this might be one of the reasons you feel pain while wearing Crocs.
They Don’t Provide Adequate Heel Support
All kinds of backless footwear, including Crocs, sandals, slippers, flip-flops, and sandals, do not provide proper heel support.
As such, wearing Crocs while walking for extended periods might result in heel pain and tendonitis of the heel.
Without proper heel support, your feet will not have the required balance or stability for walking, resulting in further complications and soreness during long walks.
They Don’t Provide Proper Shock Absorption
While Crocs are soft and lightweight in build and design, they don’t have the appropriate cushioning to absorb the shock and impact of walking for long periods on hard and rough terrains.
This will put increased pressure on your feet and lead to pain and discomfort.
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Crocs are definitely one of the most popular footwear choices globally. And while they are good for casual wearing and indoor chores, they do not provide adequate support or stability to sustain an individual’s feet over long periods.
So, Crocs can definitely not serve as a substitute for walking shoes. But they might be suitable if you enjoy taking short walks or for indoor use.