Flip-flop fear: how these flimsy shoes can impact your step

Sure, they’re cute and comfy, but the dollar flip-flops you live in could be doing more harm than good. Take a close look at this summer (and sometimes year-round) footwear and you’ll see something very clearly: your shoes aren’t made of much and they could be injuring your body.

The soles are often made from unsupportive, flat foam and offer no support for your foot—a fact that could affect your feet, ankles, knees and back over time.  Because many people are forced to walk differently just to keep the shoes in place, problems like plantar fasciitis, arch pain, nerve problems and toe injuries increase. Some doctors worry that flip-flops make your feet more susceptible to germs, cuts, and infection.

Even with all the reasons not to wear flip-flops, there may still be hope if you approach your style with a bit of responsibility.

  • Don’t wear your flip flops all day.  Try to limit their use and do your best to choose a flip- flop made of leather to reduce blisters and irritation that cheap plastic can cause
  • When purchasing your next pair, hold them up and give them a bend.  A good pair should bend at the ball of the foot (the area at the front of your foot). If the shoes bend completely in half, look for another pair.
  • Ensure a good fit. Make sure that your toes and heel fit well and aren’t hanging off the edges.
  • Don’t re-wear the same flip-flops year after year. Limit them to one season and then give them a toss.
  • Never do yard work or play sports in flip-flops. The open design could mean broken toes or cuts and scratches from outdoor activities.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.