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Reasons Flip-Flops Are Bad For Your Feet

Reasons to Ditch Your Cheapo Flip-Flops

As temperatures rise, my feet crave some flip-flop action. I love to feel the air and grass on my skin, and not have to deal with hot, sweaty feet. Plus flip-flops are so cheap, you can buy a few pairs without breaking the bank. The problem is, pinching pennies with Summer footwear isn't doing your feet any favors. Here are some reasons you should skip the flip-flops and opt for more supportive shoes.

  1. Sole is spongy and offers no arch support: The sole may seem soft and comfy, but your foot ends up over-pronating (rolling inward), especially since there's no added support for the arch of your foot. This can cause pain in the heels, arches, ball of the foot, and toes.
  2. Muscles and tendons work overtime: With only that little v-shaped strap across you toes, there's not much holding the shoe to your foot. As you walk, you end up gripping your toes, making the muscles and tendons in your feet do all the work. This can lead to tendinitis.
  3. Flat shoes strain the Achilles tendon: If you're used to wearing shoes that have a raised heel, flat shoes end up overstretching the calf muscles.
  4. No ankle support: Sprained ankles in the Summer are common because of flip-flop use.
  5. Lead to calluses and heel fissures: All that pounding on the back of your foot hardens the skin, and since your feet are exposed to air, the skin can dry out. If it gets too dry, the callused skin can crack and bleed, which is very painful.
  6. Can cause hip and lower back pain: When wearing flip-flops, you tend to alter your gait, taking shorter steps, which can lead to pain in other areas of the body.
  7. Offer no protection from rocks, mud, or people stepping on them:Wear flip-flops exposes your feet to all kinds of sharp and dirty objects, increasing your risk of cuts, splinters, and bruised toes.

Experts aren't saying you have to live without flip-flops completely. They're great for the beach or pool — or showers at the gym — just don't walk in them for extended periods of time. I know flip-flops are practically the definition of Summer, so tell me, does hearing all this change your mind about how often you'll wear your flip-flops?

Image Source: Thinkstock
maynardgirl maynardgirl 4 years
you shouldn't be gripping your flip flops with your toes- just stop and you'll notice they don't fall off! If you relax and walk naturally they are fine. The athletic shoes and pumps that people wear are the real offenders.
Alexpoe Alexpoe 4 years
Plain stupied
Alexpoe Alexpoe 4 years
Flip flops are not bad for your feet at all they are being stupied about it flip flops are good for your feet and are healthy for your whole body
jessfish25 jessfish25 7 years
Aw MAN! I love flip flops... now I'm going to be worried about wearing them too much. Time to go shoe shopping I guess :-\
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I find flip-flops to be very uncomfortable due to the toe-gripping! It drives me nuts.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
During the warmer seasons, I live in flip flops, and I experienced none of the problems above. Granted, I buy quality, athletic ones (not "cheapos." In fact, none of my footwear are cheapos), and physically, I am fit (no pressure point problems with my feet, flexible calves, strong ankles, good muscles and tendons, etc.). Also, I give myself thorough pedicures, so I have no painful, unsightly cracked heels. Perhaps when I'm older I would need orthopedic shoes to manage those kind of foot problems, but for now, I experience none of them with flip flops.
rach1007 rach1007 7 years
I have two views on this. I grew up in Los Angeles in lived in flop flops. And I had the painful heel fissures to prove it! It wasn't until I went to school in the midwest and now live on the east coast (where flip flop season is decidedly shorter) that my heel fissures and overall back pain went away. However, as Sarah430 mentioned, there is a growing movement towards going "barefoot" (such as vibram shoes--
animatedpunk animatedpunk 7 years
I LIVE in flip-flops.... I have super high arches and under-pronate (my feet roll to the outside), but I've never had any problems with flip-flops. I have to wear orthodics with running shoes in order to keep from getting knee pain.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I hate flip flops. The straps always chafe my feet and they hurt after a while. I'd rather wear sandals with decent arch support and a more supportive strap system.
sarah430 sarah430 7 years
I think most of the cons are reasons you should wear flip flops more often. All those problems are because we keep our feet cooped up in shoes all the time. Wearing minimalist shoes and going barefoot are good for the feet and ankles. Maybe work up to it if you always wear shoes. I'm always barefoot or in socks in the house.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I love flip flops! I've never had a single problem with flip flops though, expect for my leather ones stretching out and then I feel like my toes are grasping me (which I hate). I love walking around barefoot too, but that's the country side of me =)
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I love flip flops. I hate having my feet in shoes. the moment I get home I kick off my shoes and prance around barefoot. I tend to wear flip flops right up to the first winter frost, and in CA it's late in the season :) I have Croc flip flops and they are very comfortable. I think I've worn them down though and must go buy new ones for the summer.
kclulu kclulu 7 years
I love flip flops but my feet start to hurt if I walk around in them very long. In fact I can walk much longer in my 4 inch heels than I can flip flops before I feel any discomfort. The lack of arch support is painful.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I'm wearing dressy ones right now. I love my flip flops, and have to keep my feet in good condition to wear them. I get a lot of heel fissures if I don't keep them exfoliated & moisturized! I just feel SO much cooler (temperature wise) when I'm not wearing "shoes"... and I have yet to find sandals that I really love - when there is a heel on it, my feet slide forward, and the straps become uncomfortable.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I do love my flip flops. In fact, with my feet yelling at me from walking to work in heels, they sound like heaven right about now.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
This is coincidental--I was just on vacation, alternating between huge heels and flips flops with all the walking.... and got a mild sprain in my ankle. Although, I'm not sure the heels were any better for me than the flip flops!
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